A Christmas Story (1983)
December 25, 2014 1:08 PM - Subscribe

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. Directed by Bob Clark, written by Jean Shepherd (and adapted from his novels/memoirs and radio show) and starring Melinda Dillon, Darren McGavin, and Peter Billingsley.
posted by the man of twists and turns (13 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Watched again today - McGavin just kills it as the Old Man.
posted by Chrysostom at 8:59 PM on December 25, 2014 [4 favorites]

posted by Madamina at 9:43 PM on December 25, 2014 [2 favorites]

I love this movie, except for the end. The Chinese restaurant, the singing. It makes me cringe a thousand cringes.

But I love the Old Man's swearing, it's very satisfying. Try it. Rassafracking snarglebargen!
posted by tomboko at 4:34 AM on December 26, 2014 [4 favorites]

posted by Mr. Bad Example at 5:32 AM on December 26, 2014 [1 favorite]

For my money, this is the best Christmas movie of all. I can't think of another film or television program that so accurately recreates the world that children live in, getting but not quite getting the adult world around them, constructing their own elaborate fantasies about things like bad guys and radio (or TV, for those of us who came later) shows, dealing with the tribulations of school and bullies, and the machinations of Christmas. There's no hooey about Santa or "the magic of Christmas" or bullshit musical numbers. The parents are flawed people, but there's no doubt that they love their children, and Shepard's narration is like the stories my brothers and I now sit around and tell our kids about "The Old Man" they never got to know.

This year I watched one of the airings on TBS, but more often make the effort to dig out the DVD for the annual viewing so as not to miss any of it to "editing for time"
posted by briank at 3:53 PM on December 27, 2014 [2 favorites]

My favorite part of this movie is Mother Parker. I just love Dillon's performance. She makes it obvious that Mom just lets The Old Man think he's the brains of the operation.
posted by ob1quixote at 9:39 PM on December 27, 2014 [7 favorites]

I love this movie. It's totally unknown in the UK and I only learned about it when I spent Christmas in Ohio some years ago and found it streamed 24 hours a day on TCM. I bought the DVD and now watch it every Christmas. My friends here in the UK who've seen it at my house have also been charmed by it.

One of the biggest thrills of 2014 was visiting the Christmas Story house in Cleveland. It's in a pretty sketchy neighbourhood and I'm guessing at this time of year the tourist traffic must be pretty intolerable for local residents. But the museum is cool and (amongst other things) you can buy a leg lamp, a BB gun and a bunny suit in the store, as well as a t-shirt that says "Fa-ra-ra-ra-ra, ra-ra-ra-ra".
posted by essexjan at 5:22 PM on December 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

essexjan: “One of the biggest thrills of 2014 was visiting the Christmas Story house in Cleveland.”
That reminds me: Sitting in my Amazon queue for months has been A Christmas Story Documentary: Road Trip For Ralphie, which I held off watching until it was closer to Christmas. It's the story of a couple of huge fans making a pilgrimage to some of the locations in the movie. I should probably watch it before I have to wait until next Christmas.
posted by ob1quixote at 5:36 PM on December 31, 2014 [1 favorite]

I'm watching Road Trip For Ralphie right now. It's...it's probably worth what I paid for it (free with Prime).
posted by Chrysostom at 8:47 AM on January 1, 2015 [1 favorite]

My obligatory comment whenever the movie comes up is to say that it doesn't do justice to how enjoyable Shepherd's short stories are. They're really worth picking up, if for no other reason than the repeat appearances of the Bumpuses.
posted by phearlez at 8:40 PM on January 1, 2015

The marathon started, and it turns out this was just what I needed.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 6:52 PM on December 24, 2016 [1 favorite]

Watching the marathon again this year, dipping in and out. Perfect.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 10:07 AM on December 25, 2018 [1 favorite]

Even with so many of the cultural references having picked up an additional generation of age since I was his age, my kid still thought this was pretty hilarious.
posted by DirtyOldTown at 9:58 AM on December 19, 2022

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