Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)

Pemberley (Lyme Park, Cheshire)
Oh, to be in England...

Thursday, December 9, 2010

A Christmas Story-My Father's Favourite

A Red Ryder BB gun with a compass in the stock, and this thing which tells time
This heartwarming Christmas story, set in the 1940's was my father's absolute favourite movie of all time (not just his favourite Christmas film), so this post is in memory of my Dad, big kid that he was.
The fact that this is about childhood and Christmas in the 1940's took my father right back to his own roots, growing up in a small house in the "East End" of Hamilton, Ontario, the son of a steel worker in a very working class neighbourhood. His childhood home resembled the one in this holiday classic (even I still remember the push button lights and the wringer washer in what was still my Grandma's house).

Over the years I got to be quite a connoisseur of soap.
In A Christmas Story (based on the book In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash by Midwestern humorist Jean Sheperd), Ralphie is a typical American kid in the 1940's who wants a Red Rider BB gun for Christmas.  He tries to convince his parents, his teacher and even Santa himself that this is the perfect gift for Christmas, but keeps hearing the same response..."You'll shoot your eye out!"

A Christmas Story Full Size 45" Leg Lamp
Fra-gee-lay, must be Italian...
Not a huge success on it's release in 1983, it has grown to be a classic.  A taste of the innocence of childhood and an awful lot of humour evoked by looking back on it through adult eyes makes this a must see film for the holidays.  Ralphie's inner monologue, the adult voice of Jean Sheperd's musings, is a wonderful story telling technique and keeps the viewer transfixed and hugely entertained.

A Christmas Story- the house

Ralphie: Oooh fuuudge!
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] Only I didn't say "Fudge." I said THE word, the big one, the queen-mother of dirty words, the "F-dash-dash-dash" word!
Mr. Parker: [stunned] *What* did you say?
Ralphie: Uh, um...
Mr. Parker: That's... what I thought you said. Get in the car. Go on!
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] It was all over - I was dead. What would it be? The guillotine? Hanging? The chair? The rack? The Chinese water torture? Hmmph. Mere child's play compared to what surely awaited me.

He looks like a deranged Easter Bunny!
Mr. Parker: It's a clinker! That blasted stupid furnace dadgummit!
[he walks down a few stairs and falls the rest of the way down]
Mr. Parker: Damn skates!
Mr. Parker: Oh, for cripes sake, open up the damper will ya? Who the hell turned it all the way down? AGAIN! Oh, blast it!
Ralphie as Adult: [narrating] In the heat of battle my father wove a tapestry of obscenities that as far as we know is still hanging in space over Lake Michigan.

NOW it was serious. A double-dog-dare!
 So enjoy this one with all of your family this holiday.  And this one is for you Dad...


  1. I love this movie too, but only have it only VHS, with no way to play it anymore. Much get it on DVD this year.

    There are so many quotable lines and memorable images from this movie.

  2. A lovely tribute to Dad, and a great reminder of the highlights of this - now classic - Christmas film. A period piece of the not-too-distant past, and brings back wonderful memories of him enjoying it!
    Time to schedule a screening of this during the holidays!
    Big Sister

  3. I wrote a post about this movie on my blog yesterday. It came in at #5 on my top holiday movie favorites list. There are so many great lines, and my family uses them all the time. "You'll shoot your eye out" was used when my daughters asked for something they were not going to get.

  4. I love this movie! Whenever my mother asks me what I want for Christmas, I reply, "A new furnace."

  5. Yes, it's hard to believe that this one wasn't really well received when it first came out. Ladytoesocks, I may ask for a new furnace for Christmas! And Mary, I may use your line too on my boys. I like it.




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