I had never gotten around to watching this movie until just now. There's really no excuse for it either. Especially when TBS has made it a tradition to have "A Christmas Story" marathon for 24 hours straight starting on Christmas Eve. It's another film where I had seen bits and pieces but never the entire thing.
For anyone else who's been putting it off as well, the story is about 9-year-old Ralphie Parker who only wants one thing for Christmas: an official Red Ryder carbine-action 200-shot range model BB rifle with a compass in the stock. He becomes obsessed with it. Nevermind the fact that everyone reminds him he'll shoot his eye out. It doesn't sway his determination one bit.
This was made in 1983 but is set in the 1940s. This would have been back in the days when America was supposedly a more wholesome place. That's why when Ralphie unintentionally drops an F-bomb, everyone acts as though he's just committed blasphemy. True, no 9- year-old should be talking like that anyway but the overreaction it gets from these characters is priceless.
At one point, Ralphie blames one of his friends for his foul language, saying he heard it from him. In fact, he heard it from his father. Even the mom knows he heard it from that source because they have both heard him around the house cursing up in storm. Since she's in denial, she calls up the mother of Ralphie's friend. You can hear her beating her child senseless over the phone. That would have been acceptable in the 40s and even in the 80s when this was made. Nowadays, they'd call that child abuse. Too bad because that type of discipline is exactly what's missing today which explains why we have so many children growing up with no respect for authority.
It turns out Ralphie does get the BB gun afterall so there is a happy ending. Well almost. He does nearly shoot his eye out after the several warnings that he had dismissed. That was really his parents fault though. Why would you shoot at a target with an aluminum sign behind it? He should have went ahead and aimed at birds and animals like I did with my BB gun I had when I as a preteen.
I had already completed my top 12 list of Christmas movies before watching this one. I honestly didn't think it would be good enough to make the list and it turns out I was mistaken. "A Christmas Story" probably should supplant "The Preacher's Wife" in its #12 spot. Not quite good enough that it should be shown ALL day during Christmas, but I will cave and say it deserves to be a Christmas classic.
My rating: B+