Thanks for checking in all week as we’ve counted down my five favorite Christmas movies. So here we are at the top spot. Have you guessed it yet? No surprise, really. At No. 1 of the five top holiday movies, we have – ta da! — “A Christmas Story.” This is the best Christmas movie ever made. Ever. In the whole world. I will accept no arguments otherwise. Ralphie’s quest to make the adults in his life understand his heart’s desire crosses all boundaries. This movie is the perfect confluence of writing, acting and producing, and I’m proud to say I saw it during its theatrical release in December, 1983, in a theater in downtown Nashville, Tenn. – and told everybody I knew afterwards that they had to watch this movie. Its gentle nostalgic humor combined with writer Jean Shepherd’s sharp dialogue is a rare cinematic treasure. Darren McGavin and Melinda Dillion are perfect as Ralphie’s parents, and Peter Billingsley as Ralphie is pure joy. I especially love all the authentic late 1930s-early 1940s details, such as the wonderfully stocked kitchen and other interiors in the Parker house. You can actually feel the wintry cold and smell the lost turkey. (Go to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/A_Christmas_Story to read more about producing this movie. It’s a fascinating back story.)
If you’ve never watched “A Christmas Story,” go do it. Right now.
Merry Christmas! Ho, ho, ho.
And if you want to read a condensed version of my top Christmas movie picks, go to my column in the TimesDaily today, http://www.timesdaily.com/article/20081212/ARTICLES/812120301