A Christmas Story movie poster

A Christmas Story is a 1983 American comedy film directed by Bob Clark. It is based on the book In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash by Jean Shepherd. The film was distributed by Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer and was released on November 18, 1983.


A few weeks before Christmas, young Ralphie Parker, his brother Randy, and friends Flick and Schwartz pass by a local store, where Ralphie notices an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred Shot Range Model Air Rifle. Ralphie becomes obsessed with owning one, but his parents disapprove. Ralphie and Randy later on join Flick and Schwartz at school, where Flick is dared to stick his tongue on a frozen pole. Flick's tongue becomes stuck to the pole, requiring the fire department and the police to free him. Though their teacher Miss Shields asks the class who was responsible for the dare, they keep quiet. Miss Shields then gives the class an assignment on what they want for Christmas, which Ralphie sees as an opportunity to request the Red Ryder BB Gun.

While Ralphie is returning home with his brother and his friends, they are tormented by the local bullies Scut Farkus and Grover Dill. Schwartz is subjected to a hammerlock by the bullies before the four finally manage to flee. Ralphie and Randy return home, where their father, who Ralphie simply refers to as the Old Man, reveals he won a prize, which turns out to be a lamp designed to resemble a woman's leg. Mrs. Parker is clearly disgusted by it, but the Old Man enjoys the lamp. Ralphie later on finishes his assignment theme and hands it over to Miss Shields. He and his friends have another encounter with Scut and Grover before Ralphie heads home and attempts to decode an encrypted message. While he succeeds, Ralphie discovers the message to simply be an advertisement for Ovaltine, much to his annoyance.

Ralphie swears in front of his father while fixing a blown tire, and he is pressured by his mother to confess as to where he heard the word. Though Ralphie had in fact heard it from his father, he instead claims he heard it from Schwartz. Mrs. Parker calls Schwartz's mother about the issue, who in response beats Schwartz. Ralphie and his friends arrive at school, where they encounter Scut and Grover again. Ralphie and Schwartz abandon Flick to be beaten up by Scut. Ralphie receives his theme from Miss Shields, where he discovers he has gotten a C- and a note stating he'll shoot his eye out. Embittered, Ralphie leaves school and is taunted by Scut. In his rage, Ralphie tackles Scut to the ground and pummels him while a surprised Grover flees. His classmates encourage Ralphie until his mother arrives and pulls him away from Scut.

Randy fears that their father will kill Ralphie for attacking Scut, but their mother manages to change the subject before their father can truly comprehend it. Ralphie and Randy's parents later get into an argument after Mrs. Parker destroys the lamp, but they reconcile later on. Ralphie also decides to ask Santa about getting the Red Ryder BB Gun. On Christmas Eve, Ralphie asks a department store Santa for the gun, but the Santa responds by claiming he'll shoot his eye out, much to Ralphie's disappointment. However, Ralphie receives several presents the next morning, and one of the gifts turns out to be the Red Ryder BB Gun, much to Ralphie's joy.

Ralphie takes aim with the gun and fires, but the pellet ricochets back towards him, knocking his glasses off. Ralphie claims he was hit by a falling icicle, which his mother believes. After the Parker's Christmas turkey gets devoured by the neighbors bloodhounds, the family instead enjoys dinner at a Chinese restaurant. Ralphie then goes to sleep at his house, holding the Red Ryder BB Gun, declaring it the best Christmas gift he has ever received.