A Christmas Story (lost deleted scenes from Christmas comedy film; 1983)
A Christmas Story is a 1983 holiday-comedy film directed by Bob Clark for MGM. Over its multi-decade history, the film has become a staple of the holiday season and is often regarded as one of the greatest Christmas movies of all time.
Synopsis[edit | edit source]
The film focuses on an unseen narrator named Ralphie, played by Jean Shepard as he recites a Christmas season he experienced as a young boy, played by Peter Billingsley. The story focuses on Ralphie, who seeks to get a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas, all while he overcomes the struggles of childhood such as avoiding and eventually fending off the school bully, menial peer pressure from fellow students, and avoiding saying curse words.
Throughout the film, Ralphie continuously tries to convince the adults in his life why he should receive a Red Ryder Gun for Christmas, only for all of them to tell him that "he’ll shoot his eye out", as a running joke in the movie. Ralphie does eventually get a Red Ryder gun for Christmas, but when he uses it he does in fact nearly shoot his eye out, with his glasses repelling the pellet, being the only thing stopping him from doing so.
Another running joke in the film is that Ralphie, as kids do, constantly fantasizes about putting himself in a certain situation in which he receives the Red Ryder gun and becomes a successful hero and someone that all the adults in his life look up to, often to a theatrical level.
Deleted Scenes[edit | edit source]
Like many other films, A Christmas Story has deleted scenes which were cut from the final product. These scenes include 2 additional fantasy sequences that Ralphie would think up.
One of these sequences involves Ralphie’s teacher, Miss Shields, coming over to talk to his mother about how phenomenal of a student he is, and why he needs a Red Ryder Gun as soon as possible. Immediately after this sequence, Ralphie lays on his bed and looks at his Flash Gordon comic book. Ralphie then once again fantasizes, this time about him rescuing Flash Gordon from the clutches of Ming the Merciless and saving the planet of Mongo, all of which are fictional locations and characters in the Flash Gordon comic book series. Ralphie of course does all of this with his Red Ryder gun.
The 2nd fantasy sequence includes Ralphie rescuing Santa Claus, who’s been kidnapped by Black Bart and his gang of burglars, characters who appeared in an earlier fantasy sequence in the movie. Ralphie fends them off with his Red Ryder gun, resulting in Santa piling presents on top of Ralphie as a reward.
According to Stan Cole, the editor of the movie, there was pressure by MGM to keep the film length to roughly 90 minutes so that the film could play every 2 hours in theatres. Because of this, these fantasy sequences were cut from the movie and were never publicly seen.
Availability[edit | edit source]
It has been reported that no film footage of these deleted scenes has survived, with the actor who played Ralphie, Peter Billingsley, confirming that the Flash Gordon deleted scene is "gone forever".
The only physical evidence of the deleted scenes existence are costumes, sketches, and pictures from the scenes which are on display at the A Christmas Story Museum in Cleveland Ohio, as well as the scripts for these scenes, and the actors who played Flash Gordon and Ming the Merciless still being included in the film credits. The music used in the the Flash Gordon sequence also still exists on the movie's official soundtrack.