Home Alone (1990) Poster



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Joe Pesci deliberately avoided Macaulay Culkin on set because he wanted Culkin to think he was mean.
In the original script, Uncle Frank was the real mastermind behind Harry and Marv robbing the McAllister house.
The picture Kevin finds of Buzz's girlfriend was a picture of a boy made up to look like a girl because Chris Columbus thought it would be too cruel to make fun of a girl like that. The boy that was used in the photo was the art director's son.
Entered into The Guinness Book of World Records as the "Highest Box Office Gross - Comedy", accumulating $533,000,000 internationally.
The movie that Kevin watches on video tape is not a real film, but footage specially created. It was called "Angels With Filthy Souls." Along with other similar era references in the movie, this is a play upon the movie Angels with Dirty Faces (1938) starring James Cagney.
During rehearsal for the scene where Harry attempts to bite off Kevin's finger, Joe Pesci actually bit Macaulay Culkin, leaving a small scar.
Joe Pesci kept forgetting that he was filming a "family" movie during his character's on-screen outbursts, so director Chris Columbus advised him to say "fridge" instead of the "F-word".
The concept for this movie originated during the filming of a scene in Uncle Buck (1989) in which Macaulay Culkin plays a character who interrogates a would-be sitter through a letter-box.
The line "You guys give up, or are you thirsty for more?" was improvised.
Kevin's bed-wetting cousin, Fuller, is played by Macaulay Culkin's younger brother, Kieran Culkin.
In May 2011, the house in Winnetka used in the film was listed for sale at $2.4 million; it sold in March 2012 for $1.585 million. The house is promoted as a tourist attraction and cited as an example of "How to Get Your Home in the Movies."
Macaulay Culkin drew the map that he uses to set up the traps.
John Candy improvised all of his lines.
Both Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern felt indifferent about the film's potential during shooting, so they intentionally gave over-the-top performances; neither one of them believing the film would become a massive success.
Catherine O'Hara revealed in 2014 that Macaulay Culkin still calls her "Mom".
John Candy filmed his part in only one day, albeit a 23 hour day. The story about having once forgotten his son at a funeral home was entirely improvised. His part is obviously inspired by the character he played in Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987) also written by John Hughes.
The highest-grossing movie of 1990 domestically. Ghost (1990) was the year's highest-grossing movie worldwide.
The last scene filmed was the scene in which Kevin is running through the water-filled basement. That scene was filmed at the local high school's swimming pool.
A deleted scene has a shot of Marv and Harry singing their own demented version of Santa Claus is Coming to Town.
John Candy shares all of his screen time with Catherine O'Hara. The two previously worked together on SCTV (1976) and were good friends. Candy passed away on O'Hara's 40th birthday and O'Hara gave a tearful eulogy at his funeral.
Many of the frames that focus on Kevin in the beginning of the film are shot from above his head, making him seem small and helpless. At the end of the film, Kevin is mostly shot from below, making him seem taller and more confident.
The movie is considered a traditional Christmas movie in Poland. It has aired on national TV during prime-time Christmas season every year since 1990. In 2011 the movie aired on December 23 with an audience of over five million, making it the most popular show aired during the Christmas season in Poland.
Marv's lines: "Why the hell are are you dressed like a chicken" and "Maybe he committed suicide" were improvised by Daniel Stern.
Daniel Stern wore rubber feet for his barefoot scenes.
The sled which Kevin uses when sledding down the stairs and outside, which is next to the TV when Kevin is watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966), is in Chris Columbus' office. The entire cast signed it.
Despite filming a family movie, Daniel Stern once slipped in the "s-word," which can be heard when he is retrieving his boot through the doggy door at 55:27 on the DVD.
Robert De Niro turned down the role of Harry.
The car that ''Santa'' (the guy Kevin talks to about wanting his family back) starts before it stalls out is a 1980 Honda Civic hatchback. It really did stall on camera as the actor was driving it away.
According to Chris Columbus during an interview with Alec Baldwin on Baldwin's podcast Here's the Thing, John Heard was unhappy about working on the film, feeling that the film was going to be terrible. However, upon seeing the finished film and its subsequent success, Heard apologized to Columbus when they were shooting his scenes on the film's sequel, having broken character before his first take to tell Columbus. The director says he still had footage of Heard's apology on video-tape.
The scene in which Kevin is buying a toothbrush was the first scene shot for the movie.
Despite Kevin being home alone, he is never seen in his own room.
The poster and video box image of Kevin with his hands on his face and screaming is based on the famous painting "The Scream" by Edvard Munch.
The role of Uncle Frank was written for Kelsey Grammer.
The "evil furnace" in the basement was done by two guys with fishing line and flashlights.
