Besides pure heart-warming entertainment value and some of the biggest laughs of any Christmas film, what makes A Christmas Story exceptional is that never before or since has there been another film like it. The offbeat, nostalgic, just shy of plumb story of Ralphie (a brilliant Peter Billingsly), a young boy determined to prevail in his Christmas quest for a BB gun, is a stand alone original. Others have tried, including a ill-conceived sequel, but none comes close. A Christmas Story is lightening in a bottle. A nostalgic look back at childhood perfectly pitched ten-degrees off center that manages to be, at the same time, all things wistful, absurd, abstract, and unforgettable.