Maltin said there is a sad postscript to “A Christmas Story.” “(Clark) and all the principals were ready to make a sequel called `A Summer Story’ but the studio hemmed and hawed and wouldn’t give the go-ahead,” he said. “By the time he got to make it (1994’s `It Runs In the Family’), he had to recast, and lightning did not strike twice.” In all, Clark directed 30-plus films, including the horror cult classic “Black Christmas,” which recently was remade, as well as the box office hit “Baby Geniuses” in 1999, which spawned a widely panned sequel “Sugar Babies: Baby Geniuses 2” in 2004. While he was at the helm of the 1984 megabomb “Rhinestone,” which paired Sylvester Stallone with Dolly Parton, and such silly fare as “The Karate Dog,” Clark also directed Jack Lemmon to an Academy Award nomination in 1980 for his performance in “Tribute” and was behind the camera for the respected drama “Murder By Decree” starring Christopher Plummer, John Gielgud and Donald Sutherland. “It looks like he at times was a director-for-hire and would do films that, to stay the least, aren’t stellar,” Hollywood Reporter film critic Kurt Honeycutt said. “It’s a very unusual mix of films.” While “Porky’s” certainly didn’t win any Oscars, it was a major box office hit and led to several sequels. At the time of his death, Clark had continued to work steadily and had a trio of films in the preproduction stage. The crash shut down PCH between Temescal Canyon Road and Sunset Boulevard until 10:40 a.m., causing a massive traffic jam for commuters. The LAPD is looking for witnesses to the crash, and asks anyone with information to call the West Traffic Division at (213) 473-0222. The Associated Press contributed to this report. [email protected]
(818) 713-3758160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Nava and his passenger, Lydia Mora, 29, suffered minor injuries and were treated at a local hospital. Nava, who remains hospitalized, was arrested on suspicion of gross vehicular manslaughter and driving under the influence of alcohol. Clark was a prolific director, writer and producer during his more than 40-year career. But 1983’s “A Christmas Story” was far and away considered his artistic high point. “For me, the pinnacle of his career was `A Christmas Story,’ which was one of those rare movies you can say is perfect in every way,” said film historian and critic Leonard Maltin. “A Christmas Story” starred Peter Billingsley as a young boy named Ralphie Parker, who was determined to get a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. It was adapted from the book of short stories by humorist Jean Shepherd called “In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash.” The movie was not an immediate hit at the box office, but word-of-mouth was strong and it was re-released into theaters a year later. It has since enjoyed a long afterlife on television and video and was recently released as a deluxe DVD edition. Filmmaker Bob Clark, director of the classics “A Christmas Story” and “Porky’s,” and his son were killed early Wednesday when their car collided head-on with a vehicle driven by a wrong-way drunk-driving suspect. Clark, 67, was driving south on Pacific Coast Highway near Bay Club Drive in Pacific Palisades when his 1997 Infiniti sedan was hit by a swerving 2007 GMC Yukon with Hector Velazquez-Nava, 24, behind the wheel, authorities said. Velazquez-Nava was driving without a license northbound in the southbound lanes while under the influence of alcohol, said Los Angeles police Lt. Paul Vernon. Clark and his 22-year-old son, Ariel Hanrath-Clark of Santa Monica, were pronounced dead at the scene, according to the Los Angeles Police Department.