7.9/10
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514 user 125 critic

A Christmas Story (1983)

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In the 1940s, a young boy named Ralphie attempts to convince his parents, his teacher and Santa that a Red Ryder BB gun really is the perfect Christmas gift.

Director:

Bob Clark

Writers:

Jean Shepherd (based on the novel "In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash" by), Jean Shepherd (screenplay) | 2 more credits »
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Popularity
256 ( 558)
3 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Melinda Dillon ... Mother Parker
Darren McGavin ... The Old Man Parker
Scott Schwartz ... Flick
Jean Shepherd Jean Shepherd ... Ralphie as an Adult (voice)
Ian Petrella Ian Petrella ... Randy
Tedde Moore Tedde Moore ... Miss Shields
R.D. Robb ... Schwartz
Zack Ward ... Scut Farkus
Yano Anaya ... Grover Dill
Jeff Gillen Jeff Gillen ... Santa Claus
Peter Billingsley ... Ralphie
Colin Fox Colin Fox ... Ming the Merciless (scenes deleted)
Paul Hubbard ... Flash Gordon (scenes deleted)
Leslie Carlson ... Christmas Tree Man (as Les Carlson)
Jim Hunter Jim Hunter ... Freight Man
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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 shoot 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:

'Tis better to give than to receive. See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Family

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Ralphie's father is never named. He is only referred to and credited as "The Old Man". See more »

Goofs

A Christmas Story was filmed in in 1983 but was set in the 1940s. Melinda Dillon's hairstyle in the film is factually incorrect. Rather than the rolled or pin curled sculpted and sleek styles of the 40's, Dillon sports a frizzy 1980's perm for the entire film. Even if a woman's hair was naturally curly, she would have pinned it up under a hair net or snood and she would not have worn frizzy bangs or kept her hair in the style Dillon wears throughout the film. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Ralphie as an Adult: [narrating] Ah, there it is. My house, and good old Cleveland Street. How could I ever forget it? And there I am, with that dumb round face and that stupid stocking cap. Oh, but no matter. Christmas was on its way. Lovely, glorious, beautiful Christmas, around which the entire kid year revolved.
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Crazy Credits

Above the MGM distribution logo at the end of the closing credits is the film's title See more »

Alternate Versions

Another fantasy of Ralphie's, in which Flash Gordon faces Ming the Merciless with the help of Ralphie and his Red Ryder BB gun, was deleted from the final cut. (However, credits for Flash Gordon and Ming the Merciless remain in the cast list of the closing credits.) See more »


Soundtracks

Romeo and Juliet Overture
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
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User Reviews

 
Just wonderful
23 December 2004 | by preppy-3See all my reviews

Nostalgic tale of a Ralphie Parker (Peter Billingsley) growing up in the 1940s (I believe). He wants nothing more than a Red Ryder Ranger Model Air Rifle (a BB gun for short) for Christmas but everyone tells him it will "shoot your eye out".

That's about it for plot but the film has sequences that every child (and adult) can relate to. My favorites: Ralphie's best friend getting his tongue stuck to a pole when he's dared to lick it; Ralphie accidentally swearing in front of his father; the bully that threatens Ralphie and his friends every day until Ralphie beats him up (in a GREAT scene); Ralphie's constant fights with his little brother (wonderfully played by Ian Petrella) and Billingsley and his brother being terrified by a department store Santa.

Also Melinda Dillon and Darren McGavin are just great as the parents-- especially Dillon. She has one uproarious scene where she gets Petrella to eat by imitating a pig! This was totally ignored when it came out in 1983 but has slowly developed a cult following. It's now considered one of the best Christmas movies ever made--right up there with "It's a Wonderful Life" (which was also ignored at its release).

A charming, wonderful Christmas film. A 10 all the way!


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

Warner Bros. DVD site

Country:

USA | Canada

Language:

English

Release Date:

18 November 1983 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

A Christmas Story See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$3,300,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$2,072,473, 20 November 1983

Gross USA:

$20,605,209

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$20,618,717
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Mono

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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