Movie Review: A Christmas Story (1983)

“You’ll shoot your eye out.” (10/10)

christmas_storyA Christmas Story is becoming the It’s a Wonderful Life of the Baby Boomer generation… maybe more so for the Tweener Generation—a designation I just made up for folks born between, say, 1930 and 1946.  The movie is especially meaningful for those who were boys in the context of a loving family where Pop worked, Mom kept house (and kept you out of trouble), and the Popsicle Index [1] was nearly 100%.

The year is somewhere around 1940—some reviews claim it’s the depression era, one says it’s 1940, some say it’s the 1940s in general, and it always looked to me something like 1949—in Hohman, Indiana, a mythical northern industrial city approximating Gary, Indiana.  The movie is based on several narratives from Jean Shepherd’s book of reminiscences, In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash.

Mr. Shepherd narrates the movie, which was filmed in the early 1980s in Toronto, with some downtown shots set in Cleveland. He’s Ralph Parker, a New York writer thinking back to the days when he was Ralphie, a nine-year-old everyboy growing up there in middle-class Indiana off the smokestack-laden southern shores of Lake Michigan with Mom (Melinda Dillon) and the Old Man (Darren McGavin) and his exasperatingly, though often funny, infantile five-year-old brother. Continue reading