Harry Crumb is a bumbling and inept private investigator who is hired to solve the kidnapping of a young heiress which he's not expected to solve because his employer is the mastermind behind the kidnapping.
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
A song in the film ("Dragboat") is listed in the credits as being performed by The Elwood Blues Revue. The Elwood Blues Revue is of course based on characters in "The Blues Brothers" (1980) starring Dan Aykroyd. See more »
The movie supposedly takes place in either Wisconsin or part of Canada close to the U.S. Midwest which would be Ontario. Grizzly Bears such as the "bald-headed" bear that attacks the cabin towards the end are not found anywhere near those areas. See more »
"The Great Outdoors" is what anyone would expect of a John Candy movie: completely goofy, but funny nonetheless. He plays Chet Ripley, taking his family on vacation in the wilderness. Unfortunately, Chet's unpleasant brother-in-law Roman Craig (Dan Aykroyd) is also there, and he just has to make everything miserable for Chet. In some ways, this movie seems to be rehashing "Summer Rental", but with a different tone. My favorite parts were the raccoons, the bear, and The Old '96er (I don't recommend that scene for squeamish people). All in all, it just goes to show what the world lost when John Candy died. He was really great.
P.S.: Annette Bening, in her debut, plays Roman's wife Kate.
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