A Christmas Story

A Christmas Story (1983)

51 corrected entries

Corrected entry: When Ralph is shooting the bad guys in his daydream he shoots three times and kills four men.

Correction: This is a daydream. Not real.

lartaker1975

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.

xx:xx:xx

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

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: "A Christmas Story" forever associated Peter Billingsly with the phrase "you'll shoot your eye out"; but Billingsly really is legally blind, and has been legally blind all of his life.

Charles Austin Miller

Correction: Peter Billignsley is not blind, he was just making a comic overstatement in an interview: http://www.nwitimes.com/niche/shore/entertainment/arts-and-theatre/peter-billingsley-targets-christmas-story-for-broadway/article_f062f643-f294-5eb7-95ab-371b23812e7d.html.

ctown28

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: 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.

Corrected entry: While the family is driving home after picking out their tree and before the tire blowout, the kids and the wife are singing "Jingle Bells". On the driver's side of the car, a shadow of a microphone is seen bouncing up and down to the song, conducting the cast as they sing the song.

Correction: After looking closely at the scene, the shadow on the Old Man's side of the car is Ralph's stocking cap. This can be told because it is the shape of Ralph's cap, moves in time to his movements and comes from behind, rather than in front of, the Old Man.

Movie Nut

Corrected entry: After Black Bart springs over the fence (with the aid of the obvious trampoline), there's only one "dead" guy lying on the ground. After the cut scene, the four "dead" men are sitting back-to-back in a circle under the monkey bars.

Movie Nut

Correction: This entire scene is taking place within Ralphie's imagination, so it doesn't have to follow the standard movie rules of continuity.

zendaddy621

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: Characters from The Wizard of Oz appear in the parade and at the department store. But that movie, which premiered in 1939, initially bombed in theaters and didn't become widely known to the public until re-releases in the late 1940s and TV showings starting in the 1950s. It seems unlikely the characters would have been featured.

Correction: Characters from The Wizard of Oz were used in the Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade as early as 1939, so their appearance in the film is entirely plausible. http://laughingsquid.com/macys-thanksgiving-day-parades-through-the-years/

Jason Hoffman

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: When the kids are putting gifts on Mrs. Shields' desk, the words "Merry Christmas" are written on the board behind her in red chalk. Later, when handing back the themes, the 'M' in Merry and the 'C' in Christmas are now written in white or yellow chalk, and the rest of the lettering is in a lighter red or orange chalk.

Movie Nut

Correction: It's a completely different day at school. Anyone who has ever been in a school knows that the original "Merry Christmas" on the chalkboard wouldn't have lasted long.

Corrected entry: Toward the end, Ralphie has his new BB gun outside ready to fire at the target. Trouble is, as he ran through the house, he only had the BB gun, and nothing else. The target magically set itself up on the metal sign that the BB ricocheted off.

Movie Nut

Correction: Ralphie is holding the paper target with his BB gun as he runs toward the door.

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: Ralphie's father complains after reading in the paper that "The Sox traded Bullfrog!" which is a reference to Chicago White Sox pitcher Bill Dietrich. Dietrich was released by the Sox, not traded, in 1946.

wizard_of_gore

Correction: The Bullfrog he was referring to is a fictional character. He was traded for Shottenhoffer. There has never been a MLB player named Shottenhoffer.

jairodrigue

Corrected entry: Ovaltine stopped sponsoring Little Orphan Annie in 1940. The Wizard of Oz was released in 1939. The movie setting, therefore, would have to be between 1939-1940. The chattering teeth seen in Miss Shield's desk weren't invented until 1949.

xx:xx:xx

jairodrigue

Correction: While semi-autobiographical, this story is fiction. By the director's own admission, the film is set "amorphously late '30s, early '40s." It's about a particular *time* in American history, not a specific date. If this is a mistake, then so would the existence of the fictional family and all the events surrounding them.

JC Fernandez

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.

xx:xx:xx

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: Watch when all the kids are putting the fake teeth in their mouth near the beginning of the movie. Ralphie's friend, the kid who sits in front of him, just pretends to put the fake teeth in at that point. Very obvious.

Paul Van Scott

Correction: We don't see the students put in the teeth. When they say "Good Morning, Miss Shields" his teeth are loosened and he readjusts them.

jairodrigue

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

Corrected entry: When Randy is playing with his fire truck on Christmas morning, Ralphie pushes it away from Randy, causing him to whine. When the parents come downstairs, every sound except for Randy's whine and imitation of the fire truck's sound can be heard from when Ralphie did this.

gdawg#5

Correction: Randy doesn't whine he says Hey! when Ralp pushes away the firetruck. The sounds you hear when the parents come downstairs is the boys playing. No audio problems here.

jairodrigue

Corrected entry: When Ralphie receives and decodes the Little Orphan Annie secret message, the last numbers don't match. On the radio, the announcer said the last number is 25. But in close-up shots of the paper Ralphie wrote on, you can see he has written 11 as the last number.

