Director: Bob Clark
Writers: Jean Shepherd, Leigh Brown & Bob Clark
Stars: Melinda Dillon, Darren McGavin, Peter Billingsley, Scott Schwartz, Jean Shepherd (voice), Ian Petrella, Tedde Moore, R.D. Robb
Runtime: 1 hr 34 mins
Let’s get in that festive spirit! But don’t shoot your eye out.
Last year I did a whole advent calendar of Christmas movie reviews (you can see them here) but this year I only have one for you. I mean, I don’t have many films left to choose from. A Christmas Story is a film I have never seen until now. The film follows a kid Ralphie (Peter Billingsley), living in the 40s, who really wants a Red Ryder B.B. Gun for Christmas. So we just watch him go about his days as he tries to convince everyone around him that they should get him one. It’s a brilliantly simple premise and it’s executed wonderfully well.
The story is told from the child’s perspective which could make the film tough for adults to watch but it’s quite the opposite. It’s got wit, intelligence, and edge and it had me laughing consistently all the way through. The main character of Ralphie is iconic both because of those brilliant glasses and because of the young innocence the film subverts. Peter Billingsley gives a child performance to remember while Jean Shepherd’s narration of his thoughts add an extra comedic layer.
There are plenty of other characters around Ralphie that help build the many hilarious moments of the film like the school bully and his teacher. The film is something you can tell didn’t take itself seriously and I doubt it knew it would have become such a Christmas classic. Yet it has. And it might have the best mall Santa scene ever put to film. Bad Santa might not even be able to beat it. I certainly am happy I finally watched this film because it’s one of the best to watch to get excited for that big day tomorrow.
Summary: With the Christmas spirit in hand, A Christmas Story doesn’t shy away from more grown up jokes while it still manages to be family friendly and great fun for everyone.
Best Performance: Peter Billingsley
Rotten Tomatoes: 89%
-Written by Greg Warne