Friday, November 16, 2012

The Katie-Bar-The-Door Awards (1983)

Does anybody else remember Jean Shepherd, the writer and radio raconteur whose short story collection In God We Trust (All Others Pay Cash) inspired the holiday classic, A Christmas Story? Believe it or not, there's a second movie based on one of Shepherd's stories floating around out there nearly as funny as that other, better known tale.

It's called Phantom of the Open Hearth and it showed up on PBS in the mid-1970s. Based on Wanda Hickey's Night of Golden Memories (And Other Disasters), it's the story of Ralphie Parker (yeah, the kid who wanted the Red Ryder BB gun), now a grown up eighteen years old preparing for the prom. He wants to invite Daphne Bigelow, the most beautiful girl in school, but winds up taking Wanda Hickey who wears thick glasses and smells vaguely of sauerkraut, but who sure is good at math! She's also willing to go with him, so she's got that going for her.

Along the way are a number of amusing episodes including the famous "leg lamp" business (a major award!) repeated in A Christmas Story, as well as two additional bits: the story of a neighbor who mail orders a do-it-yourself house from a kit (which people really used to do); and the continuing saga of the great dish giveaway at the local cinema, which turns into the gravy boat war for reasons I'll let you discover for yourself.

You can watch it right here if you want to:

Or you can just skip right over to the Katie Awards for 1983.

winner: The Right Stuff (prod. Robert Chartoff and Irwin Winkler)
Must-See Drama:

PICTURE (Comedy/Musical)
winner: A Christmas Story (prod. Bob Clark and René Dupont)
Must-See Comedy/Musical:

PICTURE (Foreign Language)
winner: El Norte (prod. Trevor Black, Bertha Navarro and Anna Thomas)
Must-See Foreign Language:

ACTOR (Drama)
winner: Al Pacino (Scarface)

ACTOR (Comedy/Musical)
winner: Eddie Murphy (Trading Places)

winner: Shirley MacLaine (Terms Of Endearment)

ACTRESS (Comedy/Musical)
winner: Julie Walters (Educating Rita)

winner: Philip Kaufman (The Right Stuff)

DIRECTOR (Comedy/Musical)
winner: Terry Jones and Terry Gilliam (The Meaning of Life)

winner: Sam Shepard (The Right Stuff)

winner: Linda Hunt (The Year Of Living Dangerously)

winner: Philip Kaufman, from the book by Tom Wolfe (The Right Stuff)


VKMfanHuey said...

I'm a pretty big MP fan, but...Meaning of Life...I...just guess I need to watch that one another time or two...I 'get' it, but... Holy Grail is a bit more 'palatable' for me... altho, the part where the Reaper breaks in on the dinner party is quite hilarious, to maybe there's hope for the rest of the film...

Have a great (and Gingery) weekend, MM!

Mythical Monkey said...

Meaning of Life is pretty uneven, I'll grant you that. I just think the good parts are very good ...