Welcome back to Behind The Scenes Saturday! I’ve been pretty occupied this month, so this will unfortunately be my only Behind The Scenes post before Christmas. For this week, I wanted to make a post of my favorite Christmas movie of all time, A Christmas Story! My family and I never go a single Christmas Eve without watching this movie. It’s the only tradition we keep, and it always puts me in the Christmas mood. I hope you enjoy, and let me know some of your favorite holiday traditions!
(Trivia provided by IMDb.com)
- While Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) is beating up Scut Farkus (Zack Ward), the incoherent mumbling was actually scripted word for word. Billingsley confirmed this in the film’s commentary.
- In order to safely create the illusion that Flick’s (Scott Schwartz) tongue was stuck to the pole, a little suction tube was placed inside of it.
- In order to secure a PG rating for the film, Darren McGavin (The Old Man) did his best to avoid using any profanity. He found it difficult to leave out cuss words while ranting, so he spoke plain gibberish during his scenes with the furnace.
- Bob Clark, the film’s director, worked on the concept of A Christmas Story with the film’s writer, Jean Shepherd, for ten years before finally getting it off the ground.
- To help with the authenticity of the 1940s setting, many Cleveland residents donated their antique vehicles from all over the city.
- Jack Nicholson was interested in playing The Old Man. However, his fee would’ve doubled the film’s budget, so the studio turned it down. Bob Clark didn’t hear about this until much later, but he still believed that Darren McGavin was the better choice. He stated McGavin was born to play the role.
- While filming the scene in the Chinese restaurant, Bob Clark wanted authentic reactions from Melinda Dillon (Mother Parker), so she was given a different script. The first time she saw the duck, she had no idea its head would still be on. When they chopped it off, her scream was genuine.
- Wil Wheaton auditioned for the role of Ralphie before Peter Billingsley landed it.
- Tedde Moore (Miss Shields) was eight months pregnant at the time of filming. They didn’t want to show Miss Shields as an unwed mother in the 1940s, so they gave her extra padding to hide the pregnancy.
- Jean Shepherd not only wrote the story, he also provided his voice for the film’s narration.
- Ralphie’s parents’ names are never mentioned in the film. However, the shooting script revealed The Old Man’s name is really Frank.
- Ralphie put the ad for the Red Ryder BB gun inside of his mother’s magazine to show her what he wants for Christmas. He then puts the magazine on The Old Man’s bed. It’s speculated that that was how The Old Man found out what Ralphie really wanted and got the BB rifle for him.
- Bob Clark actually has a cameo as the neighbor who marvels at The Old Man’s leg lamp from outside.
- The character of Ralphie was originally nine years old, but Peter Billingsley was 12 when he portrayed him.