A Christmas story

(Canscene) — Sometimes I think I’m the only person in the world at this time of year who refuses to view one more time the sacchariney It’s a Wonderful Life. But I rush to our TV whenever I get the opportunity to see A Christmas Story.

All of us in the business of writing about movies have our “10 best” lists for practically everything from the great movies to musicals to epics. But there are films produced with less ambitious motives, perhaps, that I can only class as “personal pleasures ”; and I can’t confine them to ten. High on the list, though, are Big Night, It’s Always Fair Weather, Bella (winner of the people’s choice award at this year’s Toronto International Film Festival) and A Christmas Story.

Written by raconteur Jean Shepherd who drew on his own experiences for his witty tales, A Christmas Story relates the all-too-human experiences of a Cleveland family in the late 30s as the holidays approach. Darren McGavin and Melinda Dillon and their kids, Peter Billingsley as Ralphie who desperately wants a Red Ryder Ranger air gun and his younger brother (Ian.Petrella). Throughout the film Ralphie is being warned “You’ll get your eye shot out, Ralphie!

A series of amusing and often hilarious sequence culminating in a disastrous Christmas dinner, this film was virtually ignored on its initial release but after achieving cult status is now generally recognized as one of the all-time classic Christmas films.

The Christmas Story House in Cleveland is now open

An interesting and topical footnote has been the grand opening in Cleveland of A Christmas Story House, now restored to its movie glory, on Saturday, Nov. 25. This was the house actually used as the movie set. Also opening directly across the street from the house is the official A Christmas Story House Museum, which features original props and memorabilia from the film, as well as rare behind-the-scenes photos.

One Response to “A Christmas story”

  1. Bill Says:

    A Christmas Story is a favourite of mine, too. Light, funny and good-natured.