When "A Christmas Story" came out in 1983, many movie theaters didn't even bother showing this now-classic tale about Ralphie and his burning desire for a Red Ryder BB gun. It wasn't until the movie hit the home market that families began including "A Christmas Story" in their holiday traditions. Word of mouth and VHS tapes made the film a classic, and now it's pretty much impossible to make it through the season without seeing at least a glimpse of that frozen flagpole scene, or Ralphie sliding away from Santa in that overly crowded department store as he desperately tries to deliver his Christmas wish list.
The same is true of another beloved holiday movie. When "It's a Wonderful Life" was released in 1946, it did so poorly at the box office that the studio didn't even break even. It took 30 years for fans to catch on to the wonder of George Bailey's story, thanks to TV stations airing the film during the holidays. It turns out that the most iconic Christmas movies take some time to catch on!
By 1997, cable network TNT was airing 24 hours of "A Christmas Story" to appease eager fans. The marathon moved to TBS in 2004 and has consistently received impressive ratings, with millions tuning in to each airing to bask in the feel-good nostalgia of the film as seen through the eyes of young Ralphie. Yet even watching this flick for 24 hours straight won't reveal all of its secrets. Check out this gallery of trivia and tidbits you might not know about "A Christmas Story."