The Great Outdoors was an absolute classic comedy from the 80s, starring the amazingly talented John Candy, one of my personal favourite comedy actors, he had some wonderful films to his name, and this is certainly one of the best!
The film follows two families as they go on holiday, one a hard working family with little money and wanting to have a special family holiday, the other their in-laws who have a lot more money and are just there to primarily show off to the other side of their family!
Let’s take a look back at this great film with some facts about it that you may not have known…
1. The restaurant didn’t last long after filming
The restaurant seen in the film, Ducey’s Bar and Grill, and the home to the “Old 96er!”, sadly burned to the ground not long after filming finished on The Great Outdoors! It has been rebuilt and has pictures and memorabilia from the film as a memento to the old restaurant.
2. The film had a good pedigree
This was the third film that was written by John Hughes and then directed by Howard Deutch, the other two being Pretty in Pink and Some Kind of Wonderful.
3. One song was inspired by another hit film
In the credits at the end of the film, we see that the song “Dragboat” was performed by The Elwood Blues Revue, a band which is based on characters in The Blues Brothers, another film that starred Dan Aykroyd.
4. This was the only film that acknowledged its two stars together
Dan Aykroyd and John Candy worked together on 1941, The Blues Brothers and Nothing But Trouble, but The Great Outdoors is the only one in which they were the two main stars and so shared the top billing.
5. The title could have been different
The Great Outdoors was originally going to be titled “Big Country” – which do you think was the better title? Personally I think that The Great Outdoors has a much better ring to it.
6. Some posters mimicked a magazine
Some of the original posters for the film mimicked a magazine called the Great Outdoors and had headlines like “Raccoons: Furry Friends or Masked Menace?” – they certainly fit the latter in this film!
7. Lake Potowotominimac doesn’t exist!
The Great Outdoors is set around Lake Potowotominimac in Wisconsin, but the actual location used was Bass Lake in California, largely because Lake Potowotominimac doesn’t exist!
8. There is a shared line with another hit Aykroyd film
During the film, there is a scene where Dan Aykroyd and John Candy are hunting a bat that is loose in their cabin, when they catch it, Dan Aykroyd comes out shouting “We got it, we got it!” the exact same line he shouts in Ghostbusters when they catch the Slimer Ghost.
9. There was another link to The Blues Brothers
The set where the cabin was built for the film was also used in The Blues Brothers. The set is in the Universal Studios backlot and was used in The Blues Brothers as Bob’s Country Bunker!
10. The film had a sad prediction
In one scene, Roman (Dan Aykroyd) goes in to a monologue saying he’ll outlive everyone as they die from heart attacks and strokes. John Candy sadly went on to die at a young age from a massive heart attack.
11. Aykroyd went full circle with his roles
In The Great Outdoors, we see Dan Aykroyd fighting against a grizzly bear. In 2010 Aykroyd went on to voice Yogi Bear in the big-budget movie about the famous bear.
12. The characters in the film show off their passions
During the film we see John Candy wearing a Grateful Dead T-Shirt and we also see John Candy and Dan Aykroyd drinking from Star Wars themed cups, so we get an insight in to their characters loves – and they don’t love bears!!
Are you a big fan of the film? Can you watch it again and again and still laugh out loud when the bear’s bum gets shot? Let us know all of your thoughts and memories in the comments as always!