Home Alone (1990) Poster



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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.
Joe Pesci deliberately avoided Macaulay Culkin on set because he wanted Culkin to think he was mean.
In the scene where Harry attempts to bite off Kevin's finger, Joe Pesci actually bit Macaulay Culkin, leaving a scar on his finger.
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.
In the original script, Uncle Frank was the real mastermind behind Harry and Marv robbing the McAllister house.
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 ornaments that Marv steps on are actually candy.
The line "You guys give up, or are you thirsty for more?" was improvised.
Daniel Stern agreed to have the tarantula put on his face for exactly one take. He had to mime screaming because the noise would have scared the spider, and the scream was dubbed in later. Macaulay Culkin also had a hand double for close-up shots of Kevin handling the spider.
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.
Macaulay Culkin drew the map that he uses to set up the traps.
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.
The house used for the movie in Winnetka was sold for 1.585 million dollars in March 2012. It was promoted as a tourist attraction.
Kevin's bed-wetting cousin, Fuller, is played by Macaulay Culkin's younger brother, Kieran Culkin.
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.
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.
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.
The "evil furnace" in the basement was done by two guys with fishing line and flashlights.
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.
The scene in which Kevin is buying a toothbrush was the first scene shot for the movie.
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.
Robert De Niro turned down the role of Harry.
Daniel Stern wore rubber feet for his barefoot scenes.
Kevin's plane ticket can be seen briefly in the trash can after Peter McCallister cleans the counter.
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.
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 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.
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.
When Mitch Murphy (Jeffrey Wiseman) is asking questions to the airport driver who is loading the luggage, he clearly lips the dialogue, "gee kid I don't know, hit the road" at the same time as the driver.
A deleted scene has a shot of Marv and Harry singing their own demented version of Santa Claus is Coming to Town.
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.
Michael Jackson visited the set of Home Alone to see Macaulay.
Little Nero's Pizza is an parody of Little Caesar's Pizza. "Caesar" was the title used by Roman emperors, such as Nero.
Old Man Marley wasn't in the original screenplay.
Although the part was written especially for Macaulay Culkin by John Hughes, several hundred other boys were auditioned by director Chris Columbus just because he wanted to confirm that Culkin was the right choice.
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.
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.
When doing the head count of the kids, Heather counts herself twice. First time as #3 then #11
Despite Kevin being home alone, he is never seen in his own room.
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.
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.
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."
During the family pizza-eating scene, when the family is cleaning up Kevin and Buzz's milk mess, Peter can be seen cleaning up the milk and throwing away red napkins. In the pile of napkins thrown in the trash can, Kevin's name can be seen on an airline ticket that's mistakenly thrown away.
The police station was actually a high school office.
John Candy improvised all of his lines.
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.
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 would ask Joe Pesci to do his "How am I funny?" speech from Goodfellas (1990) on set.
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The issue of Playboy that Kevin finds in Buzz's room is from July 1989, with Erika Eleniak as Miss July.
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.
Jeffrey Wiseman who plays the inquisitive neighbor, Mitch Murphy, auditioned for the role of Kevin McCallister.
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.
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'.
Jon Lovitz turned down the role of Harry Lime.
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.
Originally, Danny DeVito was considered for the role of Harry.
Macaulay Culkin and John Candy previously starred in Uncle Buck (1989) together. This was also by John Hughes.
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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.
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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).
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John Heard was cast because Chris Columbus liked his work in Cutter's Way (1981).
Cast members Joe Pesci and John Candy also appeared in the Oliver Stone movie "JFK" (1991). They have no screen time together in either movie.
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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.
The van that Harry drives has Oh-Kay Plumbing on the side of it. Joe Pesci is remembered for his character saying "O.K., O.K." in 'Lethal Weapon 3'.
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.
In the box where Buzz keeps his money we see a 1989 Fleer baseball card of All-Star Fred McGriff.
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.
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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 a 1993 episode of the popular TV sitcom, "Seinfeld" (1989-1998), entitled, 'The Junior Mint,' the "Home Alone" movies are mentioned by the main characters.
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In Home Alone, a brief clip of It's a Wonderful Life is playing. In that movie, a Christmas Classic, Jimmy Stewart wishes he had never been born. In Home Alone, another Christmas Classic, McCauley Culkin does the opposite, wishing his family away.
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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.
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Chris Farley auditioned for Santa Claus.
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John Heard and Daniel Stern appeared together previously in C.H.U.D. (1984)
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Larry Hankin and Roberts Blossom had both appeared in Escape from Alcatraz (1979).
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While Home Alone took place in Chicago, 20th Century Fox also released the Steven Seagal action movie, Marked for Death (1990), in October of the same year that also takes place in Chicago.
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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.

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 Fritz Lang's 'M' (1931). This poster is on the I.M.D.B. page for the movie.

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