This year, the holiday classic “A Christmas Story” turns 30 years old, but it wasn’t always embraced by moviegoers.
Making just $19 million in theaters, the film was considered a failure before it gained a cult following for 24 hours every year. Fans originally didn’t bite and the reviews were horrible.
Below are a few examples of the kind of review the Christmas classic received 30 years ago when Ralphie first shot his eye out with the Red Rider BB gun.
“A silly piece of tinseled fluff about a nine-year-old boy’s efforts to get a Red Ryder rifle for Christmas. Fine performances by Darren McGavin, Melinda Dillion, and child actor Peter Billingsley are wasted by lame direction and a corny script. At the Beacon Hill and suburban cinemas.” –Boston Herald, who gave the movie a C-minus grade
“There are a number of small, unexpectedly funny moments in ‘A Christmas Story,’ but you have to possess the stamina of a pearl diver to find them.” –New York Times
“This is a movie tailored for people who grew up in the ’40’s, who remember an America emerging from the dark cloud of a long, terrible war. Still, its funny moments transcend the period tone, and now and then ‘A Christmas Story’ sheds affectionate light on the dreams and little disasters that still cling to the yuletide. Santa Claus, it seems to say, really can be a scary guy sometimes, and dad, who never seems to notice when you cry, can be rather heroic in his clumsy way.” –San Francisco Chronicle