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Story

A Christmas Story is on its way to becoming an annual holiday classic, one to keep on the shelf with It's a Wonderful Life, the puppet-animated Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer, and A Charlie Brown Christmas. It may have been directed by Bob Clark (responsible for the Porky's pictures), but it's based on the childhood memoirs of humorist Jean Shepherd (from his hilarious book In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash). And it is Shepherd's wry, deadly accurate and gently nostalgic comic sensibility that shines through in this kid's-eye-view of an all-American Christmas in the 1940s. All little Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) wants under the tree on Christmas morning is a Daisy Brand Red-Ryder BB rifle. He not only wants it, he's consumed with an aching desire for it. Unfortunately, his mother (Melinda Dillon) repeatedly crushes his dreams with the familiar, harsh mantra: "You'll put your eye out!" Among the movie's highlights are a surrealistic visit with little brother Randy to a department store Santa, and the childlike mixture of delight, pride, and awe with which Ralphie's dad (Darren McGavin) takes possession of a spectacularly gaudy prize he's won in a radio contest. McGavin should have won an award for his splendid comic work as a middle-aged-kid-turned-patriarch who alternates between grownup temper tantrums and unabashed juvenile joy. --Jim Emerson

DVD Features

  • Audio commentary by Peter Billingsley, Melinda Dillon and director/co-writer 'Bob Clark'
  • Original readings by 'Jean Shepherd' , voice narrator of "A Christmas Story"
  • "Another Christmas Story" - documentary with cast members and director Bob Clark, narrated by Peter Billingsley
  • "Get a Leg Up and A History Of the Daisy Red Ryder" featurettes
  • "Triple Dog Dare" interactive trivia
  • Decoder Match Challenge

Cast

Melinda DillonMother Parker
Darren McGavinThe Old Man Parker
Scott SchwartzFlick
Tedde MooreMiss Shields
R.D. RobbSchwartz
Zack WardScut Farkus
Peter BillingsleyRalphie

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