A Christmas Story is a 1980's American Christmas movie that became an instant classic. The film did a fantastic job of painting the average american kid and family's Christmas hopes, dreams, and experience. It's seasonal popularity has grown to the point that TNT and/or TBS do an annual "24 Hours of A Christmas Story" marathon on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, since 1997. There's a good chance that even you are already a fan of this classic film. Whether you're a new fan or a long time fan, here are five fun trivia facts about A Christmas Story.
1. The 1983 Film Was Based on a Book
A Christmas Story was actually based on author Jean Shepherd’s In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash. The family favorite film acknowledges its roots by having the author narrate the film and giving him a cameo. You can briefly see Mr. Shepherd in the department store scene where Randy and Ralph eagerly await to see Santa. Reports of working with Mr. Shepherd on the set portray him as an annoying back-seat driver, always second guessing director Bob Clark’s decisions.
2. They Had to Make the Snow for the Film
The film was shot in Cleveland and Toronto, both of which typically get ample amounts of snow. But while filming, there wasn’t enough on the ground to make the magical winter wonderland they envisioned for the movie. To remedy the situation they brought in large snow blowers and used lots of frozen water to create the frosty snowy scenes you see in the film. It took roughly 24 hours each time they filmed to get the snow just right.
3. There Were Three Leg Lamps Made for the Movie, None Survived Beyond Filming
The film’s production designer Reuben Freed sketched out several versions of the leg lamp for the director and made three leg lamps of the chosen design. Unfortunately, all three lamps were broken during the filming of the movie. Some were even broken more than once. You may notice in the movie when Ralphie’s mom is about to break the leg lamp, it already has some cracks where it has been previously broken.
4. Jack Nicholson Would Have Made a Great “Old Man Parker”
The award-winning actor was interested in playing Ralphie’s dad for the film and Clark definitely wanted to cast him in that role, but was not willing to pay the high price tag that came along with Nicholson. The rate for oscar winning actors can be pretty steep. Too bad because it would have been fun to see Nicholson in that role. Good thing Darren McGavin did a smashing job and did not disappoint!
5. A Mini Vacuum Was Used to Create the Infamous Flagpole Scene
If you have ever watched the flagpole scene and then tried to recreate it on your own (there has got to be a few out there that have), you will probably know that it is much harder to actually get your tongue stuck to the pole than the film makes it look. So how did they do it? Actor Scott Schwartz, who was cast as Flick, confessed that the flagpole scene was not everything it appears to be. The scene was created by using a suction tube from a mini vacuum cleaner to keep his tongue stuck to the pole throughout the scene. There was no ice or frozen saliva used in creating the scene.