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Director Clark, however, lobbied hard for Darren Mc Gavin.
The producers, worried about Nicholson’s typically large salary requests, eventually approved Mc Gavin.
But, MGM hadn’t counted on the movie receiving much success and did not schedule distribution to more than the opening screens for the lead up to Christmas. Abruptly elbowed into the theatrical void by the bigger seasonal studio movies of the day, most notably .
Ultimately, A Christmas Story collected about million at the box office. At the same time, however, home video and cable television were just beginning to grow in popularity, and crept into the mainstream through videotape and cable broadcasts.
Clark agreed to make a sequel if the studio agreed to let him do “A Christmas Story” first.
The modestly budgeted little comedy opened in 1983 the week before Thanksgiving on fewer than 900 screens.
The setting for the movie was based on Hammond, Indiana the home town of author Jean Sheperd. The movie was actually filmed in Cleveland, Ohio and Toronto, Ontario.
Sheperd grew up on Cleveland St and went to Warren G. The house from the movie is located just outside of downtown Cleveland and the Higbee building still stands in downtown Cleveland.
is now one of the most popular holiday movies of all time earning a place along side “It’s A Wonderful Life” and “Miracle on 34th Street.” Jean Shepherd’s book “In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash”, which “A Christmas Story” is based on, is a collection of semi-autobiographical short stories that Shepherd wrote for “Playboy” magazine during the 1960s.
In addition to providing the voice-over narration, writer Jean Shepherd had a cameo appearance in the movie as a grouchy department store customer who tells Ralphie to go to the back of the Santa line.
Director Bob Clark has a brief cameo appearance as Swede, the Parker family’s dim-witted neighbor with a southern-accent who stops to marvel at the leg lamp from across the street. Parker, Ralphie’s father, was originally offered to Jack Nicholson, who reportedly was interested in playing the part.
Over the years, this modest little movie has grown into a Yuletide perennial.
The movie “A Christmas Story” might never have been made had it not been for another, decidedly less reputable comedic creature – “Porky’s.” That’s right.