Fact: A Christmas Story was released November 18, 1983 by MGM, opening in about 900 theaters. It had a PG rating and has a gross total domestic box office of $19,294,144.
Trivia: Jean Shepherd, who wrote, “In God We Trust; All Others Pay Cash,” a collection of short stories on which A Christmas Story is based, provided the voice of the adult Ralphie Parker, narrator of the movie. This is well known. But did you know Jean Shepherd actually had a cameo appearance in the film? Shepherd played the man at the department store waiting in the line to see Santa who says, “Young man. Hey, kid! Just where do you think you’re going?..” and then points out to Ralphie, “The line ends here. It begins there.” Shepherd’s wife, Leigh Brown, is the woman standing next to him in the movie.
A Christmas Story director Bob Clark also made a cameo appearance in the film, playing “Swede,” the neighbor who stands outside and admires the “Major Award” leg lamp with Ralphie’s dad the night it arrives at the Parker house.
Fact: Jack Nicholson was once considered for the role of Ralphie Parker’s dad.
Trivia: Ralphie Parker’s full name is Ralph Wesley Parker. It appears on the Little Orphan Annie Secret Circle certificate he receives in the mail along with his decoder ring.
Ralphie’s dad is “the Old Man” throughout the movie except when he’s accepting delivery of his Major Award. The delivery man asks, “Frank Parker?” to which the Old Man replies, “Yeah.”
Fact: The A Christmas Story house, at 3159 W 11th Street in Cleveland, Ohio, was purchased by San Diego entrepreneur Brian Jones at an Ebay auction in 2005 for $150,000. The previous owner had installed modern windows and blue vinyl exterior siding. Mr. Jones restored the private residence to its A Christmas Story condition and the house is now open to the public for tours. Across the street from the house is an A Christmas Story museum which houses, among other things, little brother Randy’s toy zeppelin and snowsuit, the Parker family car (a 1937 Oldsmobile Model F-37) and the toys that appeared in the Higbee’s Department Store window.
Trivia: The famous “Major Award” leg lamp was designed by production designer Reuben Freed. There were three leg lamps used during the filming of the movie; none survived production of the film.
Fact: Though A Christmas Story takes place in the fictional town of Hohman, said to be based on the real-life town of Hammond, Indiana, the movie was actually filmed in Cleveland, Ohio and Ontario, Canada.
Trivia: The Red Ryder BB gun was never manufactured with a, “Compass in the stock and this thing which tells time.” It’s believed that Jean Shepherd got the Red Ryder BB gun mixed up with another manufacturer’s BB gun. In any event, the rifle Ralphie covets in the movie had to be specially manufactured for the filming.
Fact: The rights to A Christmas Story were sold to Warner Brothers in 1986 as part of a 50-movie package deal. According to the A Christmas Story House website (www.achristmasstoryhouse.com), MGM practically gave the movie away, tossing it into the deal to meet the 50-movie quota.
Cable network TNT first aired the 24-hour A Christmas Story marathon in 1988, supposedly as a stunt. Now the annual event airs on cable network TBS and attracts more that 40 million viewers who tune in at some point during the marathon.
Trivia: Actress Melinda Dillon, who played Ralphie Parker’s mom, was billed incorrectly . Her name appears correctly as “Melinda Dillon” in the opening credits but in the closing credits her name appears as “Melinda Dillion.”
Wikipedia.com-A Christmas Story
Box Office Mojo
A Christmas Story House