If you watch television during the holidays at all, you had to have seen A Christmas Story. It plays on several networks each year leading up to Christmas and on two separate networks, they show A Christmas Story for 24 hours straight, beginning on Christmas Eve. There aren’t too many people who can say that they don’t watch at least once or twice during the 24-hour marathon. There are even lines from the movie, such as “You’ll shoot your eye out,” that people say all year long. If you are a huge fan of a Christmas story and want to learn some trivia or if you have never seen it and want to know more, read on.
A Christmas Story Almost Never Got Made
Before A Christmas Story was made, the director Bob Clark directed two movies, a horror film called Black Christmas and the legendary comedy, Porky’s. During this time, he also wrote the script for A Christmas Story. The studio refused to let Clark make his Christmas movie because they believed that he didn’t have the experience to direct a holiday film. When the studio saw that Porky’s was one of the highest grossing films of 1982, MGM gave him a budget of $4.4 million to make the film. Clark ended up needing more money for the film, so he put $150,000 of his own money into the budget. The movie went on to make $19 million in the theaters.
The Christmas Story House Was Sold On eBay
In 2004, a man named Brian Jones bought the Christmas Story house on eBay for $150,000. He was living in San Diego, California at the time and had no idea where the house was located. The asking price was $99,900 and he offered $150,000 site unseen just to be sure that he got it. The house is located in Cleveland, and he didn’t even know where that was When he got to the house, he saw that it was a duplex that was rented out to tenants. He also noticed that it didn’t have any of the same features as the house in the movie. This is because the scenes in the interior of the home were filmed in a sound stage in Canada. Brian loved the move so much that he decided to renovate the home to make it look exactly the way that it did in the movie. It was a 6 figure renovation, and he opened A Christmas Story House and Museum that has been open to the public since 2006.
Ralphie’s Little Brother Actually Lived in The Christmas Story House
After the movie came out, Ian Petrella, who played Ralphie’s little brother quit acting and became a graphic designer. Years later, there was a cast reunion at The Christmas Story House after Brian Jones bought it. Ian and Brian became friends and they kept in touch. In 2010, Ian didn’t like where he was in his life, and after talking to Brian about it, he moved to Cleveland. Brian let him live on the third floor of the home that was off limits to visitors of the museum, and he started giving tours. Brian thought it was a great idea to have an actual cast member give meet and greet visitors when they arrived at the museum.
Jack Nicholson Wanted to Play Ralphie’s Dad
Most people don’t know this, but Jack Nicholson wanted to play the role of Ralphie’s dad. If Jack were cast, it would have doubled the budget, so he was removed from consideration. According to director Bob Clark, the man chosen for the role, Darrin McGavin was the perfect choice.
You Can Buy the Red Ryder BB Gun and the Leg Lamp
The Red Ryder BB Gun was made in 1938 and you can still buy it today. It isn’t exactly the same, however. It doesn’t have the compass and the sundial that Ralphie’s had. You can also purchase the leg lamp. If you don’t want to buy the actual size lamp, you can purchase a smaller nightlight. They are on sale online and you can buy one at the gift shop in The Christmas Story House Museum.
Anyone who has ever seen A Christmas Story or has just heard of it knows that Ralphie wants a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. What you may not know is that throughout the movie, Ralphie says Red Ryder BB Gun 28 times. This breaks it down to him saying it once every 3 minutes and 20 seconds.
Peter Billingsley Auditioned First
Peter Billingsley, the boy who played Ralphie, was the first child to audition for the role. Director Bob Clark liked him immediately, however, he knew that he couldn’t hire the first and only kid to audition. He ended up auditioning thousands of other kids and eventually, he cast Peter as Ralphie.
Peter Billingsley Actually Chewed Tobacco For His Scene
In Ralphie’s fantasy scene, where he is shooting at robbers outside of his home with his BB gun and chewing tobacco, Billingsley had chewing tobacco in his mouth. He says that after a while, he started sweating and he got really dizzy. He also said that his lips began burning.
Flick’s Tongue Was and Wasn’t Stuck
One of the most famous scenes in the film is where Flick is dared to stick his tongue to the frozen pole. When he does, his tongue gets stuck. Clearly, the director wouldn’t make him actually stick his tongue to a frozen pole, so they put a suction tube inside of the pole. His tongue was actually stuck to the tube, which made it look like the pole was stuck to his tongue when he pulled away. A group called Mythbusters actually wanted to prove that you could freeze your tongue to a pole like Flick did on the movie, so they tried it. It worked. According to the group, the cold of the metal and the heat of your tongue turns your saliva into a type of super glue.
If you plan to watch a Christmas Story this year, after reading this, you will know much more about it. This is one of the most famous Christmas movies of all time, and it will likely remain so until the end of time.