A Christmas Story is a 1983 American Christmas comedy film directed by Bob Clark and based on Jean Shepherd's semi-fictional anecdotes in his 1966 book In God We Trust: All Others Pay Cash, with some elements from his 1971 book Wanda Hickey's Night of Golden Memories. It stars Melinda Dillon, Darren McGavin, and Peter Billingsley. A seasonal classic in North America, it is shown numerous times on television, usually on the networks owned by the Turner Broadcasting System. Since 1997, a marathon of the film titled "24 Hours of A Christmas Story" has aired annually on TNT or TBS, comprising 12 consecutive airings of the film on both Christmas Eve and Christmas Day each year. It is often ranked as one of the best Christmas films.