×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

“A Christmas Story”: Docu on helmer Bob Clark debuts Nov. 29

Clarkworld

Bob Clark had a perplexing career in film.

The multihyphenate made one timeless, flawless picture that will run forever — 1983’s “A Christmas Story.”

He also made a whole lot of other movies. Some were successful (“Porky’s,” “Porky’s II”), some became notorious over time (“Black Christmas,” “Children Shouldn’t Play with Dead Things”), and some were just plain stinkers (“Rhinestone,” “Baby Geniuses,” “The Karate Dog”).

How could the same guy who gave us a contemporary classic, a perennial holiday fave, also be responsible for talking tots and a Dolly Parton-Sylvester Stallone romance? Well, that was the peculiar, strangely endearing genius of Clark, friends and colleagues say in a new docu on the helmer.

“ClarkWorld,” produced and directed by Deren Abram, is set to bow Nov. 29 in Cleveland as part of a two-day, 25th anniversary salute to “A Christmas Story,” which was shot in and around Cleveland back when areas of the city could reasonably pass for the 1940 time period of the pic with only a little bit of dressing.

The movie about a 9-year-old Ralphie Parker’s determination to secure the Christmas present of his dreams — a Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle (aka a BB gun) — is so beloved that the house used as the boy’s home in the pic is now a tourist attraction and Cleveland is home to an annual “Christmas Story” celebration.

What makes “Christmas Story” so special? It starts with the source material, a story penned by radio humorist Jean Shepherd that so deftly captures the spirit of the season for a kid — the good and the bad, the crass and the commercial, the sweet and the saccharine, the nobody-understands-me angst and the nervous excitement that borders on madness as the Big Morning approaches.

Clark’s movie captures every bit of the sweetness and the edge in Shepherd’s story. Thanks to a stellar cast –anchored by Peter Billingsley as Ralphie and Darren McGavin and Melinda Dillon as his parents — the movie can completely transport you back in time, not merely to an America on the cusp of World War II but to a time and a place that exists entirely out of time, but in our collective subconscious under the rough heading of “childhood.”

It works as a sentimental journey even if you didn’t grow up in the Midwest at a time when Dec. 25 was the day “around which the whole kid year revolved,” as the narrator puts it in the movie.

More TV

  • James Marsden attends the 2019 MOCA

    New Abortion Ban Laws Take Center Stage at MOCA Gala

    Forty years ago in Los Angeles, the decision to invest millions in a museum dedicated exclusively to contemporary art — not to mention its formerly desolate downtown location, where the vibe was more apocalyptic than artsy — was a risky proposition. But now that the city’s cultural heart has shifted south of Hollywood, it seems [...]

  • WGA Agents Contract Tug of War

    Writers Guild Expands Suit Against Agencies With New Fraud Allegations

    The Writers Guild of America has bulked up its lawsuit with additional fraud allegations against Hollywood’s four biggest talent agencies. The WGA amended its suit Monday in Los Angeles Superior Court with the claim that CAA, WME, UTA and ICM partners have engaged “constructive fraud” by allegedly placing their own interests ahead of their clients [...]

  • Jason Mitchell

    Jason Mitchell Dropped From 'The Chi' Season 3, Netflix Film

    Jason Mitchell is being dropped from a number of his current and upcoming projects. Variety has confirmed that the up and coming actor will not return for “The Chi’s” already announced third season, with Season 2 of the show currently airing on Showtime. In addition, Mitchell will no longer be starring in the Netflix film “Desperados,” in [...]

  • Maisie Williams

    TV News Roundup: Maisie Williams to Guest Judge 'RuPaul's Drag Race UK'

    In today’s roundup, Maisie Williams will guest judge on “RuPaul’s Drag Race UK” and “Drunk History” will return with eight new episodes to Comedy Central.  DATES Comedy Central‘s “Drunk History” will return with eight new episodes beginning with “Derek Waters’ Believe It or Not” Tuesday, June 18 at 10 p.m. The series premiere of “Alternatino [...]

  • Lisa Kudrow

    Lisa Kudrow Joins Lee Daniels-Whitney Cummings Comedy Pilot 'Good People' at Amazon

    Lisa Kudrow has signed on to star in and executive produce the comedy pilot “Good People” currently in the works at Amazon, Variety has learned. The half-hour project hails from writers and executive producers Whitney Cummings and Lee Daniels, with Cummings also set to star. It centers on three generations of women working in the [...]

  • 'Game of Thrones' Series Finale: Much

    'Game of Thrones' Series Finale: A Lot of 'Love' Despite Much-Criticized Ending

    Spoiler alert: Do not read until you’ve watched “The Iron Throne,” the series finale of HBO’s “Game of Thrones,” aka season 8, episode 6. Bran Stark may have a perpetual poker face, but “Game of Thrones” fans certainly had a lot of feelings about him Sunday night. The stony faced character was the No. 1 [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content