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The Great Outdoors

378 customer reviews

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(Jul 01, 1998)
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Editorial Reviews

When an unannounced, uninvited and unwelcome family of fun-loving misfits converge upon a lakeside resort to join their relatives for a summer of relaxation, the result is anything but restful in this raucous comedy starring Dan Aykroyd and John Candy. It's a vacationer's worst nightmare, as wheeler-dealer Aykroyd, his sexually repressed wife and eerie twin daughters "join" the easygoing Candy and his straight-laced clan for a season of "fun" in the sun. Unfortunately, the only thing these two in-laws have in common is their intense dislike for each other. Soon, it's brother-in-law against brother-in-law in an uproarious and hilarious fight to the finish to see which one really knows how to enjoy The Great Outdoors.

Special Features

  • Production Notes
  • Cast and Filmmakers
  • Theatrical Trailer

  • Product Details

    • Actors: Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, Annette Bening, Chris Young, Stephanie Faracy
    • Directors: Howard Deutch
    • Writers: John Hughes
    • Producers: Arne Schmidt, John Hughes
    • Format: Multiple Formats, Closed-captioned, Color, Dolby, Letterboxed, NTSC, Widescreen
    • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround), French (Dolby Digital 2.0 Surround)
    • Subtitles: English, Spanish
    • Dubbed: French
    • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
    • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
    • Number of discs: 1
    • Rated: PG (Parental Guidance Suggested)
    • Studio: Universal Studios
    • DVD Release Date: July 1, 1998
    • Run Time: 91 minutes
    • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (378 customer reviews)
    • ASIN: 0783227884
    • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,995 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
    • Learn more about "The Great Outdoors" on IMDb

    Customer Reviews

    Most Helpful Customer Reviews

    45 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Glynn Clapsaddle on October 16, 2004
    Format: DVD
    I love this movie, John Candy at his best with Dan Akroyd playing the uptight rich guy that we all love to hate. These two characters clash throughout the movie, displaying a great chemistry between the two actors. Watching this movie makes me sad that Candy is no longer with us, as he was just fun to watch.

    The reason that I give this 4 stars is that I could not stand the forced summer teen romance that was a part of the formula for most movies in the 80's. They could have cut those bits out altogeher and it would have been better.

    The physical comedy between John Candy and an eleven foot grizzly make this a classic and a must-have.
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    41 of 45 people found the following review helpful By Sheila Chilcote-Collins VINE VOICE on September 16, 2004
    Format: DVD
    John Candy as the big hearted family man, Chet Ripley and his sweet wife Connie played by Stephanie Faracy venture to Winconsin's big woods on the lake with their two boys for their yearly nice, relaxing, family vacation. Things are going well for the Ripley's until...

    Chet's obnoxious, wheeler dealer, snake of a brother-in-law, Roman Craig, played by Dan Aykroyd and his snooty and icy wife Kate, played by Annette Bening (in her screen debut) show up quite unannounced to spend some family time with the Ripleys. Also in tow are Roman and Kate's two red headed creepy twin daughters Kara and Mara. These twin girls have nothing on the twin girls from the movie, "The Shining" except these creepy little girls are ALIVE!

    However the Craig Family appearance at the Ripley cabin door is QUITE uninvited! That makes no nevermind to Roman, who spoils most of the family fun that Chet has planned for him and his sons.

    When Chet is grilling hamburgers and hotdogs outside, Roman goes and buys lobsters to grill and spoils Chet's family meal. When Chet wants to rent a pontoon boat to fish with his boys, Uncle Roman instead rents a jetboat with a great water ski scene ensuing!

    One of the best scenes in the movie is when the whole clan goes out to eat at a steakhouse and Chet puts down "the ol' 96'er". A 96 oz. steak (gristle, fat and all!!)so that the rest of the family can get their meals for free!

    There is a nice romance budding between Chet's oldest boy Buck and another vacationer, Cammie (a young Lucy Deakins), several hilarious scenes with wildlife such as bats, raccoons and a bald headed bear of Calaveras County and a even a birthday party for a dead guy!

    The Great Outdoors is a great family movie to be enjoyed by all!

    Happy Watching!
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    24 of 27 people found the following review helpful By Andrew J. DiLiddo Jr. on November 26, 2005
    Format: DVD
    I love John Candy and Dan Ackroyd in this film. Be willing to suspend any requirement you may have for reality and let your imagination run with the plot. THIS IS A VERY HONEST PORTRAYAL (IF STEREOTYPICAL) OF CHICAGO RESIDENTS WHO LEAVE CHICAGO TO GO NORTH TO WISCONSIN FOR VACATION (I've lived in Chicago). The film is not aging well, but, alas, John Candy is no longer with us so we have to content ourselves with what we have of John Candy and be grateful for the medium that has preserved his talent for us to still enjoy. The movie is reminiscent of the "Vacation" movies with Chevy Chase. I actually "guffawed", a huge belly laugh, at some of the stunts in this movie, especially the scene where John Candy is driving a car pulling a speed boat on a trailer. I agree with all of the positive reviewers here and just had to put my two cents in too. A scene at the beginning of the movie where John Candy's character talks his wife out of her bra while the kids are outside playing and another crack about using the washing machine as a substitute for sex, should have probably earned this movie a PG-13 rating instead of a straight PG. I noticed some negative reviews here from folks who showed the flick to too young viewers. BE SURE TO WATCH THE MOVIE THROUGH TO THE END. THERE IS A GREAT DANCE SCENE AT THE END WHILE THE CREDITS ARE RUNNING~~
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    12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Erica Anderson on June 21, 2004
    Format: DVD
    I adore "The Great Outdoors". This is one of my favorite John Candy movies of all time. Yeah it is no Shakespeare but I wouldn't have it any other way. Dan Ackroyd plays the obnoxious brother-in-law who crashes John Candy's family vacation up in the woods at a cozy little resort. Dan brings his neglected wife played by Annette Benning and their identical twin daughters who are bit on the scary side. The results is a non-stop laugh riot. No many how many times I have watched this film, I still find myself laughing uncontrollably, especially when the raccoons comes out at night to raid the trash cans. I loved it when the young raccoon is told what hot dogs are made of. Anyone familiar with Doug Seuss's bears would know that this is one of the films that the late Bart the Bear made as the bald-headed bear. I loved the final interaction between John Candy's character and the bald-headed bear. It is one of the funniest scenes in the film, next to the water-skiing scene. One of the classic moments in the film is when the entire family goes out to dinner and John Candy decides to order the ol' 96er (this enormous chunk of beef). I personally love "The Great Outdoors". It remains one of my favorite movies from the '80s. It is pure physical comedy. There are a lot worse films than this if you ask me, namely Carrot Top's lone film "Chairman of the Board".
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