'A Christmas Story' turns 30
Here's a movie that's still got legs, including one that looks like a lamp.
"A Christmas Story," the 1983 holiday favorite that featured the immortal words of wisdom "You'll shoot your eye out" if you get hold of a BB gun, is turning the big 3-0 this year. Such a milestone deserves to be celebrated in style. Short of going out for a turkey dinner at a Chinese restaurant, here are some ways to mark the occasion.
ON THE SMALL SCREEN
Earlier this month, Warner Home Video rolled out a 30th-anniversary Blu-ray edition. Features from earlier DVD releases are back (audio commentaries by director Bob Clark, who died in 2007, and Peter Billingsley, who played Ralphie), along with radio readings by Jean Shepherd, whose stories inspired the movie. New for the Blu-ray are the featurette "Christmas in Ohio: A Christmas Story House," a mock Leg Lamp commercial and more.
And what would Christmas Eve be without TBS' annual 24-hour "A Christmas Story" marathon, which runs from 8 p.m. Dec. 24 through 8 p.m. Christmas Day.
The live musical version of "A Christmas Story" returns to New York City, this time moving from the Lunt-Fontanne Theatre to the Theatre at Madison Square Garden Dec. 11-29. Lindenhurst's Dan Lauria ("The Wonder Years") heads the cast as Shepherd, who narrates the story.
Two new books have come out this fall that take an affectionate look at the making of the movie. Caseen Gaines' "A Christmas Story: Behind the Scenes of a Holiday Classic" (ECW) is a 336-page must for every fan, with rare photos and stories about Clark and Shepherd's 10-year struggle to come up with the film's concept and its emergence as a cult movie and merchandising phenomenon.
By contrast, Tyler Schwartz's "A Christmas Story Treasury" (Running Press) is a merry 48-page scrapbook featuring recipe cards for Mom's Christmas turkey, a replica of the telegram notifying the Old Man about his "major award" (the leg lamp) and sound buttons of eight memorable quotes from Shepherd.