A Christmas Story 2 (2012) - full transcript

Five years later, Ralphie has his eyes fixed on a car. But trouble is sure to follow.

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There it is, our house
on good old Cleveland Street.

A few winters had passed,

and yet another
one had come

over Lake Michigan
in the middle of the night.

It had been years
since The Old Man's lamp

stood proudly
in our front window.

The legendary battle
of the lamp

that locked my parents
in mortal combat

would forever be etched
into my psyche.

This is X-5.

I've located the plans
for the moon base.

For my kid brother, it was all
but a distant memory.

I'm going in.

Randy was a fledgling
Buck Rogers fanatic,

who had his own way of braving
life's little conflicts,

in this world or any other.

Take that,
you Neptunian swine. Pow!

Pow! Pow!

Randy, get inside, you lunkhead.

It's freezing out.

And there I am.

With that same
dumb, round face,

and the same penetrating
20-90 vision.

I had, however,
discovered the wonders

of a miracle elixir
called Vitalis.

Another close call.

Space is like that,

Now go get dressed
for school.

Careful with those,
Zurg's minions are everywhere.


You just can't trust
that son of a bitch.

Excuse me.

Keep it up, young man,
and you're gonna bite the bar.

Oh, yes, don't test me.
I mean it.

I will not have that
in my house.

Did you hear
what your brother said?

Where on earth do you boys
pick up language like that?

Son of a bitch!

Gotcha, you bugger! Huzzah!

Oh, I knew that cry. The most
feared furnace fighter

in northern Indiana
had once again

sampled the sweet nectar
of triumph.

We may now begin our day.


Aside from my sudden
and profound interest in hair,

things hadn't changed
that much.

The Old Man maintained
his well-deserved status

as the White Sox's
number one fan.


Another utility infielder?

What about a pitcher

who can make it
to the second inning?

I'm telling you, boys,
if I own that team,

things'd be
a whole lot different.

Yes sirree, Bob.

Utility infielder.

My mother still hoarded bacon
fat like it was gold dust.

Oh, that's good.

And my brother
still left the house

wrapped for transport
like he was a Ming vase.

For Pete's sake, Ma.

I heard you sniffle.
I can't breathe.

You wanna be sick
when Santa comes?

Oh, how right she was.

For in two weeks,
it would be Christmas.

Most guys my age
wouldn't admit it,

but when it came
to Christmas,

I still felt
like a little kid.

Son of a bitch.

You are pulling
my chain.

Rita Hayworth?

See for yourself,
it's playing at the Majestic.

I sat through it
three times.

How naked?

Thirty percent.

She pulls off her gloves.


And then she takes off
her necklace,

then she turns around
and she says, uh,

"I'm not very good
with zippers,

but maybe if I had
some help."

Holy moly.

She's beautiful.


Is that a 6?

Fireball Straight 8.

Overhead valves.
Two-speed Hydra-Matic.

Yeah, so what?

There are a ton
of Buicks around.

Show some respect.
It's a Roadmaster.

Flick, Schwartz, and I were
months away from turning 16.

The sacred moment
in each boy's life

when he crosses the Rubicon
into manhood

and receives that most
cherished of documents

as a driver's license.

Now you're just gonna give it
a little gas, then pop that--

Few rites of passage
were marked

with such fevered

Preparations had been ongoing
for months.

Hey, ease up.

You wanna drive the 500,
Indy's right down Route 6.

Don't take the corner
in third.

Who's gonna pay
for a new transmission?


You're letting this joker
cut in?

It's dog-eat-dog out here.
Stake your claim.

Son of a bitch!

But through it all,
The Old Man remained positive

and steadfast
in his encouragement.

Stop sign!

Stop sign.

Formal education
had to wait.

Being not quite 16 meant
that every discussion

revolved around only one
of two topics.

There were cars,
of course.

And then, oh, yes,
and then there were them.

Drucilla Gootrad.

My sweet Drucilla.

Beauty incarnate.

The hands-down heartthrob
of Hohman High.

I didn't stand a chance
with her.

No one did.

Unless you were a quarterback
by the name of Todd Chapin,

a feat which would require

strikingly chiseled features

and then beating
Elkhart Lutheran

on the final play
with a 60-yard bomb.

The rest of us,
those wretched souls

who couldn't throw or catch
or leap or shoot,

would have to settle
for being with her

in our dreams.

Now then
you will share with us

the location
of the resistance fighters?

Perhaps I could help
to refresh your memory.

Go ahead, Fräulein.
Kick and scream.

But your American

aren't going
to rescue you today.

I ain't her boyfriend.

Not yet, anyway.

Don't try anything fancy,
soldier boy.

Oh, yeah?

How's this?


Oh, mon cheri.

You saved me from a fate
worse than death.

Just doing my job, ma'am.

Oh, Private Ralphie Parker.

You will forever have
my undying love and affection.




My father picked me up
from school that afternoon.

The tired pistons
on his beloved Olds

were slowly sputtering
into that good night,

and the time had come
for a change.

Any pea-brain can go out
and buy a new car.

But landing a good used one?

You gotta be
on your toes.

That's it. Yeah.


Just remember,
treat the gas like your wife

and treat the clutch
like your mother-in-law.

Huh? Boom!

The Old Man lived
for the thrill of the hunt.

And there was no one he loved
having in his sights

more than Hank Catenhauser.

I had been going to him
to Hank's World of Wheels

for as long
as I could remember.

Hank drove an ambulance
in World War I.

Legend had it he backed over
a land mine

and still had
a piece of shrapnel

the size of a walnut
lodged in his brain.

Good to see you!

Hank liked to tell
his customers

it was the part of the brain
that made deals.

I like you, Parker.
You're an Oldsmobile man.

