- 40 Best Christmas Movies of All Time - Best Christmas Films Ever Made
- A Christmas Story: The Book That Inspired the Hilarious Classic Film
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A seasonal classic in North America , it is shown numerous times on television, usually on the networks owned by the Turner Broadcasting System. The film was released on November 18, It earned two Canadian Genie Awards in and in was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". The film is presented in a series of vignettes, with narration provided by the adult Ralphie Parker reminiscing on one particular Christmas when he was nine years old.
Ralphie's desire is rejected by his mother, his teacher Miss Shields, and even a Santa Claus at Higbee's department store, all giving him the same warning: "You'll shoot your eye out.
Christmas morning arrives and Ralphie dives into his presents. Although he does receive some presents he enjoys, Ralphie ultimately is disappointed that he did not receive the one thing he wanted more than anything. After it appears all of the presents have been opened, Ralphie's father, "The Old Man," directs Ralphie to look at one last present that he had hidden. Ralphie opens it to reveal the Red Ryder gun he wanted. Ralphie takes the gun outside and fires it at a target perched on a metal sign in the backyard. However, the BB ricochets back at Ralphie and knocks his glasses off.
While searching for them, thinking he has indeed shot his eye out, Ralphie accidentally steps on his glasses and breaks them. He lies to his mother that a falling icicle broke his glasses, and she believes him.
40 Best Christmas Movies of All Time - Best Christmas Films Ever Made
Ralphie is in bed on Christmas night with his gun by his side. The adult Ralphie narrates that this was the best present he had ever received or would ever receive. The basis of the screenplay is a series of monologues written and performed by Jean Shepherd on radio. Shepherd wrote the adaptation with Bob Clark and Leigh Brown.
A Christmas Story: The Book That Inspired the Hilarious Classic Film
Several subplots are incorporated into the body of the film, based on other separate short stories by Shepherd. Shepherd provides the film's narration from the perspective of an adult Ralphie, a narrative style later used in the dramedy television series The Wonder Years. Shepherd, Brown, and Clark have cameo appearances in the film: Shepherd plays the man who directs Ralphie and Randy to the back of the Santa line at the department store; Brown — Shepherd's wife in real life — plays the woman in the Santa line with Shepherd; Clark plays Swede, the neighbor the Old Man talks to outside during the Leg Lamp scene.
Some 8, actors auditioned for the role of Ralphie; "He walked in, and he had us from the beginning," Clark later recalled of Peter Billingsley who was already a successful actor in commercials  and from co-hosting the TV series Real People. Clark initially wanted him for the role of Ralphie, but decided he was "too obvious" a choice and auditioned many other young actors before realizing that Billingsley was the right choice after all. Ian Petrella was cast immediately before filming began. Tedde Moore had previously appeared in Clark's film Murder by Decree and was the only onscreen character from A Christmas Story who was played by the same actor in the sequel, My Summer Story.
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Jeff Gillen was an old friend of Clark's who had been in one of his earliest films. In , he said he was surprised at the impact his role had had over the years. That's amazing. Three of the semi- autobiographical short stories on which the film is based were originally published in Playboy magazine between and Additional source material for the film, according to Clark, came from unpublished anecdotes that Shepherd told live audiences "on the college circuit. The film is set in Hohman, Indiana , a fictionalized version of Shepherd's hometown of Hammond , and was named after Hohman Avenue, which runs through downtown Hammond.
Other local references include mention of a person "swallowing a yo-yo" in nearby Griffith ,  the Old Man being one of the fiercest "furnace fighters in northern Indiana" and that his obscenities were "hanging in space over Lake Michigan ," a mention of the Indianapolis , and the line to Santa Claus "stretching all the way to Terre Haute, Indiana. Director Bob Clark reportedly sent scouts to twenty cities before selecting Cleveland for exterior filming.