Although the part was written especially for Macaulay Culkin by John Hughes, several hundred other boys were auditioned by director Chris Columbus. According to the DVD Commentary, Columbus was hesitant to cast Culkin because John Hughes had so recently cast him in Uncle Buck (1989) and didn't want to appear as a pushover in the film community. It was only after auditioning all the other young actors that he realized Culkin was in fact the best choice for the part.
Director Chris Columbus would ask Joe Pesci to do his "How am I funny?" speech from Goodfellas (1990) on set. In fact, Joe Pesci was to have a similar scene with Daniel Stern, defensively questioning him about having an edge. This scene was deleted.
The wax-and-plastic snow used in this film was given to the Lyric Opera of Chicago when shooting finished. It has since been used in numerous opera productions.
Old Man Marley wasn't in the original screenplay.
There is a legend that Elvis Presley (who died in 1977) makes a cameo in this movie. Many of those who believe that Elvis is still alive maintain that the heavily bearded man standing in the background of the scene where Mrs. McCallister is shouting at the desk clerk (just before she meets John Candy) is Elvis.
When the McCallisters are running through the Paris airport towards the arrivals section, Uncle Rob and his family can be briefly glimpsed on the other side of the glass doors holding a large, paper "Welcome" sign. Originally, there was a scene (featured on D.V.D./Blu-ray) with the McCallisters ignoring the sign, and tearing it in half by running right through it, but it was cut from the film.
Chris Columbus was previously hired by John Hughes to direct one of the National Lampoon's Vacation films. After meeting with Chevy Chase, however, it became clear to Columbus that the two of them would not get along, so he asked Hughes if there were any other projects he could work on instead. Home Alone was one of the options presented to him.
Little Nero's Pizza is a parody of Little Caesar's Pizza. Caesar was a Roman Emperor as was Nero.
Several of Chris Columbus's family members make cameos in the film: His mother-in-law and his then-infant daughter Eleanor Columbus are both passengers on the plane. His wife Monica Devereux-Columbus is a stewardess and his father-in-law plays the police officer who gives the line "tell them to count their kids again."
Chris Columbus had storyboarded a few scenes in which Kevin would have a dream where the house would come to life. One included the evil furnace in the basement, which would chase him to the stairs, and another where several toy nutcrackers would come to life along with the house. The scenes, however, would have been too expensive on such a tight budget and the ideas were dropped.
According to Chris Columbus, Kevin Nordine did all the effects for the film in his parent's basement in Chicago, by drawing all the effects onto the film. He also did the effects for only a few hundred dollars at a time.
The police station was actually a high school office.
The statue in the front of the house is hit four times. Twice by the pizza delivery man, once by the air port taxi, and once by a police officer.
John Williams' score for the film is a song called "Somewhere In My Memory." It's used mainly as soundtrack for both Home Alone films; however, he did a couple different recordings of the song itself. The full song done with vocals is on the Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992) music track with Bette Midler.
In the original trailer for the film, the grocery store manager, not the check-out clerk, is the one who questions Kevin about whether he is there alone.
Director Chris Columbus envisioned a scene in which the furnace came to life, gets up on all fours and chases Kevin to the stairs. The scene would have cost over a million dollars so it was trimmed down to the furnace simply lighting up and groaning Kevin's name.
Despite the rumors, the famous scream that Daniel Stern belts out during the tarantula scene was not mimed on set and dubbed in later. In fact, the scream came from Daniel while live on set, mostly because he was assured by the animal handlers that tarantulas don't have ears. Also, the spider's poison was not taken out of the spider either, as some have also thought. This was all confirmed by Daniel Stern himself in a December 24th post on his Facebook page.
To promote a stronger Christmas feel, red and green are major reoccurring colours throughout the movie, appearing quite conspicuously in almost every scene. This includes furniture, clothing, food containers and all wallpaper to name a few.
Originally, Danny DeVito was considered for the role of Harry.
Chris Farley auditioned for Santa Claus.
Jeffrey Wiseman who plays the inquisitive neighbor, Mitch Murphy, auditioned for the role of Kevin McCallister.
The issue of Playboy that Kevin finds in Buzz's room is from July 1989, with Erika Eleniak as Miss July.
Joe Pesci's character, Harry Lime, is named after Orson Welles's character from the film The Third Man (1949).
The B.B. that hits Marv in the face was actually hand-painted.
According to William Goldman, the film's success prompted the creation of a Hollywood verb: "to be Home Aloned", meaning to have a film's box office reduced by the impact of Home Alone.
Macaulay Culkin and John Candy previously starred in Uncle Buck (1989) together. This was also by John Hughes.
The "Oh-Kay Plumbing" van that Harry and Marv drive has a slogan that says "Your flood control experts". This is funny because they call themselves the Wet Bandits, and leave the water running after robbing houses.
