The picture Kevin finds of Buzz's girlfriend was a picture of a boy made up to look like a girl, because director 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 and Daniel Stern felt indifferent about the movie'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 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.
John Candy improvised all of his lines. This is a trademark of writer John Hughes, who also had the five students in his earlier The Breakfast Club (1985) improvise when they told one another why they were in detention.
John Candy filmed his part in only one day, albeit a twenty-three-hour day. The story about having once forgotten his son at a funeral home was entirely improvised. His part potentially partly inspired by the character he played in Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987), also written by John Hughes.
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 the letter opening in the front door.
John Hughes was worried that mothers would never believe a family could forget one of their kids. Chris Columbus recalled, "John really filled in every possible logic hole, and the audience always bought 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 53:12 on the DVD, as well as being shown in the English subtitle.
Chris Columbus would ask Joe Pesci to do his "How am I funny?" speech from Goodfellas (1990) on-set. In fact, Pesci was to have a similar scene with Daniel Stern, defensively questioning him about having an edge. This scene was deleted.
The movie is considered a traditional Christmas movie in Poland. It has aired on national television during primetime 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.
In May 2011, the house in Winnetka, Illinois 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".
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. Columbus says he still had footage of Heard's apology on video tape.
Although the part was written especially for Macaulay Culkin by John Hughes, several hundred other boys were auditioned by Chris Columbus. According to the DVD commentary, Columbus was hesitant to cast Culkin because 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.
Chris Columbus was previously hired by John Hughes to direct National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (1989). 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 (1990) was one of the options presented to him.
John Candy did the role of Gus Pulanski (the clarinet player in the polka band in the rental truck) for free. The character was inspired by real-life Jan "Polka King" Lewan, who lived in Pennsylvania and whose polka band really did do tours around the world. John Candy improvised all of his lines.
To promote a stronger Christmas feel, red and green are major reoccurring colors throughout the movie, appearing quite conspicuously in almost every scene. This includes furniture, clothing, food containers, and all wallpaper.
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.
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.
According to Chris Columbus, Kevin Nordine did all the effects for the film in his parents' 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.
In 2015, Macaulay Culkin reprised the iconic role of Kevin McCallister in the first episode 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, who tells Jack (Jack Dishel) about the events of "Home Alone", and then kidnaps the carjacker who tries to steal his car, ties him up, and tortures him. The episode ends with a bloody-faced Kevin making his signature scream at the carjacker.
Chris Columbus had storyboarded a few scenes in which Kevin would have dreams where the house comes to life. One included the evil furnace in the basement, which would come to life and chase him to the stairs on all fours, and another where several toy nutcrackers would come to life, along with the house. The scenes, however, were too expensive on such a tight budget, and the ideas were dropped.
When the McCallisters are running through the Paris airport toward 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 and 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.
Several of Chris Columbus' family members made cameos in the film: His mother-in-law and his daughter Eleanor Columbus were passengers on the plane. His wife Monica Devereux-Columbus was a stewardess, and his father-in-law played the police officer who gives the line "tell them to count their kids again."
The trailer featured deleted and alternated scenes: a TV anchorman warns viewers to be on the lookout for the Wet Bandits. In the supermarket scene, the manager of the supermarket stands behind the check out girl and asks Kevin the questions check out girl asks him in the theatrical cut, and there's additional dialogue between Harry and Marv just before they go to Kevin's house, which Marv says "Kids are stupid. I know I was", to which Harry replies "You still are, Marv."
Some scenes were shot in a three-story single-family house, located at 671 Lincoln Avenue, in Winnetka, Illinois. 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 soundstage. 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.
Chris Columbus' previous movie had not done well at the box-office, and he was worried he would never direct again, but then John Hughes sent him the script for this film. Columbus said it was one of the best he had ever read.
John Williams' score for the film is a song called "Somewhere In My Memory". It is used mainly on the soundtrack for the first two "Home Alone" films. However, he did a couple of 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.
Mr. Marley's hand wound may symbolize his relationship with his son. In his first scene with Kevin, his hand is heavily wrapped in gauze. At this point in time, he and his son are not on speaking terms. Their next scene is in the church, where he confides in Kevin the falling out they had. In this scene, he is wearing only a band-aid. In his last scene, while hugging his granddaughter, his hand is completely healed.
Roberts Blossom considered this film one of the high points in his career after the film's release. Blossom said kids would often recognize him from playing Old Man Marley and ask "Aren't you the guy . . .?"
