Up 388 this week

A Christmas Story (1983)

PG  |   |  Comedy, Family  |  18 November 1983 (USA)
Your rating:
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 -/10 X  
Ratings: 8.1/10 from 100,109 users   Metascore: 77/100
Reviews: 453 user | 104 critic | 8 from Metacritic.com

Ralphie has to convince his parents, his teacher, and Santa that a Red Ryder B.B. gun really is the perfect gift for the 1940s.



(based on the novel "In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash" by), (screenplay), 2 more credits »
Watch Trailer
0Check in

Watch Now

From $2.99 on Amazon Video

3 wins & 11 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Animation | Short | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

A grumpy hermit hatches a plan to steal Christmas from the Whos of Whoville.

Directors: Chuck Jones, Ben Washam
Stars: Boris Karloff, Thurl Ravenscroft, June Foray
Animation | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A misfit reindeer and his friends look for a place that will accept them.

Director: Larry Roemer
Stars: Billie Mae Richards, Burl Ives, Paul Soles
A Charlie Brown Christmas (TV Special 1965)
Animation | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Repelled by the commercialism he sees around him, Charlie Brown tries to find the true meaning of Christmas.

Director: Bill Melendez
Stars: Ann Altieri, Chris Doran, Sally Dryer
Elf (2003)
Comedy | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

After inadvertently wreaking havoc on the elf community due to his ungainly size, a man raised as an elf at the North Pole is sent to the U.S. in search of his true identity.

Director: Jon Favreau
Stars: Will Ferrell, James Caan, Bob Newhart
Frosty the Snowman (TV Movie 1969)
Animation | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A living snowman and a little girl struggle to elude a greedy magician who is after the snowman's magic hat.

Directors: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr.
Stars: Jackie Vernon, Billy De Wolfe, Jimmy Durante
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

When a man inadvertantly kills Santa on Christmas Eve, he finds himself magically recruited to take his place.

Director: John Pasquin
Stars: Tim Allen, Judge Reinhold, Wendy Crewson
Animation | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

When a weary and discouraged Santa Claus considers skipping his Christmas Eve run one year, Mrs. Claus and his Elves set out to change his mind.

Directors: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr.
Stars: Shirley Booth, Mickey Rooney, Dick Shawn
Animation | Family | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

A mailman reveals the origin of Santa Claus.

Directors: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr.
Stars: Fred Astaire, Mickey Rooney, Keenan Wynn
The Sandlot (1993)
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A new kid in town is taken under the wing of a young baseball prodigy and his team. Together, they get themselves into many adventures involving rival teams, lifeguards, and a vicious dog.

Director: David M. Evans
Stars: Tom Guiry, Mike Vitar, Patrick Renna
Comedy | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.9/10 X  

When a nice old man who claims to be Santa Claus is institutionalized as insane, a young lawyer decides to defend him by arguing in court that he is the real thing.

Director: George Seaton
Stars: Edmund Gwenn, Maureen O'Hara, John Payne
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving (TV Special 1973)
Animation | Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

Peppermint Patty invites herself and her friends over to Charlie Brown's for Thanksgiving, and with Linus, Snoopy, and Woodstock, he attempts to throw together a Thanksgiving dinner.

Directors: Bill Melendez, Phil Roman
Stars: Todd Barbee, Robin Kohn, Stephen Shea
Comedy | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  

With their daughter away, the Kranks decide to skip Christmas altogether until she decides to come home, causing an uproar when they have to celebrate the holiday at the last minute.

Director: Joe Roth
Stars: Tim Allen, Jamie Lee Curtis, Dan Aykroyd


Cast overview, first billed only:
Jean Shepherd ...
Ian Petrella ...
Tedde Moore ...
Yano Anaya ...
Jeff Gillen ...
Colin Fox ...
Ming the Merciless (scenes deleted)
Flash Gordon (scenes deleted)
Leslie Carlson ...
Christmas Tree Man (as Les Carlson)
Jim Hunter ...


Christmas is approaching and 9 year-old Ralphie wants only one thing: a Red Ryder Range 200 Shot BB gun. When he mentions it at the dinner table, his mother's immediate reaction is that he'll put his eye out. He then decides on a perfect theme for his teacher but her reaction is like his. He fantasizes about what it would be like to be Red Ryder and catch the bad guys. When the big day arrives he gets lots of present under the tree including a lovely gift from his aunt that his mother just adores. But what about the BB gun? Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Peace. Harmony. Comfort and Joy... Maybe Next Year. See more »


Comedy | Family


PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:



Official Sites:




Release Date:

18 November 1983 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Božićna priča  »

Box Office


CAD 4,000,000 (estimated)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:



Aspect Ratio:

1.37 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


According to director Bob Clark, Jack Nicholson was given the script and was very much interested in the role of Mr. Parker, "The Old Man". However, Clark didn't learn of this until later and the studio didn't want to pay Nicholson's fee anyway, which would have doubled the budget. Regardless, Clark said that Darren McGavin was still the better choice and was born to play the role. See more »


The Old Man mistakenly refers to the Chicago Bears as "Terror of the Midway." The correct term has always been "Monsters of the Midway." See more »


Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] Strange. Even something as momentous as the Scut Farkus affair, which it came to be known, was pushed out of my mind as I struggled to come up with a way out of the impenetrable BB gun web, in which my mother had me trapped.
Ralphie: Santa. Yeah, I'll ask Santa.
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] Of course. Santa. The big man. The head honcho. The connection. Ha, my mother had slipped up this time.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"Ming the Merciless" and "Flash Gordon" are listed as characters despite being cut from the general release. See more »


Referenced in Porky's II: The Next Day (1983) See more »


Romeo and Juliet Overture
Music by Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Just wonderful
23 December 2004 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Nostalgic tale of a Ralphie Parker (Peter Billingsley) growing up in the 1940s (I believe). He wants nothing more than a Red Ryder Ranger Model Air Rifle (a BB gun for short) for Christmas but everyone tells him it will "shoot your eye out".

That's about it for plot but the film has sequences that every child (and adult) can relate to. My favorites: Ralphie's best friend getting his tongue stuck to a pole when he's dared to lick it; Ralphie accidentally swearing in front of his father; the bully that threatens Ralphie and his friends every day until Ralphie beats him up (in a GREAT scene); Ralphie's constant fights with his little brother (wonderfully played by Ian Petrella) and Billingsley and his brother being terrified by a department store Santa.

Also Melinda Dillon and Darren McGavin are just great as the parents-- especially Dillon. She has one uproarious scene where she gets Petrella to eat by imitating a pig! This was totally ignored when it came out in 1983 but has slowly developed a cult following. It's now considered one of the best Christmas movies ever made--right up there with "It's a Wonderful Life" (which was also ignored at its release).

A charming, wonderful Christmas film. A 10 all the way!

79 of 108 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
ACS Marathon Countdown 2015 duval7
Who else saw this movie in theaters? Dr Wily
Little Pictures (Pitchers)? Mphotog
Discuss A Christmas Story (1983) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page