Guilty as charged.

it's a fine automobile.

But you can't drive
a great car till you drive

a great bargain.
That's true.

I got two words for you.
- Olds 88.

Actually, that's a word
and a number.

You slay me.

He's a card.

Let's take a sneak peek.
All right.

Unbeknownst to Hank, my father
and I had perfected a routine,

carefully orchestrated,

to augment
our bargaining power.

Push button radio,
white wall tires.

Automatic choke.

Well, why don't you
hop in the back there, sonny?

Just wanna see
if that seat's roomy enough

for you and your brother.

Sure thing, Dad.


So how is it back there?

Uh, it's okay.

I mean...

A little tight.

Ah. Tight.

He says it's tight
back there.

These kids,
they grow like weeds.

It's certainly a factor.

Well, I guess I'm gonna
have to give you

a heck of a price on it,
won't I?

Well, how about that?

Oh, there she was.

In all her gleaming,
second-hand glory.

A 1939 Mercury
Model-Eight Convertible.

The top was frayed,
the tires were almost shot.

As if any of this mattered.

For I was in the presence
of the greatest machine

ever to glide off
an assembly line.

The apex of automobilia.

Holy jeez.

Phase two of The Old Man's
scheme was always the same.

He'd tell Hank it was time
to go home and think it over,

let him sweat
for a week or two.

And then, like jaguars
circling their hapless prey,

we'd close in for the kill.

He's over-barrel this time,
Ralphie boy.

We got him good.

Oh, you bet, Dad.
The Parker boys strike again.

Hey, you know what they say,

the acorn doesn't fall
far from the tree. Huh?


Oh, The Old Man

was a veritable cliché

never hesitating to haul out
one of life's tired truisms

for our edification.

You know what they say,

if you don't ask,
you don't dance.

You know what they say,

every dog has his day.

You know what they say,

if anything can go wrong,
it will.

And one that I begged
to differ with:

lightning never strikes
the same place twice.

Fortunately, I had
the advantage of experience.

I already knew
that planting seeds

into one's subconscious

was a delicate operation

You know,

I heard that 31 percent
of American households

had second cars.

Careful. Don't tip your hand.

Not that we need one.

I just thought
it was interesting.

Well, we are living
in prosperous times, I guess.

Oh, yeah,
country's on a roll.

You know what they say,
sky's the limit.

Coach caught Mikey Witlin
eating his boogers in gym.

Still, when Dad's got
a road game in bowling league,

or when Aunt Clara
and Uncle Bill are in town--

Randy, mouth closed
when you chew.

Go on.


I just think it might be nice

to have some extra wheels

And maybe you could even get
your driver's license.

Oh, well done.

You know,
that is something to consider.

What's that?

what Ralphie just said.

I mean, he is almost 16, right?
And we could--




No. Not now.

Anytime but now.


It's a clinker!


You are mine!

I guess we'll talk about it
some other time.

As The Old Man would say,
close, but no cigar.

How I loved band practice.

For 45 minutes,
twice a week,

Drucilla and I
could be together.

Not face-to-face,

but still close enough

to smell her
lavender-scented shampoo.

Someday, my beauty,

there'll be a veil
upon that hair.

And I'll lift it,
so our lips can meet

as they pronounce us
man and wife.

A little less holiday spirit,
Mr. Parker.

From the top, people.

One, two, one, two.

At least there was one beauty
I had a chance of winning.

One look
at my magnificent Merc

and the guys would surely
be able to fathom

my pangs of longing.

And here's the beauty part.

It's the most gorgeous ride
on the lot, and nobody cares.


No one's paying attention.
She's gathering dust.

I can pick her up
for a song, I know it.

Uh, green, right?


I'm calling her
the Emerald Express.

Yeah, who wouldn't want
that beauty?

But, it was in the garage.
It was dirty.

Uh, guess he washed it.

Must have a hose

Uh, maybe you can borrow it
to hang yourself.

There it was. Taunting me.

Deal of the day
could only mean one thing.

At any moment,
hundreds of buyers

would stampede
down Hohman Avenue,

begging to be the first one
to hurl a checkbook at Hank.

Pay to the order
of Ruin My Life.

Hate to break it to you,

but, uh, wanting and owning
are two different things.

I'd say he had got
a better chance with Drucilla.

You think it's open?

I wanna see what it's like
behind the wheel. Just once.

You kidding? The guy's inside,
you'll get in trouble.

Hey, my dad's
like royalty here.

He just sent us
a calendar.

Take them.

Come on, Schwartz,
take them.

Oh, fine.

Split-bench leather seat,

Quadra-Coil suspension,
hydraulic brakes.

No. No sense
torturing myself.

It was time
to say my goodbyes.

So long, old girl.

Got something here,
just came in.

Ralph. Ralph.

Absolute mint condition.

Oh. Uh...

Hal, this Merc's got your name
written all over it.

Sweet jeepers, uh,
just took it in on the tray.

Hi, kids. How's it going?
Great, take it somewhere else.

Cross my heart.
A grandmother from Muncie.

I guarantee she never took it
over 20.

Ah! Ah!

Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa!
Oh, my God!

Ugh! Ah!



Whoa! No, no!



My first test drive.

How'd I do?



Yeah, actually it's been
a pretty good year.

Well, until the three stooges
turned up.

Yeah, you too.

Only because I go back
with your father

that I'm not bringing the cops.

I could help you close a deal
with him on that Olds.

He really wants it.

We were just trying
to soften you up a little.

Oh, the people you'll stab
in the back

when you're trying to save
your own skin.

What, you don't think
I know that?

"The back seat's
a little tight, Dad."

You two have been trying to pull
that since you could walk.

Eighty-five bucks. Cash.