Chris Columbus envisioned a scene in which the furnace comes to life, gets up on all fours, and chases Kevin to the stairs. The scene would have cost over $1 million, so it was trimmed down to the furnace simply lighting up and groaning Kevin's name.
The novelization, written by Todd Strasser, gives away some details not revealed in the film, notably the name of Buzz's pet tarantula as Axl, while Peter's job is given as a successful businessman, and Kate is a fashion designer, somewhat explaining mannequins in the basement, the two sewing machines, and the money that is used to pay for pizza in Home Alone (1990) and used to order room service by Kevin in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992).
According to a Wall Street Journal article, the owners of the McCallister house say they were first approached by a location scout who worked with 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, Christmas Vacation (1989), which they decided to turn down, this time because they were renovating.
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.
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 City, 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 bond to the kids in the audience. Columbus knew the cameras would love him, and he was immensely funny.
The film was put into turnaround by Warner Brothers because of the budget, so 20th Century Fox snatched up the rights, and it went on to make $476 million worldwide, a colossal amount for such an inexpensive picture.
This film was still playing in theaters when director Chris Columbus's next film Only the Lonely (1991) was released into theaters. This film finished eleventh while the latter film finished fifth during the latter's opening weekend.
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 (1946),' 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, whose names remain a mystery.
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 him the job to direct.
While the kids in the main McCallister family (Buzz, Megan, Jeff, Linnie, and Kevin) are all different ages which Buzz being the oldest at 13 or 14 and Kevin the youngest at 8, in real life the actors who play Buzz, Megan, Jeff, and Linnie are all the same age being born in 1977 while Culkin is still the youngest being born in 1980.
In this order, it is Devin Ratray (Buzz) born in January, Hillary Wolf (Megan) born in February, Angela Goethals (Linnie) born in May, and Michael Maronna (Jeff) born in September.
The scene which Megan talks to Buzz about Kevin was longer with extra dialogue which Heather berates Buzz and calls him cruel which Buzz admits that Kevin deserved to got left behind and that he asked for it and that he is not concerned about Kevin.
Ever since the film's release,fans have had quite a suspension of disbelief. Can a man really be hit square in the face with a steam iron and walk away unfazed? What kind of permanent physical damage would a blow torch to the head really do, Dr. Ryan St. Clair of the Weill Cornell Medical College diagnosed each of the injuries in the film: THE INJURY: BB GUN TO THE FOREHEAD "Classic air-powered projectile weapons typically have muzzle velocities of 350 feet per second or less. A BB fired at close range from such a weapon could break the skin, but will not penetrate the skull, and is unlikely to penetrate Harry's scrotum, especially through fabric." THE INJURY: IRON TO THE FACE "Let's estimate the distance from the first floor to the basement at 15 feet, and assume the steam iron weighs 4 pounds. And note that the iron strikes Marv squarely in the mid-face. This is a serious impact, with enough force to fracture the bones surrounding the eyes. This is also known as a 'blowout fracture,' and can lead to serious disfigurement and debilitating double vision if not repaired properly." THE INJURY: HANDLING A BURNING-HOT DOORKNOB The Doctor's Diagnosis: "If this doorknob is glowing visibly red in the dark, it has been heated to about 751 degrees Fahrenheit, and Harry gives it a nice, strong, one- to two-second grip. By comparison, one second of contact with 155 degree water is enough to cause third degree burns. The temperature of that doorknob is not quite hot enough to cause Harry's hand to burst into flames, but it is not that far off ... Assuming Harry doesn't lose the hand completely, he will almost certainly have other serious complications, including a high risk for infection and 'contracture' in which resulting scar tissue seriously limits the flexibility and movement of the hand, rendering it less than 100 percent useful. Kevin has moved from 'defending his house' into sheer malice, in my opinion." THE INJURY: A BLOWTORCH TO THE SCALP "Harry has an interesting reaction to having a lit blowtorch aimed directly at his scalp. Rather than remove himself from danger, he keeps the top of his skull directly in the line of fire for about seven seconds. What was likely a simple second-degree skin burn is now a full thickness burn likely to cause necrosis of the calavarium (skull bone)." That means the skin and bone tissue on Harry's skull will be so damaged and rotted that his skull bone is essentially dying and will likely require a transplant. THE INJURY: WALKING BAREFOOT ON CHRISTMAS TREE ORNAMENTS "Walking on ornaments seems pretty insignificant compared to everything else we've seen so far. If I was Marv, I'd be more concerned about my facial fractures." THE INJURY: PAINT CAN TO THE FACE "Assuming the paint can is full (roughly 10 pounds) and the rope is 10 feet long, Marv and Harry each take a roughly 2 kilo-newton hit to the face. That is easily enough to fracture multiple facial bones, and is probably going to knock you out cold. Also, I wouldn't expect either of the Wet Bandits to walk away from this with all of their teeth." THE INJURY: SHOVEL TO THE BACK OF THE HEAD "Seriously? At this point, Marv and Harry have both suffered potentially crippling hand and foot injuries. Harry has proved to be nearly impervious to burns, and both managed to retain consciousness after taking a flying paint can straight to the face. Suddenly, a frail elderly man appears and weakly slaps them in turn with a flimsy aluminum Home Depot snow shovel. And, somehow, this is too much for them, and they collapse. This movie was way more believable when I was 8."
