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A Christmas Story (1983)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Family  |  18 November 1983 (USA)
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 99,571 users   Metascore: 77/100
Reviews: 452 user | 102 critic | 8 from

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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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


'Tis better to give than to receive. 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?


According to director Bob Clark, Jack Nicholson was given the script and was very much interested in the role of Mr. Parker, "The Old Man". However, Clark didn't learn of this until later and the studio didn't want to pay Nicholson's fee anyway, which would have doubled the budget. Regardless, Clark said that Darren McGavin was still the better choice and was born to play the role. See more »


When Scott Farkus surprises Ralphie and crew by hanging down from the crawling bars, the tail on his cap changes from hanging down to tucked into his coat depending on the shot. See more »


Ralphie: Mom, this is just the same dumb old parade as last year.
Mother: Ralphie, will you please calm down?
Ralphie: Mom!
Mother: Hush!
Mr. Parker: SHUT UP, Ralphie!
See more »

Crazy Credits

"Ming the Merciless" and "Flash Gordon" are listed as characters despite being cut from the general release. See more »


References Annie (1982) See more »


I Guess I'll Have to Dream the Rest
Music by Harold Green
Lyrics by Martin Block and Mickey Stoner
Performed by Sammy Kaye and His Orchestra
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

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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