Thursday, December 25, 2008
The Leg Lamp
Screen Grab | The Leg Lamp
By Pilar Viladas (New York Times)
For sale: replicas of the kitsch leg lamp made famous by the film “A Christmas Story.”
I’ve long been a fan of the movie “A Christmas Story,” the tale of 1940s Midwestern childhood that opened in 1983 to lukewarm reviews, but which later became a cult classic.
Until recently, however, I was unaware that the film’s infamous leg lamp — a saucy light fixture shaped like a woman’s leg, complete with fishnet stocking and a fringed satin shade that suggests a World War II pinup girl’s undergarment — was anything more than an amusing/horrifying prop.
In fact, the Web site redriderleglamps.com sells replicas of the kitsch classic in several sizes, from a 50-inch floor model to a 20-inch desktop size. And for a (considerable) surcharge, die-hard fans can have the lamp shipped in a facsimile of the wooden crate marked “Fragile” that caused such a stir when it arrived at the home of the film’s 9-year-old protagonist, Ralphie, and which occasioned one of the film’s funniest lines.
Darren McGavin, who plays Ralphie’s perenially grouchy father, looks at the crate and says, “Fra-gee-lay … must be Italian!”
Brian Jones, the man who began making the leg lamps in 2003, also bought — for $150,00 on eBay in 2005 — the wood-frame house in Cleveland where “A Christmas Story” was made and opened it to the public; according to a recent story on cnn.com, 30,000 people a year now visit. There’s also a museum and gift shop across the street, where you can ogle the leg lamps in person.