This delightfully funny holiday gem tells the story of Ralphie Parker (Peter Billingsly) a 1940's nine-year-old who pulls out all the stops to obtain the ultimate Christmas present.
The kids take center stage for this 20th Anniversary edition DVD. For the commentary track, Peter Billingsley and director Bob Clark chummily reminisce on the making of the film, which seems to have been as delightful as the film itself. Because it was such a small film, Clark relates how they were left alone to do whatever they wanted, as long as fuddy-duddy author Jean Shepherd wasn't on the set. The new documentary features Billingsley and the three other former child actors' recollections about the shoot. The kids even help out with two trivia tests, but why is there nary a peep about or from co-stars Melinda Dillon and Darren McGavin? Two 30-minute radio segments of Shepherd's reading his original stories is a nice touch for this double DVD set, as is a featurette about the real Red Ryder guns. Best yet, the film has never looked better, finally available in widescreen (along with pan and scan). --Doug Thomas