Classic Film Friday (Fra-gi-li Edition)
I watch a lot of classic films that were created during my grandparents era, so anytime I can feature a film made during my youth that takes place close to my hometown I get extra excited! Enter a double-whammy for this 1982 classic featuring Cleveland, Ohio, that has become a true American Classic – A Christmas Story!
Happy 30th birthday! I cannot believe this classic is 30 years old.
Last December, I had the pleasure of actually visiting the house they used for the exterior in Cleveland, Ohio. They've turned it into a museum and gutted the inside and remodeled it so that it looks just like the interior of the film, complete with fra-gi-li lamp and all!
I had so much fun with my family taking the tour through the home, reading more about the production and seeing some BTS goodies and props used in the film. If you have the means and desire to visit this little treasure please do, and don't forget to bring home a lamp ornament for your own tree! xo - Kari
"NOW it was serious. A double-dog-dare. What else was there but a "triple dare you"? And then, the coup de grace of all dares, the sinister triple-dog-dare. - Narrator"
Visit: A Christmas Story Museum in Cleveland is open for visitors and is celebrating the 30th Anniversary next week on November 29 & 30, 2013, and a 5k run on December 7, 2013. For hours, directions and more information on visiting the museum click here.
Watch It: A Christmas Story is available on iTunes, through Amazon.com, Netflicks, and check your local listings for running times throughout the holiday season. TBS will be continuing it's tradition of running the movie for 24 hours consecutively on December 24th and 25th.
10 Facts about A Christmas Story
1. The original script called for the old man to swear — more than 35 times. Higbee's department store, where the Santa scenes were filmed, didn't want to be associated with a swearing dad. Hence the hilarious gibberish Darren McGavin spouts in the movie.
2. Speaking of swearing, Ralphie was originally indeed supposed to say "the queen mother of dirty words" and actually does in a few takes. The famously funny "oh fudge!" in the film was added last minute while shooting in Toronto on the southwest side of the Cherry Street drawbridge, between Polson Street and Unwin Avenue.
3. A Christmas Story was nominated for nine Genie Awards and won for Best Screenplay and Best Directing, with Bob Clark sharing the honour with David Cronenberg (for Videodrome).
4. The young cast spent a lot of time on the Higbee's Santa slide in between takes, but not Ian Petrella (Randy), who was terrified of it. Those tears you see onscreen are the real deal.
5. Production designer Rueben Freed found the frame Parker house by asking a taxi driver to take him to the area where The Deer Hunter was filmed. "I knew the house was perfect right away," he said.
6. The Flick flagpole was made from a sailboat mast. A hole fitted with a vacuum pump made Flick's tongue appear to stick. "It worked really well and the kid played it really well," said Martin Malivoire, who did special effects on the movie.
7. Toronto actress Tedde Moore, who plays teacher Miss Shields, was pregnant during filming. She was padded all over to conceal her bump.
8. Three Red Ryder BB Guns were modified by Malivoire for left-handed Billingsley, the logos moved to the other side of the stock. It was also modified so he could cock and shoot it with ease.
9. A snow-free January in otherwise chilly Toronto meant problems. The filmmakers considered trucking in snow but that was too costly. A rented snow-making machine created the backyard winter wonderland for the Christmas morning scene. For the rest, they used potato flakes, firefighting foam, shredded vinyl and even ice-clearing snow from a local arena.
10. There are lost fantasy scenes — among the most costly in the picture — where Ralphie rescues Flash Gordon from Ming the Merciless and later, Santa from bandits. MGM declared the film too long and the scenes, shot at Toronto's Magder Studios on Pharmacy Avenue, were lost.