A Christmas Story

1983 Comedy

Nine years after the Yuletide slasher flick Black Christmas, Porky's director Bob Clark once again took on the holiday genre, switching from gasps to laughs with A Christmas Story. Adapted from a memoir by humorist Jean Shepherd (who narrates), the film centers on Ralphie Parker (Peter Billingsley), a young boy living in 1940s Indiana, desperately yearning for a Red Rider BB gun for Christmas. Despite protests from his mother (Melinda Dillon) that he'll shoot his eye out, Ralphie persists, unsuccessfully trying to enlist the assistance of both his teacher and Santa Claus. All the while, Ralphie finds himself dealing with the constant taunts of a pair of bullies and trying to not get in the middle of a feud between his mother and father (Darren McGavin) regarding a sexy lamp.

Director: Bob Clark

Starring: Peter Billingsley,Darren McGavin, Melinda Dillon, Ian Petrella


  • In short, A Christmas Story isn't just about Christmas; it's about childhood and it recaptures a time and place with love and wonder. It seems an instant classic, a film that will give pleasure to people not only this Christmas, but for many Christmases to come.

    Jay Carr - The Boston Globe

    29 November 2012

  • The cast is wonderful--especially McGavin, Billingsley and Petrella--the laughs are nonstop if rarely subtle, and the whole thing deserves to become a Christmastime classic.

    - TV Guide

    29 November 2012

  • The affection audiences feel for A Christmas Story is related to the holiday spirit, yes, but specifically to Clark and Shepherd's awareness of how the true meaning of Christmas manifests in the real world, where a warm meal on a cold, dark day-and a surprising moment of parental grace-can ease a troubled mind.

    Noel Murray - The A.V. Club

    29 November 2012

  • It is pitch-perfect, telling the story through the enthusiastic and single-minded vision of its hero Ralphie, and finding in young Peter Billingsley a sly combination of innocence and calculation.

    Roger Ebert - The Chicago Sun-Times

    29 November 2012

  • Though Mr. Billingsley, Mr. Gavin, Miss Dillon and the actress who plays Ralphie's school teacher are all very able, they are less funny than actors in a television situation comedy that one has chosen to watch with the sound turned off.

    Vincent Canby - The New York Times

    29 November 2012


  • Best Achievement in Direction

    Genie Awards (1984)

  • Best Comedy Adapted from Another Medium

    Writers Guild of America (1984)

  • Best Family Motion Picture - Musical or Comedy

    Young Artist Awards (1985)