A Christmas Story
November 18, 1983 - 1 hr. 34 min.
Director - Bob Clark
Writers - Jean Shepherd, Leigh Brown, Bob Clark
Starring - Peter Billingsley, Melinda Dillon, Darren McGavin
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Read the Review by Keith Cheatham
Its finally here! The most wonderful day of the year! Christmas! It's been an incredible year, and an even more incredible month. Holiday movies have truthfully been quite overlooked by award fanfare and a certain mega blockbuster (Star Wars: The Force Awakens), but today is Christmas, and we'd like to show some respect to the films that celebrate our favorite Holiday. Now there are many great Christmas films, and we've reviewed a few, but one particular film finds its way to our TV screens every year, on Christmas Day, not once, not twice, but for a whole twenty-four hours. I speak of course of A Christmas Story. Why does this one film receive such an honor above others? Is A Christmas Story the quintessential Christmas movie? Well, maybe not in the classic sense, but there is a reason one of the film’s tag lines is: A Tribute to the Original, Traditional, One-Hundred-Percent, Red-Blooded, Two-Fisted, All-American Christmas...
Based off the memoirs of Jean Shepherd, who likewise narrates the movie as the adult Ralphie, A Christmas Story like other holiday classics before it, released and went away with little notice. People simply just weren't interested. It wasn't until home media release that people began to fall in love with the film. TV airings soon followed and now today we get a whopping 24 hours every year.
Clever writing from Jean Shepherd with witty dialogue and narration deliver the story of every American family that has ever been during Christmas, in one way or another. Classic lines, iconic scenes are only so because we have all been Ralphie at some point in our lives. We've all had some aspect of "the old man" as Ralphie calls his father, show up in our own fathers. A Christmas story is not the traditional supernatural spirit of Christmas film, because it is the traditional family Christmas on display if not a bit over exaggerated for film.
Directed and adapted by Bob Clark, who had already proven his comedic directing chops in Porky's; A Christmas story is smart funny and relatable. Acted out with a talented cast that deliver lines with perfect comedic timing, the film has plenty of dry wit to complement the antics and imagination of nine-year-old Ralphie. Not just a great Christmas movie, but a great family movie that resonates with all ages.
I give a Christmas story 4 out of 4 stars.