If you haven’t seen A Christmas Story, you haven’t experienced one of the greatest holiday traditions. The film, which plays every year for 24 hours straight on TBS, is one of the most beloved Christmas films ever. And it almost involved Jack Nicholson.
A Christmas Story is a 1983 Christmas film based on the short stories and semi-fictional anecdotes of author and raconteur Jean Shepherd, including material from his books In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash, and Wanda Hickey’s Night of Golden Memories.
Every year we watch Ralphie, played by Peter Billingsley, strive for the coveted Red Rider BB Gun, and be foiled by the secret message about Ovaltine. But the role of Ralphie’s was almost given to actor, Jack Nicholson. This is according to TBS, who says that he was offered the role and actually had interest in it. However, the producers were concerned that they might have to pay more for Nicholson to be in the film. With that in mind, they gave the part to Darren McGavin instead.
I think it is safe to say, A Christmas Story, would have been an entirely different feel of a film with Nicholson in it. One of the most remembered scene of the film involved Ralphie’s father. I don’t think the leg lamp scene could have been any better than it was with McGavin in the role.