Home Alone
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A Note Regarding Spoilers

The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Home Alone can be found here.

Eight-year-old Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) is accidentally left behind when his family flies to Paris for Christmas. While home alone, Kevin is forced to defend the family's home from two bungling burglars, Harry Lyme (Joe Pesci) and Marv Merchants (Daniel Stern), who have been robbing the neighbors' homes and leaving the water faucets running, earning them the name of 'The Wet Bandits'.

No. Home Alone is based on a screenplay by producer John Hughes. However, the movie along with the next two were novelized by Todd Strasser. The concept for Home Alone came from a scene in Uncle Buck (1989) in which Macaulay Culkin, who plays Kevin McCallister in Home Alone and Miles Russell in Uncle Buck, fires off a series of questions to a would-be-babysitter through a letterbox opening in the front door. Due to the success of Home Alone, four movie sequels have since been released: Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992), Home Alone 3 (1997), Home Alone 4 (2002), and Home Alone: The Holiday Heist (2012).

The Home Alone house is a private residence in the village of Winnetka, Illinois, about 20 miles north of Chicago. More information about the house, as well as other filming locations in the Illinois area, can be found here. As of May 2011, the home is for sale for $2.4 million.

Kevin has two brothers, Jeff (Michael C. Maronna) and Buzz (Devin Ratray), and two sisters, Megan (Hillary Wolf) and Linnie (Angela Goethals). This is corroborated by the number of stockings hanging on their fireplace (two large ones and five smaller ones), the family photo to which Kevin says goodnight when he's watching The Johnny Carson Show, and also in the scene where Kevin tells Santa he only wants his family back, nothing but Peter, Kate, Buzz, Megan, Linnie, and Jeff. Jeff is the one who throws his bag down the stairs and shouts "bomb's away". Megan is the one who calls Kevin "completely helpless". Linnie is the one who counts him among "les incompetents". Peter (John Heard) and Kate (Catherine O'Hara) McCallister are their parents. Of the other eight people staying overnight at the McCallisters' house, Uncle Frank (Gerry Bamman) and Aunt Leslie (Terrie Snell) McCallister must be the parents of the three kids wearing thick, horn-rimmed glasses -- Rod (Jedidiah Cohen), Brooke (Anna Slotky), and Fuller (Kieran Culkin). The oldest cousin, Heather McCallister (Kristin Minter), says that her parents live in Paris. Tracy (Senta Moses) (the girl with the long, kinky hair who is looking for shampoo) and Sondra (Diana Rein) (the girl with the braided hair) both tell the "policeman" that their parents don't live there. Final proof of Kevin having four brothers and sisters is in the scene where only Jeff, Buzz, Megan, and Linnie return from Paris with Peter. Apparently, everyone else is still in Paris.

Their jobs are not mentioned in the film. The novelization says that his father is a successful businessman and his mother is a fashion designer, which accounts for all the mannequins that Kevin used to stage the "party".

During the night, there was a windstorm that blew down some tree branches on their power lines, cutting off their electricity and resetting their alarm clocks.

Kevin's ticket was tossed in the trash when his father wiped up after Kevin spilled milk all over the passports and tickets. While getting into the car to go to the airport, Heather miscounted because the neighbor kid was in line with the rest of the family. Finally, the gate agent appears to be simply counting the McCallisters' tickets instead of matching names with people. Without a ticket for Kevin, no one apparently noticed that he was not in the group.

Kevin saw the family cars in the garage and concluded that the family had NOT gone to the airport, so he didn't know that they were on their way to Paris. In his 8 year-old imagination, he believed that he really wished his family to disappear. After that, he's afraid to go to the police because he thinks that he would get in trouble for stealing (albeit accidentally) the toothbrush. This is evidenced by his earlier line: "I'm a criminal".

Not in the movie. In the novelization, his name is Axl.

No. That movie, titled Angels with Filthy Souls on the video cassette, was created for Home Alone. However, it was patterned after a real movie...Angels with Dirty Faces (1938) starring James Cagney.

