Wednesday, December 8, 2010

#5 Holiday Movie - A Christmas Story

A Christmas Story starring Peter Billingsley, Melinda Dillon, and Darren McGavin: Storyline from Ralphie, a young boy growing up in the '40's, dreams of owning a Red Rider BB gun. He sets out to convince the world this is the perfect gift. But along the way, he runs into opposition from his parents, his teacher, and even good 'ol Santa Claus himself.

A Christmas Story [Blu-ray]Now that we are in the top five of my holiday list, it’s time to get serious—or not. Coming in at #5 is A Christmas Story starring Ralphie. In order to be in the top five, the movie has to be rich in great lines, and this movie serves them up in heaping servings:

“You’ll shoot your eye out?” (referring to Ralphie’s request for a Red Ryder rifle for Christmas)

“It’s a major award?” (the leg lamp)

“Nobody move. We’ve blown a fuse.” (Ralphie’s father)”

“Ohhhhhhhh fudge! But I didn’t say fudge.” (earning Ralphie a bar of soap in his mouth)

Then there are the visuals: Santa pushing Ralphie down a slide, the lamp in the window, the neighbor’s dogs eating Christmas dinner, Ralphie in a bunny suit, Flick’s tongue stuck to a light pole, and on and on.

Although Jean Shepherd, the screenwriter, was from a generation earlier than my own, a lot of it resonates. The appliances in the Parker kitchen were very like the ones my mother cooked on, and my mother dressed like Mrs. Parker. I can picture black electrical tape wrapped around the tree lights and a spark or two when the circuit was overloaded. I knew kids stupid enough to do what Flick did, and I have personally tasted Dial bar soap for back talking my mother. And Christmas was cold. Not Great Lakes kind of cold, as in the movie, but cold enough.

This is a great family movie, and one that my husband and I enjoyed watching with our two daughters throughout their childhood and as recently as last year.


  1. Mary, I'm not sure this one made it across the Atlantic. I don't think I have ever heard of it. Your description makes it totally alien to our British understanding. Generally we are pretty tuned into Americanisms over here.
    BB guns??????????????

  2. HI Tony, This truly is the quintessential American movie. BBs are the pellet that go in the Red Ryder rifle. Watch the trailer, and it may become clearer to you. You've gotta love it.

  3. This is my DH's favorite, I think. We watch it every year too, and I even have a leg-lamp ornament that lights up. Electric sex on the the tree. Gotta love it.

  4. Hi Mary. That is hilarious that we both posted about this film on the same day. You are a kindred spirit!

    I may have to go on ebay and see if I can find a light up leg lamp ornament like Jennifer has. I love the sound of that!

  5. I adore A Christmas Story! I watch it every year--my brother and I always loved the leg lamp unveiling when we were growing up. Fraageelay!