Updated: Nov 23, 2021
Anchor Staff Writer
“You'll shoot your eye out.” This line is one of the best lines in cinematic history. Released on Nov. 18, 1983, the movie tells the tale about Ralphie's dream to own a Red Ryder Carbine-Action 200 shot Range Model air rifle. His mother is against this from the beginning. When Ralphie begins to rant and rave about what he wants for Christmas, she tells him the obvious - that he'd shoot his eye out.
Disappointed, Ralphie decides to write about the Range Model air rifle in his school essay. He believes that Miss Shields will pity him and convince his parents to get him that rifle, but no such luck. She writes that he'd shoot his eye out, the exact same thing his mother said to him at the dinner table.
Unexpectedly, his father receives a delivery. When he opens it, he discovers a lamp above all lamps. It's an exotic leg lamp. This takes Ralphie away from his depressed state of mind for a little bit. He displays the leg lamp on the table that faces the front window, while the neighbor's come outside to admire it.
But, his wife knocks over the leg lamp, and it breaks into a million pieces, and he tells her that she had always been jealous of that lamp from the very beginning. His wife shoots back that the lamp is the ugliest lamp ever. Time stood still for them. It was out of the bag, and now they had to live with words they could never take back.
But, of course, Ralphie's problems seemed too big compared to the lamp. Feeling that the world is against him, he goes to the one person who would understand him: the Santa at the local mall. But he says the exact same thing, then pushes him down the slide with his foot. Ralphie, a confused boy, sulks for days until the big day arrives: Christmas morning.
So many presents glisten with bows and ribbons, and Ralphie and his little brother Randy are excited to see that Santa had come to their house on Christmas Eve. Ripping through wrapping paper, Ralphie opens one present that brings laughter and hysterics. It's a pink bunny costume that his Aunt Clara made for him. His mother makes him try it on. Walking downstairs, his father tells him he looks like a deranged Easter bunny and tells him to take it off. Ralphie obliges and quickly takes off the costume.
Afterward, he sits quietly with his family on the sofa when his father mentions that there's one more present under the tree. Excitingly, Ralphie runs over to the long narrow box and quickly opens it to find out that the present is an air rifle, the toy he wanted from the beginning. He told his parents about the air rifle, Miss Shields, even Santa at the mall. His mother looks surprised while Ralphie begins loading the gun. He asks to go outside, and his mother answers him with a yes.
While outside, shooting the air rifle around, the ammo backfires and hits his glasses. Thinking he shot his eye out, he panics. But when Ralphie steps on his glasses, he realizes that he shot at his glasses instead. Knowing that he's in a lot of trouble, he cooks up some tears and begins to cry quite heavily, then goes inside the house, feeling pity from the mother. She washes his face with a facecloth and water to wipe away the tears.
“A Christmas Story” is about dreams, fantasies, and the never-ending joys of a family who come through for the spirit of Christmas.