I haven't watched Bob Clark's terrific "A Christmas Story" in a couple of years, so today my wife and I, our 7 year old son and my Mom and Dad threw it on after a fine Christmas Eve dinner. It was probably my favourite viewing of it so far...
Of course, having my son chuckle at some of the silliness (the pink bunny outfit, the Chinese turkey, etc.) certainly helped, it was also seeing the late Darren McGavin's grumpy father character again. Especially when my own Dad was there shaking with laughter at "the old man's" tussles with the furnace.
As the older Ralphie says in the narration, "My father worked in profanity the way other artists would work in oils or clay". McGavin splurts out rafts of nonsensical verbage, but punctuates it in such a fashion as to make it believably profane. Here's some of his best passages (as best as I could cobble together):
- Toot, blurb rattle fras camel flurt! You blotter battle feast jerk up brat! Omyvon sak von ratter bottom botter...
- You polly wop wapner! Drop dumb fratenhaus sticklefeiffer!
- You bladder puss snotgrafter! You wort mon dang noodle. You shotten shifter pastafer! You snort tunger, lay monger sniker shell cocker!
Now that's some holiday cheer.
Have a great holiday and a Merry Christmas...
This really is one of the best Christmas movies, ever. I'm impressed at your translation of the gibberish! I wonder what the rehearsals for the film were like :)
i believe in the commentary peter billingsley recalls being coached in what to say during his own "speaking in tongues" scene. i wonder if its written at all in the screenplay?
Shannon, I think that my translation could probably be reinterpreted in many, many different ways...Except for "fratenhaus sticklefeiffer". He says that twice and seems to really mean it!
shahn, I still haven't listened to that commentary, but I'm quite curious to do it now. Billingsley may have had an even more impressive string of verbage, but I gotta hand it to McGavin for his emphasis. I tried putting the subtitles on during those scenes, but no luck (wouldn't that have been great!).
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