Home Alone is a 1990 American Christmas comedy film written and produced by John Hughes and directed by Chris Columbus. The film stars Macaulay Culkin as Kevin McCallister, an eight-year-boy who is mistakenly left behind when his family flies to Paris for their Christmas vacation. While initially relishing time by himself, he is later greeted by two would-be burglars, Harry and Marv, played by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern. Kevin eventually manages to outwit them with a series of booby traps. The film also features Catherine O'Hara, John Heard, Devin Ratray, Roberts Blossom, and John Candy.
Culkin was nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Musical or Comedy, and the film was nominated for two Academy Awards: Best Original Score, which was written by John Williams, and Best Original Song for "Somewhere in My Memory". After its release, Home Alone became the highest-grossing live action comedy film of all time in the United States, and also held the record worldwide until it was overtaken by The Hangover Part II in 2011. It is the second highest-grossing Christmas movie of all time at the North American box office (when adjusted for inflation). Despite the mixed critical reception upon its initial release, Home Alone has been hailed as a holiday classic among audiences, and is often ranked as one of the best Christmas films of all time.
Since its release, Home Alone has become the highest-grossing live action comedy film of all time in the US and was as well worldwide until 2011's The Hangover Part II. Home Alone has spawned a successful film franchise with four sequels (two theatrical and two made-for-TV), including the 1992 film Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, which the first and only Home Alone sequel to have most of the original cast reprising their roles. The film received mixed to positive reviews from critics.
The film opens with the extended Irish McCallister family rushing around the house in preparation of a holiday trip to France. Eight year-old Kevin McCallister is constantly teased by his older siblings and is mistreated by his family. Kevin replies with "I'm living alone!" while jumping up and down on the landing. A burglar posing as a policeman (Joe Pesci) tries to get everyone's attention, but he fails. The family does not realize that he is a burglar named Harry who is trying to raid houses by obtaining as much information from them as possible about the security of their homes.
After an argument with his bullying older brother, Buzz, Kevin is sent up to the third floor of his house for the night with nothing to compensate for his stolen cheese pizza as a punishment, while Buzz is not punished in any way for his cruelty. He is disgusted by his family's unfair and neglectful treatment towards him ("being treated like scum", according to Kevin). He then wishes that his family would simply disappear.
An electric power-failure causes the family to oversleep and be late for their vacation. Kevin eventually ends up being left at home by himself when the eldest child, Heather, miscounts, mistaking a neighborhood child for Kevin. Kevin is initially pleased with the results. He begins to do things he would not have been permitted to do otherwise, such as jumping on his parents' bed, raiding Buzz's room and going through his personal belongings, eating junk food, riding down the stairs on a sled, shooting action figures down a laundry chute with a pellet gun, and watching an R-rated gangster film called Angels with Filthy Souls. However, a shooting in the film scares him and makes him shout for his mother, perhaps implying that the whole situation was not so good after all. Several hours later, while discussing feeling like she forgot something with Peter (Kevin's father), Kate (Kevin's mother) realizes that they forgot Kevin.
Meanwhile, Harry, armed with all the information he received, and his partner Marv (Daniel Stern) begin to search the neighborhood looking for which houses to raid, focusing mainly on the McCallisters' house and calling it the "silver tuna". The two then begin to raid the vacant houses in the neighborhood, and then decide to head to the McCallisters'. However, Kevin sees their shadows and scares them away by turning on the lights and runs and hides under his parents bed. When Kevin leaves, proclaiming he is not afraid anymore, he is scared again, this time by Old Man Marley (Roberts Blossom), a man in the neighborhood who, according to a rumor Buzz told Kevin, killed his entire family with a snow shovel. When the Chicago Police Department tries to investigate the house for him upon his parents' request, he refuses to answer the door, because he is still scared from earlier.
The next day, Kevin unintentionally shoplifts a toothbrush after being scared away from the drugstore by Marley while shopping with some of Buzz's money. On his way home he is nearly hit by Harry and Marv's van and is warned by them to be careful. Harry then wishes Kevin a Merry Christmas and smiles at him, flashing his gold tooth, which Kevin recognizes from when Harry, disguised as a policeman, was in the house, and runs away. Harry and Marv trail Kevin for a few blocks until he hides in a church to get away from them.
Kevin tricks Harry and Marv into thinking that the family is home from their vacation, by arranging his mother's mannequins around the house and moving their limbs with string. He also attached a cardboard Michael Jordan picture to a train set. The next morning the two intruders scout the house again, this time finding it quiet and arousing Harry's suspicions. Marv decides to try and break in by himself, but Kevin plays the same gangster movie at full volume and adds more noise during the gunshot scene by lighting some firecrackers he found in Buzz's room, which scares Marv away. Kevin's trick prompts Marv to believe that the prank was real, saying that someone was murdered by a robber in the house. This angers Harry, who says that the neighborhood was for the two to rob and no one else. So they decide to wait and see who was responsible for the 'murder' in the McCallisters' house.
