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Every Inaccuracy In 'A Christmas Story’s Version Of The '40s

Updated 17 Dec 2019 23.5k views14 items

The 24-hour marathon of the beloved classic A Christmas Story has become a staple of the holiday season. After watching the movie a few times, however, viewers may begin to notice historical mistakes in A Christmas Story they may have missed before. Remembered fondly for a leg lamp, a tongue frozen to a flag pole, and many classic Christmas Story quotes, the story of young Raphie Parker and his family is a tradition for many. And while the movie nails a lot of authentic details of its time period, the filmmakers did manage to get a few things wrong.

The film was based on several short stories by Jean Shepherd that were fictional accounts of his time as a boy growing up in Indiana. Although the film's era is never specifically mentioned, it's believed the movie takes place in 1939 or 1940 due to the fact no one mentions WWII, and characters from 1939's The Wizard of Oz, which has nothing to do with Christmas, are prominently included. A Christmas Story's period-accurate details include displays for Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (which premiered in 1937) and radio shows such as Little Orphan Annie (which really was sponsored by Ovaltine). Real-life department stores like Higbee's were all the rage, as the movie depicts, and people often gathered there to view the lavish holiday window displays and meet Santa.

Of course, the most important and endearing aspects of the film revolve around nostalgia and family, so a few historical errors are more than forgivable. But when you're watching it for the 10th time this holiday season, you might want to keep an eye out for the occasional details that are historically out of place.

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