A Christmas Story

Corrected entry: When Ralphie imagines himself saving his family from Black Bart with his BB gun, his mother says she knew Bart would be back. In the very next shot, Ralphie addresses her as "Dad."

Correction: Again, this is a daydream sequence, entirely made up. Normal rules do not apply to dream sequences. Ralphie can do/say whatever because it is his dream.

Jazetopher

Corrected entry: In the scene where Ralphie is imagining himself as a blind man, you can see that his mother's hand (on his chest) changes places with almost every shot. In some cases, there may be time for her to move it, but most of the time, the shots change too quickly for her to have time to shift her hand.

Correction: Since this entire segment is happening in Ralphie's mind, it is possible that he did worry about specific details during his daydream.

Jazetopher

Corrected entry: When Black Bart leaves the backyard, and jumps onto his horse, in the foreground you can see a small trampoline that he used for his jump.

Correction: This whole sequence is in Ralphie's head, and he could have easily imagined that Black Bart would need a trampoline to get over the fence. It's not a mistake, just the way Ralphie's mind gets Bart over the fence.

Corrected entry: While waiting in line to see Santa, Ralphie politely listens to the weird kid with the funny hat and goggles. Keep your eye on Randy. He cracks a huge smile at someone off camera (had to be his real mom), then immediately goes back in character.

Correction: He is a kid, in a store, with Christmas stuff all around including the Wizard of Oz character's (that he already was excited about). What is to say that he can't crack a huge smile seeing the Tin Man or a toy or something else that caught his fancy. Even if not in the script, this could certainly be "in character" for a small boy in this situation.

Zwn Annwn

Corrected entry: After losing his glasses due to the BB ricocheting, Ralphie "pulverizes" his glasses to the point where one temple is crooked, one lens is gone and the other lens is cracked. Ralphie's mom tells him he can wear the old ones with the crack in them until he can get some new ones. When the family winds up at the Chinese restaurant later that morning, Ralphie's glasses are magically repaired.

Correction: We never see Ralphie in anything but a wide shot at the restaurant. The crack could have been a small one, not visible from that distance.

Krista

Corrected entry: When Ralphie imagines himself saving his family from Black Bart, he fires at the enemies and knocks them down. When he shoots, the men he hits are all in different areas of the yard, but when he's done, they're all in one neat pile.

Correction: Because Ralphie is imagining this whole scene he can have happen whatever he wants.

Foinlavin

Corrected entry: Ralphie hands in his theme and the teacher tells him to sit down. His classmates laugh at him, and as he goes to sit down, a classmate says, "You're a geek." - a typically 1980s phrase but not a typically 1930s/40s phrase.

Correction: Whereas "geek" means "nerd" nowadays, back in the 1930s/40s it meant something more along the lines of a freak, specifically someone who performs in a side show by eating live animals. So it is not so unreasonable that the kid would call Ralphie a "geek" as a way of saying he is a weirdo.

Foinlavin

Corrected entry: When the family comes down Christmas morning, it's obvious they've all just woken up (we see the kids getting up, the father is rubbing his eyes). But there's a blazing fire in the fireplace that looks like it was just built.

Krista

Correction: The mother looks wide awake when she comes down with the father. Besides, just because the father was rubbing his eyes, that does not mean he just woke up. My father would wake up before everyone to turn on the Christmas lights and would still be tired.

Bruce Minnick

Corrected entry: When Ralphie and his brother descend the stairs on Christmas morning, a jazzy version of Jingle Bells can be heard playing in the background. This version of the song is on Barry Manilow's "Because It's Christmas" album, which was definitely not around in the 1940s!

Correction: The "jazzy" version of Jingle Bells heard in the movie is by the Andrews Sisters not Barry Manilow. There were at least 3 other "jazzy" versions that I know of. One is by Frank Sinatra, one is Bing Crosby and the other was a Crosby/Andrews Sisters pairing.

Corrected entry: When Ralphie is decoding his secret message from Little Orphan Annie, when the shot is close to the paper, you can see that Ralphie writes in both capital and lowercase letters. As the scene continues, the camera changes angles so that the paper is farther away, and the entire message is written in capital letters.

Correction: The only lower case letter Ralphie prints is the letter "e" on the first word of the message "Be" he prints every other letter of the message in upper case. The camera shows the message correctly as it is written.

If you rewatch that scene, you will find that the "e" in "Be" does, in fact, change back and forth between capital and lowercase, depending on the shot.

Confirmed. The scene can be viewed here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdA__2tKoIU In close ups of the paper, the first "e" is lower case. In over-the-shoulder shots, the first "E" is capitalized.

Jason Hoffman

Corrected entry: This movie is supposed to take place in 1940 in Indiana. However, in Ralph's class at school (in more than one scene), there are at least two African American children. Integrated schools did not come to northern Indiana until 1945 or later.

Correction: That all depended on exactly where in northern Indiana the school was and the school itself. If they were in an area where there were not many African American children to begin with; they didn't have enough children to have another school for them so it was either integrate them or not allow them into the school. While there were schools that refused to allow them to attend school, there were others that did. Since there seems to be very few African American students at this school, it's safe to assume this was a case where there were not enough students to segregate into their own school and this particular school allowed them to attend.

Corrected entry: The Look magazine Ralphie inserts the Red Rider ad in has Shirley Temple and Santa on the cover. That magazine came out in Dec. 1937. Later during the Christmas parade and in Higbee's, you see characters from The Wizard of Oz, which came out in 1939.

Correction: This movie takes place in the 40s after The Wizard of Oz came out. That copy of Look magazine is an older copy the mom has been keeping.

