Purchased in 2004 by Brian Jones of Red Ryder Leg Lamps, and opened in 2006 after very detailed rennovation to restore it to it's 'movie days', the A Christmas Story House and all the associated properties are up for sale. Hopefully, under a new ownership, it will continue to be the attraction it has become over the years.
On November 17th the latest sequel to "A Christmas Story" will premier on HBO Max. Let's hope that with Peter Billingsly behind the effort, this one turns out to be better than the turkey called 'A Chrismas Story 2'
Joining Peter Billingsly will be former cast members Randy (Ian Petrella), Flick (Scott Schwartz), Schwartz (R.D. Robb) and Scut Farkas (Zack Ward). Also joining the cast in new roles will be Erinn Hayes, River Drosche, Julianna Layne, and Julie Hagerty.
So, at first there was "My Summer Story" (aka" It Runs in the Family") which was entirely miscast, then there came "A Christmas Story 2" which was absolutely horrible. Now Warner Brothers has announced a new sequel "A Christmas Story Christmas" with Peter Billingsley recreating his role as Ralphie. So far so good. Hopefully, some of the others in the original cast will also appear, although Darren McGavin will be sorely missed here. I hope that, in writing the script, they will review Shepherd's works, not just the books, but his radio shows which were a big part of the evolution of the original movie. There needs to be a careful balance of 'looking back' at some of the original topics, and introducing new ones based on other stories Shep told. Which leads to another important point. It was Shepherd's narration of the original movie which brought the stories to life. For this movie to succeed, it will need good insight into writing the script from Shep's viewpoint, and then overcoming the two major obstacles of Shep's narration and Darren McGavin's perfomance. Fortunately, the original house used in the movie has been preserved and if they're smart, it will be used in some form. It is a tourist attraction and many people can relate to it personally having been there. Here's hoping that the writers get a visit by 3 ghosts and heed their advice.
Andrew holding up his sign and the autograph he got.
A Strange Coincidence
A Groundhog Day Booksigning and Shep Documentary
Andrew Diamond wrote me about a booksigning at Sterns on Groundhod Day in 1967 which reminded me of a documentary "Channel Cat in the Middle Distance" done by Shep Fans Jon Sanger and Al Tedesco in association with the University of Pennsylvania. About 10 minutes in there is a 2 minute segment on the booksigning where Shep appeared with a live groundhog. It just so happens that the camera caught Andrew holding up a sign which he later had signed. (See photo above)