“I want an official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle with a compass in the stock and this thing that tells time!”
“You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.”
Humorist Jean Shepherd’s memoirs of his youth in the early 1940′s were compiled into a Christmastime feature in 1983, with Shepherd himself as the off-screen narrator. The result was a film that may have looked and sounded like a period piece, but A Christmas Story‘s nostalgic wit turned it into an undeniable, modern-day holiday classic. Let’s take a look back at this beloved film.
Young spectacle-wearing Ralphie only wants one thing for Christmas: a Red Ryder BB gun, and he’s determined to get it. That’s the simple version of the story, but the film is most memorable for its series of loosely-connected comic episodes: Ralphie’s confrontations with neighborhood bully Scott Farcus (“He had yellow eyes!”), The Old Man’s struggles with the neighbor’s rambunctious dogs and with the family furnace, kid brother Randy’s refusal to eat, buddy Flick sticking his tongue to a freezing flagpole on a triple-dog-dare, the parents’ fight over a sexy lamp, Ralph’s accidental use of the F-word (not actually spoken in the film) and too many others to mention.
The small-budget, unheralded film didn’t make much of a splash in its initial release, but the ensuing years brought it an overwhelming popularity, leading to annual television airings and voluminous videocassette and DVD sales. The side-splitting yin to It’s A Wonderful Life‘s heart-tugging yang, A Christmas Story has earned its place as a Christmas tradition.
Does A Christmas Story bring back memories of your own family Christmas from yesteryear? Did you also beg your parents for BB gun? Ever get your tongue stuck on something cold? Share these (and any other) memories you have of this charming holiday film in our comments section, as we tip our hats to Ralphie and the gang for the many laughs they’ve provided us over the years.