That's what
a new top costs.

They can have it here
next week.

I can't get $85 by then.

Well, when do you think
you can get it?

Well, 1970 seems realistic.

Okay, that's it,
I'm calling.


I will have it.

All of it.

No, you won't.
You'll never get that much.

You don't say that
in front of him.

My friends underestimate
the depth of my resolve,

and my resourcefulness.

I like this kid.

That's what gets things done.

So you get this done
by Christmas Eve

or the only thing coming down
your chimney this year

will be the cops.

It was times like this

when you found out
who your friends were.

The treaty that formed NATO

hadn't even been
thought of yet.

But on that day,
three young men from Indiana

had already formulated
its founding principle:

An attack on one
is an attack on all.

This is X-5 to base.

I'm initiating reconnaissance
of General Kotar's evil lair.

Over and out.

Nineteen dollars
and six cents.

Well, that's peachy.

I put in 10, Schwartz.
How about you?

An entire roll of nickels.

That's two bucks,

What are you barking at me for?

I'm not the one
that wrecked a car.

Only part of it.
And I wasn't even driving.

So what? You still owe
the guy, don't you?

What's most important, Ralph,
is that we--

We are all--

And come on in, Randy.

Ralphie wrecked a car?


I swear,
you rat him out,

I will show you what
you look like on the inside.

I swear, if you tell
Mom and Dad, I will cut--

Uh, nobody's ratting out

But he's right.

gotta pay Hank.

Oh, no.

I know where this is going.

You gotta tell him.

No, I don't.
What, tell who?

His old man.

Give me two minutes,
I want a running start.

Forget it, Flick.

Last week, I dropped a bottle
of Dr. Pepper,

and he almost took my head off
for blowing the deposit.

You want me to ask him
for 85 bucks?

Why not?

* Jingle bells

Listen to him.
He's all jingly.

* Jingle all the way


Come on,
chin up, buddy.

We're right here
with you.

Yeah, great.
He'll take your heads off too.

Uh, maybe we shouldn't
get involved.

You know,
it's a family matter and all.

There's no choice,

There's tons of choices.

I could, uh--

I could lay low at your house
for a couple of months.

Or I can, uh--
I will join the Navy.

I could join the Navy.

Or I can-- I can change
my name and grow a beard.

Maybe not now, but soon.

Or I can, uh-- I can--

I can't feel my legs.


That's it. Easy.

So long, kid.

Are you sorry for your sins
in this life

and do you wish
for absolution, my son?

Dead kid walking.

Go out like a man!



No! No, please!

Please, please!


* Over the fields we go

* Ha, ha, ha
Laughing all the way *

Hey, how's it going?

Okay, I guess.

Won't know
till we plug them in.

If one of these bulbs
is bad,

it makes the whole strand

Well, you know what they say,

one bad apple, right?

Yeah, that's a good one,

A perennial.

I was thinking
maybe we could sort of talk.

You can always talk to me,
Ralph, you know that.


Could I help you
with anything?

Hold the ladder?
Mow the lawn?

I know what that means.

You do?


It means you need
a little extra dough

for Christmas, right?

Sure do.

Well, you're lucky.

I'm feeling extravagant

Yeah. Why don't you get
something nice for your mother.

Like perfume or a scarf.

From you and Randy.
I'll give you a buck.

I'll give you 2! Huh?

Thanks, Dad.
That's swell.

Could I have 83 more?



No way.

No way
on God's green Earth.

But, Dad,
he wants to put me in jail.

I will pay you back double.

you're not gonna have to.

Because there's no way
you're getting it from me!

I could give you the money,
but what would that teach you?

How generous you are?

Oh, no, no, no.

No kid of mine
is growing up thinking

that he can get somebody else
to buy his way out of a scrape.

You need some money?

You figure out a way
to come up with some.

you know what they say,

you give a man a fish
and he'll eat for a day.

Teach a man to fish,
he'll eat...


Well, just so you know,

I'm pretty sure
any prison stretch

would be minimal.

And if you got
on a chain gang,

you wouldn't have to sit
in a cell all day.

Wouldn't hurt to ask.

Wait a second.

It's Christmas, right?

Higbee's will hire anybody
on Christmas.

We'll go tomorrow.

That's the ticket, guys.
Getting jobs.

We'll work our butts off,
12 hours a day.

Twelve hours a day?
I can't wait!

Hank was right.
Determination got things done.

I'd be the kind
of part-time holiday help

that legends are made of.

My fellow Americans,

we are here today to honor
an exceptional young man.

Ralph Parker,

once again, you have set
the gold standard

for your thousands
of fellow workers to follow.

Please accept this token
of your country's esteem,

and my personal

Thank you, Mr. President.




Don't you dare.

Is everything all right,

In the words of boxing great
Jack Dempsey,

a champion is someone
who gets up,

even when he can't.

Oh, honey.

What am I doing
looking for another car.

When what really needs
to be tossed onto the junk heap

is that worthless hunk of iron
in the basement!


Yep. Thing's pretty much
on its last legs.

Looks like it came
with the house.

It was here when dinosaurs
roamed the Earth.

The house came later.

So, what'd you have in mind?

We got a sale
on the new forced-air models.


Some pretty good prices.

All right.
I'm listening.


And good day to you, sir.

If you change your mind, sir,
we're in the book.


Would you forget
about the furnace?

Hiya, Mrs. Parker.

That time of year again,

I know someone
who's pretty excited.

Been tasting it
since October, has he?

Well, I saved
a special one for you,

nice and plump.

Hang on.

Three-hundred ninety dollars,
for a furnace.

What kind
of mutton-headed chump

does he take me for?

He seemed pretty honest
to me.

He's a quacksalver.

Telling me about furnaces.

