10 Things We Bet You Never Knew About the Movie “A Christmas Story”
A Christmas Story is so popular that cable network TBS airs the movie for 24 straight hours on December 25th. While it's very well-known, here are a few things you never knew about this Christmas favorite.
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A Christmas Story House
Located at 3159 W 11th Street in Cleveland, Ohio, you can visit the actual Parker house from A Christmas Story. Superfan Brian Jones bought the house for $150,000 on eBay in 2005. He spent an additional $350,000 to restore the inside and the outside to look exactly how it did in the movie. In 2006, A Christmas Story House opened as a museum for costumes and the props actually used during production. And while you’re at it, watch out for the 40 best Christmas movies of all time.
It’s a musical!
In 2009, a musical based on A Christmas Story premiered at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre, Missouri. Noted songwriting team Pasek and Paul did the music and lyrics for the show, while Joseph Robinette wrote the book. A Christmas Story: The Musical eventually made its way to Broadway in New York City in 2012. Add these songs to your holiday playlist along with the best-ever Christmas songs.
Mostly filmed in Cleveland and Toronto
While the story takes place in the fictional town of Hohman, Indiana, the movie was filmed in two locations: Cleveland, Ohio and Toronto, Canada. All of A Christmas Story‘s exteriors were filmed in Cleveland, while all of its interiors were shot in Toronto. Fun Fact: A Christmas Story was filmed during the winter, but there was not enough snow in Cleveland during production. A majority of the snow used in the film was trucked in from area ski resorts, or substituted with potato flakes and firefighter’s foam. Catch up on the 20 best Hallmark Christmas movies.
There are sequels
Did you know there were two sequels made to A Christmas Story? The first one was a 1988 made-for-TV movie called Ollie Hopnoodle’s Haven of Bliss and the other one was My Summer Story from 1994. Both were written by Jean Shepherd, while the latter was also directed by Bob Clark, who directed A Christmas Story. These movies are as wild as the alternate film endings that never made it to theaters.
Jack Nicholson wanted to be in the movie
Believe it or not, but Jack Nicholson was interested in playing the role of The Old Man. But the film had a very small budget and couldn’t afford him. Darren McGavin was eventually cast in the role and I think the movie is better for it. Star Trek: The Next Generation’s Wil Wheaton and The Goonies’ Sean Astin also auditioned for the role of Ralphie Parker. Learn the history behind 10 favorite Christmas traditions.
The weird kid in line
Do you remember the scene where Ralphie and Randy were waiting in line to see Santa Claus? Well, the weird kid in line that started to talk to Ralphie wasn’t an actor. He was just an extra on set and director Bob Clark thought he was really weird, so he put the kid in the movie. The actors who played Santa, his elves, and the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz were also local extras. Watch the scene here. Movie buffs will also enjoy these facts about The Wizard of Oz, too.
Cameo by screenwriter and creator Jean Shepard
Speaking of waiting in line to see Santa, screenwriter and creator Jean Shepard made a brief cameo appearance in A Christmas Story. He plays the man at the department store who tells Ralphie and Randy that the line to see Santa begins at this spot, but it ends all the way down the line. Jean Shepherd is also the voice of the Narrator.
Ralphie daydreams throughout A Christmas Story, but did you know that there was a daydream sequence that was cut out of the film? He dreams about helping Flash Gordon battle Ming the Merciless using his trusty Red Ryder BB Gun. Unfortunately, there is no footage of this scene available, but you can read part of the script here. While Ralphie Parker dreamed of Flash Gordon, so did a young George Lucas. There’s no interpretation for his dreams, but there are hidden meanings behind these common dreams.
A Christmas Story is based on a novel from Jean Shepherd called “In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash.” Originally, it started out as a radio show, but then Playboy founder Hugh Hefner and author Shel Silverstein encouraged Shepherd to adapt and publish his stories in print. The short stories were later published as an ongoing series in Playboy magazine. Here’s the best Christmas town in every state.
A bronze statue
There’s a bronze statue honoring Jean Shepherd in his hometown of Hammond, Indiana. It’s the character Flick getting his tongue stuck on a flagpole after he was triple-dog dared. The statue welcomes all guests at the Indiana Welcome Center in Hammond. It was erected to commemorate A Christmas Story’s 30th anniversary in 2013. Next up, learn the 15 Christmas movies to watch with kids.