So you think of yourself as an expert on "A Christmas Story" merely because you leave the TV tuned to TBS for the entire 24 hours of the Christmas marathon, eh? There may be a few items of interest associated with this holiday tradition that you don't know. There may even be some bits of news that are so surprising that acquisition of this knowledge can become downright distressing.
Ralphie and the Oscars
Jack Nicholson won the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for "Terms of Endearment" at the 1984 Academy Awards ceremony. In an example of contemporary definition of irony, Nicholson was actually interested in playing the role of Ralphie's dad. Thirty years of perspective argues strongly in favor of the argument that Darren McGavin should have been the winner of Best Supporting Actor that night. The sad reality is while "Terms of Endearment" received a whopping eleven nominations, "A Christmas Story" received none. Here's the most distressing part: "Flashdance" received four nominations!
You may already own a replica of the Old Man's major award. The leg lamp comes in both the original size as seen in the movie as well as in a smaller size more suitable for your desktop. You can also live out Ralphie's dream by buying a Red Ryder BB rifle based on the one from the movie. Board games, ornaments, T-shirts, Christmas tree lights are all readily available for the fan of "A Christmas Story." Fanatics of the film, however, may want to look a little more deeply for some truly inspired totems of connection. Among the more offbeat merchandise based on the movie are the hats worn by those angry elves at the department store, a Halloween costume that turns you into the fragile wooden crate in which the leg lamp is delivered and even Ralphie's Little Orphan Annie decoder pin.
The Parker family adventures did end with the image of Ralphie snuggling in bed with his Red Ryder rifle. PBS and Disney teamed up to tell the tale of Ralphie, Flick and Schwartz getting their first jobs as teenagers. "A Christmas Story 2" went straight to video in the fall of 2012. What you may be surprised to hear is that director Bob Clark reteamed with the same team of writers for an official sequel that can be found under either the title "It Runs in the Family" or "My Summer Story." A pair of Culkins play Ralph and Randy and Charles Grodin and Mary Steenburgen their parents. Although played by different actors, Flick, Schwartz, Scut Farkas and Grover Dill are all along for the ride that is once again narrated by Jean Shephard in this story that references events in "A Christmas Story" but takes places the next summer. This sequel opened to decidedly mixed reviews that ranged from some critics calling it an improvement to others calling for its immediate destruction. There is definitely one huge reason to check it out, however. If you ever wondered just what exactly the Bumpus family may been like it, here's your chance to find out.