Anyone that spent any time as a child in the eighties will certainly know which film I’m referencing in the title of this blog. It’s what everyone told nine-year-old Ralphie Parker whenever he mentioned what he wanted for Christmas: a Red Ryder BB Gun. I’m of course talking about Bob Clark‘s classic 1983 Christmas comedy “A Christmas Story.”
The film was based on Jean Sheperd‘s semi-autobiographical childhood anecdotes about growing up in Indiana. Three of the stories were originally published in Playboy magazine between 1964 and 1966 and was later published in his books “In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash” and “Wanda Hickey’s Night of Golden Memories.” Shepard would also read other segments of the story on his WOR Radio talk show in New York City and to live audiences while touring the college circuit in the late 60’s. The film’s director, Bob Clark first heard Shepard’s work on the radio in 1968.
“A Christmas Story” would become director Bob Clark’s best know film, but ironically Clark got his start in the horror genre and is otherwise probably known for his contributions to the B-movie cannon. Fans of campy classics may remember his other holiday film “Black Christmas” (1974), a seminal holiday-themed slasher flick (which was mentioned earlier this week on the blog) and the 80’s teen sex-comedy romp “Porky’s” (1982).