|1. The Bunny Suit
Aunt Clara gives Ralphie a full-sized pink bunny suit for Christmas. Luckily, the humiliation of wearing the “pink nightmare” didn’t last long because Ralphie grew up before social media.
|2. Red Ryder BB Gun
At the top of Ralphie’s Christmas list was a Red Ryder BB gun he saw in the Higbee’s Department Store window. Wanting this Christmas gift prompted the classic response: “You’ll shoot your eye out.”
|3. The Bumpus’ Hounds
The neighbor’s hound dogs are a major nuisance to Ralphie’s dad, and they ruin Christmas dinner by eating the turkey.
|4. Christmas Tree
After bargaining to get a good deal on a live Christmas tree, the family displays it in the living room covered in tinsel and lights. However, a fuse blows because of ongoing electrical problems, one of the top home issues found while hanging holiday lights.
|5. Furnace Clinkers
When the furnace starts to blow soot through the hot air duct, Dad heads to the basement, tumbles down the stairs after falling on roller skates, and starts shouting what Ralphie calls a “tapestry of obscenity.”
|6. The Leg Lamp
One of the most iconic props from the movie, the leg lamp arrives in a shipping crate because the old man won a contest. But in an unfortunate incident, Mrs. Parker broke the lamp.
|7. Soap in the Bathroom
After swearing, Ralphie would have his mouth washed out with soap as a punishment. He said, “Over the years, I got to be quite the connoisseur of soap.”
|8. “Fudge” (hubcap)
When the car gets a flat tire, Ralphie accidentally drops the lugnuts he was holding. He yelped out a word. “Only I didn’t say ‘fudge,’” Ralphie explained. He said the “queen mother of dirty words.”
|9. “Drink Your Ovaltine” (decoder)
Ralphie drank gallons of Ovaltine to mail away for the free decoder. Now that he belonged to the Little Orphan Annie Secret Society, he could decode the message that was read aloud on the radio. But when he was hiding in the bathroom decoding the secret message, he found out it was a “crummy commercial” to drink more Ovaltine.
|10. “You’ll shoot your eye out.” (tin outside)
To practice using his new BB gun, Ralphie set up a practice target, but a mishap causes him to wonder if he actually did shoot his eye out.
|11. Black Bart Attacks
As an imaginary Black Bart attacks in the backyard, Ralphie defends his house while using the air rifle he dubbed “Old Blue.”
Filming A Christmas Story
Ralphie Parker’s house in the movie A Christmas Story is located at 3159 W 11th St. in Cleveland, OH. It’s an old Victorian that was built in 1895. The holiday movie was filmed in 1983, but in 2004, a private developer purchased the house to convert it into a museum.
When filming in Cleveland, the weather was unseasonably warm and dry truckloads of snow had to be brought in from ski resorts that were hundreds of miles away. They even used a mix of dry potato flakes to simulate falling snow.
Lo-fi special effects were used to capture iconic scenes like when Flick got his tongue frozen to the flagpole. They used a plastic pipe for the pole and drilled a small hole into it. Off-camera was a vacuum cleaner or a small motor that was used to draw the air out. This created enough suction so that it has the same effect as getting your tongue stuck to a frozen metal flagpole.
The cinematography was also designed to trick viewers into seeing the movie from a kid’s point of view. They cut the floors of the set so the camera would be eye level with Ralphie. This technique was similar to the filming of the McCallister House in Home Alone where the wide-angle shots were tilted upward to include parts of the ceiling.
Why Cleveland Was the Best Site for this Holiday Classic
The Ohio location is a fictionalized version of author Jean Shepherd’s hometown of Hammond, Indiana. The crew only filmed for two weeks in Cleveland before shooting the rest of the movie at a sound stage in Toronto.
The shots in Cleveland give important context to the midwestern setting. Even though many different locations were considered, Cleveland was chosen because of the local department store and classic architecture.
In his 1983 movie review, Roger Ebert explained that the setting of the movie had many similarities to his upbringing in downstate Illinois. Both locations were “middle-American outposts where you weren’t trying to keep up with the neighbors, you were trying to keep up with Norman Rockwell.”
Celebrating A Christmas Story In 2020
A Christmas Story was a sleeper when it was first released to the theatres. It made only about $19 million at the box office. However, it started to become an annual tradition on television, and eventually, it got so popular that stations had 24-hour movie marathons with continuous screenings of the beloved movie.
Peter Billingsley, who played Ralphie, said that around 1993, the movie “started getting mentioned in the same breath as ‘It’s a Wonderful Life’—and people weren’t disagreeing with that. That’s when I realized, ‘Wow, this thing might be around for a really long while.'”
Here’s how A Christmas Story is being celebrated this year:
- Forty-foot leg lamp in Oklahoma: A town in Oklahoma is putting up a 40-foot tall inflatable leg lamp statue for the Festival of Light in Chickasha. They have plans to build a more permanent statue in the future.
- Virtual tour of the Ohio museum: Many people aren’t traveling this year, and the official museum of Cleveland has posted a video tour of the house where A Christmas Story was filmed.
- Ralphie’s House Recreated in a Vancouver Mall: In addition to getting a photo with Santa, mall-goers can also snap a selfie in the mall’s recreation of Ralphie’s house. With antique toys and vintage furnishings on display, visitors can pretend they’re on the movie set.
- Forty million people will watch the movie: Each year, about 40 million people watch the holiday classic. The Christmas film is available for streaming through Hulu and other online services, and it will also air on TNT.