A Christmas Story (1983)
A Christmas Story speaks to the youth in all of us. We all at one time lived and breathed a desire for a certain Christmas gift. For Ralphie Parker, played by a young (and probably not a friend of Vince Vaughn yet) Peter Billingsley, there is only one thing on his mind. An official Red Ryder Range Model 200 shot Air Carbine with a compass in the stock and this thing that tells time. That is the only thing Ralphie wants and will do anything to accomplish this goal.
This excellent story is written by Jean Shepherd and directed by Bob Clark, who also directed Porky’s (1982). Supposedly the success of Porky’s allowed Mr. Clark to make Christmas Story, and probably would not have been made otherwise. A Christmas Story takes place in the fictional town Hohman, Indiana but was actually filmed in Cleveland, Ohio and Ontario, Canada.
The plot follows Ralphie as he must overcome protective parents, a cynical teacher, and an overworked department store Santa, all who fear “you will shoot your eye out!” Despite a spoiled little brother, doubting friends, neighborhood bullies Scut Farkus and Grover Dill, marauding bandits, mouth washings with soap, and desperate visits to Santa, Christmas morning finally arrives. After much desperate unwrapping of gifts and the resignation that there would be no BB gun, Ralphie’s father finally presents him with the gift. While this is not the end of the movie, I would not want to spoil it for you, but if you have ever wanted anything desperately as a child, this is the movie for you. It ends with the narrator stating “Next to me in the blackness lay my oiled blue steel beauty. The greatest Christmas gift I had ever received, or would ever receive. Gradually, I drifted off to sleep, pinging ducks on the wing and getting off spectacular hip shots.”
Should you think its strictly about Ralphie you would be wrong. We get to see plenty of Ralphie’s old man Mr. Parker ( Darren McGavin) as he battles his Oldsmobile and furnace.
Click here for furnace battle! ( You may have to hit page back to go back to review)
We also get to see the rewards of his continuous attempts to win contests, when he finally wins a “major award”.
Also enjoyable in the movie is Ralphie’s mother, Mrs. Parker (Melinda Dillon) as she struggles to raise her two children and tolerate the eccentric behavior of Mr. Parker. Listen to Ralphie tell his Mom what he wants for Christmas
This is a movie you don’t have to wait until Christmas to see as it is more a people story than a seasonal story even though it’s “A Christmas Story”.