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It is often ranked as one of the best Christmas films. It earned two Canadian Genie Awards in 1984 and in 2012 was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress for being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".
Some 8,000 actors auditioned for the role of Ralphie; "He walked in, and he had us from the beginning," Clark later recalled of Peter Billingsley who was already a successful actor in commercials and from co-hosting the TV series Real People.Ralphie's desire is rejected by his mother, his teacher Miss Shields, and even a Santa Claus at Higbee's department store, all giving him the same warning: "You'll shoot your eye out." Christmas morning arrives and Ralphie dives into his presents.Although he does receive some presents he enjoys, Ralphie ultimately is disappointed that he did not receive the one thing he wanted more than anything.Bob Clark states on the DVD commentary that he became interested in Shepherd's work when he heard "Flick's Tongue" on the radio in 1968.Additional source material for the film, according to Clark, came from unpublished anecdotes that Shepherd told live audiences "on the college circuit." Local references in the film include Warren G.
The schoolyard bully, Scut Farkus, was played by Zack Ward, now an actor, writer and director, who had actually been bullied himself while in elementary school.