Cleveland was chosen because of Higbee's Department Store in downtown Cleveland. Since Higbee's was exclusive to northeast Ohio,  the department store referred to in Shepherd's book and the film is most likely Goldblatt's , located in downtown Hammond [with the Cam-Lan Chinese Restaurant three doors down on Sibley Ave].
Until they connected with Higbee's, location scouts had been unsuccessful in finding a department store that was willing to be part of the film.
- A Christmas Story;
- A Christmas Story: The Book That Inspired the Hilarious Classic Film.
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Higbee's vice president Bruce Campbell agreed to take part in the project on the condition he be allowed to edit the script for cursing. Ultimately, Higbee's was the stage for three scenes in the film:. Higbee's became Dillard's in and closed for good in In addition to the scenes involving Higbee's, the exterior shots and select interior shots where Ralphie lived, including the opening of the leg lamp of the house and neighborhood, were filmed in the Tremont section of Cleveland's West Side.
The house used as the Parker home in these scenes has been restored, reconfigured inside to match the soundstage interiors, and opened to the public as " A Christmas Story House ". Appropriately, the fictional boyhood home of Ralphie Parker is on Cleveland Street, the name of the actual street where Shepherd grew up.
Several other locations were used. The school scenes were shot at the Victoria School in St.
Catharines, Ontario. In , two Canadian fans released a documentary that visits every location. Their film, Road Trip for Ralphie , was shot over two years and includes footage of the filmmakers saving Miss Shields' blackboard from the garbage bin on the day the old Victoria School was gutted for renovation, discovering the antique fire truck that saved Flick, locating all the original costumes from the film, and tracking down the real-life location of the film's Chop Suey Palace in Toronto. The Red Ryder BB gun was never in the exact configuration mentioned in the film.
The Daisy "Buck Jones" model did have a compass and a sundial in the stock, but these features were not included in the Red Ryder model.
Director Bob Clark stated in the film's DVD commentary that both he and author Shepherd wished for the film to be seen as "amorphously late-'30s, early-'40s". Though Mr. Billingsley, Mr. Gavin, Miss Dillon and the actress who plays Ralphie's school teacher Tedde Moore are all very able, they are less funny than actors in a television situation comedy. By Christmas the film was no longer playing at most venues, but remained in about a hundred theaters until January At first, it was cute, but as the book progressed, the sound effects guy got carried away. I really only recommend this book and narration for those that are interested in where the classic Christmas movie originated.
This is one of those very rare cases in which I can say, the movie is better than the book. Note: this is NOT an effort to write up the movie screenplay into book form What people may not know is that Shepherd didn't write a book called "A Christmas Story. This neat little book gathers together those original stories from Shepherd's various works under a single cover that saves one the effort of searching them all out throughout his works. The stories are presented here as they are in their original form Worth having if you love this movie Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase.
I have been a big fan of the movie for as long as I can remember, but for some reason I never picked up the book. Every year it appears on a shelf in front of me as I do my Christmas shopping, every year I dismiss it and move on. This year I found it on Kindle as a deal and decided to purchase it.
The stories that the author tells are a little different from the movie, but they are brought to life as you read by the visual effect of having seen the film, in fact there were times when I was reading that I could imagine Shepherd narrating the stories as I was reading them.
This is a great read on its own, but it is enhanced by the many times that I have seen the movie. One person found this helpful. My favorite story. It's essentially a hodgepodge of essays from Jean Shepherd's books that got turned into the movie A Christmas Story. While some lines from the movie came verbatim from the original stories, there's enough differences that if you've not read his other works this is a good introduction.
My favorite story, which was only lightly touched on in the movie, was about the Bumpuses which having grown up in a working class neighborhood in Southern Indiana I could understand all too well. Jean Shepherd tells about life in the city during the Great Depression. This story is told from a child's point of view. The narrator is an adult relating the story from childhood memories.
Everything is bigger, longer, or more to a child. What fun to read and laugh out loud at the adventures of a normal family in the Midwest during the Depression. I was feeling embarrassed that I truly do not love the movie A Christmas Story. You say that out loud you can start a fight.