Monday, December 28, 2009

"A Christmas Story" Detail You May Have Missed

I was watching A Christmas Story for the 85th time on Christmas day, and I noticed something interesting (to me, anyway).

At the end when the Parkers go out for Christmas dinner, there's a brief establishing shot of the Chinese restaurant where they eat. The sign on the door reads, "Bo Ling & Sons." Above that is a large neon sign that reads "Bowling," but the "W" is burned out, so that it also now reads "Bo Ling," the name of the owner.

Apparently at some point in the Christmas Story universe, Mr. Ling bought a neon bowling sign to put on his restaurant and disconnected the "W" so that it would read as his name. A very obscure little joke, and a nice bit of detail on the part of the film makers.

Another nice touch: note that if you look closely at the window of the restaurant you can see that Ralphie and his family are really sitting inside. Apparently they filmed this scene on location, not on a set.


  1. Never noticed that. That's pretty cool.

  2. I asked Mei to translate the Chinese characters and she said it's difficult to see clearly but she's 70% sure it says:

    Bai Shou Tu (100 years life)

    That's reading it from right to left.

    I guess even though he has one name in English he doesn't necessarily have to have the same name in Chinese.

  3. She says "Tu" means a picture or a drawing, so it's a like having an artwork that illustrates long-life-lucky-wish to someone. It was difficult for her to explain, and difficult for me to understand.

  4. She's 70% sure, eh? Well, I guess those are pretty good odds.

    Also, if I remember right, chop suey isn't an authentic Chinese dish. It was supposedly invented in America by Chinese immigrants.


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