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The Great Outdoors (1988)

PG | | Comedy | 17 June 1988 (USA)
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A Chicago man's hope for a peaceful family vacation in the woods is shattered when the annoying in-laws drop in.

Director:

Howard Deutch

Writer:

John Hughes
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1,265 ( 2,978)

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Dan Aykroyd ... Roman Craig
John Candy ... Chet Ripley
Stephanie Faracy ... Connie Ripley
Annette Bening ... Kate Craig
Chris Young ... Buck Ripley
Ian Michael Giatti ... Ben Ripley (as Ian Giatti)
Hilary Gordon Hilary Gordon ... Cara Craig
Rebecca Gordon Rebecca Gordon ... Mara Craig
Robert Prosky ... Wally
Zoaunne LeRoy Zoaunne LeRoy ... Juanita
Lucy Deakins ... Cammie
Nancy Lenehan ... Waitress
John Bloom ... Jimbo
Lewis Arquette ... Herm
Britt Leach ... Reg
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Storyline

Nostalgic about the good old days in the honeymoon cabin, the patriarch Chet and the Ripley family set off to the idyllic woods of Wisconsin for the summer vacation. However, their plans for a peaceful family bonding in the heart of the untamed nature will be thwarted, when the high-rolling brother-in-law Roman and the snotty Craig family decide to crash the party. Eventually, as the two families try to have a good time together, a seemingly endless series of misfortunes and mini-disasters with thirsty leeches, cunning racoons and a mythical wild bear, threaten to ruin the vacation. What will it take to salvage the weekend? Written by Nick Riganas

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

This is no holiday... This is War! See more »

Genres:

Comedy

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 June 1988 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Big Country See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$24,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$41,455,230
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The pinball machines visible in the background during the arcade scene are Williams' Laser Ball (1979), Bally's Mr. and Mrs. Pac-Man (1982) and Eight Ball Deluxe Limited Edition (1982) See more »

Goofs

A stick being waved under the bear's chin to make it knock down the cabin door. See more »

Quotes

Roman: You wouldn't know a good time if it fell out of the sky and landed on your face and started to wiggle!
See more »

Crazy Credits

Subtitled conversation between two raccoons -- Raccoon #1: "Why's Jody sitting in the lake?" Raccoon #2: "You didn't hear? She got shot in the ass!" Raccoon #1: "Oh no! Don't tell me..." Raccoon #2: "Yup... She's bald on both ends now!" See more »

Alternate Versions

On one television version, there is a scene where Chet is trying to maneuver his vehicle with the drag boat trailer onto the road. Roman's suggestions are not helping, as Chet almost hits different obstacles blocking his path. An officer (played by Troy Evans) notices this and approaches informing Chet that he is watching Chet's navigation. Finally Chet successfully makes it on the road. As they are driving away laughing at the officer, the boat slides off the trailer and into the street. There is also a scene within this one where Connie and Kate are talking by the lake while the twins are on the dock. Kate suggests the twins go swimming. A big fish jumps from the water scaring the two girls. After hearing the screams and unnoticing the fish, Kate remarks it's fine if they don't swim. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Random Acts: The Great Indoors (2019) See more »

Soundtracks

Beaver Patrol
Written by Tim Archibald
Performed by Pop Will Eat Itself
Produced by Robert Gordon for The Fon Force
Pop Will Eat Itself appears courtesy of Chapter 22 Records Ltd.
See more »

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User Reviews

 
One of my 80's favorites
10 July 2008 | by ivkoSee all my reviews

As a child of the eighties, its hard not to view this film thru the lens of nostalgia. John Candy is hilarious as the simple but decent family guy who wishes to take his family on a vacation to the great outdoors. His plans are rudely disrupted by his boorish brother in law, who crashes the family event and manages to disrupt all of Candy's plans. While there's nothing particularly stunning or insightful here, its fun and reminds me of days gone by. Although seen thru the eye of comedians, many of us can remember "disastrous" family vacations like this, with relatives that we sometimes couldn't stand and plans gone awry, but still forming some of our most fond memories. It is also somewhat bittersweet for me, as most of the beautiful and rustic locales in the film have disappeared during the intervening years, a loss I hadn't even noticed or thought about until I watched the film again. The film is very family friendly and, if you haven't seen it, definitely worth a viewing.


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