In 2015, Macaulay Culkin reprized the iconic role of Kevin McAlliaster in (#1.1) of the Internet comedy series "DRYVRS". In that show, Kevin has grown up and become a long haired, messed up, foul mouthed, bitter and mentally unstable psychopath and he tells Jack (Jack Dishel) about the events of "Home Alone" and he kidnaps the carjacker whom tries to steal his car and ties him up and tortures him. (#1.1) ends with a bloody faced Kevin making his signature scream at the carjacker.
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Jon Lovitz turned down the role of Harry Lime.
According to a Wall Street Journal article, the owners say they were first approached by a location scout who worked with filmmaker John Hughes. First, they were asked if the movie Uncle Buck (1989) could shoot at a house they owned before they owned the one featured in Home Alone (1990). At the time, they were trying to sell it, and declined the offer because they didn't want to take it off the market for several months during the shoot. After they moved into their house, the couple was approached about a second film, National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989), which they decided to turn down, this time because they were renovating.
Director Chris Colombus, Producer John Hughes and actors John Candy, Macaulay Culkin and Kieran Culkin would all collaborate a year later in Only the Lonely (1991).
Some scenes were shot in a three-story single-family house located at 671 Lincoln Avenue in the village of Winnetka. The kitchen in the film was shot in the house, along with the main staircase, basement and most of the first floor landing. The house's dining room, and all the downstairs rooms (excluding the kitchen) were built on a sound stage. The house was built in 1921 and features five bedrooms, a fully converted attic, a detached double garage and a greenhouse. "Kevin's tree house" in the backyard was built specifically for the film and demolished after principal photography ended.
At the beginning of production, Bruce Broughton was attached as the original composer, having previously worked with Chris Columbus on Young Sherlock Holmes (1985). The first printing of the posters had his name on them. Broughton turned down the offer to work on The Rescuers Down Under (1990) instead.
John Heard was cast because Chris Columbus liked his work in Cutter's Way (1981).
Joe Pesci and Catherine O'Hara also appeared in Betsy's Wedding (1990) together, released earlier in the year, where they played a married couple. That film starred Molly Ringwald, who was frequently directed by John Hughes.
Joe Pesci and John Candy also appeared in JFK (1991). They have no screen time together in either movie.
In the box where Buzz keeps his money we see a 1989 Fleer baseball card of All-Star Fred McGriff.
A brief clip of It's a Wonderful Life (1946) is shown in the film. In that movie, George Bailey wishes he had never been born. In this film, McCauley Culkin does the opposite, wishing his family away.
From 1993 to 1996 and again in 1998, NBC aired 'Home Alone' during the 8/7c time slot on Thanksgiving evening as part of their holiday promotion (Jurassic Park (1993) aired in its place in 1997 and 'Home Alone' aired on N.B.C. a week before Christmas). The film would air on NBC until 1999, when it aired the Sunday after Thanksgiving weekend in 1999, when it was the last time it aired on NBC. The film also aired on Thanksgiving for 24 hours on FX in 2009.
The timeline for Home Alone begins on Monday, December 21st and runs through Friday, December 25th. Home Alone was released in 1990. The two Decembers closest to the release date when Christmas was on a Friday were the ones in either 1987 or 1992.
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In the scene when Kevin is browsing through Buzz's private stash, a box of Junior Mints can be seen. In Seinfeld: The Junior Mint (1993), the "Home Alone" movies are mentioned by the main characters.
The film was initially a Warner Bros. production; when 20th Century Fox took over the project, the budget grew from $14 to $17 million.
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Buzz tells Kevin and Rod that Old Man Marley murdered his family in 1958, which is the same year Director Chris Columbus was born.
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John Heard and Daniel Stern appeared together previously in C.H.U.D. (1984)
Between the first two Home Alone films, Rob and Georgette are frequently referred to and never seen. The only shot that the couple is visible in is when the McCallisters are watching It's A Wonderful Life, at Rob's apartment in Paris. The only other scene ended up being scrapped from the first film. The couple have three kids, two girls and a boy, who's names remain a mystery.
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The van that Harry drives has Oh-Kay Plumbing on the side of it. Joe Pesci is remembered for his character saying "OK, OK" in Lethal Weapon 3 (1992).
Larry Hankin and Roberts Blossom had both appeared in Escape from Alcatraz (1979).
Despite the theme song, Somewhere In My Memory, as played by in both the score and select choir versions, there are actually two verses that can be heard. The version of the song with the second stanza is featured on the original soundtrack release.
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While Chris Columbus was staying at his wife's parents house in Chicago, after the birth of their first child, he was sent two scripts by John Hughes, one was for this film, which he fell in love with and struck a chord with him, and he felt he could make a really strong film out of it. He and Hughes hit it off instantly so Hughes gave Columbus the job to direct.
