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"A Christmas Story": Mom Shows Mercy to Naughty Son

A Christmas Story is a movie about the many challenges of a boy named Ralphie. All adults, including Santa Claus, seem to conspire against Ralphie's desire to acquire a Red Ryder B-B gun. His father is constantly irritable. And the school bully torments him almost daily.

After one particularly trying day at school, Ralphie runs into the bully while walking home from school. Tired of being teased, Ralphie lets his rage get the best of him; he pummels the bully and bursts out into a string of obscenities.

Unbeknownst to Ralphie, his mother hears his tirade. She walks Ralphie home and sends him up to his room. As Ralphie waits fearfully for his dad to come home, he lies in his darkened room, staring at the ceiling with tears streaming down his cheeks. Ralphie anticipates the worst punishment.

Ralphie's mother finds the younger brother, Randy, hiding under the sink crying. She asks, "Randy, what's the matter? What are you crying for?"

Randy sobs, "Daddy's gonna kill Ralphie!" Even little Randy is terrified of the impending wrath that awaits Ralphie. Mom assures Randy that everything is going to work out, but he continues to whimper. As Mom walks about the kitchen trying to prepare supper, she too seems to be fretting about what may come.

Still locked in his room, Ralphie continues pondering his fate: I heard the car pull up the driveway, and a wave of terror broke over me. He'll know what I said—the awful things I said!

Hearing his dad's voice, Ralphie walks downstairs to meet his fate. After some small talk, Dad asks, "What happened today?" Ralphie realizes it's all about to come out. He looks at his mother with a pained expression.

Surprisingly, his mother responds, "Nothing much. Ralphie had a fight."

Tension rises as Dad puts down the paper and looks at Ralphie with a stern gaze. "A fight? What kind of fight?"

Mom replies, "Oh, you know how boys are. I gave him a talking to. Oh, I see the Bears are playing the Packers Sunday."

It dawns on Ralphie that he has just experienced a modern-day Passover. The doom of which he was so certain passed over him as his mother poured out mercy. A smile breaks across Ralphie's face, and he beams at his mother. Ralphie says to himself, I slowly realized that I was not about to be destroyed. From then on, things were different between me and my mother."

Elapsed time: Measured from the beginning of the opening credit, this scene begins at 1:00:00 and ends at 1:03:20.

Content: A Christmas Story is rated PG for profanity.

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