10 Things We Bet You Never Knew About A Christmas Story
A Christmas Story is so popular that cable channels air it for a full day on Christmas. While it's very well-known, here are a few things you never knew about this festive film favorite.
How many of these A Christmas Story facts do you know?
A Christmas Story is easily one of the best Christmas movies made. The 1983 flick tells the story of a 9-year-old boy named Ralphie who spends the days leading up to Christmas convincing everyone that a Red Ryder air rifle is the best Christmas present he could possibly get. Other hilarious things happen along the way—including an unforgettable meeting with a department store Santa (which gave us one of the best Christmas movie quotes: “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid!”).
It’s such a beloved movie that it’s aired for 24 hours during Christmas on the TNT and TBS TV channels each year. Needless to say, people love it, but even superfans may not know these interesting facts about the film. Feel free to break them out during a rousing game of Christmas movie trivia!
There are sequels
Yep, the legendary Christmas movie has a few sequels under its belt—one of which is set to be released later this year. Deadline reports that the film, titled A Christmas Story Christmas, is set to stream on HBO Max starting Nov. 17. The sequel will follow Ralphie, now a grown man and a father, as he deals with the ups and downs of the holiday. Peter Billingsley, who played Ralphie in the original film, will play adult Ralphie—no word if he’ll don that infamous pink bunny suit, though.
A Christmas Story has two other sequels as well. The first one was a 1988 made-for-TV movie called Ollie Hopnoodle’s Haven of Bliss, and the other was My Summer Story, from 1994. Both were written by Jean Shepherd, while the latter was also directed by Bob Clark, who directed the original A Christmas Story.
There’s a museum about the movie
Located at 3159 W. 11th Street in Cleveland, the actual Parker house from A Christmas Story is available for fans to visit. Superfan Brian Jones bought the house for $150,000 on eBay in 2005. He spent an additional $350,000 to restore both the inside and outside to look exactly how it did in the movie. In 2006, A Christmas Story House opened as a museum for costumes and the props actually used during production. By the way—check out these funny Christmas movies if you’re looking for some holiday humor.
It’s a musical
In 2009, a musical based on A Christmas Story premiered at the Kansas City Repertory Theatre. Noted songwriting team Pasek and Paul did the music and lyrics for the show, while Joseph Robinette wrote the book. A Christmas Story: The Musical eventually made its way to Broadway in New York City in 2012. Add these songs to your holiday playlist along with the best Christmas songs.
It was mostly filmed in Cleveland and Toronto
While the story takes place in the fictional town of Hohman, Indiana, the movie was filmed in two locations: Cleveland and Toronto. All of A Christmas Story‘s exteriors were filmed in Cleveland, while all of its interiors were shot in Toronto. Fun fact: A Christmas Story was filmed during the winter, but there was not enough snow in Cleveland during production, so a majority of the snow used in the film was trucked in from area ski resorts, or substituted with potato flakes and firefighter’s foam. Don’t forget to catch up on the best Hallmark Christmas movies during the holiday season.
Jack Nicholson wanted to be in the movie
Believe it or not, Jack Nicholson was interested in playing the role of The Old Man. But the film had a very small budget and couldn’t afford him. Darren McGavin was eventually cast in the role, and we think the movie is better for it. Star Trek: The Next Generation‘s Wil Wheaton and The Goonies‘s Sean Astin also auditioned for the role of Ralphie Parker. Learn the history behind these Christmas symbols.
There’s a story about the weird kid in line
Do you remember the scene where Ralphie and Randy were waiting in line to see Santa Claus? Well, the weird kid in line that started to talk to Ralphie wasn’t an actor. He was just an extra on set, and director Bob Clark thought he was … unique, so he put the kid in the movie. The actors who played Santa, his elves and the Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz were also local extras.
There’s a cameo by screenwriter and creator Jean Shepherd
Speaking of waiting in line to see Santa, screenwriter and creator Jean Shepherd made a brief cameo appearance in A Christmas Story. He plays the man at the department store who tells Ralphie and Randy that the line to see Santa begins at this spot, but it ends all the way down the line. Shepherd is also the voice of the Narrator. Don’t forget to bookmark this list of Christmas movies on Netflix for an epic holiday movie night.
A daydream involving Flash Gordon was cut from the movie
Want the scoop on a little-known piece of movie trivia? Ralphie daydreams throughout A Christmas Story, but did you know there was a daydream sequence that was cut from the film? He dreams about helping Flash Gordon battle Ming the Merciless using his trusty Red Ryder BB Gun. Unfortunately, there is no footage of this scene available.
Hugh Hefner had a role in bringing A Christmas Story to life
A Christmas Story is based on a novel by Jean Shepherd called In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash. Originally, it started out as a radio show, but then Playboy founder Hugh Hefner and author Shel Silverstein encouraged Shepherd to adapt and publish his stories in print. The short stories were later published as an ongoing series in Playboy magazine. Here’s the best Christmas town in every state.
A bronze statue
There’s a bronze statue honoring Jean Shepherd in his hometown of Hammond, Indiana. It’s the character Flick getting his tongue stuck on a flagpole after he was triple-dog dared. The statue welcomes all guests at the Indiana Welcome Center in Hammond. It was erected to commemorate A Christmas Story‘s 30th anniversary in 2013.
Next up, check out the best Christmas movies for kids.
Written with contribution from Kelly Kuehn.
- Deadline: “HBO Max Dates Four Holiday Movies Including Sequel ‘A Christmas Story Christmas’”
- Vanity Fair: “How A Christmas Story Went from Low-Budget Fluke to an American Tradition”
- Gizmodo: “Ralphie teamed up with Flash Gordon in a deleted scene from A Christmas Story“
- South Shore Indiana website: “Flick Statue”