The best Christmas story ever told

Unlike most Christmas movies, which have come and gone for the past 30 years, “A Christmas Story” remains a staple for most families during the holiday season. In fact, the only other movie that can compare to its enduring appeal would have to be “It’s A Wonderful Life.” And even that movie doesn’t get the annual 24-hour nonstop marathon of cable stations that “A Christmas Story” enjoys.

The popularity may have to do with its deep-seated nostalgia that appeals to all ages. This is something that no other Christmas movie can claim. And although the film takes place in the 1940s, many people (young and old) see it as a reflection of their own memories of what Christmas was like for them. This universal appeal is at the heart of this film’s success.

Based on the short stories from the books “In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash” and “Wanda Hickey’s Night of Golden Memories” by humorist Jean Sheppard, the main plot of the film revolves around a 9-year-old boy named Ralph ” Ralphie” Parker. , living in a city in Indiana. Played to perfection by Peter Billingsley, Ralphie desperately wants a 200-round carbine-action Red Ryder model air pistol with a compass in his stocking for Christmas.

However, Ralphie is frustrated throughout; first by his mother, then by his teacher, and then even by Santa Claus himself. Everyone tells him “No, you’re going to gouge out your eye.” Through all of his efforts: from writing an essay, to subtle hints at his parents, to pleading with dear ole Saint Nick, it seems that Ralphie was destined not to receive what he most desperately wants. But all is not lost, Ralphie’s attempts are finally successful and his father comes to the rescue.

The other people in Ralphie’s life are his stubborn, whiny little brother Randy, who likes to hide in closets when things get scary. His friends Flick and Schwatz, who have an epic showdown with each other in the schoolyard, this really hilarious incident that ends in a “triple dog challenge” and firefighters arriving to peel Flick’s tongue off a flagpole . To add to his problems, Ralphie has to fend off a bully, Scut Farfus, seemingly every school day.

The film is made up of short vignettes that can stand on their own; be it Ralphie’s slip of the dreaded F-word, “The Old Man’s” battles with the oven, going to the Christmas tree lot, and of course Ralphie’s dreams. They all add up to tell a funny and moving story that brings back memories of one’s own childhood. Forcing everyone to say at some point in the film: “That happened to me.”

The entire cast is near perfect. The most prominent are Darren McGavin as The Old Man, Ralphie’s Dad and Melinda Dillon as Mrs. Parker, Ralphie’s mom. Although he has great affection for his family, Ralphie’s dad doesn’t always show it. Most of the affection is doled out by his mother, which more than makes up for his sometimes absent-minded father. We soon realize that Ralphie’s dad is really just a big boy; he’s so excited to win a big prize that he can’t wait to see what he’s like, like an excited kid dying to see what’s under the Christmas tree on Christmas day. In this case the prize is a tacky leg lamp with silk stockings.

This is just one of the pleasant surprises in this very funny and heartwarming film that is sure to bring a smile to the viewer’s face again and again. Even the most Scrooge-like will find it hard not to be moved by the endearing story of Ralphie and his search for a Red Ryder BB gun. This is a movie that gets better and better with each viewing. It is definitely worthy of claiming the title of “The Greatest Christmas Story Ever Told.”

A Christmas Story (Ultimate Collector’s Edition) is now being released on Blu-ray Disc, marking the 25th anniversary of its original release. It’s not just a Christmas classic that everyone should see, but a great movie that will make you laugh and remember a simpler time when you were a kid. I highly recommend this movie to be a part of everyone’s movie collection.

Video: The VC-1, 1080p encoded 1.85:1

Sound: Dolby Digital

Additional features:
– audio commentary with star Peter Billingsley and director Bob Clark
– five-minute glimpse into the present that Ralphie covets, “A History of the Daisy Red Ryder”
– a feature film called “Another Christmas Story”
– 4 minute video called “Get a Leg Up”
– Script Pages
– a trailer
– fake commercial for leg lamp

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