A Christmas Story

Release Date: November 18th, 1983

Rating: PG

Running Time: 1 hr. 33 min.

Directed By: Bob Clark

Cast: Peter Billingsley, Melinda Dillon, Darren McGavin, Ian Petrella, Scott Schwartz, R.D. Robb, Tedde Moore, Zack Ward

FILM INFORMATION

All Ralphie Parker wants for Christmas is a Red Ryder BB Gun and tries to get his parents, his teacher, and even Santa onboard with the idea.

After his mother and teacher both tell him he’ll shoot his eye out with the gun, he figures Santa is his last hope. When Ralph and his younger brother, Randy, visit Santa at the mall, Ralph mistakenly asks for a football instead. When he blurts out what he really wants, he is disappointed when Santa tells him “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid.” At this point, Ralph isn’t really having too much high hopes for his ultimate Christmas present until Christmas morning comes.

THOUGHTS

This is the one movie I make sure to sit down and watch every holiday season as it is one of my personal favourites. There are a lot of people that dislike it for the fact that it is constantly shown on television. Even TBS shows a 24 hr. marathon of it for Christmas. Being someone that enjoys the movie, I do completely agree it is way overplayed and there are definitely better holiday films out there.

The movie focuses on the Parker family. We never learn what Ralph’s parents names are which I have always wondered but it isn’t a huge detail in the movie. It focuses on Ralph and his quest for the Red Ryder BB gun. Along the way, we see his adventures with his friends and family, along with how he tries to the adults to see why he wants the gun. He also comes into contact with the local bullies and we see his interactions with them.

During a bet, one of Ralph’s friends sticks his tongue to a pole at school and the fire department and police have to come and help him out. As children, we all have heard the tale of how if you stick your tongue to something outside in the winter, it will stick but it didn’t seem possible (but of course it was). It just surprised me that the movie didn’t have them pour hot water on the pole to let his tongue free.

I love the scene where Ralph has had a terrible day and is slushied in the face by a snowball, thrown by Scut Farkus. Normally, Ralph is terrified of Scut and would take a beating but he is full of rage and lets Scut know it. Ralph’s mother comes to the rescue which causes Ralph to see his mother in a new light.

When Ralph and Randy visit Santa at the mall, they don’t quite get what they bargained for. Instead of the holly jolly Santa, they get a cranky one who is kind of a jerk to all the children. Even the elves are a little creepy. Another thing is that once the children are done with Santa, one of the elves chuck them done a slide which I have personally never seen before. While Ralph is waiting in line, he comes across a strange boy who constantly smiles at Ralph and tells him that he loves everything… such as Santa and The Wizard of Oz.

Ralph’s father is a bit of a potty mouth when he gets angry. We see this when he is trying to fix the furnace. The words are all jumbled together so you can’t understand what he is saying, but you can still tell. This comes into play later when Ralph helps his father with a spare tire and after the bolts go flying from Ralph’s hands, he says “Oh fuuuuuuuuuuuuuudggggggggggge” expect he didn’t say “fudge”. When asked where he heard that from, he lies and says one of his friends told it to him.

A part of the movie that most people know is the leg lamp. Ralph’s father wins in from a contest and he is instantly in love with it. The mother however hates it and wants it destroyed. After she accidently hits it and it falls and shatters, the Father is furious and tries to put it back together, without much hope. He ends up burying it in the backyard and the sound of “Taps” can be heard in the background.

While Ralph’s mother is preparing the turkey, the neighbours dogs break into the house (they are constantly seen with Ralph’s father, who hates them) and eat the turkey. The family have no other choice but to go to a Chinese restaurant for Christmas dinner which causes a lot of laughs for the family.

The movie is a memorable one for me. I grew up with it and still love it to this day. It isn’t the most amazing movie in the world, but I still really enjoy it. I always find myself laughing at scenes in the film even after having watched it so many times.

FINAL RATING 

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