Little-Known Facts About Your Favorite Christmas Movies

Stacy Conradt at @Mental_floss came up with a great list of interesting facts about Christmas movies:

In the animated film, the Grinch was voiced by Boris Karloff

Here are a few of my favorites, along with my own bits of trivia:

It’s a Wonderful Life

  • This heartwarming, innocent movie was put in an investigative FBI file in 1947, when an analyst suggested that the film was an attempt to discredit bankers, which was believed at the time to be a “common trick used by Communists.”
  • The muppets Bert and Ernie from Sesame Street got their names from the cop and the taxi driver in this movie.
  • At the beginning of the movie, Clarence can be seen reading “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer”

Miracle on 34th Street

  • Unbeknownst to parade-goers, the Santa Claus featured in the real 1946 Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade was Edmund Gwenn, the actor who played Santa in the movie. He even spoke from the marquee of Macy’s when the parade ended to open the “official” Christmas shopping season, and was even introduced by the actor who played the owner of Macy’s.  It might be the first example of viral marketing in history!
  • When Dr. Pierce explains Kris’ belief that he is Santa Claus, he offers for comparative purposes a Hollywood restaurant owner who believes himself to be a Russian prince despite evidence to the contrary, but rather conveniently fails to recall the man’s name. This was a reference to an actual person: Michael Romanoff, owner of Romanoff’s in Hollywood.

A Christmas Story

  • Ralphie says he wants a Red Ryder BB gun 28 times during the course of the movie.
  • Mythbusters tested whether it was possible to get your tongue truly stuck on a piece of cold metal. Their conclusion?  Myth: confirmed.  So don’t try this at home, kids.
  • Nine years before making this movie the director, Bob Clark, created a very different holiday film: the horror movie Black Christmas

National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

  • The grandfather of assistant director of Christmas Vacation, Frank Capra III, was the legendary Frank Capra, who directed It’s a Wonderful Life.   Also, Russ is watching It’s a Wonderful Life on TV when his grandparents arrive.
  • There are more coincidences: during the scene when the police storm into the Griswold’s house, the song “Here Comes Santa Claus” sung by Gene Autry is used for the background music. Randy Quaid (cousin Eddie) is the third cousin of Gene Autry.

Home Alone

  • Macaulay Culkin still has physical evidence of Kevin McAllister – in the scene where Harry bites Kevin’s finger, Joe Pesci bit harder than he’d intended and left Mac with a scar.
  • The car that ”Santa” (the guy Kevin talks to about getting his family back) owns before it stalls out is a 1980 Honda Civic hatchback.  It actually did stall on camera as the actor was driving it away.

Click through to the original article to see the full list!

* * * * *
What’s your favorite Christmas movie? Know any festive trivia about the film?
Also, a bonus question!  Be careful answering, because it’s trickier than you think.  In the story “A Christmas Carol”, how many ghosts visited Ebenezer Scrooge?