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Last Update: 04-24-2016
The Phantom of the Open Hearth
December 23, 1976
"Phantom of the Open Hearth" premiered on December 23, 1976 on PBS This was the first movie produced from the stories Shep told and paved the way to the classic "A Christmas Story" with the famous leg lamp story.
Funded by: Corporation for Public Broadcasting National Endowment for the Arts Ford Foundation
Additional Comments:
Written and narrated by Jean Shepherd, the early working title for this movie was "That Great Inverted Bowl of Darkness" (See title page from early script below) Not available for purchase - Resides in WGBH library

Production Information:
Studio / Network: Created for KCET's "Visions" series, a coproduction of The Television Laboratory at WNET and the New Television Workshop.
Director: Fred Barzyk, David Loxton
Asst Director:
Producer: Fred Barzyk, David Loxton
Executive Producer:
Running Time: 75 minutes
Related Plots / Story Lines and Other References Used
Links to Further Information:
• New York Times Review - December 19, 1976

July 10,1975
Jean Shepherd Returns - The Daily Times News

Courtesy: Steve Glazer

Ref to orig title of Phantom of the Open Hearth - Rob't Service Album notes.

December 23,1976
NY Times Ad

December 23,1976
NY Times Review

December 23,1976
1st Page of Early Script - Orig Title

February 1977
Literary Cavalcade

Courtesy: John O


David Elliot (Ralph)

James Broderick (The "Old Man")

Barbara Bolton (Mom)

Adam Goodman (Randy)

Bryan Utman (Schwartz)

William Lampley(Flick)

Carlton Power (John)

Steven Nuding (Halfback)

Tobi Pilavin (Daphne Bigelow)

Roberta Wallach (Wanda Hickey)

Ed Huberman (Uncle Carl)

David Pokat (Sherby)

Chris Clark (Gertz)

Joe Mayo (Awkie)

David Howard (Zudock)

James Bonnel (Delivery Man)

Frank Dolan (Mr Doppler)

Joey Faye (Al)

John Peters (Morty)

Andrea McCullough (Clara Mae)

Peter Graham (Budge)

Sol Schwade (Waiter)

Leigh Brown (Lovely Arlita)

Shep introducing the plot

The Orpheum

Dish Night

Flying Saucer?

Dissatisfied Customer

Major Award

It's a...

It's a Leg...

It's a Leg Lamp

Everyman's Dream

and nightmare

A little glue

Bullet hole?

No Problem!

The Sears house kit

Box number what?

Easy directions

Where's the john?

Right Here

Playing baseball for United Brethern

Out of hand

Bless this mess

The Red Rooster

Leigh Brown as Arlita

Deleted Scene