A Christmas Story by Jean ShepherdA beloved, bestselling classic of humorous and nostalgic Americana—the book that inspired the equally classic Yuletide film.
The holiday film A Christmas Story, first released in 1983, has become a bona fide Christmas perennial, gaining in stature and fame with each succeeding year. Its affectionate, wacky, and wryly realistic portrayal of an American family’s typical Christmas joys and travails in small-town Depression-era Indiana has entered our imagination and our hearts with a force equal to It’s a Wonderful Life and Miracle on 34th Street.
This edition of A Christmas Story gathers together in one hilarious volume the gems of autobiographical humor that Jean Shepherd drew upon to create this enduring film. Here is young Ralphie Parker’s shocking discovery that his decoder ring is really a device to promote Ovaltine; his mother and father’s pitched battle over the fate of a lascivious leg lamp; the unleashed and unnerving savagery of Ralphie’s duel in the show with the odious bullies Scut Farkas and Grover Dill; and, most crucially, Ralphie’s unstoppable campaign to get Santa—or anyone else—to give him a Red Ryder carbine action 200-shot range model air rifle. Who cares that the whole adult world is telling him, “You’ll shoot your eye out, kid”?
The pieces that comprise A Christmas Story, previously published in the larger collections In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash and Wanda Hickey’s Night of Golden Memories, coalesce in a magical fashion to become an irresistible piece of Americana, quite the equal of the film in its ability to warm the heart and tickle the funny bone.
From the Hardcover edition.
The Walton's Christmas movie, the homecoming
Full Cast & Crew
A sleeper of a movie, A Christmas Story forever changed the cozy, sentimental holiday-movie genre. In other words, what real Christmas was like in real families. It brought a bracing blast of satire and realism, wrapped up in a hilarious, pitch-perfect tale of a middle-class family negotiating the perils of Christmas, recalled through the eyes of a nine-year-old boy. McKee—aptly portrayed by Brian Cox in the satirical Charlie Kaufman film Adaptation —is something of a gruff guru in the art of storytelling. There is no new genre. There are comedies, dramas, and tragedy.
Over the years, this modest little movie has grown into a Yuletide perennial. One of the most beloved holiday movies largely owes its existence to an infamous, unabashedly crude teen comedy. Clark wound up driving around the block for almost an hour, glued to the radio until the program was over. At the time, he was a journeyman director who specialized in low-budget B movies. For years Clark tried to find a studio to finance the film. But none were interested. Which became a hit at the box office.
Peter Billingsley Ralphie Parker. As the dumb-lucked Ralphie Parker, Billingsley delieverd one of the most famous child actor performances in film history. The image of him, with glasses and a smile on his face, getting pushed down a long slide by the boot of a stern department store Santa Claus is indelible. Now: Billingsley has acted regularly his entire life, but much of his work recently has been on the other side of the camera. Darren McGavin Mr.
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Between the captivating storytelling, quirky characters, and overall filming style, A Christmas Story has stood out compared to several other similarly-styled Christmas movies. Much like other movies that are regarded as classics, A Christmas Story has a lot of fascinating trivia behind the movie that many people might not be aware of. There are many iconic moments in A Christmas Story , but among the most popular scenes is when Ralphie says fudge. While many child actors are forced to grow up too fast, Billingsley had to do something on the set of A Christmas Story that no actor should ever have to do. Most actors chew on black licorice to make it seem like they are chewing the same stuff Cowboys did, but the prop department on A Christmas Story gave the child actor something they legitimately shouldn't have.