Day 25 - A Christmas Story

I love this movie. I can't imagine Christmas without at least one viewing of it, if not more, thanks to TNT's 24 hour airings. But, we're classy around here (and we hate commercials), so today we watched it on DVD. Rather than trying to find something to focus on for a review, or to nitpick certain aspects of the movie, I figured I'd do a countdown type list. So here, in some semblance of an order, are my top 10 scenes and/or quotes (plus one) from A Christmas Story!

11. "Next to me in the blackness lay my oiled blue steel beauty. The greatest Christmas gift I had ever received, or would ever receive."

"Gradually, I drifted off to sleep, pranging ducks on the wing and getting off spectacular hip shots."

While I love this quote, the scene I really love from this part of the movie is mom and dad downstairs after the kids have gone to sleep. Maybe it's because at this point in my life I'm closer to them than I am the kids. But, as you may have gathered from my other reviews, I am partial to the quiet, calm moments in holiday movies. This is pretty much the only quiet moment in the movie. And I get all girly sentimental over the loving gesture of husband and wife of 10+ years still showing such affection for each other.

10. "The heavenly aroma still hung in the house. But it was gone, all gone! No turkey! No turkey sandwiches! No turkey salad! No turkey gravy! Turkey Hash! Turkey a la King! Or gallons of turkey soup! Gone, ALL GONE!"

Does this need any explanation? This scene has it all - the Bumpuses, ruined Christmas dinner, and even leads to the hilarity of a Chinese Christmas dinner.

9. "How about a nice football?"
"Football? Football? What's a football? With unconscious will my voice squeaked out 'football'." "Okay, get him out of here."
"A football? Oh no, what was I doing? Wake up, Stupid! Wake up!"
"No! No! I want an Official Red Ryder Carbine-Action Two-Hundred-Shot Range Model Air Rifle!"

"You'll shoot your eye out, kid."

The quintessential scene. The entirety of the movie revolves around Ralphie's desire for an air rifle. And, as any kid will do, when all hope is lost, turn to Santa! But what I really love about this scene is that I imagine all of it as what visiting Santa must really feel like to a small child. The grumpy elf employee hurrying you along, wanting to get off the clock and have a drink. The mediocre store Santa, who wants to get through as many kids as possible, favoring quantity over quality. Even the shock Ralphie experiences as he is sat upon Santa's lap. This is THE MAN. How can you possibly express to this supreme master of Christmas what it is that you want? You don't want to sound greedy, but if you don't tell him everything, you might not get all that you desire for Christmas. This scene encompasses all of these feelings in a brief few moments. Pure movie perfection.

8. "Wow a truck! That's mine! WOW look there! That's mine! What's in here? Oh, it's hard. Fire Truck. OH BOY! That's mine!"

I picked this as one of my favorite Randy quotes, over something about mashed potatoes and hating meatloaf, because this is the Randy I love. Pure excitement, rather than being reluctant to participate in family life. Plus, who can forget that feeling as a kid, coming into the living room and seeing all those presents under the tree? Hell, I felt like that this morning! Oh, that's mine!!

7. "Be sure to drink your Ovaltine. Ovaltine? A crummy commercial?"

"Son of a bitch!"

Even when it was radio, we were getting hosed by commercialism. 'Nuff said.

6. "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!"  

Ah, Ralphie, connoisseur of soap. This entire exchange, from lost bolts to Lifebuoy, cracks me up. But, the best, is Ralph's mom's reaction when she hears what he said. Her shrill scream of complete horror cracks me up every time. It's only topped by Schwartz's mom over the phone later on when Ralph is midway through his soap punishment.  

5. "Aunt Clara had for years labored under the delusion that I was not only perpetually 4 years old, but also a girl."

"He looks like a deranged Easter Bunny."
"He does not!"
"He does too, he looks like a pink nightmare!"

He does, in fact, look like a deranged Easter Bunny. So much so that this scene made it into the mecca of holiday recognition, and got its very own Hallmark ornament. Which hangs on our tree every year. Ralphie's made it to the big time!

4. "*Daddy's gonna kill Ralphie!"

Randy, under the sink. with a glass of milk. Does it get any funnier than this? A few years ago, we took a random vacation to Cleveland, which is where the house used as the exterior of the Parker family home has been turned into a replica from the movie (inside and out). When we happened to be there, there was a tour guide in residence...none other than Randy himself, Ian Petrella. That's right, I met Randy. Jealous? We even have an autographed photo as part of our holiday decor these days.

The house comes complete with a replica of this sink and cabinet - which you can even climb inside and take a picture. I didn't, but now, watching this again, I kind of wish I did so I could share it with you all.

3. "I have since heard of people under extreme duress speaking in strange tongues. I became conscious that a steady torrent of obscenities and swearing of all kinds was pouring out of me as I screamed."

I love this scene. From Ralph finally standing up to the bully all the way to his mom protecting him from further punishment from his father for all the swearing and beating up a kid until he bled. But hands down, my favorite moment in this exchange is when Randy happens upon the fight.

He's too small to intervene, but he does what he can. He picks of Ralph's glasses and holds them tight, protecting his big brother the only way he can. 

2. "Randy lay there like a slug. It was his only defense."

I don't have much to say about this quote. It's probably my favorite single line from the movie. And as illustrated above, in handiwork created by our friend Neal, and bestowed upon Dennis nearly 15 years ago, it has staying power. This line DOES NOT GET OLD. Trust me. Next time there's a lull in conversation, just blurt it out. Thank me later for the laughter that ensues. (If no one laughs, leave immediately and never speak to these people again). If someone else in the group finishes the line for you, make them your best friend for life.

1. In conclusion...a line that needs no explanation...I bid you a Merry Christmas, and remind you, that if I ever win a major award, lest you be inclined to ruin it out of jealousy, you better heed my warning -


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