The movie didn't show how Kevin cleared the ice from the porch steps nor how he removed the tar from the basement steps, so we can only make some guesses. One is that it got warm enough overnight to melt the ice (highly unlikely). Another is that the new-fallen snow sufficiently covered the ice so that it was no longer slippery. A third possibility is that Kevin spread salt on the ice after Harry and Marv are taken away by the police. Finally, his family may have noticed or assumed that the steps were icy and held on to the railings for support as they approached the front door. As for the tar on the basement steps, his mom and dad probably had a bit of cleaning to do.

Marv had grabbed Kevin's foot and was trying to stop him from running upstairs to his bedroom. Kevin saw Buzz's tarantula, which had escaped after Kevin broke Buzz's shelves. Kevin picked it up and placed it on Marv's face, causing Marv to scream in fear, forcing him to let go of Kevin.

Who is Old Man Marley?

Old Man Marley is The McCallister's neighbor. Buzz tells Kevin and Rod that Old Man Marley is a serial killer known as "The South Bend Shovel Slayer" and that he murdered his family in 1958 and kept the corpses of his victims in a garbage can full of salt. The salt supposedly turned the dead bodies into mummies. When Old Man Marley arrives at the church to hear his granddaughter sing, however, he reveals that he isn't the so-called "South Bender Shovel Slayer" and that he never murdered his family. He had had an argument with his son for an unknown reason and they had become estranged. When Kevin suggests to Old Man Marley that he should call his son, Marley says that he is afraid that his son won't talk to him. Kevin encourages him to do it anyway, not just for his son but for his granddaughter's sake. Marley takes Kevin's advice and reunites with his son, daughter-in-law, and granddaughter.

Despite being released in 1990, there's no real attempt to set it in the same year. Christmas Day was a Tuesday in 1990. Within the reality of Home Alone, Christmas Day is a Friday. The events shown on film denote a five day week.The film opens on the evening of Monday the 21st of December and the McCallisters leave for Paris on the morning of the 22nd. It would take around 9 hours (average flight time) to get there and the time difference would mean that they would land early morning, French time, on Wednesday the 23rd. A journey back by plane would take another 9 hours but the next plane to from Paris to Chicargo is not until Friday morning. As previously discussed, Friday is Christmas Day and Kate refuses to wait for this. Kate begins her journey back home on the evening of the 23rd by getting a plane to Dallas and then onto Scranton where she arrives on Thursday the 24th. She is forced to travel by road with Gus and his band. The car journey from Scranton to Chicago would take approximately 12 hours so we can assume that she leaves in the evening with a few stops on the way. She arrives on Friday the 25th, shortly before the rest of the family. They caught the Friday morning plane from Paris and gained back the journey time in time difference. Kevin is therefore left home alone for almost exactly three days (Tuesday morning to Friday morning). Each of his evenings alone end with a visit from Harry and Marv (the first where they are disturbed by the sudden light, the second where Kevin fools them with the silhouette party, the third when they actually enter the house).

That was Marv's idea. He turns on the faucets in the houses they rob, flooding them. He believes that it is their "calling card". Harry, on the other hand, is clearly annoyed at the nickname and worries that Marv's tactic of flooding homes would result in the police connecting them to other houses they have robbed and flooded.

How does the movie end?

Kate is able to make it as far as Scranton, Pennsylvania, but she cannot get a flight from Scranton to Chicago. Overhearing her plight about the need to get home to her son, Gus Polinski (John Candy), polka king of the Midwest, offers her a lift in the truck he has rented with fellow musicians, the Kenosha Kickers, in order to get them to Milwaukee, about 90 miles north of Chicago. On Christmas morning, Kevin wakes up in hopes that his family has returned, but the house is still empty. Suddenly, his mom comes through the front door. After a big hug, Kate explains that the rest of the family couldn't get a flight back. Just then, the door opens, and his dad and four siblings come in, having taken the morning flight from Paris that Kate didn't want to wait for. In the final scene, Kevin looks out the window to see Old Man Marley (Roberts Blossom), whom Buzz calls "the South Bend Shovel Slayer", being reunited with his son and the family from whom he's been estranged for years. Suddenly, Buzz's voice can be heard yelling in the background, "Kevin! What did you do to my room?"

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