Correction: The announcer never says the last number is 25. It's just the last number we hear as the camera cuts to the radio. The rest of the numbers are edited out, we don't need to hear all the numbers.

jairodrigue

Corrected entry: In the scene after they buy a Christmas tree, and are singing Jingle Bells, the tire pops and the father says, "Dangum blowout," but his lips don't move.

Correction: His mouth does move as he says the line.

jairodrigue

Corrected entry: When Ralphie gives the huge fruit basket to his teacher, she has to move it aside to see who is behind it. Their height in relation to the basket varies from one shot to the next - a few shots show both of them taller than the basket, which would have allowed the teacher and Ralph to see each other the whole time.

Correction: The difference is in the camera angle of the shots. As Ralphie is carrying the basket, he is holding it up, blocking his face and as he lowers it to the desk, along with a grunt, he lowers his body and head, of course, as he brings the basket down to place it in front of the teacher. In the next shot, the camera angle is looking from about the teachers armpit, not from her head and line of sight. It would appear that she would be able to see just a portion of Ralphie's face, above the yellow bow, which is why she moved it aside.

Corrected entry: When Ralphie receives his theme with the "C" grade, a map is visible behind the teacher, which stops at the northern border of California. In the next shot, the map now continues north of California.

Correction: There are two reasons why this may not be a mistake. First, the teacher has walked over and is standing right in front of the map as she is saying that she is disappointed with the margins. The camera pans and the scene continues for another ten seconds or more as Ralphie is looking at his C+ paper. It is not uncommon for teachers to straighten things in their classroom as they walk around and that was plenty of time to do so, as she was right there. Second,the shot showing the witch in front of the map is in Ralphie's imagination, where the map may look as however he may conjure it to look.

Corrected entry: When Ralphie goes to see Santa at Higbee's. They are on the street level when they are watching the parade. Then they go up an escalator to the very same street level where they once were. Also later in the scene Santa was telling one of the elves "if Mr.Higbee was thinking that was going to work any later than 9" Now Edwin Converse Higbee (The founder of Higbee's) died in 1906,over 24 years before the Higbee's store that they were at was finished (1931).

johnp

Correction: This should be submitted as two separate mistakes. Also, there is a cut between the end of the parade and when we see them come up the escalator. We have no idea what they did in between.

Jason Hoffman

Corrected entry: After Ralphie swears, his mother goes to the wall telephone in the hall to call Mrs. Schwartz. The film is set in Indiana, USA, but the telephone is a 1940s Northern Electric "Uniphone", made for small-town, local Canadian telephone companies, certainly not for the huge Bell System in the U.S. Back then, telephones were leased, not purchased, and you couldn't bring a phone from a different country and connect it to the line without getting in serious trouble with your service provider (they could test your line and see if any unauthorized phones were connected).

Correction: The telephone is a North Electric No.1 Uniphone, not a Northern Electric (Canadian)telephone and is the correct telephone for the time period.

Corrected entry: When Ralphie and Randy go to see Santa, we see Santa deal with a boy who he calls a "wet one" and we see him tell the elves to get him off because he's wet. There's no wet spot visible on the boy.

Correction: There is a small wet spot in the very middle of the boys pants.

Corrected entry: In the scene where Ralphie's father is gluing the leg lamp back together, there is no cord on the lamp.

Correction: Completely untrue. Not only is the cord CLEARLY visible, after the lamp falls apart the entire top of the lamp, including the shade are hanging by the cord.

Corrected entry: Near the beginning of the movie, there is no cabinet under the sink. Later, Randy is hiding in a cabinet under the sink, afraid that Daddy is going to kill Ralphie because of the fight he had.

Correction: I just watched this movie last night and looked specifically for this mistake. The shadows in the earlier scenes make the area beneath the sink appear to have no cabinet, but, looking closely, the cabinet is there throughout the movie.

Corrected entry: The movie is supposed to be set in 1939-1940. However, since Christmas Day falls on a Sunday (his father reads the Sunday comics), it either had to be 1938 or 1949. To further confuse the issue, in neither year did the Bears and Packers play each other in December.

Correction: This movie is not set up to be a historic documentary; it is fiction. Therefore, the movie makers have leeway to make minor changes.

