Jason and I managed to catch most of A Christmas Story on AMC yesterday and had a lovely time re-watching it. It had been a few years since either of us had seen it; we'd both gotten a little burned out by the marathon showings of previous years. But the writing holds up, as do the performances, so it was quite enjoyable to see it again. There was just one little thing bothering me.
(Photos from the Christmas Story fan site Flick's Tongue... more about that later.)
We both picked up on new things this time around. I identified with Ralphie's daydreams of adulation over his theme; Jason noticed the distinct beginnings of a butt cheek on the leg lamp. We both appreciated the performances of Melinda Dillon and Darren McGavin as the parents and commented on how much fun it must have been to play those characters. And the Bumpuses' dogs are always a good time.
But something nagged at me from the back of my mind. A little fact I had known for a while that made it hard to really open my heart to the story and made certain scenes a little uncomfortable:
Yeah. I know. This cute little guy, so appealing with his apple cheeks and bright eyes:
He'd go on to get his tongue stuck on much less sanitary things than a flagpole. What's especially unnerving is that the most elaborate and devoted fan site for A Christmas Story has the URL of flickstongue.com. I wonder if they know what that tongue has been up to in the ensuing years.
It struck me as odd that as a child, the actor was billed as Scott Schwartz, but as an adult, he went by Scotty -- perhaps an attempt to invoke images of youth and innocence, while appearing in films with names like New Wave Hookers V and Still Insatiable. Frighteningly enough, I've actually seen one of the XXX films Schwartz appeared in, albeit in a non-naked role. A friend of mine loaned me his DVD of Flashpoint, with the enthusiastic endorsement of "It has a commentary track!" (The commentary during the non-sex scenes was the standard how-we-set-this-shot-up info, while the commentary for the sex bits was variations on "Oh, yeah. Uh-huh. Don't be afraid of it, now." I can see why porno commentaries never took off as a trend.)
I'm somewhat heartened to see that in the past couple years, Schwartz has begun transitioning from porn to schlock. Unseen Evil II may have gone straight to video, but at least Schwartz's co-star was Lorenzo Lamas instead of Johnny Packwood. And eventually, perhaps I'll be able to put the porno connotations out of my mind whenever A Christmas Story is on. Especially now that I've passed them along to you. Ho, ho, ho!