Up 388 this week

A Christmas Story (1983)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Family  |  18 November 1983 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.1/10 from 100,049 users   Metascore: 77/100
Reviews: 453 user | 104 critic | 8 from Metacritic.com

Ralphie has to convince his parents, his teacher, and Santa that a Red Ryder B.B. gun really is the perfect gift for the 1940s.



(based on the novel "In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash" by), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

3 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Animation | Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A grumpy hermit hatches a plan to steal Christmas from the Whos of Whoville.

Directors: Chuck Jones, Ben Washam
Stars: Boris Karloff, Thurl Ravenscroft, June Foray
A Charlie Brown Christmas (TV Special 1965)
Animation | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Repelled by the commercialism he sees around him, Charlie Brown tries to find the true meaning of Christmas.

Director: Bill Melendez
Stars: Ann Altieri, Chris Doran, Sally Dryer
Animation | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A misfit reindeer and his friends look for a place that will accept them.

Director: Larry Roemer
Stars: Billie Mae Richards, Burl Ives, Paul Soles
Elf (2003)
Comedy | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

After inadvertently wreaking havoc on the elf community due to his ungainly size, a man raised as an elf at the North Pole is sent to the U.S. in search of his true identity.

Director: Jon Favreau
Stars: Will Ferrell, James Caan, Bob Newhart
Frosty the Snowman (TV Movie 1969)
Animation | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A living snowman and a little girl struggle to elude a greedy magician who is after the snowman's magic hat.

Directors: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr.
Stars: Jackie Vernon, Billy De Wolfe, Jimmy Durante
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

When a man inadvertantly kills Santa on Christmas Eve, he finds himself magically recruited to take his place.

Director: John Pasquin
Stars: Tim Allen, Judge Reinhold, Wendy Crewson
Animation | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

When a weary and discouraged Santa Claus considers skipping his Christmas Eve run one year, Mrs. Claus and his Elves set out to change his mind.

Directors: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr.
Stars: Shirley Booth, Mickey Rooney, Dick Shawn
Animation | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A mailman reveals the origin of Santa Claus.

Directors: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr.
Stars: Fred Astaire, Mickey Rooney, Keenan Wynn
The Sandlot (1993)
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A new kid in town is taken under the wing of a young baseball prodigy and his team. Together, they get themselves into many adventures involving rival teams, lifeguards, and a vicious dog.

Director: David M. Evans
Stars: Tom Guiry, Mike Vitar, Patrick Renna
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

When a nice old man who claims to be Santa Claus is institutionalized as insane, a young lawyer decides to defend him by arguing in court that he is the real thing.

Director: George Seaton
Stars: Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O'Hara, John Payne
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (TV Special 1973)
Animation | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Peppermint Patty invites herself and her friends over to Charlie Brown's for Thanksgiving, and with Linus, Snoopy, and Woodstock, he attempts to throw together a Thanksgiving dinner.

Directors: Bill Melendez, Phil Roman
Stars: Todd Barbee, Robin Kohn, Stephen Shea
Animation | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The Peanuts gang celebrates Halloween while Linus waits for the Great Pumpkin.

Director: Bill Melendez
Stars: Peter Robbins, Christopher Shea, Sally Dryer


Cast overview, first billed only:
Jean Shepherd ...
Ian Petrella ...
Tedde Moore ...
Yano Anaya ...
Jeff Gillen ...
Colin Fox ...
Ming the Merciless (scenes deleted)
Flash Gordon (scenes deleted)
Leslie Carlson ...
Christmas Tree Man (as Les Carlson)
Jim Hunter ...


Christmas is approaching and 9 year-old Ralphie wants only one thing: a Red Ryder Range 200 Shot BB gun. When he mentions it at the dinner table, his mother's immediate reaction is that he'll put his eye out. He then decides on a perfect theme for his teacher but her reaction is like his. He fantasizes about what it would be like to be Red Ryder and catch the bad guys. When the big day arrives he gets lots of present under the tree including a lovely gift from his aunt that his mother just adores. But what about the BB gun? Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Peace. Harmony. Comfort and Joy... Maybe Next Year. See more »


Comedy | Family


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

18 November 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Božićna priča  »

Box Office


CAD 4,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Film debut of Zack Ward. See more »


In the two scenes when Ralphie is checking the mail in the mailbox, the mailbox's red flag is in the "up" position, indicating there is mail to be picked up. It is assumed Ralphie is checking the mailbox after mail has been delivered, in which case a postal carrier would move the flag to the "down" position after placing mail in the mailbox. See more »


Mrs. Parker: Randy, will you eat? There are starving people in China!
Randy: [groans and shoves spoon into his mouth]
See more »

Crazy Credits

Early home video copies contained the following text immediately after the end credits:



Referenced in The Tonight Show with Conan O'Brien: Episode #1.13 (2009) See more »


Chicken Reel
Written by Joseph M. Daly
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

A timeless Christmas film
22 December 2003 | by (Oregon) – See all my reviews

"A Christmas Story" is a rare film about children yet for adults. While kids will definitely enjoy this Christmas-themed saga, adults will find a deeper level of depth than they may remember from seeing the film at a younger age.

The movie strikes a sharp contrast between the exaggerated, polysyllabic narration of Ralphie, filled with nostalgia and lucid memories, and the soft, high-pitched childlike wonder of Ralphie's spoken word. The narrator is clearly not the same character as the one portrayed on film, but a character wholly outside the story, reliving his childhood emotions and anecdotes. Yet he is the heart of the film, the true center of gravity. This is because the movie is not about a scary Santa Clause and a BB gun - it's about childhood memories and the feelings they evoke. To that end, "A Christmas Story" is flawless.

"A Christmas Story" tells of the epically materialistic journey of Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) as he searches for the golden, upheld idol of all red-blooded American boys: A Red Rider Air Rifle. Ralphie spins an intricate web of cunning and deceit as he plots to get his hands on it - including an essay, a trip to Santa Claus and more. The movie also shows us a glimpse of his family - his irritable, foul-mouthed father with a good heart, his whiny brother Randy, and his sweet, all-American mother. It is not so much a continuous story as a series of vignettes, but it ultimately serves the movie's purpose.

This is a funny film. The narration by Jean Shepherd is filled with love for this story. He absolutely captures the emotions and logic of childhood. In a subtle but amusing moment, Shepherd intones the incomparably eloquent pouring forth of thought into writing - only to have Billingsley note in his awe-filled, high-pitched voice that "I think everyone should have a Red Rider BB gun. It's very good for Christmas." (paraphrased). Most of the humor is similar - the natural exaggeration of a child as expressed by Shepherd's consistent string of hyperbole.

Also, there's a reason why it's played constantly on cable TV throughout the Christmas season - it's a movie everyone can relate to. There are moments of such pure truth here that few can deny their power. I'm sure that there is a scientific law left unwritten that determines that every kid must at some point fantasize about his parents feeling absolutely terrible and forever regretting some unutterable punishment they inflicted on their child

  • in this case, the immortal washing of a mouth out with


Obviously, "A Christmas Story" is not a film that can be compared to Casablanca or Citizen Kane. It simply excels at its simple goals, and comes together as an extraordinarily entertaining piece of cinema.

90 of 108 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
ACS Marathon Countdown 2015 duval7
Who else saw this movie in theaters? Dr Wily
Little Pictures (Pitchers)? Mphotog
Discuss A Christmas Story (1983) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page