Some of us just like to watch movies as they are released, and take the finished product for what it is — the version that ultimately was released to the public at large. Others really like to get into the movies that they love. They buy the director’s cut, and watch the outtakes and blooper reels, and even read the scripts to spot deleted scenes or places where the actors improvised.
I’m squarely in the first category, but I have to say that I was intrigued when I read this story about how The Christmas Story was written to include a scene featuring our hero, Ralphie, and his Red Ryder BB gun with Flash Gordon and Ming the Merciless. You’ll recall that Ralphie was a big day-dreamer, and his idle fantasies included a scene where his teacher concluded that Ralphie’s Red Ryder-obsessed theme deserved an A++++++ and another scene where Ralphie rescued the family from a gang of thugs crawling over the back fence.
Alas, the Flash Gordon scene hit the cutting room floor, but not before a space-suited Ralphie was featured in the photo above with one of the actors who was to play Flash, in very alien-looking surroundings. From the looks of the planet Mongo set, that one scene probably accounted for 50 percent of the movie’s production budget. How would Ralphie have used that Red Ryder BB gun to save the day? We’ll never really know for sure.
But that reminds me: it’s time to watch A Christmas Story again.