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ONTD Original: Wholesome Movie Trivia: Christmas Edition

National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989)



** Mae Questal (Aunt Bethany) began her acting career in 1930 as the voice of Betty Boop. (She also voiced Betty in Who Framed Roger Rabbit?)

** Rusty is watching Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life when the relatives arrive at the house. Frank Capra's grandson Frank Capra III was an Assistant Director for this movie.

** Another nod to It's a Wonderful Life: Clark chainsaws the broken newel post.


Elf (2003)



** Will Ferrell turned down $29 million dollars to be in Elf 2. Ferrell said, "I remember asking myself: could I withstand the criticism when it's bad and they say, 'He did the sequel for the money?' I decided I wouldn't be able to. I didn't want to wander into an area that could erase all the good work I've done—but you watch, I'll do some sequel in the future that's crap."

** The cotton balls Buddy eats in the doctor's office were actually cotton candy that had not been dyed.

** Peter Billingsley makes an appearance as the elf Ming Ming. Billingsley is most well known for playing Ralphie in A Christmas Story.

A Christmas Story (1983)



** A suction tube was used to safely create the illusion that Flick's tongue was stuck to the flag pole.

** According to Peter Billingsley, not many major studios were interested in a story about a little boy in the 1940s who wanted a BB gun for Christmas. Billingsley said the studio agreed to make this film if director Bob Clark agreed to make a horror film.

** Director Bob Clark makes a cameo as the "dim-witted" neighbor who marvels at the leg lamp from outside.

It's a Wonderful Life (1946)



** For the scene that required Donna Reed to throw a rock through the window of the Granville house, director Frank Capra hired a marksman to shoot it out on cue. To everyone's amazement, Reed broke the window by herself. She had played baseball in high school and had a strong throwing arm.

** James Stewart was nervous about the phone kiss scene because it was his first onscreen kiss since his return to Hollywood after the war. Under director Frank Capra's watchful eye, Stewart filmed the scene in only one unrehearsed take, and it worked so well that part of the embrace was cut because it was too passionate to pass the censors.

** The iconic scene where James Stewart's character runs through a snow-swept Bedford Falls was actually filmed on a scorching July day.

Disney's A Christmas Carol (2009)



** Ebenezer Scrooge's appearance in this film is similar to the marionette version of Scrooge seen in Robert Zemeckis's last Christmas-themed movie, The Polar Express (2004).

** This is the first film that Jim Carrey and Cary Elwes appeared in 12 years later since Liar Liar (1997)

** The first time that Scrooge ever calls Bob Cratchit by his first name was when the Ghost of Christmas Yet to Come shows him the Cratchit family mourning Tiny Tim's death. Though, Bob Cratchit doesn't hear him say it because Scrooge was only there as a spirit and the event was just a 'what if' scenario. Once he changes his ways and arrive back into the present day, Scrooge calls him by his first name to show his empathy towards and appreciation for him.

Ernest Saves Christmas (1988)



** Santa Claus's real name is Seth Applegate.

** The actress that plays Harmony (Noelle Parker) was born on Christmas Day (December 25).

** John Cherry the director of this movie and of most of the other Ernest movies said he thought this was the best of the Ernest movies.

A Charlie Brown Christmas (1965)



** CBS executives were not too happy that the Christmas special had actual children voicing the characters and no laugh track. They also weren't pleased with the anti-consumerism message. They agreed to air it once believing that would be that. But it was a huge hit, and they've been airing it ever since.

** When "A Charlie Brown Christmas" won an Emmy for Outstanding Children's Program in 1966, only Lee Mendelson and Bill Melendez were called up to accept the award, but they made sure that Charles Schultz was with them to give the acceptance speech. Schultz's speech simply went, "Charlie Brown's not used to winning, so we thank you."

** The short was watched by over 15 million viewers when it first premiered in 1965.

Rudolph the Red Nosed Reindeer (1964)



** Copies of both the Santa and Rudolph puppets were recently found in storage in the attic of a woman that used to work for Rankin-Bass. The puppets were in remarkably good condition, considering it was estimated they were in storage since the late 1960s, with only a little yellowing of Santa's hair, beard, and white trim on his coat. The pair now travel the country to various trade shows and conventions.

** The reindeer Rudolph was actually created for Montgomery Ward's department store by employee Robert May in 1939 as part of an advertising campaign.

** In the feature film, Elf (2003), the elf costumes for Buddy (played by Will Ferrell) and the other elves, were modeled after the clothes the elves wear in this production.



ONTD, what's your favorite Christmas movie/special? Any that you still need to watch before the season's over?

SOURCES 1 | 2A | 2B | 3 | 4 | 5 | 6 | 7 | 8
Tags: 1960s, 1980s, 2000s, animation, film, holiday, old hollywood, ontd original, trivia
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