Why I Still Enjoy A CHRISTMAS STORY

The New York Daily News had a nice "where are they now" feature about the cast of A Christmas Story. The movie has become a cult favorite since it was released in 1983, and it remains one of my favorite little holiday films. 

From the perfect narration (voiced by Jean Shepherd) to the awesome comic skills of the cast (Peter Billingsley as our bespectacled young hero, Darren McGavin as his gruff dad, Melinda Dillon as his mom, and others), the performances bring this unassuming motion picture to life.  Its honest humor about Christmas seen through the eyes of a constantly daydreaming boy continues to warm my heart every time I watch it.

Little Ralphie wants a Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas, but everyone, including the department store Santa, tells him that he'll shoot his eye out.  So he revels in self-pity, dreaming of himself as blind and then dead, the world grieving his loss and wishing they had treated him better in life.  The fantasy sequences are the best, as he imagines himself to be a Wild West sheriff or a hero protecting his home from masked, intruding robbers. 

The movie is filled with wickedly funny moments, such as Santa kicking Ralphie in the face, or one of his school buddies getting his tongue stuck on an icy pole.  Who can forget Ralphie's dad excited over a fishnet-stocking leg-shaped lamp arriving in the mail.  "Fra-GEE-lay.  That must be Italian!"

A few people might not appreciate the nostalgic charms of A Christmas Story.  It might be set in the 1940s, but its depiction of childhood during the holidays is universal, and that is what makes it endure all these decades later, and hopefully for years to come.

Comments

Anonymous said…
It's still one of my favorites, too. What a great film.
Leslie said…
I love this story especially the movie