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A Christmas Story (1983)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Family  |  18 November 1983 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 100,203 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 »
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3 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »



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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


Sometimes Christmas is about getting what you really want. 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
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Did You Know?


In 2012, a staged musical adaptation of this movie opened on Broadway. One of the co-producers was Peter Billingsley, who as a child played the lead role of Ralphie in the movie. As an adult, Billingsley transitioned into producing such movies as The Break-Up (2006), Four Christmases (2008), and Iron Man (2008). "A Christmas Story: The Musical!" was the first stage play or musical he produced. See more »


When the kids are gazing into the store window Christmas display, the Raggedy Ann and Andy dolls are Knickerbocker Toy Company dolls from the 1970s. See more »


[Ralphie is visiting Santa at the department store, only he can't remember what he wanted]
Santa Claus: How about a nice football?
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] Football? Football? What's a football? With unconscious will my voice squeaked out 'football'.
Santa Claus: Okay, get him out of here.
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] A football? Oh no, what was I doing? Wake up, Stupid! Wake up!
Ralphie: [Ralphie is shoved down the slide, but he stops himself and climbs back up] No! No! I want an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle!
Santa Claus: You'll ...
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Crazy Credits

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



Referenced in Psych: Gus's Dad May Have Killed an Old Guy (2007) See more »


Music by Alphons Czibulka
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Pure joy!

How difficult is it to perfectly capture nostalgia? It must be pretty darn difficult or else everyone would make movies like this. It may not be absolute perfection but Jean Shepherd, Bob Clark and the outstanding cast came as close as anyone here.

Creating a story centered around nostalgia is a tricky thing as the memories that creates it are unique to each of us. The themes, however, are similar and that's where the success lies.

I didn't want a Red Ryder BB gun when I was that age but my Christmas wish was just as fervent and I schemed just as hard as Ralphie. The bully at my school didn't have yellow eyes but he was pretty much like Scut Farkus. And so on, from the fantastically flawed parents to the pop-heroes, A Christmas Story captures it all.

Truly wonderful.

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