He doesn't think I know
about furnaces?

I know about furnaces.

You know how to swear
at them.

Yeah, I know
how to buy them too, okay?

Here's your Christmas turkey,
Mr. Parker.

You folks enjoy now.

Thank you.

If I can pick up
a good used car,

I can certainly pick up
a good used furnace,

and you can take that
to the--

I'm sorry, what is this?
A serial number or something?

No, no. That's the price.

No, that's a mistake.
Has to be.

Uh, no, sir,
40 cents a pound.

We can go now, dear.

Oh, but-- But that's ours.

That was ours.
Now that's somebody else's.

We're not paying for that.

But you love turkey.

You dream about turkey.

Forty cents a pound?
Hell, why not 50?

Why not a whole dollar?

Huh? Why not
I just open up my wallet

and dump it out
on the floor?

How about
a nice pot roast?

Yeah? What's that gonna
set me back?

A couple of house payments?
No, thank you.

Sorry, George.


Wait-- Listen to me.

We do this once a year.

The drumsticks, the giblets.

Four, zero.

We use it in sandwiches.

We make turkey salad,
chili, soup.

It never stops giving.

Oh, honey, it's Christmas.
Let it go.

I can't. No.

There is no way
this family is getting suckered

by this meat packer!

All right, then.

What are we supposed to eat
on Christmas Eve? Tell me that.

Ice fishing?
Ice fishing?

It's gonna save us
a fortune.

Fish for Christmas.
Well, why not?

The folks up the street
have fish every year.

The Ragos are Italian.

Hohman Lake is crawling
with perch.

Christ, they're practically
gonna leap through the hole

all on their own,

and drive you home
to boot.

Hey, little buddy. What do
you say, this year, we go out

and we catch us
our Christmas dinner, huh?

How about that
for some holiday fun?

This couldn't possibly
end well.

Every Christmas,
downtown Hohman was transformed

into a sea of humanity.

Motley hordes of blue-jowled
foundry workers

and gray-faced
refinery men,

trudging through wildly
pulsing department stores,

trailed by millions
of leatherette-jacketed,

mufflered kids,

each with a gnawing hunger
to get it all.

And there we were,
in the heart of the action.

We landed on the beachhead

known as
the Personnel Department.

And there were three bowties
with our names on them.

Now, follow me.
We were drafted.

And consigned uniforms
without benefit of a physical.

Fresh reinforcements
in the trenches of retaildom,

doing our part

to grease the wheels
of commerce.

It was an honor to serve.

So you pull it out,
like so.

You take the width,

you double it, add half.

Got it?


Of course you do.

You're a natural.

All together now.

Take the width,
Take the width,

double it,
double it,

and add half.
Add half.



Well, good luck.

Did she leave us?

She left us.

I thought we were
going shopping.

Just one quick stop.

I went through those old
newspapers out in the garage.

Old real estate listings.

Lot of people remodel
after they buy.

Soup to nuts.

Wanna know
who the future belongs to?

People with information.

You just missed out.

Yeah, they hauled
the old one away last week.

See? You hear that?
What'd I tell you?

Ah, she was a beaut too.

A vintage

Yeah, they put in one of those
new central systems.

Heats and cools.

Don't we have
a Jackman-Henderson?

He can't stand ours.
He throws his tools at it.

It's still
a reliable brand, dear.

I just don't see
why we can't get a new one.

You were so frustrated

But he thinks
he can fix anything.

Last year, he thought
he could fix the fuse box.

We didn't have electricity
for three days.

That's enough, dear.

We had to throw out everything
in the fridge.

If you come across another one,
maybe you can give a holler

I'll keep you in mind, okay?


We can go now, dear.

Did I say something wrong?

You didn't have to tell him
every detail.

By the way,

you didn't have to throw
everything out.

The condiments kept fine.

He dragged her to two more
houses that afternoon.

And five the next.


Wait, Schwartz,
double it twice, right?

No, you idiot.
Double it then add half.

All right, next.

I want to know
where my tea set is.

Uh, ma'am, please,
be patient.

You try being patient
with a 10-week-old.

Mommy's here, pumpkin.

I've been waiting
for 10 minutes.


How could she just ditch us?

Where the heck is she?

Peace on Earth.

Where are my kids?

It's the wrong package.

Please, everyone,
we are doing our best.

My baby!
Where's my baby?

You wrapped her daughter?

I put a pink bow on it.

Follow me.


Excuse me, miss.

Care to sample
our new fragrance?



You think
you can manage that?

Miss, would you care to sample
our new fragrance?



That's okay.


Definitely not.


Sample, ma'am?

Yes, please. Thank you.

One second.






Oh, I'm so sorry.
Here, here.

Here we go.



You better run!

So you owe us
for the mannequin,

a refund for that
baby's mother, of course,

the broken stemware

You really hit the jackpot
on that one.

What you've earned
is in this column,

what you owe
is over here.

Well, at least
we didn't get canned.

You're not kidding.

Talk about a break.

Because he felt
sorry for us.

If you ask me,
being pitied

is a pretty good way
to go through life.

Hey! Parker!

Hey, you'll get your money.

We all got jobs,
and our first day was today.

So far we're at minus $12.

What are you blabbing
your mouth for?


Just stamp both copies,

file the yellow one
in the tray,

and send the pink one
off to shipping.

You think
you can handle that?

Not inspiring confidence.

Oh, The Old Man prepared
for ice fishing

the same way
Attila the Hun got ready

to plunder the Balkans.

There would be no prisoners
on Hohman Lake this Christmas.


Six inches,
not a whit more.

Don't wanna tip them off
they've got company, right?

These walleye
are crafty bastards.

How come we're the only ones
out here?

