A Christmas Story

Release Date: November 18th, 1983

DVD Release Date: October 29th, 1997

PG |1 hr 33 min

Plot Summary

Based on the humorous writings of author Jean Shepherd, this beloved holiday movie follows the wintry exploits of youngster Ralphie Parker (Peter Billingsley), who spends most of his time dodging a bully (Zack Ward) and dreaming of his ideal Christmas gift, a "Red Ryder air rifle." Frequently at odds with his cranky dad (Darren McGavin) but comforted by his doting mother (Melinda Dillon), Ralphie struggles to make it to Christmas Day with his glasses and his hopes intact.

Cast: Peter Billingsley, Darren McGavin, Melinda Dillon, Ian Petrella, Scotty Schwartz, R. D. Robb, Tedde Moore, Yano Anaya

Director: Bob Clark

Genres: Comedy , Children

Production Co: Metro Goldwyn Mayer, Christmas Tree Films

Distributors: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer

Keywords: Amusing , 1940s , Mother , Charming , Quest , Growing up , Father , Playful , Heartwarming , Brother , Son , Family

Ratings & Reviews

  • 100
    Jay CarrBoston Globe

    In short, A Christmas Story isn't just about Christmas; it's about childhood and it recaptures a time and place with love and wonder. It seems an instant classic, a film that will give pleasure to people not only this Christmas, but for many Christmases to come. [19 Nov 1983, p.1]

  • 100
    TV Guide Magazine

    The cast is wonderful--especially McGavin, Billingsley and Petrella--the laughs are nonstop if rarely subtle, and the whole thing deserves to become a Christmastime classic. show more

  • 88
    James BerardinelliReelViews

    It's those moments and others and the way they are tied together by Shepherd's tongue-in-cheek narration that cements A Christmas Story as one of those rare must-see holiday movies, even for those who don't celebrate Christmas. show more

See all critic reviews on metacritic.com