A Christmas Story is one of the most popular Christmas movies of all times. It was shot in 1983, this semi-biographical film based on the short stories written by author Jean Shepherd in her books In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash and Wanda Hickey's Night of Golden Memories. It was released by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, which was one of the best studios during that time as well.
The story revolves around the tale of Ralphie Parker, who wants an “official Red Ryder, carbine action, two-hundred shot range model air rifle, with a compass in the stock and 'this thing', which tells time" and is quiet willing to take desperate measure and go to any lengths to get it despite the numerous strange adult admonitions of "you'll shoot your eye out." The rather interesting sub-blot involves Ralphie’s attempts at dealing with the neighborhood bully Scutt Farkus, played by Zack Ward.
The movie stars Darren McGavin, Melinda Dillon, Ian Petrella and Peter Billingsley. The movie was written by Jean Shepherd, Leigh Brown, and Bob Clark and directed by Bob Clark. Shepherd appears in the film in the department store scene, when he points Ralphie to the end of the line of kids waiting to see Santa. He also provides the movie's narration from the perspective of an adult Ralphie. This narrative style was later used in the dramedy The Wonder Years.
A Christmas Story In Popular Culture
The movie with the tag line Peace, Harmony, Comfort and Joy...Maybe Next Year, was at first overlooked as a regular kid’s movie when it was first released. A Christmas Story has become widely popular since and is now a perennial Christmas special. Turner Network Television owns the broadcast rights, and airs it 12 consecutive times over a 24-hour period every Christmas.
In the year 2000, an authorized stage play adaptation of A Christmas Story was written by Philip Grecian and is produced widely in the English-speaking world each Christmas season. In 2003, Broadway Books published the five Jean Shepherd short stories from which the movie and stage play were adapted in a single volume under the title A Christmas Story, with stories.
A movie sequel involving Ralphie and his family was later made with a different cast called My Summer Story. A series of television movies involving the Parker family, also from Shepherd stories, was made by PBS, including Ollie Hopnoodle's Haven of Bliss, The Great American Fourth of July and Other Disasters, and The Phantom of the Open Hearth.