Peter Billingsley Movies

Wednesday, January 5, 2011 at 7:04 pm

Many people would scratch their heads if asked to name one or more Peter Billingsley movies. I’ll give you a hint: He played Ralphie, the kid who wanted a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas.

But did you know that his career extended way past his iconic role in A Christmas Story? That’s right, Peter Billingsley is alive and well in Hollywood, having added director and producer to his resume. He’s good pals with Vince Vaughn and Jon Favreau, and this relationship has allowed him to work on many of their projects, including a certain Robert Downey Jr. film involving badass power armor.

The following list details the best Peter Billingsley movies available, although the quality does vary considerably. All of these films can be rented from Netflix, which is yet another reason why you should become a member today.

A Christmas Story (1983) – Of all the Peter Billingsley movies, this is the one he’s most remembered for. Billingsley plays Ralphie Parker, a nine-year-old Indiana resident who desperately wants a Red Ryder BB Gun for Christmas (despite his mother’s continual warnings that he’ll put his eye out). A holiday classic, A Christmas Story has become the It’s a Wonderful Life of a younger generation. And for good reason, too, as Ralphie’s sheer cuteness is rivaled by the antics of his father (Darren McGavin), a man obsessed with the Chicago Bears and putting up a lamp in the shape of a woman’s leg. Some might find the scene in the Chinese restaurant slightly racist (“Deck the hars with bawrs of horry“), but those with a sense of humor will be howling with laughter anyway. The next time Christmas rolls around, keep an eye out for the annual 24 hour marathon dedicated to A Christmas Story.

Russkies (1987) – Four years after A Christmas Story hit theaters, Peter Billingsley turned up alongside Whip Hubley and Joaquin Phoenix (billed as Leaf Phoenix) in this story of a group of American kids who come across a Russian sailor washed up on the shores of Key West. It’s a lot like E.T., but with a communist substituted for an alien.

Arcade (1993) – Megan Ward and Peter Billingsley star as teens who try to survive a new virtual reality computer game where the villain has been made with the brain cells of a dead boy (probably a bad idea in retrospect). Brought to you by the folks at Full Moon Entertainment, the film co-stars John de Lancie, Sharon Farrell, and Seth Green. Directed by Albert Pyun, the man responsible for such films as Cyborg, Mean Guns, and the 1990 version of Captain America. Written by David S. Goyer, who’s turned out such classic screenplays as Blade, Dark City, and Batman Begins.

Made (2001) – Billingsley co-produced this dark comedy written and directed by Jon Favreau. Bobby (Favreau) is a mason and amateur boxer with ties to a local mob boss (Peter Falk). Desperate to scare up enough cash to take care of his stripper girlfriend and her daughter, he decides to do a job for the mobster. But he makes the mistake of bringing his motor-mouthed pal Ricky (Vince Vaughn) along, and the resulting bickering forms the basis for much of the film’s comedy. If liked their banter in Swingers, you should definitely give Made a try.

Elf (2003) – Will Ferrell stars as Buddy, a human raised at the North Pole by elves. When he learns that he was adopted, he promptly heads to New York City to see his real father (James Caan). Chaos and hilarity ensue. Ed Asner is Santa Claus, Bob Newhart is Buddy’s surrogate elf father, and Zooey Deschanel is the love interest. Peter Billingsley has an uncredited role as an elf.

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The Break-Up (2006) – Besides appearing in the role of “Andrew,” Billingsley also serves as one of the executive producers for this comedy-drama starring Vince Vaughn and Jennifer Aniston as a couple whose relationship slowly falls apart and leads to a hilarious series of one-upsmanship. The Old 97’s put in a musical performance, and the supporting cast includes Jon Favreau, Joey Lauren Adams, Jason Bateman, and Judy Davis.

Wild West Comedy Show: 30 Days & 30 Nights – Hollywood to the Heartland (2006) – Billingsley produced and appeared as himself in this documentary about Vince Vaughn and four stand-up comics touring the United States for one month (30 cities in 30 days). The performers–Sebastian Maniscalco, Bret Ernst, Ahmed Ahmed, and John Caparulo–all have their ups and downs, but Vaughn’s natural charisma could charm the birds out of the trees (something I’d love to see happen in real life). Follow it up with a movie like Punchline, Comedian, or The Aristocrats.

Iron Man (2008) – This blockbuster about a playboy industrialist who builds a suit of power armor to battle the forces of evil put star Robert Downey Jr. squarely on the Hollywood A-list. It also became the most profitable of all Peter Billingsley movies, grossing over $585 million at the box office. In case you’re wondering, the artist formerly known as “Ralphie” served as executive producer on the project, as well as popping up in a small role as a character named “William Ginter Riva.”

Four Christmases (2008) – Billingsley is an executive producer for this Christmas-themed romantic comedy, as well as making a brief appearance as an airline ticket agent. Vince Vaughn and Reese Witherspoon star as an unmarried couple who run off to far-flung locations each Christmas to escape from visiting their dysfunctional and divorced parents. But when a massive fogbank strands them in San Francisco one year, they have no choice but to see their families. They decide to make all the visits in one day, but each new parent visited reveals a secret that threatens to end their relationship. The humor is spotty and the slapstick comedy out of place, but Vaughn and the actors playing the parents (Robert Duvall, Sissy Spacek, Jon Voight, and Mary Steenburgen) help redeem it.

Couples Retreat (2009) – While this relationship comedy was written by Vince Vaughn, Jon Favreau, and Dana Fox, Peter Billingsley earned himself a director’s credit on the project. Four couples (Vince Vaughn/Malin Akerman, Jon Favreau/Kristen Davis, Jason Bateman/Kristen Bell, Faizon Love/Kali Hawk) head off to an island resort to help two of their own fix their marital woes. But it turns out counseling is mandatory for everyone, and each pair quickly comes to realize that they’ve got problems of their own to work through. It’s a comedy, though, so look for plenty of Vaughn/Favreau interplay in between moments of reconciliation. Co-starring Jean Reno, Peter Serafinowicz, and Ken Jeong. Akerman, Bell, Davis, and Hawk also spend a lot of time in swimwear, which will be a major plus for male viewers.

For even more Peter Billingsley movies, head on over to Netflix and become a member. They have over 100,000 films to choose from, with many of them available for streaming on your PC or MAC. Multiple pricing plans are available, and the small commission we receive when you sign up allows us to stay in business. That’s what I call a win-win situation.

See also:

  1. Carmike Cinema Movie Theater Coupons
  2. United Artists Movie Theater Coupons
  3. Cinemark Movie Theater Coupons
  4. AMC Movie Theater Coupons
  5. Kathryn Bigelow Movies
  6. JJ Abrams Movies
  7. Ben Affleck Movies

This entry was posted on Wednesday, January 5th, 2011 at 7:04 pm and is filed under Good Movies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.


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