“A Christmas Story”: Thank you, Bob Clark

BobclarkIt’s that wonderful time of year, time for repeated viewings of the holiday pic that never, ever gets old, 1983’s “A Christmas Story.”

TBS is obliging with its annual 24-hour marathon of the pic, starting Monday, Christmas Eve, at 8 p.m. ET. My family’s “Christmas Story” DVD is well-worn  — no matter how many times we’ve seen it, we crack up at the scene where Darren McGavin unpacks his “fra-gi-le” major award. We can pretty much recite this movie from start to “you’ll shoot your eye out” finish.

But this year the fun of the pic that perfectly balances the sweet ‘n’ sour ‘n’ silly of the season comes with a tinge of sadness for the memory of “Christmas Story” helmer Bob Clark, who died tragically in April along with his 22-year-old son Ariel following a head-on collision with a drunk driver along Pacific Coast Highway. The driver pleaded no contest to two counts of gross vehicular manslaughter in August. “Senseless” doesn’t even begin to describe this crime.

Clark, who was 67, delivered his share of other movies during his lengthy career — most notably the raunchy “Porkys” comedies of the early 1980s — but nothing that deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as “Christmas Story.”

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  1. Never argue with an idiot. They drag you down to their level and beat you with experience.

  2. Thanks for you sharing articles. I like your articles. In my leisure time, reading is a good method to kill my time. Enjoy your life! Thanks.

  3. Catrina says:

    We love this movie. In addition, we had the opportunity to tour the “Christmas Story house” in Cleveland, Ohio. It brought the movie truly to life for us this year.

  4. Roger says:

    “A Christmas Story” was wonderful and it was so tragic earlier this year when Bob Clark and his son died in the car crash. He was a gifted director and this movie with terrific performances by Darren McGavin and Peter is so memorable. A must see. By the way, an often overlooked holiday movie that is outstanding is “A Bishop’s Wife” with Cary Grant(as an angel!,)Loretta Young, and David Niven is on TCM Christmas Eve early evening. If you haven’t seen it –do yourself a favor — Just super! Happy Holidays Everyone.

  5. Erik says:

    One of my all time favorite films. However, I do take issue with this statement: “Clark, who was 67, delivered his share of other movies during his lengthy career — most notably the raunchy “Porkys” comedies of the early 1980s — but nothing that deserves to be mentioned in the same breath as “Christmas Story.”
    Bob Clark also created the original horror film BLACK CHRISTMAS. It was this film that spawned John Carpenter’s classic HALLOWEEN, and many other imitators. With this stark, and genuinely frightening film, Clark spawned an entire sub-genre within the horror film. Even today this film’s thrills, chills and fights still hold up, and Clark’s craftsmanship clearly illustrates what separates an artist, from a kid with a camera, the type who seem to currently have the attentions of prod cos.
    I had the pleasure of meeting Bob Clark at the Fangoria Weekend of Horrors in Burbank, CA, mere weeks before his death. At this event Bob Clark seemed truly awed at the love people had for his work. And after the event, he’d had such a good time he vowed to return next year. Sadly, that never took place. Bob is truly missed.

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