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A Christmas Story (1983)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Family  |  18 November 1983 (USA)
8.1
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Ratings: 8.1/10 from 98,618 users   Metascore: 77/100
Reviews: 451 user | 101 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.

Director:

Writers:

(based on the novel "In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash" by), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
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Cast

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 ...
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Storyline

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

Taglines:

A Tribute to the Original, Traditional, One-Hundred-Percent, Red-Blooded, Two-Fisted, All-American Christmas... See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Family

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

18 November 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Božićna priča  »

Box Office

Budget:

CAD 4,000,000 (estimated)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Further evidence as to the year of the film's setting comes from the decoder ring which has the year 1940 imprinted on its side. This can be seen when Ralphie is decoding the message in the bathroom. See more »

Goofs

The song on the blackboard under "name this tune" is Mary Had a Little Lamb. The last two notes on the line should be "G"s, not "F"s. See more »

Quotes

Narrator: Aunt Clara had for years labored under the delusion that I was not only perpetually 4 years old, but also a girl.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

"THIS TRANSFER IS DEDICATED TO 'POPPY' JOE BLUTH 1984." See more »

Connections

References Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) See more »

Soundtracks

O Christmas Tree
(uncredited)
Traditional
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


soap.

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.


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