Zwn Annwn

Corrected entry: In the scene where Ralphie says the F word, he starts to walk back to get into the car. He passes in front of the car upset and inside the car, it's VERY dark. In fact you cant see anything in the car. Then, the camera changes to view inside the car and it seems like there's a light on inside. You can see them perfectly fine.

xx:xx:xx

Correction: This is a common movie-making convention. We need to be able to see the action in side of the car. The same way there always seems to be a light in other dark places, such as caves.

wizard_of_gore

Corrected entry: When "saving" his family from Black Bart and his gang, Ralphie shoots the one climbing the rope, who then falls to the ground. When they show Black Bart standing behind the monkey bars, the guy that fell off the rope is in the background, supposedly dead. But, when Black Bart is talking to Ralphie, you can see the guy's breath because of the cold weather.

Correction: This is a dream sequence. Whatever happens is provided by a young boys (Ralphie) imagination thus not a valid mistake per submission rules.

Paul Van Scott

Corrected entry: In the scene where Ralphie's Dad jumps out of his snow covered car and excitedly shouts that he has won "a major prize", you can see that a significant amount of snow "suddenly" melts away from the car during the couple seconds it takes to cut away from the car and come back.

Correction: After reviewing the sequence several times, the snow appears identical to me - even the pattern on the hood. You would expect that the warmth of the engine would begin melting the snow more quickly, once the car stops and the heat builds up, however, I see virtually zero change between shots.

Corrected entry: When Ralphie's mother serves meatloaf at the dinner table, she is serving it in a loaf pan from the oven with no oven mitts or pot holders to prevent her from burning her hands.

Correction: It's possible she cooked the meatloaf earlier and left it in the oven on warm. Some wives do this. If this was done it would not be hot enough to need mitts or pot holders.

SAZOO1975

Corrected entry: Ming the Merciless and Flash Gordon are included in the end credits but are NOT in the film. As explained on the DVD audio commentary, Peter Billingsly says it was a cut scene. Obviously the credits were not cut to reflect that change.

Correction: Credit's are not always cut to reflect editing changes. Since they still initially filmed the scene, included or not, they can choose to still "credit" said charcters since they did film them.

Jazetopher

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: Ever notice all the children in line to see Santa all scream the same way when going down the slide? Plus, that same scream is used quite often during the whole film.

BarrysBaby

Correction: Although some screams are repeated, they are not all exactly the same.

Corrected entry: When Ralphie's friends are walking home from school, the bully pushes Randy down. When he does this, you can see some sort of wire or pole in Randy's hand.

Correction: It looks to me like Randy might have a thin branch in his hand. There are many trees lining their path home and he might have grabbed one as he walked home.

Corrected entry: The Red Ryder BB gun was manufactured by Daisy in Plymouth Michigan in 1940 through late 1941 (temporarily discontinued due to the War) with the brand, horse and rider located on the left side of the wooden stock. In the movie the Red Ryder brand with horse and rider was located on the right side of the Carbine (Manufactured in Rogers, Arkansas sometime after 1958 when Daisy moved there.) This is not to mention that the Red Ryder Carbine did not come with a compass in the stock.

Correction: The Red Ryder was introduced in Dec. 1938 not 1940. The logo was never on the right side. The red Ryder was discontinued when Daisy moved to Arkansas, not to be produced until the 1970's.

Corrected entry: Scott Farkas, the bully, wears braces. Problem is, the stick-on braces he's wearing didn't become available until the 1970's.

Correction: According to my parents who grew up in the 1940's, braces like that were used back then. Considering the writer of the book grew up in Indiana in the 1940's I doubt he would make something up like that or they would have found an actor to play the kid that didn't have braces.

Corrected entry: When Ralphie is sitting on Santa's lap, he is wearing a different shirt (maybe green?) than when he is sliding down the slide (white striped shirt and tie).

Correction: Ralphie always has the same shirt on. It has very thin green stripes, so in the close-ups on Santa's lap they're more visible than in the wide shots, where they blend in with the white on the shirt.

Krista

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: 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: The first time Ralphie and Randy (and their friends) approach the bullies, they run home towards the left of the screen (where the broken fence is on their right). Every other time they are shown running from them, they are running home the wrong way.

Correction: I've always believed that they are chased both on the way to school, and on the way home.

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.

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Quotes

Mom: Ralphie, what would you like for Christmas?
Adult Ralphie: Horrified, I heard myself blurt it out.
Ralphie: I want an official Red Ryder carbine action two hundred shot range model air rifle.
Mom: No. You'll shoot your eye out.

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Mistakes

When Raphie's mother is working on the turkey on Christmas morning, there is a jar of pickles on the table next to the turkey. In the next scene the mother is coming up from the basement carrying a jar of pickles and places them on the table in the same place.

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Trivia

The film is set in Indiana, but was actually filmed in Cleveland, Ohio. It was the only place the directors could find that looked like a midwestern town in the 1940's.

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