Well, maybe because
everybody else is a sucker

who doesn't mind spending
40 cents a pound for a bird

that can't even fly.

But not us, right, pal?
Sure, Dad.

All right, now let's get us
a big fish. Hmm?

Can we go now?

We just started.

It's so cold.
It's not cold.

It's crisp.

Fishing is all about
patience, son.

Buck up.

The sun's coming out, huh?

It'll be a great day.

This is why my brother Randy

still lives
in Fort Lauderdale.

I knew it.

It's my jigging.

Technique's all wrong.

I've gotta move
the pole more. Right?

Raise and drop,

raise and drop,

raise and drop.

That's how you get them
to come up to the top.

Tomorrow is the day,
little angler.

We'll get out there
bright and early, huh?

Help me.

Parker's. It's your dime.

Why, yes.

I am indeed.

Let me get a pen.

you should be honored

your father let's you go
with him.

Ralphie didn't get
to go fishing

till he was well past

Ralphie has all the luck.


I certainly will.
Yes, and thank you.

What'd I tell you?

That was the contractor
we met.

I told him to call me

if he came across
any decent furnaces.

Well, is this decent enough
for you?

He's got a 9-year-old

Mint condition,
a hundred and eighty bucks.

He'll even throw in
free installation,

and he'll bring it by
in the morning.

Doesn't 9 years old
mean used?

What difference does it make?
It's an Oil-O-Matic.

The kind Gene Autry sings about
on the ads.

* Oil-O-Matic

* My, oh, my

* Kiss furnace-nursing
Bye, goodbye *

Excuse me.

Go ahead, live it up!

It's your last night
on Earth!

Okay, Mike.
Fire it up.

My God.

Listen to that.

Please don't make me
go back there.

I'm begging you.

Oh, honey, a good space cadet
follows orders.

Play your cards right,

he might let you
hold the pole today.

Who cares?
He's never gonna catch a fish.

What's with him?

Oh, he's just excited.

So have they finished?

Listen. Huh?

It hums.

I don't hear anything.

It's there. Trust me.

You don't hear it
because you don't hear it.

Six months later,

he'd have these two
in small claims court.

But no matter,

it was time
to savor the moment.

You're right.
I can hear it.

No, no, no.
Don't patronize me.

I can.

There's a hum.

You're darn right there is.

It's the hum of success.

Let's roll, Randy boy.

Time to hit the hole.


What is it?
What did you do?

My tooth.


Uh-oh, you broke a filling.
My tooth.

Honey, can you go it alone

I don't think
there's a choice, I guess.

I'm sorry.
I'll bring you some soup later.

But right now I need to get
Randy to Dr. Strassen.

Dr. Strassen? No, no, no, no.

I'm fine. I'm great.

Let's go fishing.

All right.
Let's go fishing.

Come here.

No! No, I don't wanna go.

Dad needs me.

I don't wanna go with you.

It's just a rite of manhood.


No, not Dr. Strassen!

The boy wants to go fishing!

This is green.
We don't do green.

Wait, what's the problem?

Yellow tray, pink ship.

He never said nothing
about green.

You know what this means,

We gotta
close the store.

Say it ain't so, Schwartzie,
not the green.

All right, calm down.

We'll go find out.

Well, you know what they say,

those who cannot remember
the past

are condemned to repeat it.

Not again.

You three,
come with me.


There's been a bit of an
incident at the North Pole.

We've lost the elves.

But our tubes.

Nuts to your tubes.
Come on.

Ho, ho, ho!

And what do you want under
the tree Christmas morning?

Bobby wants
a new swing set?

Well, isn't that nice.

You know what Santa wants?

A wife who doesn't
hike up her skirt

every time a salesman
comes calling.

And neither of us
are getting what we want.

Go on, get out of here.


Ho, ho, ho!

Come on up.

Now, just get them
on his lap

and get them off.

What happened
to the real elves?

They tried to start a union.

Now go on,
keep that line moving.

Go, go, go,
go, go, go, go.

Extra! Extra!

I don't wanna go!

No! Stop, he's evil!

He's a wonderful dentist.


Gunter Strassen, DDS.

The most feared name
in Lake County,

known to every kid
in Hohman

as the Butcher
of Berwyn Avenue.

Somebody help! No!
Oh, Randy!

The Butcher had a drill
he pedaled with his foot.

The Butcher had little use
for such newfangled novelties

as Novocain.



Sweet, isn't it?

Ho, ho, ho.

All right.
Look over there, genius.

That's the ticket.

What's your story?
What do you want?

Can I get a Slinky?

A Slinky?

You mean to say you waited
two hours in line

to ask for a bed spring?

That's it?

Come on, kid, dream big.


There now.
It wasn't so bad, was it?

Okay, yeah,
it was a nightmare.

I don't know
how you did it?

Very brave.

My little soldier.


A little further.

Ho, ho, ho.

Come on, Eisenstaedt.
Do your thing.

All right, what can Santa
get for you, sport?

Welcome to the wax museum.

Come on, spill it.

It's okay, buddy.

Just tell Santa
what you want.

Could you bring me
a tire?

A tire?

You mean
like a bicycle tire?

A car tire.

A car tire?

What the heck are you gonna do
with a car tire?

That's just weird.
Get him out of here.

Hey, knock-knees,
come here.

What was that all about?

I just think you could go
a little easier on them,

that's all.

Excuse me.

I've been delighting children
for 19 years.

Don't you step on my turf.


We should hold Santa
to a higher standard.

I mean, you're taking
the spirit out of it.

You want dispirited?

Come spend the day
at my house.

"Get off your lard ass
and make some money."

Yeah, so she can spend it
on punchboards and cheap gin.

That's dispirited.

I wanna see him now!
Me too, fat stuff!