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The film was put into turnaround by a studio because of the budget so 20th Century Fox snatched up the rights and it went on to make $500,000,000, a colossal amount for such an inexpensive picture, and to this day, that first studio will never put a film in turnaround again for allowing this one to get away from them.
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On the set, Macaulay Culkin would jokingly direct the film for Chris Columbus.
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When casting the role of Kevin McCallister, Chris Columbus had already seen Macaulay Culkin in Uncle Buck (1989) but he wanted to audition some other kids first while John Hughes had his heart set on Culkin. So Columbus met Culkin in New York and was very charmed by him and thought he was fantastic. Columbus auditioned five other kids and none of them shaped up to Culkin. Columbus went with Culkin because he was not as picture perfect and he had an instant relatability to the kids in the audience. Columbus knew the cameras would love him and he was immensely funny.
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Kevin's homemade inventions may reflect Chris Columbus's love of inventions, which crop up in films he's scripted, like Gremlins (1984), The Goonies (1985) and Young Sherlock Holmes (1985), which were all produced by Steven Spielberg. Both he and Columbus are big fans of the James Bond series, perhaps because of the inventions in there too.
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Both Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern had recently co-starred in fictional accounts of gangster-turned-informant Henry Hill. Joe Pesci in Goodfellas, Daniel Stern in 'My Blue Heaven (1990)'.
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In both this film and Young Sherlock Holmes (1985) are the line "it's Christmastime"; the former was directed by Chris Columbus and the latter scripted by him.
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When Chris Columbus scripted Young Sherlock Holmes (1985), Watson believed Holmes obsessed over a case because unlike other boys his age, he had no family to go home to, like Harry Potter and Kevin McCallister and Columbus has ties to both franchises.
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Chris Columbus sold Steven Spielberg the scripts for Gremlins (1984) and The Goonies (1985) but his career didn't really take off until the massive success of this film.
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Chris Columbus cast Joe Pesci because he was one of his heroes although he didn't think he'd get him for such a broadly comedic role.
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After securing Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern, Chris Columbus felt confident enough to cast actors who were his heroes growing up like Catherine O'Hara after seeing her work on SCTV (1976), as well as John Heard and then later Tim Curry and Rob Schneider on Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992), because they were all open to the films.
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The film is considered to be a loose remake of "First Blood" and this film does bare some similarities: In this film, Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) is bullied by his family, especially by Buzz (Devin Ratray) and Uncle Frank (Gerry Bamman). Kevin gets sent to the attic for the rest of the night, when Buzz eats of all Kevin's cheese pizza, causing Kevin to go berserk and attack Buzz, leaving Kevin starving, since non of the family left no pieces of pizza for Kevin and Kevin sets traps on Marv (Joe Pesci) and Harry (Daniel Stern) when Kevin is left alone to defend the family home. In "First Blood", John Rambo (Slyvester Stallone) is wrongly arrested by Sheriff Will Teasle (Brian Dennehy) whom won't allow Rambo to stop in town for a meal. Rambo is abused and mistreated by Teasle and his deputies. When Deputy Arthur Galt (Jack Starrett) tries to dry shave Rambo, Rambo goes berserk and attacks the deputies and in the woods, which Rambo flees to, when he escapes from police custody. Rambo sets traps on Teasle's deputies.
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Raja Gosnell: The voice on the answering machine when Harry and Marv are robbing their first house is the film's editor , who would later direct Home Alone 3 (1997).

Director Trademark 

Chris Columbus: [It's a Wonderful Life] In this film and its first sequel Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992), both directed by Columbus, and Gremlins (1984), scripted by Columbus, clips from It's a Wonderful Life (1946) are shown.


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The ornaments that Marv steps on are actually candy.
Chris Columbus wanted the booby-trap with Marv getting hit in the face with a household object sent down the laundry chute, but he couldn't think of one to use, so his brother-in-law suggested a clothes-iron.
Chris Columbus' least favorite booby-trap in the film is Harry getting doused with feathers, because it was too "soft" compared to the other ones throughout the sequence.
The McAllister door-knob burn on Pesci's character at the beginning of the house raid scene is an homage to the main poster used to advertise M (1931).
Kevin's bearded, elderly neighbor, who was thought to be a murderer, shares the same surname as Jacob Marley, Ebenezer Scrooge's deceased partner in Charles Dickens ' famous story 'A Christmas Carol'.
In the scene when Kevin walks past the driveway just as Harry and Marv are driving down it and stop just in time to avoid hitting him, was achieved by having McCauley Culkin Walk backwards as the van was driven in reverse away from him the film was then shown Backwards, its hard to tell but if you look closely at the smoke from the exhaust it's drifting towards the van rather than away from it.
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