Monday, December 21, 2009

Movie of the Week

This Merry Week,


Starring- Darren McGavin, Melinda Dillon, Peter Billingsley

There is a reason that this movie is played for 24 hours on Christmas- it is awesome. This small budget effort, based on the short stories of Jean Shepherd, has become an American institution since it was made in 1983. The story focuses on Ralphie Parker, a boy who wants a Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas, and who will stop at nothing to get one- even though everyone says that "He'll shoot his eye out." Even though this is the central thrust of the film, the real charm comes from the portrayal of the life of a midwestern family during the depression. It is a nice encapsulation of a simpler time when kids listened to the radio for fun, milk was the operative beverage and dads were referred to as "the old man."

This movie is rife with memorable scenes and lines that I find myself quoting as soon as the calendar turns to December. The best thing about A Christmas Story is that everyone in the family can enjoy it and relate to it. We can all remember a Christmas when we were young when there was one toy that we wanted more than anything, just like Ralphie's blue steel beauty, and how sweet it was when we woke up to find it under the tree. Ralphie is the every-kid, and even if we never heard Little Orphan Annie or watched our friend stick his tongue to a frozen lamppost, we had similar experiences. I wonder what people did before this movie came out, and then I thank the filmmakers for getting this film in the can the year I was born.

Things to watch for-

Flick (He became a porn star)
The Bumpis Hounds
The Old Man's major award
This thing which tells time
Chinese Turkey

"Oh, Fudge."

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