Home Alone (1990) Poster



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.
Jump to: Cameo (1) | Director Trademark (1) | Spoilers (1)
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.
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 line "You guys give up, or are you thirsty for more?" was improvised.
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.
Entered into The Guinness Book of World Records as the "Highest Box Office Gross - Comedy", accumulating $533,000,000 internationally.
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-babysitter through a letterbox.
The ornaments that Marv steps on are actually candy.
John Candy filmed his part in only one day, albeit an extremely long 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.
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 highest-grossing movie of 1990.
Macaulay Culkin drew the map that he uses to set up the traps.
Kevin's plane ticket can be seen briefly in the trash can after Peter McCallister cleans the counter.
The scene in which Kevin is buying a toothbrush was the first scene shot for the movie.
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 23rd with an audience of over 5 million, making it the most popular show aired during the Christmas season in Poland.
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 it's 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.
Daniel Stern wore rubber feet for his barefoot scenes.
The car that ''Santa'' (the guy Kevin talks to about getting 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.
The last scene filmed was the scene in which Kevin is running through the water-filled basement. The scene was filmed in the swimming pool of the local high school.
Robert De Niro turned down the role of Harry.
The wax-and-plastic artificial 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.
The "evil furnace" in the basement was done by two guys with fishing line and flashlights.
The role of Uncle Frank was written for Kelsey Grammer.
One of Kevin's cousins Fuller who apparently wets the bed is Macaulay Culkin's younger brother Kieran Culkin.
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. MacCallister is shouting at the desk clerk (just before she meets John Candy) is Elvis.
Old Man Marley wasn't in the original screenplay.
The sled which Kevin uses when flying down the stairs and into the garden, which is next to the TV when Kevin is watching How the Grinch Stole Christmas! (1966), is in Chris Columbus's office. It was signed by the entire cast.
The house used for the movie in Winnetka was sold for $1.585 million in March 2012. It was promoted as a tourist attraction.
Little Nero's Pizza is an parody of Little Caesar's Pizza. "Caesar" was the title used by Roman emperors, such as Nero.
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 which 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.
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 right for the part.
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.
Kevin's elderly next door neighbor who was thought to be a murderer shares the same surname as Jacob Marley Ebenezer Scrooge's deceased partner in Charles Dickens's famous story A Christmas Carol.
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."
The police station was actually the office of a high school.
The issue of Playboy that Kevin finds in Buzz's room is from July 1989, with Erika Eleniak as Miss July.
In the original trailer for the film, the grocery store manager, not the checkout clerk, is the one who questions Kevin about whether he is there alone.
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.
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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 that's thrown in the trash can, Kevin's name can be seen on an airline ticket that's mistakenly thrown away.
John Williams's 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 soundtrack with Bette Midler.
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.
Joe Pesci's character, Harry Lime, is named after Orson Welles's character from the film The Third Man (1949).
Jeffrey Wiseman who plays the inquisitive neighbor, Mitch Murphy, auditioned for the role of Kevin McCallister.
The house sold for over a million dollars.
The BB that hits Marv in the face was actually hand-painted.
Jon Lovitz turned down the role of Harry Lime.
John Heard was cast because Chris Columbus liked his work in Cutter's Way (1981).
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When doing the head count of the kids, Heather counts herself twice. First time as #3 then #11
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In the original version of the screenplay. Uncle Frank was the real mastermind behind Harry and Marv robbing the McAlliaster family house.
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In the box where Buzz keeps his money we see a 1989 Fleer baseball card of All-Star Fred McGriff.
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 NBC a week before Christmas). The film would air on NBC until 1999, in which it aired the Sunday after Thanksgiving weekend in 1999, in which it was the last time it aired on NBC. The film also aired on Thanksgiving Day for 24 hours on FX in 2009.
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 DVD/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.
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Larry Hankin and Roberts Blossom had both appeared in Escape from Alcatraz.
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Joe Pesci and Catherine O'Hara also appeared in Betsy's Wedding 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 writer of Home Alone.
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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 "okay, okay" in Lethal Weapon 3.
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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 item below may give away important plot points.

Chris Columbus wanted the gag with Marv getting hit in the face with a household object sent down the laundry chute, but he couldn't think of one, so his brother-in-law suggested a clothes-iron.
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