Corrected entry: When the teacher asks "Where's Flick" (while his tongue is stuck to the pole), standing behind her desk, center room, she looks to her right and sees outdoors as if she is at the window. Then she rushes to the window in only two steps. When she runs towards the class door (opposite side of room) you can count 5 to 6 steps to get her from the window back to her desk.

cleangroove

Correction: She moves toward the window as soon as she sees him and the number of steps and time are appropriate.

MovieFan612

Corrected entry: While Randy and Ralphie are waiting in line to see Santa, the heavy-set lady in the red coat is ahead of them. A short time later,they are in front of the heavy-set lady in the red coat.

Correction: When the announcement comes on over the PA that the store is closing, just after the kid with the goggles takes his turn with Santa, Ralphie pushes past the heavy set lady so that he and his brother can have their turn. There is a whole scene of the two of them squeezing past the lady as she turns to go back down the stairs.

Corrected entry: In the scene where Ralphie and Schwartz have just been lectured by their teacher about poor Flick, you can see a specific message on the chalkboard at the front of the class, but immediately after the teacher has gone back to the front and turned to the students to assign them a theme, the chalkboard message has magically changed to the title of the theme and you can see where the previous message has been erased.

Correction: When the teacher announces the theme, she turns toward the chalkboard. The camera then cuts to Ralphie for awhile. It then cuts back to the teacher, who is turning away from just writing the theme information on the chalkboard. The time that the camera was one Ralphie is enough for the teacher to write the information.

Corrected entry: There was no foil wrapping paper in the 1940s.

Correction: In the 1937 Shirley Temple/Heidi movie, her snow globe (Christmas present), is wrapped in foil wrapping paper.

Corrected entry: When we view Flick stuck to the pole with our back to the school, the pole is near the left gate post. When the emergency crew arrives to release him, the pole is near the right gate post. (00:17:55 - 00:19:35)

jairodrigue

Correction: The camera angle changes from looking more left down the road (you see a green garage) to straight perpendicular to the road, so it just looks like the flag pole switches to be in line with either side of gate.

Corrected entry: When Ralph and Randy and a bunch of other kids go visit Santa, as they are in the line going up the stairs, we see a kid on saints lap but then about half the people disappear after he went down the slide, after that it was just 2 kids behind Ralph and Randy and a little later on behind them about 3/4 of them have disappeared and changed after Ralph and Randy go.

Cloude2 Premium member

Correction: The "disappearing" people coincide with Ralph and Randy's movement through the line. This all works together to show the passage of time (they're in line for a while).

Jason Hoffman

Corrected entry: As Ralphie gets the first two letters in the code we are told the first word is "be." Since there is no distinction from when one word ends and the next word begins, it is too early at this point to determine the first word. (00:50:00)

jairodrigue

Correction: Ralphie is excited and grasping to learn the code so since "B" and "E" make a word, that's his first assumption, which turns out to be right.

MovieFan612

Corrected entry: In the breakfast scene, after Ralphie's father hopes for a new furnace for Christmas, you see Ralphie and Randy laughing at this notion. Notice Randy's milk glass has fallen over; in the next shot it is upright, and there seems to be more milk in it.

Correction: The glass in question spends a lot of time off camera. His mom who is off camera but at the table is rearranging things as she prepares her toast, fixes the glass or Randy does it himself. There is milk in the bottom of the glass because it didn't completely fall over it was resting on the saucer keeping some milk in the glass.

jairodrigue

Continuity mistake: When Melinda Dillon breaks the lamp, it is broken into many pieces, but when Darren McGavin is gluing it back together it is now in much fewer and bigger broken pieces. Obviously different broken lamps were used.

More mistakes in A Christmas Story

Ralphie: Oh Fudge.

More quotes from A Christmas Story

Trivia: "A Christmas Story" is one of the favorite films of "South Park" co-creator Trey Parker. Parker used the inspiration of bully Scut Farkus to create Scott Tenorman, the bully from "South Park."

wizard_of_gore Premium member
More trivia for A Christmas Story

Question: Why do the parents have two twin beds in their bedroom, instead of one double bed? I thought that was just a TV gimmick from the old days when they weren't allowed to show a man and woman in bed together. Did people really sleep like that, or was it just a production design decision for the film? The movie was made in the '80's after all.

Krista

Chosen answer: Many married couples did (and still do) sleep like this. For example, one may be a restless sleeper and not wish to disturb their partner. Or they may just prefer to sleep alone. It's all down to personal choice, I don't think there's a rule that says couples have to share a bed.

umathegreatstationarybear

The original poster has never been married. It is seldom that husbands and wives continue sleeping in the same bed after the first couple years of marriage.

Charles Austin Miller

"Seldom" is a bit of an overstatement - studies seem to suggest about 15-25% of couples sleep separately.

Studies? Could you provide a link to such studies? I speak from decades of knowing many, many happily-married couples, the overwhelming majority of whom sleep in separate beds and even separate rooms.

Charles Austin Miller

15 per cent of Britons said if cost and space were not an issue, they would sleep in a different bed to their partner: https://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/uk-couples-sleep-separate-beds-partner-yougov-survey-a8504716.html. A 2005 National Sleep Foundation poll found that nearly one in four American couples sleeps in separate beds or separate rooms: https://sleepfoundation.org/sites/default/files/subscription/sub003.txt. Clearly many couples do, but many don't. Certainly the vast majority of couples I know share a bed, regardless of how long they've been together. "Seldom" is I think overstating it. The majority of people you know may sleep separately, and more power to them! No right or wrong, but that doesn't appear to reflect the broader picture.

Answer: It's most likely a reference to the twin-bed movie standards from the time in which the movie takes place (late '30s to early '40s).

More questions & answers from A Christmas Story

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