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Shepherd, Brown, and Clark have cameo appearances in the film: Shepherd plays the man who directs Ralphie and Randy to the back of the Santa line at the department store; Brown – Shepherd's wife in real life – plays the woman in the Santa line with Shepherd; Clark plays Swede, the neighbor the Old Man talks to outside during the Leg Lamp scene.

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Clark initially wanted him for the role of Ralphie, but decided he was "too obvious" a choice and auditioned many other young actors before realizing that Billingsley was the right choice after all.

Ian Petrella was cast immediately before filming began.

"I saw that I was ranked — as Christmas villains go — higher than the Grinch.

That's amazing." The screenplay for A Christmas Story is based on material from author Jean Shepherd's collection of short stories, In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash.

Harding Elementary School and Cleveland Street (where Shepherd spent his childhood).

Other local references include mention of a person "swallowing a yo-yo" in nearby Griffith, the Old Man being one of the fiercest "furnace fighters in northern Indiana" and that his obscenities were "hanging in space over Lake Michigan," a mention of the Indianapolis 500, and the line to Santa Claus "stretching all the way to Terre Haute, Indiana." The Old Man is also revealed to be a fan of the Bears (whom he jokingly calls the "Chicago Chipmunks") and White Sox, consistent with living in northwest Indiana.Several subplots are incorporated into the body of the film, based on other separate short stories by Shepherd.Shepherd provides the film's narration from the perspective of an adult Ralphie, a narrative style later used in the dramedy television series The Wonder Years.Bob Clark states on the DVD commentary that he became interested in Shepherd's work when he heard "Flick's Tongue" on the radio in 1968.Additional source material for the film, according to Clark, came from unpublished anecdotes that Shepherd told live audiences "on the college circuit." Local references in the film include Warren G.Tedde Moore had previously appeared in Clark's film Murder by Decree and was the only onscreen character from A Christmas Story who was played by the same actor in the sequel, My Summer Story.

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