Come on, Ralph,
this guy's hopeless.

Uh, let's keep it moving.

Ralphie's entitled
to his opinion.

He has more Christmas spirit
than this bum.

I'm sitting right here.

And you shouldn't be.

You're a disgrace
to that uniform.

And you know what?

No more kids for you.

you can all go home.

No more Santa for you.

He is not worth it.

No Santa? What?

Ooh. You tell them, chief.

Are you crazy?
You see this line?

It keeps going
with the curve of the Earth.

Now be a good elf
and get some more kids.

Did you just hit me?

No, I pushed you.

There's a difference.

Uh, guys.

You mean like this
versus this?

Here we go, elf fight.

Oh, yeah.

Guy-- Uh, guys, guys.

No, no, no, no, no.

Ah, bringing out the weapons.

Swing! Oh, yeah!

Guys, are you crazy?

You're gonna
get us fired, man. Ah!


You see that,
boys and girls?

That's me and Mrs. Claus

every single night.

Time to slide down
through the chimney

of Mickey's Tavern
and tie one on.

Ho, ho, ho!
I quit!

That'll learn you.


Hey there.

I brought you
a little something.


Made you some soup.

Ooh. Randy needed
a new filling,

he's lying down for a bit.
I don't get it.

I'm jigging
my keister off here.

Here, have some of this,
it's still warm.

I'm raising, I'm dropping,
I'm raising, I'm dropping.

What the heck do they want?

Why don't I give it a try?

Well, your arm
must be aching.

Why not?

Go to town.

No, no, no, no.
They go for the bright ones.

They don't seem to go for much
of anything, actually.

Excuse me?

I'm just saying maybe you need
a prettier one.

They don't think like that,

That's it.
Now, just remember,

raise and drop,
raise and drop.

That's it.

Oh, this is good.



Hey, whoa! I got it!

Hang on! I got it.
I'm trying.

Whoa! It's a monster.

Oh! It's prehistoric.
Get the net.

Get the net.
Get it. Get everything.


Is this the net?

Oh, Lord!
This thing has got to be--

Whoa! Whoa!

It looks like your hole
may be a little too--

Yeah, I know what it looks
like. Hold this.

Come here, you.

Come here. Come on!

Come on!

Two days I've been out here.

Now give in,
you stupid, big fat--



I'm fine.

Give me that.
I'm not finished.

I'm just trying to help.

Haven't you done
enough of that already?

You know, I'm not quite sure
what you mean.

That means that you jinxed it!
That's what it means.

Means that everything was going
great till you showed up.


Well, good.

Because I never wanna set foot
out here again.

Trying to get Christmas dinner

through a little hole
in the ice.

This has to be the stupidest
thing I've ever heard of.

And for what?

So you wouldn't have to part
with another $3.

Oh, so now it's a crime
to wanna save a little money.

A little?

All you do is skimp.

You skimp on the furnace
and skimp on the turkey

and skimp on the car.

You wouldn't even help out
your own son when he needed it.

You talking about Ralph?

You ever hear
of setting an example?

Oh, yes,
job well done there.

I was being a good parent.

You were being a cheap
son of a bi--!

My mother had not uttered
an obscenity in 30 years.

Ever since
she was a teenager,

and lost her job
at Kreski's Market

for telling a hostile customer
to "go to heck."

Jig all you want.

I'm going caroling.

Fine with me.

And thanks
for the delicious snack!


Our own employment picture
grew dimmer that evening,

when I lost the first,
and only, job I'd ever had.

* Deck the halls
With boughs of holly *

* Fa la la la la
La la la la *

By now, I knew I'd probably
never experience a Christmas

quite like this one.

And I wasn't alone.

My mother realized
that, in a sense, she too

was about to be relieved
of a job

that one day soon,

it would be time
to let go of a son.

* Ancient yuletide carol

* Fa la la la la
La la la la *

I would be on my own,
out in the world.

Into it, I would bring all
that I had learned

from her and The Old Man,
forging my own tentative path.

And coming to terms
with the fact

that it can be
a lonely place,

even during the most joyful
of seasons.




I was trying to find
our Christmas stockings.

So many little things
this time of year.

Here, I could help you.
Oh, it's okay.

I have to get used
to doing this

without you boys
sooner or later, right?

It's fine.

Go on. Shoo.

Hey, that's it.

An Oil-O-Matic.

My, oh, my.

Hey, where is Dad?

Oh, he's still out
on the lake.

Hopefully shivering
and unable to feel his toes.

I think
I'm gonna go out there.

Well, do not bring him
a blanket.

Apparently he doesn't
appreciate anything

nice people try to do
for him.


That you?

Hey, Dad.
How you doing?

Come on over,
pull up a chair.

I thought I'd take a ride
and stretch my legs.

Seems like a pretty
nice night.

It's 10 degrees out.

Yeah, okay.

Uh, I actually
kind of wanted to talk.

Well, sure, let's talk.

How's it going at work?

I mean, God,
it seems like only yesterday

I was watching your mother
change your diapers,

and here I am asking you,
"How's it going at work?"

Yeah. Uh, that's sort of what
I wanted to, uh--

Look at you, huh?

Getting that job downtown,
not giving in.

You and me, kid,
we are two of a kind.

A couple of stubborn
sons of bitches,

plain and simple.

We're finishers.
We hang tough.

He didn't pull out of Bataan

till they held a gun
to his head.

Dugout Doug,
they called him.

You know what they say,

sometimes it's the last key
in the bunch

that opens the lock.

To tell you the truth,

I'm not even sure
if I know what that one means.

I do.

I know just what that means.


That makes one of us.

Here, hold this.

I have got to get some soup.

We sat there shivering

and telling tall tales
to each other.

