This year the beloved holiday film A Christmas Story turned three decades old. Whether you were alive when it came out, everybody at least remembers the first time they watched Ralphie Parker practically shoot his eye out. Conducting interviews with the cast, crew, and others involved with the film's history, New Jersey writer Caseen Gaines compiled a fascinating book entitled A Christmas Story: Behind the Scenes of a Holiday Classic, describing the film's growing cultdom over the years (it was only a moderate success at the box office). From the unexpected merchandising (bobbleheads!) to the hit Broadway musical, A Christmas Story has made everything right with the world. Here are a few things we learned from reading Gaines's book.
Most of the film was actually filmed in Canada, not Cleveland, Ohio (but it takes place in Indiana). Only two of the nine weeks of filming occurred in Ohio; the rest of the movie was filmed in Canada, where director Bob Clark received tax incentives for the production and also had a home. The Santa Claus visit inside Higbee's; the parade that opens the film; and exteriors of Ralphie's house were filmed in Cleveland, but the scenes at Warren G. Harding school (where Flick gets "triple-dog-dared") were shot at Victoria Public School in St. Catharines, Ontario. The children who appeared in those classroom scenes were actual students at the school and received a measly $1 each in return for donating time to the school district!