Let's be real — "A Christmas Story" never left the public eye. Sure, its original release was almost 40 years ago but, much like Michael Bublé, who goes into hibernation between holiday seasons, Ralphie Parker (Peter Billingsley) is always there, ready to entertain the moment the temperature starts dropping again. In fact, Ralphie's story is as much Christmas now as the story of Santa Claus. So while it would not be inaccurate to say that "A Christmas Story" is extra hot right now because of the recent HBO Max sequel release, it would still be disingenuous.
But that's not to marsh anyone's mallow. By most accounts, "A Christmas Story Christmas" is a solid, if not repetitious, nostalgia flick. At the very least, the project got Billingsley back into the holiday spirit, so much so that he's co-hosting "A Cinematic Journey" with Nick Schenk. We should probably tell you what that is, huh? "A Cinematic Journey" is a podcast created by Vince Vaughn that's goal is to celebrate classic filmography. The current series is set to focus each of its six episodes on a different Christmas story, with the first episode being about, you guessed it, "A Christmas Story."
You can see why that would be the perfect hook. The first episode combines an hour of "A Christmas Story" discussion with the man who literally starred in "A Christmas Story." Is there any better accreditation? In that hour, Billingsley shared his mind on a number of subjects, but perhaps one of the more interesting is his take on the very famous and very deleted "Flash Gordon" dream sequence.
Ralphie's Dream Work Best In His Own World
To catch everyone up, the beloved holiday classic filmed — and subsequently axed — a dream sequence that starred a version of Flash Gordon as portrayed by Paul Hubbard. In Episode 1 of "A Cinematic Journey," fittingly entitled "A Christmas Story," Peter Billingsley shared that the test audiences were a big reason why the scene was cut. He told Nick Schenk:
"In one scene that we shot … it involved 'Flash Gordon' … you wanna know where the budget of the movie went? Ironically, it's this scene and it's cut … we were in Toronto … they built this space rock set and Flash Gordon was pinned down by his nemesis … and along comes Ralphie in a spacesuit that I was very self conscious to wear … and I'm there with all blue, my Red Ryder Rifle and, of course, I save this big super hero from the villain … but [Bob Clark] said this one crossed the line … keeping [the fantasy sequences] contained to [Ralphie's] world seemed to work … the sadness is that [the scene] is gone forever because this was before DVDs … they just threw out the negatives."
Think back to other dream sequences that feature in "A Christmas Story." Billingsley is right — the rest of them are silly, sure, but they're adjacent to reality. In comparison, the "Flash Gordon" sequence would have depicted an aesthetic totally disconnected from the rest of the movie. It would have also been the only sequence to feature a pop culture figure, making it a jarring tonal shift, too.
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The post A Christmas Story Had a Flash Gordon-Style Fantasy Sequence That Didn't Make the Cut appeared first on /Film.