So, we’re well over half way into the Halloween to Christmas Countdown, so it times for a genuine slice of Americana.
And today it’s…
2nd December, Day 33
A Christmas Story (Bob Clark, 1983)
In the run up to Christmas, there is just one present that Ralphie (Peter Billingsley) wants – the Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle. He plans on strategically dropping it into conversation to ensure his parents get him the right gift. However his mother (Melinda Dillon), the Santa in the shop, and even his teacher tell him that it’s not an appropriate present for a boy, and that he will “shoot his eye out”.
Ralphie is desperate to be a good kid to make sure he gets the Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle. This involves him trying to avoid the school bullies, making sure he does all his school work, and most importantly not swear in front of his mother! Will Ralphie get the Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle?
Based on a book of anecdotes by Jean Shepherd (who also narrates as adult Ralphie), A Christmas Story is a slightly strange beast, as we drop in on Ralphie and his family for this Christmas and get totally immersed in their lives. The story of Ralphie and his longing for the Red Ryder Carbine Action 200-shot Range Model air rifle is brilliant, but this film is so much more than just that. The small moments are fantastic, like his mother dressing up his little brother to go out in the cold, or trying to get him to eat his dinner for once. And when you have watched as many Christmas films as I have, making any moment memorable is an impressive feat!
Although the film is set sometime around 1940, and is now 30 years old, this is truly timeless. It is shown on a 24 hour loop ever Christmas on TNT (or TCM) in America, and I can see why. Jean Shepherd just became an author I need to find out more about!
Overall, I give this:
Just a fantastic slice of entertainment. It perfectly captures that childlike enthusiasm of waiting for your presents at Christmas.
Well, that was entirely too heart-warming. Time to mix it up tomorrow with the utterly reprehensible Billy Bob Thornton performance in BAD SANTA!
Until next time, stay gold, Ponyboy, stay gold. See you soonish.
PS Here’s my list so far
31st October, Day 1: The Nightmare Before Christmas
1st November, Day 2: Rocky IV
2nd November, Day 3: Edward Scissorhands
3rd November, Day 4: Trading Places
4th November, Day 5: Batman Returns
5th November, Day 6: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang
6th November, Day 7: Gremlins
7th November, Day 8: Eyes Wide Shut
8th November, Day 9: Love Actually
9th November, Day 10: Lethal Weapon
10th November, Day 11: Die Hard / Die Hard 2
11th November, Day 12: About A Boy
12th November, Day 13: Trapped In Paradise
13th November, Day 14: Reindeer Games
14th November, Day 15: Joyeux Noel
15th November, Day 16: Nativity / Nativity 2 / Nativity 3: Dude, Where’s My Donkey?
16th November, Day 17: Jack Frost
17th November, Day 18: Jack Frost
18th November, Day 19: Arthur Christmas
19th November, Day 20: The Santa Clause / The Santa Clause 2 / The Santa Clause 3
20th November, Day 21: Miracle On 34th Street
21st November, Day 22: Miracle On 34th Street
22nd November, Day 23: Scrooged
23rd November, Day 24: Scrooge
24th November, Day 25: The Muppet’s Christmas Carol
25th November, Day 26: Elf
26th November, Day 27: Home Alone / Home Alone 2
27th November, Day 28: The Grinch
28th November, Day 29: Black Christmas
29th November, Day 30: Jingle All The Way
30th November, Day 31: Rare Exports
1st December, Day 32: Polar Express
2nd December, Day 33: A Christmas Story