MOVIEmeter
Top 500
Up 71 this week

A Christmas Story (1983)

8.1
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.1/10 from 94,596 users   Metascore: 77/100
Reviews: 438 user | 99 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 »
Watch Trailer
0Check in
0Share...

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Instant Video

Editors' Spotlight

Top 10 TV Shows

Brooke Anderson from "Entertainment Tonight" and Melanie McFarland take a look at the Top 10 TV Shows of 2014 in our new series "IMDb Countdown".

User Lists

Related lists from IMDb users

a list of 25 titles
created 19 Aug 2011
 
a list of 27 titles
created 08 Nov 2013
 
a list of 22 titles
created 8 months ago
 
a list of 31 titles
created 1 week ago
 
a list of 32 titles
created 1 week ago
 

Related Items

Connect with IMDb


Share this Rating

Title: A Christmas Story (1983)

A Christmas Story (1983) on IMDb 8.1/10

Want to share IMDb's rating on your own site? Use the HTML below.

Take The Quiz!

Test your knowledge of A Christmas Story.

User Polls

3 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

A Charlie Brown Christmas (TV Short 1965)
Animation | Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 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
Certificate: Passed Adventure | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Dorothy Gale is swept away to a magical land in a tornado and embarks on a quest to see the Wizard who can help her return home.

Directors: Victor Fleming, George Cukor, and 3 more credits »
Stars: Judy Garland, Frank Morgan, Ray Bolger
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
Drama | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.7/10 X  

An angel helps a compassionate but despairingly frustrated businessman by showing what life would have been like if he never existed.

Director: Frank Capra
Stars: James Stewart, Donna Reed, Lionel Barrymore
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
Adventure | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A classic fairy tale, with swordplay, giants, an evil prince, a beautiful princess, and yes, some kissing (as read by a kindly grandfather).

Director: Rob Reiner
Stars: Cary Elwes, Mandy Patinkin, Robin Wright
Animation | Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.5/10 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
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
Frosty the Snowman (TV Short 1969)
Animation | Short | Comedy
    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 6.3/10 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 | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.1/10 X  

Belle, whose father is imprisoned by the Beast, offers herself instead and discovers her captor to be an enchanted prince.

Directors: Gary Trousdale, Kirk Wise
Stars: Paige O'Hara, Robby Benson, Richard White
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
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
...
...
Jean Shepherd ...
Ian Petrella ...
...
...
...
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 ...
Edit

Storyline

Christmas is approaching and 9 year-old Ralphie wants only one thing: a Red Ryder Range Shot 200 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:

Sometimes Christmas is about getting what you really want. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Family

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
Edit

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  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

"Schwartz" says he's going to get his old man a "Flit gun" for Christmas. A FLit gun is a hand-pumped sprayer that resembles a coffee can attached to a bicycle pump, used to spray insecticide, specifically Flit insecticide made by the Esso company (now Exxon.) Flit guns were used in comedy routines by the Marx brothers, and mentioned in Ernest Hemmingway's "Islands in the Stream." See more »

Goofs

As the workers are bringing the crate into the house the is a rope tied around the crate. Once they get it into the house the rope is no longer there. The exterior shot was done in Cleveland and showed a rope, while the interior shot was done in a Toronto studio weeks later. See more »

Quotes

Ralphie as Adult: Round One was over. heh heh. Parents one, kids, zip. I can feel the Christmas noose beginning to tighten. Maybe, what happened next, was inevitable.
Mother: Ralphie, what would you like for Christmas?
Ralphie as Adult: Horrified, I heard myself blurt it out!
Ralphie as Adult: I want a Red Ryder carbine action two-hundred shot range model air rifle. Oooooooh!
Mother: No, you'll shoot your eye out.
Ralphie as Adult: Oh no! It was a classic, mother BB-gun block. "You'll shoot your eye out!" That deadly phrase honored many times by hundreds of mothers was not ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

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

Connections

Referenced in Clarkworld (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Little Orphan Annie
Music by Joe Sanders (as Joe L. Sanders)
Lyrics by Gus Kahn
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Christmas Classic
8 December 2005 | by (Overland Park, KS) – See all my reviews

A Christmas Story touches my heart as does no other film, and I know the reason for this is because it reminds me so much of my own 1950's boyhood. For sure it strikes a nerve in persons of my generation. This is Bob Clark's masterpiece and I know I am not the only person who feels this way.

I am going to assume that, if you are reading this, chances are you have seen the film; indeed, probably have seen it countless times as I have. This is not a film review in the normal sense. It is more a reminiscence and appreciation of a great story captured for all time in moving pictures which, in turn, captured the essence of the time and place of its setting; that time and setting being a typical town in Indiana during Christmas season in the 1940s as we observe a typical family (the Parkers) with two young sons named Ralphie and Randy.

Most of us over the age of 50 can relate very well to the story's key elements. I recall vividly family outings to crowded downtown sidewalks, Mom and Dad squeezing in a season's worth of shopping in one day and doing it under the nose of one who had a visit to Santa Claus on his mind. Staring at the prominent HIGBEES sign in the downtown square, I could almost see the words John A. Brown in its place. Browns was the main department store in my hometown of Oklahoma City and the place where I would make my annual visit with Santa Claus.

I am sure most who have seen the film realize this is Ralphie's story, but Melinda Dillon as the typical 1940's stay-at-home mom and Darren McGavin as the grumpy but kindly father made the story work. The stove in the Parker's kitchen reminds much of the one my grandmother had, and the rest of the house reminded me of the home my other grandparents lived in. As you see, viewing A Christmas Story is always a magical experience for me. It is almost as if Mr. Clark made this film with Tom Fowler in mind.

There are so many comments to make. It will be impossible to relate them all in a short review, but here are some that I know people my age will be most familiar with:

Beautiful toys displayed in department store windows. The agonizingly long wait for toys ordered via mail and learning too late they are not quite what was expected. The excitement of buying a Christmas tree, the joy of setting it up and how much bigger Christmas trees seemed then. Neighborhood bullies who were not nearly as tough as they seemed. Ralphie wanting a BB gun more than life itself. Mom covering trouble for Ralphie to his dad, and the same mom making him eat soap for uttering words -- learned from Dad. Randy sitting underneath the kitchen sink when depressed. A panicky visit to a tired Santa. An unwanted gift from a well-meaning aunt. The furious unwrapping of gifts on Christmas morning. I could go on and on. I will make two more observations and then will sign off and let somebody else speak.

In the film's sweetest scene, we see Dad coming through for his son at the last possible moment. To see the look on young Ralphie's (ably played by Peter Billingsley) face as he unwraps his best and last gift is one of filmdom's true golden moments.

But, for me the best moment was the last. Ralphie is in bed at film's end. We see snow outside and Ralphie dreaming of his wonderful gift, as the story's author and narrator Jean Shepherd, speaking as the grown up Ralphie, realizes this was the best Christmas he ever had, or ever would have.

If you are middle age or older and have not seen A Christmas Story, you are perhaps unaware that you have cheated yourself. Buy or rent the 2003 20th anniversary DVD. It will be the best money you spend this Christmas -- or any Christmas.


60 of 74 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
The Wonder Years maxi13
ACS Countdown 2014 duval7
Something always bugged me... MitchellsDad
Christmas Tree? duval7
OH.... FUDGE!!! mjhayde-95-50666
What does the Old Man get for Christmas? Peyton_Farquhar
Discuss A Christmas Story (1983) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page