After I left,
he stayed three more hours

and never caught a thing.

I didn't find that out

until many years later,
of course,

and it was a secret
that I'm glad was kept.

Sir, may I have a word
with you?

Uh, sir, please, wait.

Don't come any closer.

I want another chance.

I distinctly remember
telling you and your friends

that you would be
physically removed

if you ever entered
this establishment again.

I hardly knew those guys.
It is just me now.

I'll do whatever you want,
no slip-ups.

Please. It's Christmas.


I am not going anywhere.

I'm a stubborn son of a bitch
just like he is.

Like who?

Never mind, um...

Sir, if you give me
one more shot,

you will not regret it.

Very well.


I wish
I wasn't such a softie.

Thank you.

You don't mind
working outside, do you?

No. No, no, anywhere.
Not at all.

Ding, ding, ding.

Not her.
Anyone but her.

If she sees me
dressed like this,

I might as well
move to the North Pole.

I'll die alone
on some ice floe,

the world's
only virgin reindeer.

Please. No.

One glimpse of me
and I'll go

right from
"she doesn't know I'm alive"

to "stay away from me, you."

Oh, you again, eh?

Get out of here!


You lousy
cotton-tailed klutz.

I spent all day
getting that.

Sorry. I'll pick it up.

You bet your butt you will,
every dime.

Yes, sir.

I'll get it.

Hey, get back here.


Sir, uh, that 5, um,
it's not yours.

Guy on the corner's
collecting money.

Oh, yeah?

Well, you tell him
I said job well done.

Come on, sir. It's for charity.
Take a hike, Bambi.

I don't know
what you're talking about.

Actually, you do.

Well, that would make me
a liar then, wouldn't it?



All those faces
floating over me,

and the only one I could see
was hers.

It was over.

Why bother getting up?

Why bother going back home

or back to school
or back to anything?

Why bother having dreams
at all?

Eighty-four dollars
and twelve cents.

That's it.

Oh, that's so close.

But your still
going to prison, pal.

Hey, uh, we can send you
some girly magazines

to bribe the screws with.

I'm not going to jail.

Did you ever get that 5 bucks
your sister owes you?

Um, no, she, uh,
used it

to buy a winter coat
for my grandma.

Well, that was stupid.

Yeah? You want my grandma
to freeze?

Did you just push me?

Um, no.

This is a push,
Nancy Drew.

Do it again,
I double-dog dare you.

Wait, I got it!

I'll put some of my things
in hock.

Look around. I got all kinds
of valuable stuff.

Yeah, because what pawnshop
wouldn't want

an old Augie Galan mitt
or an Orphan Annie decoder.

I just need a dollar.

One lousy dollar.

We're tapped out, pal.
All of us.

We've been picked clean.

We've lifted
every sofa cushion,

raided every sock drawer
we could find.

And every cent we got
is right there on that bed.

What's in the pocket,



You can't have
my lucky buck.

Your what?

My lucky buck.

I got it from Grandpa Maury.

And I still remember
the look on his face

when he gave it to me.

Who cares?

Your best friend
is gonna do time.

You don't understand.

This buck turned everything
around for me.

That first time
that I held it in my hand,

I knew that I'd always
come out on top.

If I lose it,

my whole world
would fall apart.

You're right. Forget it.

It's not worth it.

Not if it means that much
to him.

Wait a minute.

I've never seen it before.

Uh, when exactly
did you get it?

The second night
of Hanukkah.

What year?

Last Tuesday?

I got this tie too.


Guys, stop. Guys.

Guys, guys, that tickles.

Let go, Schwartz!

No! Not my lucky buck!


Say uncle! Say uncle!



Eighty-five indeed.

I had pulled it off,
against all odds.

Stop the presses,
sound the trumpets.

Victory was mine.

This time,
I had beaten the furnace.

I changed the tire
in four minutes flat.

I bowled the 271.

That's another way
we were the same,

The Old Man and I.

I knew how it felt

to sample the sweet nectar
of triumph.

Lesson learned all right.

Determination was the key.

No matter what,
stay the course, never falter.

Always keep your eyes
on the prize.

Really coming down,
isn't it?

Looks like a white Christmas

Well, that's the way
it should be, right?

Yes, sir, it is.

Merry Christmas.

Being teenagers meant
that we were often capable

of perpetrating reckless
irrational acts.

Such deeds
tended to involve items

like raw eggs
and rolls of toilet paper.

There were usually simple

and understandable

for such behavior.

We were either young
or careless or stupid.

Or in my case, all three.

And then there were times,
every once in a blue moon,

when we did things
we couldn't explain at all.

That's it.

Sorry, long day.

He's here.

Oh, good let's eat.

Eat what?

What're we having?


Well, as you know,
I-- I thought

we would try something
a little different

for Christmas dinner
this year.

Yeah, was that a laugh riot.

Well, I was trying
to be frugal.

But as it turns out,
what I was really being was--

Okay, everyone,

look at the dinner
your father caught just for us.


My brother never heard
what really happened,

and hasn't to this day.

You're amazing.

Some acts of glaring deceit

are best kept hidden away

Who's calling
on Christmas Eve?

These bill collectors
will not leave you alone.

I think that's for me.

Parker residence.
Ralph speaking.

There he is.
My test driver.

I was starting to think
you'd forgotten about me.

I know.

I'm very sorry, sir.

You don't have it,
do you?

No, sir.
Not all of it.

I should've known.

But I tried,
I really did.

And we all got jobs,

and I earned
most of the money, but--

Those people needed
the tire,

and I tried to get them
to order the family special,

but they all wanted
a la carte.

You know how that adds up--
Whoa, whoa, whoa.

You are one weird kid.

I've heard that, sir.

