A Christmas Story is far from a classic that I grew up with but over seas in the USA this is considered by many one of the most important and special holiday films by many people, the film is often played on a loop during Christmas Eve Television hours and to this day is still one of the most commercialised holiday films in the United States.
The film was based on an extract of the book “In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash” by radio comedian Jean Shepard, Shepard became well known for telling slightly fictionalised story’s from his childhood during 1960’s radio programmes.
One of these programmes discussed a boy getting his tongue stuck to a flagpole this inspired Bob Clark to write and direct the film with a similar moment of a boy Flick getting his tongue stuck to a flagpole becoming one of its most memorable scenes.
The film took place during the late 1940’s and focused on a young boy named Ralphie who is desperately trying to convince his parents and even Santa to get him the brand new Red Ryder BB Gun but everyone tells him “You’ll shoot your eye out kid”.
I think the movie holds such an impact because it is really relatable and nostalgic to a lot of viewers, it can connect with kids who really want that one present and as adults we remember that childhood desperation of getting the gift we wanted, personally I remember day dreaming over the PS2, the Xbox 360 a Birdhouse Skateboard and a puppy, the Christmas day we got our first dog is one of the best memories I ever had, my parents never wanted a dog and put off the idea for years so when he turned up on Christmas Day we were all crying, years of begging paid off and I got my late Labrador Alfie and he was my Red Ryder BB Gun.
The casting for the film is really great but I think props need to be given to the cast who play Ralphie and his family they give a really heartfelt and realistic portrayal of a family which doesn’t rely on stereotypical character types but in fact feels like the average household who will be watching the film.
I think everyone can relate to Ralphie we have all wanted our dream present at one point and in ways we can relate to the parents as adults with the struggles of allowing a dangerous toy into their home and also having to balance the costs and stresses of the holidays while taking care of two young boys, the fussy eating from little brother Randy is also a very real issue for a lot of children and parents.
Some of my favourite scenes in the movie also relate back to moments in my life from being terrified of dodgy mall Santa’s and displaying crappy awards and prizes that I never really cared about but kept because its free and of course getting my tongue stuck on a pole which I recall being extremely painful btw and I do not recommend.
I’m finding it difficult to deep dive too much into this film because I never grew up with it and while it connects with me in someways it has never made it into my regular Christmas movie marathon, I suppose I have never really cared much for a Christmas Story even though I respect it for a lot of it’s qualities and its strange because there isn’t much I dislike about the film if I had to be pick something the day dream segments can be a little bit cringe worthy but again they are very memorable moments in the movie
A Christmas Story may not be one of my personals favourite holiday movies but for a lot of people this is an essential part of the holidays which shouldn’t be missed and if you get the chance why not give it a try to see if you feel the same, the film has left a cultural impact for a reason and is overall a very good film which is well worth a viewing even if it is only once.
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