Trivia / A Christmas Story

  • California Doubling:
    • Toronto and Cleveland, OH stand in for 1940s Northern Indiana.
    • Vancouver, Canada fills in for Northern Indiana in the sequel.
  • Dawson Casting: Peter Billingsley (Ralphie) was 12-years-old playing a 9-year-old.
    • Could also be the case for Darren McGavin as the Old Man. While his character was intended to be in his early 40s or thereabouts, McGavin was 61 when the movie came out.
  • Defictionalization:
    • The Leg Lamp became a real product in 2003 when a fan of the film started manufacturing real lamps for sale. This then led to....
      • ...the fan using the money he made from his business to buy the house in Cleveland that was used for exterior shots of Ralphie's house. He later dropped another quarter-million dollars to gut the house and remodel it to look like the sets that were used for interior scenes. The house across the street has been turned into a museum and Leg Lamp giftshop.
    • The specific BB Gun Ralphie wanted didn't exist; Jean Shephard had conflated several different models in his mind when he was writing the story. It exists now, though....
    • For curious tropers in the Kansas City area, this is averted with the Chop Suey Palace. Though assistant director Ken Goch's mother once mistook a bowling alley with the "w" out as a Chinese restaurant, inspiring the exterior of the Chinese restaurant at the end of the movie, Bo Ling's Chinese Restaurant, a long-standing Kansas City establishment, has no relation, and was opened shortly before the film's release.
  • Deleted Scene: MGM mandated a 90 minute time limit. (The film still ran 94 minutes.) The Christmas Story House website has a page dedicated to these scenes including screenplay fragments of some of the scenes. The deleted scenes included:
    • Alternate Openings
    • Ralphie's Mister Imagination fantasies of:
      • Miss Shields visiting Ralphie's parents at home to tell them how wonderful he is.
      • Ralphie saving Flash Gordon from Ming the Merciless on the planet Mongo. The music for this scene is on the soundtrack, and Gordon and Ming are credited, indicating the scene was cut very late in production. It is also notable in that it is the only scene that has a surviving production still, clearly depicting Ralphie with Flash Gordon.
      • Ralphie saving Santa Claus from Black Bart.
  • Enforced Method Acting: Apparently no one told Melinda Dillon that the waiters in the Chinese restaurant were going to bring in a cooked duck.
  • Marathon Running: Every year, TBS runs the movie for twenty-four hours solid, beginning at 8 p.m. on Christmas Eve. The marathon originated on TNT in 1997, and remained on the network until 2004, when it moved to TBS (one year, the marathon was aired by USA, a non-Turner network). The film returned to TNT in 2014, running an hour ahead of another marathon on TBS (the TNT marathon started at 7:00 PM, and the TBS marathon at 8:00, with the TNT marathon henceforth ending an hour earlier than the TBS marathon).
  • The Red Stapler: You can now buy a leg lamp. The Red Ryder BB gun is an aversion, however; while now available, they were produced throughout the 30-odd-year gap between the end of the Red Ryder Franchise and this film's appearance.
    • Not the particular model described in the film, however.note 
  • Sequel Gap: The original came out in 1983. It took em 28 years to do a continuation.
  • Sequelitis: Of all things to get a sequel decades after the original; needless to say, nobody welcomed the idea or applauded the end result.
  • Vindicated by Cable: Only moderately successful at the box office when originally released, the film achieved Cult Classic status in the late '80s thanks to TV and home video.
  • What Could Have Been: Jack Nicholson was apparently a fan of the short-stories, and really wanted to play Ralphie's Old Man (he was even willing to take a paycut if necessary!note ) However, Jean Shepherd feared that the presence of such a high-profile actor in a supporting role would distract people from the main story.
    • In hindsight, it's hard to see anyone other than Darren McGavin in that role.
    • It would also be hard to see Nicholson swearing at the furnace being dubbed over by gibberish.
    • Wil Wheaton was considered for the role of Ralphie.
    • According to Bob Clark, Peter Billingsley was his first choice for Ralphie, but initially passed him up for being "too obvious of a choice." Some 8,000 audition tapes later, he realized he wasn't going to find anyone better and chose Peter after all.
http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Trivia/AChristmasStory