Ninety, 91, 92,

93, 94.

Thirty-nine dollars
and ninety-four cents.

Is that it?

I'll have the rest
next month.

And if not,
you can break my legs.

Or maybe one leg.

Skip it. You're done.

I am?

Yeah, merry "Ho, ho,"
and all that.

You know?
Spirit of the season.

Thank you.

I just sold that Merc,

Made out like a bandit.

The sucker never knew
what hit him.

The thing is,
you never let up.

And what'd I tell you
about determination, huh?

It gets things done.

And it'll pay off big
for you one day, you'll see.

Now go on home, son.

And enjoy your family

Thank you, Mr. Catenhauser.
And Merry Christmas.

Merry Christmas.

Made out like a bandit!

My car was gone.

I had nothing in my pocket
but a hole.

And somehow,
as I walked home

on that bone-chilling
silent night,

all was right
with the world.


Yes. A Martian police ship

form the Buck Rogers
Interplanetary Space Fleet!

Thank you, thank you!

I told you he'd like it.

And you wanted
to get him socks.

Oh, boys, boys. Let's wait.
Let's do this right.

Who wants to play Santa?
- Me! Me! I do! I do!

No. No. You did it last time
and you stank at it.

Did not!
Did too.

Okay, okay, boys. Stop.

I'll play Santa. Shoo!

Go. Okay. Who goes first?

Come on, Mom.
Uh, oh.

Here, honey, this for you.
Me? Oh.



I thought we could go back out.

You know what they say,

lightning always strikes twice
in the same place.

They say that, do they?

Thank you.

Let's see. Who's next?

Ralph, this is for you
from Aunt Clara.

Oh, no.

Oh, no was right.

It was time for the annual
Aunt Clara humiliation fest.

Lord knows what sort

of degrading
polyester nightmare

was in store for me
this year.

Well, go on, open it.

She always gets you
the nicest things.

It's not funny, Randy.

Yes, it is.

Oh, it's a sailor suit.

Is that just
the cutest thing.

Good Lord.

Sweet Jesus.

Forget it, Mom.

I am not kidding,
I will join the foreign legion.

He's almost 16.
Is she that deranged?

Oh, wait a minute.

This isn't for Ralphie.

Randy, she sent this to you!

No! No! No!

Sailor boy!
No! No.

No. No!

Boys. Boys.

Uh, you're gonna look so good.

That is too adorable
for words.

I can think of a few.

Where's the camera, honey?

No. No!

Wait'll these
get around school.

Ralphie, no!

Big smile.

Ah, another one
come and gone, huh?

Not too shabby.

Nope. You guys get
everything you wanted?

I'd say so.

Pretty good haul, huh?

Hey, I think I just saw a rat
in the kitchen.

I'll call the exterminator.

Are you insane?

Do you know what they charge
on a holiday?

I smell a rat, all right.


This is a Martian police ship.

Which holds an entire battalion
of tiger--

My God.
It's risen from the grave.

Isn't it beautiful?

It's beautiful.

This is the greatest Christmas
in history.

You see what Santa
gave me?

Yeah, I'd like to thank him

Look at her face.

Somebody take a photo.

Yeah, you know what,
that's a good idea.

Why don't we all
take a picture, huh?

Yeah. Everybody,
the three of you by the tree.

Uh, Dad.
Honey, I'm not dressed.

You look fine.
One for the scrapbook.

Line up.

Mom, you in the middle.
Come on, get in there.

That's it. Now, Ralphie,
move in a little bit.

A little more.

A little more.


Thank you!
Thank you!

That's the last we'll be seeing
of him for a while.

But, hey, you'll always
have me to bark at.

No fair!
Ralphie got a car.

I want a real
rocket ship.

Well, learn from this,

If you're as determined
as Ralphie,

maybe one day
you'll get one.

I guess that means no.

That's right.
- Polish your leather

and polish your interior!

Oh, my God!

This is the best Christmas

The odometer read
132,000 miles.

Oil burned and valves
leaked at will.

There were more rattles
than an Irish nursery.

It was the best car
I ever owned.

In 43 days, I would turn 16
and be liberated.

No longer bound by gravity,
but free, fluid,

at one with the wind
and the sun.

that joyous emancipation,

I would fail
the driver's test four times.

I'll hold it.

You go set the brake.


You should really
leave the car in gear

when it's parked.

My dad says that.

Good advice.

Well, are you gonna
say anything?

So you just out
looking for runaway cars?

I came to see you.

I got your address
from the Flicks.

His mom and my mom volunteer
at the hospital.

Do you remember the other day,
in front of Higbee's?

Antlers, sleigh bells?

Uh, yeah.

Look, I can explain.

You don't have to.

I saw what you did.

It takes a lot of guts

to stand up
to a jerk like that.

You don't see that
very often.

I guess I just wanted you
to know that.


We're big on fruitcakes
at the Gootrad house.

Eat them,
use them as paperweight.

Up to you.


Should you be--?

I mean,
are you and, um...?

You know.


We talked the other day

and sort of decided
to go our separate ways.

Well, I decided.


I didn't know that.

How could you?
We've been out of school.

And I've just been puttering
around the kitchen all week.

Baking paperweights.

Thousands of them.

You have no idea how good
it feels to be outdoors.

Well, I'm glad.

I mean, I'm--
I'm glad that you picked here

to be outdoors at.

Oh. Oh, boy,
that came out stupid.


It came out great.

So is this your car?


'39 Mercury Eight.

Wow, what a wonderful
Christmas present.

Oh. May I take her?

Please? Please?


Once around the block.

When I was 9,

I pulled the wrapping
off the present of my dreams

and knew,
right then and there,

no Christmas
would ever be the same.

And none were.

Until today.