Based upon the novel by Jean Shepherd “In God We Trust, All Other Pay Cash,” A Christmas Story is Shepherd’s recollection of the Chrismas holiday circa early-1940s Indiana.
The movie chronicles Ralphie’s (Jean Shepherd) attempts to secure a BB gun for Christmas, his idea of the ultimate Christmas gift. Of course all the adults respond with “you’ll put your eye out with it.”
As Ralphie contends with school, bullies, and adults who don’t understand his desire for a BB gun, the film is a wonderful slice of life in depression-era America. Particularly funny is when Ralphie drops the f-bomb in front of his father. When Ralphie’s mother asks indignantly where he had heard it, adult Ralphie says:
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] Now, I had heard that word at least ten times a day from my old man. He worked in profanity the way other artists might work in oils or clay.
But young Ralphie, in a moment of panic (unjustly) rats out a friend, who gets severely punished by his mother. And Ralphie gets his mouth washed out with a bar of soap for his troubles.
The movie is perfectly cast with Peter Billingsley as Ralphie, Darren McGavin as his father and Melinda Dillon as his mother.
Worth a look if you like warm, sentimental holiday movies.
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