Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Actor Paul Hubbard talks about lost scene from A CHRISTMAS STORY


Canadian actor Paul Hubbard on his role as "Flash Gordon" in the now lost cut scene from Bob Clark's classic film A CHRISTMAS STORY (1983).

Lost Forever?  The cut Flash Gordon sequence
TV STORE ONLINE:   Last year we spoke with actor Scott Schwartz, who played 'Flick' in A CHRISTMAS STORY and he had mentioned how the Flash Gordon scene that featured you was cut from the film, and that it is now lost....Do you know if it's out there anywhere?

HUBBARD:  I've heard the same thing actually.  I would really love to see that scene again.    I only saw it when Bob Clark screened the film for us before it was released.    I was shocked later on when I heard that it was cut out.   I'm hoping its not going to be one of those things where it resurfaces long after I'm gone.  

TV STORE ONLINE:  Can you take me through the scene?

HUBBARD:  Well, the producers threw a bunch of money at it.  They really spared no expensive.   The set was amazing. 

TV STORE ONLINE:  There's been a few pages of the script that have surfaced for the scene in recent years...

HUBBARD:   Right, Bob Clark really gave the scene with Flash Gordon an extra effort.   The costumes were incredible.  We actually did a couple different scenes for the film where I played Flash Gordon.  I don't know if it was a problem with the name "Flash Gordon" being unavailable for copyright reasons or if it was just for the sake of the movies duration, but, well...these things just happen.  Even though the scene was cut--my name was left in the end credits.   So the film has been good to me all of these years later even.  
Script page for cut scene with Hubbard as Flash Gordon

TV STORE ONLINE:  Did you have to audition for Bob Clark to play Flash Gordon?

HUBBARD:  I did.  I read a few times for it.  I was in my early '30s then and I was in good physical shape for it.  

TV STORE ONLINE:  Was the scene shot in Canada like other parts of the film?

HUBBARD: 
  We shot it on a stage in or around Scarborough, Ontario, Canada.

TV STORE ONLINE:   Do you recall anything about the type of direction Bob Clark offered you or the actor who played 'Ming' Colin Fox?   In the script is says, "When Flash Gordon sees Ralphie--tears come streaming down his face..."

HUBBARD:  You couldn't play it straight.  He was Flash Gordon, so he had to be heroic and bigger than life in his stature, but at the same time humble towards 'Ralphie'. Because he thanks Ralphie for saving the world!    I just walked that line when I was doing it.    I was really proud of the work actually and when I found out that the scene was cut--I was devastated by it.  It was a blow.

Photo from www.achristmasstoryhouse.com
TV STORE ONLINE:  Was Jean Shepard around for the shooting of the scene?

HUBBARD:  Oh yeah.    He was wonderful.  Same with Darrin McGavin and Melinda Dillion.

TV STORE ONLINE:   A great moment in the scene per the script page is where Ralphie shows up and Flash says, "Ralphie!  You've escaped the space crocodiles!"

HUBBARD: (Laughing):  That's right!  I remember that. You know I haven't seen those script pages since we shot that and I can still remember that dialogue... They had so many crazy things on that Flash Gordon set.  They had hand operated monsters.  It was fairly complicated actually.

Listen to the music from the scene:


TV STORE ONLINE:  You were tied up by tree branches that were in the shape of snake bodies...I believe in the script you're tied up to a Cobra tree...

HUBBARD:   (Laughing) That's right.   Yes.   That was really fun.

Interview Conducted By: Justin Bozung
For more with Paul Hubbard please visit his official website here.