In December 2018, Macauley Culkin reprised his role, and certain scenes from this movie, in a television advert for the "Google Assistant" product. Although Culkin previously went through a rather public bad period in his private life with people concerned about his health, in the advert he appears as just a virtually identical just older version of Kevin.
The only screentime Joe Pesci (Harry) has with Kevin's family in this movie, and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992), is at the beginning of this one, when he is at the McCallister home impersonating a police officer. His co-star Daniel Stern (Marv) does not have any screentime with Kevin's family in either movie.
Even though the movie doesn't state the ages of Kevin's older siblings, the actors playing Buzz, Megan, Linnie, and Jeff were all born in 1977. If they are meant to all be the same age in the movie (quadruplets), it could explain why Kevin always seems to be the odd one out.
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.
When Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) turns on the TV in the kitchen, Miracle on 34th Street (1947) is playing. Home Alone (1990) writer/producer John Hughes co-wrote (with George Seaton) and produced the remake, Miracle on 34th Street (1994).
From 1993 to 1996, and again in 1998, NBC aired this movie during the 8 p.m. time slot on Thanksgiving evening, as part of their holiday promotion (Jurassic Park (1993) aired in its place in 1997, and this movie aired on NBC a week before Christmas). The film aired 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 twenty-four hours on FX in 2009.
In the scene when Kevin is browsing through Buzz's private stash, a box of Junior Mints can be seen. In an episode of Seinfeld called Seinfeld: The Junior Mint (1993), the "Home Alone" movies are mentioned by the main characters.
Harry (Joe Pesci) wears a wedding ring throughout the entire movie. You can see it for the first time when he's dressed as the police officer, and he has it on throughout the rest of the movie, as well. His possible wife is never mentioned during the film, though.
In the extended version of the scene which the family are in Paris. When Frank serves shrimps to the children, Frank calls Fuller a punk and tells him to get off the sofa and sit on the floor and Megan confronts Buzz about Kevin and Megan calls Buzz "cruel" as Buzz is not concerned about Kevin being left at home on his own and when Buzz says that Kevin deserved to get left behind. The extended version of shows how mean spirited Buzz and Frank are and that Frank also treats Fuller poorly like Kevin.
Home Alone (1990) is one of two films in which Joe Pesci and John Candy consecutively appeared (in year terms) with John Williams as the composer. The other film was JFK (1991). In addition, Pesci also appeared in Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992), also composed by Williams.
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 which go home, like Harry Potter and Kevin McCallister. Columbus has ties to both franchises.
Frank and Buzz are the members of Kevin's family that treat Kevin the worst as they bully, antagonize and are mean to him. In a deleted scene, Frank pranks Kevin by telling him that everyone in France will call him "yank" which he pulls Kevin's trousers down. When Peter accidentally spills soda on Frank's lap, Frank nastily calls Kevin a "little jerk". Buzz refuses to allow Kevin to sleep in his room and Buzz eats all of Kevin's cheese pizza and threatens to vomit it all over Kevin. In a deleted scene, Buzz threatens to nail Kevin to Marley's front door if he doesn't leave his bedroom and Buzz calls Kevin a "gutless butterfly".
In a way Buzz caused Kevin to be home alone. He got Kevin sent to the third floor by stealing his cheese pizza and pretending to vomit causing Kevin to attack him. If that never happened Kevin may never had been home alone.
There was a scene that edited and removed from the Paris scene which when Frank serves shrimp to the children, which he calls Fuller a punk and tells him to get off the sofa and sit on the floor. The scene shows how horrible and mean-spirited Frank is and like Kevin, he also treats his own son Fuller poorly.
A scene was filmed, but cut which the family in Paris are lying wide awake in bed and are not unable to sleep because there are worried about Kevin. The only member whom is sleeping is Buzz whom obviously isn't worried and doesn't care about Kevin being left home all by himself.
