"A Christmas Story" is based on the novel "In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash" by humorist Jean Shepherd. It is a whimsical and slightly twisted tribute to the traditional all-American Christmas. Set in Indiana during the 1940s, the film follows the adventures of nine-year-old Ralphie Parker (Billingsley) as he pursues his happiness in the form of a genuine Red Ryder Two Hundred Shot Range Model Air Rifle. (Gary Reber)
After the forced ad, the special features are the same as those found on the standard-definition 20th Anniversary Disc and include: audio commentary by Actor Peter Billingsley and Director Bob Clark, a semi-hidden script of a deleted scene, the theatrical trailer, a 19-minute interview-laden (with the director and the kids in the movie) Another Christmas Story, a Triple Dog Dare quiz, a Radio selection in which Jean Shepherd reads excerpts from his book, a quote-scene match Decoder game, a fun five-minute history on the Daisy Red Ryder, and a humorous five-minute look at the making-of the leg lamp.
Both the 1.78:1 Blu-ray Disc and HD DVD image is often shrouded by a hazy glow and details are often too soft. Colors are desaturated, and blacks are more a milky gray. Differences between the two versions are not recognizable. (Danny Richelieu)
The Blu-ray Disc's Dolby® Digital "1.0-channel" mono soundtrack is actually 1.1 channels, with the LFE channel receiving a very, very low-level copy of the center channel up to around 500 Hz. Fidelity is limited, and distortion is noticeable. The HD DVD's Dolby Digital Plus 1.0-channel encoding is properly produced, but is also slightly more revealing of the soundtrack's many anomalies. (Danny Richelieu)