23 Dec 2015

CHRISTMAS MOVIES - A Christmas Story (1983)

Films have formulas and rules, but how well do Christmas movies follow those formulas?

"Christmas was on its way.  Lovely, glorious, beautiful Christmas around which the entire kid year revolved."

A Christmas Story (1983) is a film about a child's view of Christmas in the 1940s.

The following may contain spoilers for

A Christmas Story (1983)


"In our world you were either a bully, a toadie or one of the nameless rabble of victims" ~ Adult Ralphie.
  • Someone Who Hates Christmas - No one seems to hate Christmas.
  • Someone Who Inflicts Christmas Cheer on Others - No one forces Christmas cheer on others..
  • Precocious Kids - Ralphie, but he is the main character.  His little bother Randy counts and most of Ralphie friends as well.
  • Bullied Kid - Ralphie, his little bother Randy counts and most of Ralphie friends as well.
  • Silver-haired joval old person - Does not appear.
  • Someone with a secret - Does not appear.
  • Stressed Young Female - Does not appear.
  • The Single - Does not appear.
  • Someone Career Obsessed - Does not appear.
  • Grumpy Old (usually) Man - The Old Man is usually grumpy.
  • Sassy Old (usually) Woman - Does not appear.
  • An Inappropriate Santa Impersonator - The Higbee Store Santa.


"Only one thing could drag me away from the soft glow of electric sex gleaming in the window." ~ Adult Ralphie.
  • No sex or nudity, it's a kid's film.  There is a leg lamp, which is pretty hot.  Or bound to be if it's left on too long.


"Aunt Clara had for years labored under the delusion that I was not only perpetually 4 years old, but also a girl." ~ Adult Ralphie.
  • Mostly a simple family Christmas, no "gathering" as no one's left the home.  Santa isn't real and none of the traditional stories are used.


"There has never been a kid who didn't believe vaguely but incessantly that he would be stricken blind before he reached 21, and then they'd be sorry."  ~ Adult Ralphie.
  • A bitter-sweet family drama-comedy: a nostalgic look at childhood with mini-daydream sequences.


"Let's face it, most of us are scoffers. But moments before zero hour, it did not pay to take chances." ~ Adult Ralphie.
  • Ugly Christmas sweaters - Beyond the ugly sweater, is the pink bunny suit.
  • Pulling Santa's beard - No one pulls Santa's beard.
  • Carolers - Do not appear.
  • Some kind of competition - The Old Man enters competitions in the newspaper.  It's how he won the leg..
  • Mistletoe - Does not appear.


"Don't anybody move! Hold it right there! The fuse is out." ~ The Old Man.
  • Christmas lights - Does not appear.
  • Not walking out after a fight with family - Does not appear.
  • Last minute gift purchasing - Does not appear.
  • Assembling Christmas gifts - Does not appear.
  • Cooking - No cooking issue, but the neighbour's dogs get in and destroy Christmas dinner before it can be eaten.
  • Attempts to get home for Christmas - Does not appear.
  • Christmas tree - Flat tyre and a blown fuse.


"Some men are Baptists, others Catholics; my father was an Oldsmobile man." ~ Adult Ralphie.
  • Religion is mentioned once and not in relation to Christmas.


"Next to me in the blackness lay my oiled blue steel beauty. The greatest Christmas gift I had ever received, or would ever receive. Gradually, I drifted off to sleep, pranging ducks on the wing and getting off spectacular hip shots." ~ Adult Ralphie.
  • Snow:  Some snow throughout, but a particularly icy wonder land on Christmas morning and the parents watch it snow Christmas night at the end.
  • Grump-No-More:  The Old Man mellows for Christmas.
  • Santa is Real:  Doesn't happen.
  • The Unexpected Extra Guest:  No guest, then end up being refuges in a Chinese.
  • Wisdom From an Unexpected Source:  Doesn't really happen.
  • The Single Will Find Love: No singles.


"That Christmas would live in our memories as the year we were introduced to Chinese turkey. And all was right in the world." ~ Adult Ralphie.
  • Family - Not outright stated, but heavily implied.
  • Miracles - No Christmas miracles.
  • It's the thought that counts - Not stated.


"Mom, this is just the same dumb old parade as last year." ~ Ralphie.
  • A Christmas Story is based on the stories of Jean Shepard and is based on the same material as 1976's The Phantom of the Open Hearth.
  • It has two sequels with mostly new casts, It Runs In The Family (1994 aka My Summer Story)  and A Christmas Story 2 (2012).
  • PBS has also done a series of telemovies based on Shepard's stories.

~ DUG.
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