It's ironic that Kevin's cousin Fuller is called Fuller. In the film, Fuller is seen drinking Pepsi which he gets told to go easy on and Fuller is known for wetting the bed. Fuller wets the bed because he gets a full bladder from drinking too much soft drink and fluids.
Home Alone is a 1990 comedy from director Chris Columbus and writer John Hughes which Macaulay Culkin stars in his iconic breakout role as despised and neglected 8-year-old Kevin McAllister, whom gets grounded when he gets into a fight with his bully older brother Buzz (Devin Ratray) only to get accidentally left at home all by himself when his uncaring family flies out to Paris for Christmas and he rigs the house with unique booby traps for burglar Harry (Joe Pesci) and his dim-witted partner Marv (Daniel Stern) when they target his house.
John Candy shared all of his screentime 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 shots that focus on Kevin in the beginning of the movie are filmed 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 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 Stern while live on-set, mostly because he was assured by the animal handlers that tarantulas do not have ears. Also, the tarantula's poison was not extracted, as some have thought. This was all confirmed by Stern himself in a December 24, 2015 post on his Facebook page.
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 Macaulay Culkin walk backwards as the van was driven in reverse away from him. The film was then shown backwards.
Foreshadowing: when Kevin attacks Buzz and spills milk all over the counter, Peter tries to clean up the spill to save the passports and tickets. As he throws a wad of wet napkins away, he also throws a plane ticket away by mistake. The ticket can be seen in the garbage with Kevin's name written in black marker. The next morning, also by mistake, he was left home alone.
The film originally ended with Peter asking what else Kevin was up to whilst they were away and Kevin saying "Just hung around" which ends in a freeze frame. John Hughes and Chris Columbus decided to drop the ending and decided to end the film instead with Kevin looking through the window and seeing Marley reuniting with his family. John Hughes and Chris Columbus decided to give the film an emotional and moving upbeat happier ending and to let the audience know that Marley took Kevin's advice and thanks to Kevin, Marley reconcile with his son and is back together with his family for the first time in years.
During the dinner scene when Kevin's dad knocks the soda over, he accidentally throws Kevin's plane ticket into the trash. So even if he was with his family, he wouldn't be able to board the plane because he wouldn't have a boarding pass.
In the rumored original draft of the screenplay, Uncle Frank is revealed as the real villain and as the villain behind the villains and that Harry and Marv work for him and that he hired them to rob the McAllister house and other houses in the neighborhood and also to kill Kevin.
At 10:00 minutes, after the drinks spill, you see the father throwing a bunch of soiled napkins in the garbage. If you look closely you can see an American Airlines ticket caught in with them. The ticket also has the name "Kevin" written at the top. This explains why they are not left with an extra ticket when Kevin is forgotten.
Originally, the film was going to end in a freeze frame when Peter asks Kevin what he was doing whilst they away which it ended with Kevin saying "Just hanging about". But, Chris Columbus and John Hughes felt that Old Man Marley's arc in the movie wasn't concluded at the end and they decided to re-shoot the ending which Kevin witnesses Old Man Marley reconciling with his son and that he took Kevin's advice.
In the beginning of the film, the audience notes that Kevin has been banished to the sleeper sofa in the attic the night before the trip. The attic, which has no noted attic insulation in the rafters, which without insulation would leave the attic at sub-freezing temperatures, especially in Chicago in mid-December, wouldn't be an ideal place to sleep, let alone for a nine-year old kid.
In the scene in which Kevin gets into fight with Buzz, when Buzz eats Kevin's pizza, Frank rudely and nastily calls Kevin a "little jerk" when Pepsi gets spilt over his lap. If you watch the film again carefully, Peter is seen knocking over the bottle of Pepsi, spilling it on Frank's lap.
Harry, Marv, Buzz, and Frank are the film's antagonists. Harry and Marv bid to rob Kevin's house, and Buzz and Frank bully Kevin, and are horrible to him. However, after some of the family get back home, Buzz kindly admits to Kevin that it's "pretty cool he didn't burn the house down" while he was home alone.
Both Kevin and Old Man Marley share a similar character arc in the movie. Kevin gets into a fight with Buzz and gets into an argument with Kate wishing that he didn't have a family and that he doesn't want to see his mother again for the rest of his life which he accidentally gets left behind at home and Old Man Marley tells Kevin that he is estranged from his son and they had they had an argument and the ends with Kevin with reuniting with Kate and the family and reconciling with Kate and Buzz and Old Man Marley reunites and reconciles with his son.