A CHRISTMAS STORY: The Star-Crossed Romance of Josephine Cosnowski (1985)

Originally airing on February 11, 1985 on PBS’ American Playhouse, the fourth feature film of the Parker family starts in a movie theater as an older Ralphie (Jean Shepherd, who wrote these stories) relates that seeing a movie by a Polish director reminds him of Josephine Cosnowski (Katherine Kamhi), the neighbor who became his first serious love.

Barbara Bolton and Jay Ine return as mom and Randy, but young Ralphie is Pete Kowanko and The Old Man is played by George Coe, a castmember of season one of SNL. Sadly, James Broderick, who played the role in The Phantom of the Open Hearth and The Great American Fourth of July and Other Disasters died of thyroid cancer in 1982.

The Old Man always said, “There has to be a God if there’s beer. All that goodness just ain’t accidental.”

This made me think about my father, lost a week or so before Thanksgiving, and as Ralphie takes his little dog up the steps and he remembers, his old self weary through time, that there was no better holiday than before being an adult and when Thanksgiving really meant something, that it was something to look forward to and now, all of life is just appointments and time moves so fast as we march to our destiny. It made my eyes burn I cried so hard, my very own little dog next to me with no idea just how much I missed being a kid and knowing my father was one door away.

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