What year is the Frankenstein mask in A Christmas Story (1983)?

Started by ravenloft, December 04, 2013, 12:09:05 AM

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I assume you are all familiar with this epic Christmas movie, and have watched it more times than you can count... but did you know there is a monster mask/head in it? What kind of Frankenstein Mask is in the movie?  I don't think it looks like Karloff maybe it is a Don Post Glenn Strange mask? Was such a mask available in the late 30's early 40's? I think it may be anachronistic for the time frame of the movie set in the late 1930's early 1940's.

The scene is near the end of the movie on Christmas morning during the presents...
While Ralphie and his little brother Randy tore into presents, or "We plunged into the cornucopia quivering with desire and the ecstasy of unbridled avarice," as Jean Shepherd eloquently narrates it, a Frankenstein mask is clearly visible in the wrapping paper refuse.

The best shots of the mask is after the initial unwrapping of gifts such as the bowling ball and zeppelin, and again just after the infamous pink bunny pajamas scene. Randy is asleep on the floor, the Frankenstein head is visible right above Randy's head as he lay there. The Frankenstein is only on screen for a mere moment just before Ralphie gets his "official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle, the holy grail of Christmas gifts," his "oiled blue steel beauty. The greatest Christmas gift I had ever received, or would ever receive." Ha! BB guns are a dime a dozen in value these days compared to a vintage Frankenstein mask!

It does not look like a Karloff Franky to me so best guess is a Don Post Glenn Strange mask? What is the earliest year such a mask could have been available?

The movie is tentatively set in the year 1939 due to the Wizard of Oz references and various things like the calendar on the wall during the first dinner sequence showing the first of December falls on a Friday. December 1st fell on a Friday in 1939. However the orphan Annie decoder pin is the 1940 deluxe speedomatic model and certain sports references (baseball and football) place it anywhere from 1941-1946. The vehicles are all late 30's; the old man's Oldsmobile is a1937 Model 6, four-door sedan.

Officially the movie has no specific year as
QuoteThe Director Bob Clark stated in the film's DVD commentary that he and author Shepherd wished for the movie to be seen as "amorphously late 30s, early 40s," but a specific year is never mentioned.

~edit~ mystery solved the mask is a Savage eye econo Frank made late 70's early 80's.

still interesting that the onscreen calendar date in the film (friday dec 1, 1939) contradicts the decoder pin (1940.) I think best to say late 1939-early1940 as best possible timeframe for the film based on memorabilia. Maybe ralphie got an early release of that 1940 decoder pin around Christmas? Are there any other anachronisms other than the franky mask and supposed mickey mouse?
While searching for a screenshot of the mask I found the thread on this topic here at UMA http://www.universalmonsterarmy.com/forum/index.php?topic=12154.0
well crap has everything under the sun already been talked about and there are no new topics for monsterphiles? back to the drawing board...

screen shot courtesy of monstermasks.blogspot.com from the film A Christmas Story MGM 1983


It is the Savage Eye brand mask.

It was made in the early 80s
"I don't want to live in the past. I just don't want to lose it."
     -The Two Jakes


I noticed it before, but for some reason, always thought it was the speaker head, not a mask.  Good photo


"Listen to them; the children of the night.  What music they make!"  Dracula




Quote from: jimm on December 25, 2013, 02:01:05 PM
Anyone else just let this movie run all day today?

Of course!!!  The only time it was off was when I was sleeping.
"Listen to them; the children of the night.  What music they make!"  Dracula