Meanwhile, in Paris, Kate is desperately trying to catch a flight back to Chicago as soon as possible, although her husband is only able to book a flight leaving two days later. Eventually, she manages to swap her watch that looks like a Rolex, $500, and some more jewelry for an economy seat back to Dallas. Her next flight puts her in Scranton on Christmas Eve, where her journey home is halted because there are no flights out of Scranton to Chicago. Fortunately for her, Gus Polinski (John Candy), who claims to be the 'polka king of the midwest' and his stranded group of fellow polka musicians on their way to Milwaukee for a polka festival, offer to help her get home in their van.
Back in Chicago, Harry and Marv are still trying to figure out what is going on and spot Kevin cutting down a Christmas tree. Harry then gets out, goes around to the side of the house, and spots Kevin mantling a tree, deducing that he is in fact home alone and is also an easy target. Kevin then overhears Harry and Marv plotting their next move, which is to come back that night.
Meanwhile, Kevin decides to try and do whatever it takes to try to get his family back home, going first to the town's Santa Claus, and then to the neighborhood church to listen to the rehearsal of a choir. While there, he once again comes across Old Man Marley, and the two strike up a conversation. Kevin learns through the course of the conversation that none of the rumors about Marley are true - and in fact that he is a pleasant person once someone gets to know him. Kevin also learns that Marley's granddaughter is in the choir and that he has come to watch her sing, but he will not be there later because he is lonely as a result of a falling out with his son years ago. Kevin suggests that Marley should try and get in touch with him if he can just to see what would happen, and Marley agrees.
After Kevin leaves the church it is now 8:00, and he runs home to set up a series of traps around the house, including a burning doorknob, slippery sidewalks, a paint bucket, and various sharp objects on the floor such as toys and ornaments. He finishes just in time to eat dinner, but the clock chimes 9:00 and he prepares himself with a BB-gun.
Right on time, the two burglars knock on the door, saying that they know he is in there and cracking some jokes. While the two are reminiscing, Kevin slips his gun through the mail-slot and shoots. It hits Harry right in the crotch and while he grimaces with pain, Marv is completely dumbstruck and puts his head through the mail-slot to see what's going on. He automatically sees Kevin on the other side pointing the gun to his head. His attempt to get away fails as he is hit on the head and he too collapses. Harry and Marv decide to change their plan, as Harry goes to the front door and Marv enters from the basement. Harry slips and falls on the extremely slippery stairs that Kevin "tampered with."
Marv tries to go in through the basement, but he too slips and falls on slippery stairs, which were also wet. Marv finally manages to get in, and, while tinkering with the light switch, sees an iron drop out of the basement door. He chuckles, believing that the trap was unsuccessful. However, another iron drops out of a heating vent and hits Marv square on the head. Marv finally sits up, with burn marks on his forehead.
Meanwhile, Harry is at the front door, and slips yet another time, snapping his back as he hits the ground. He is enraged. In determination, Harry finally climbs up the stairs without falling, and staring into the house, he is oblivious to the burning hot iron on the other side of the door. As Harry puts his hand on the doorknob, he cries out in pain, and rolls down the stairs and sinks his hands into the snow. He lets out a sigh of relief. Kevin, on the other side, yells out in triumph. Harry, still determined, goes to the back door again, and, relieved that the doorknob is cold, opens the door, but just as he does, a flamethrower attached to the door hinge lit up with flames, and Harry lets out another anguished cry as his head goes up in flames. He runs down the stairs and sinks his head in the snow. When he takes his head out, he notices that his cap is burned off along with patches of his hair. He becomes very angry and charges in, yelling, "Where are you, you little creep?!"
Meanwhile, Marv, enraged, climbs up the stairs barefoot, his shoes and socks having been stuck on the sticky tar. As he climbs, his foot hits a needle, planted there by Kevin. Marv looks at his foot in pain, and begins to fall, landing at the bottom of the stairs, still looking at his foot, and he screams. Marv decides that it's too dangerous to go through the basement, so he leaves, still barefoot, and finds an open window, shouting to Harry that he's coming in.
Harry walks in the house and is at the living room door. Kevin stands patiently on the other side, pretending that he's scared. Harry, realizing that the kid is mocking him, gets very angry and opens the door, and is greeted by a sandwich bag wrapped around his face. He mutters incoherently in anger and, after taking off the bag, continues walking, until he notices a fan with a box of feathers in front of it, and, not given enough time to react, the fan turns on, blowing an array of feathers into his face and all over his body. Marv climbs in through the window, and, still barefoot, steps on the sharp ornaments and toys placed there by Kevin. Marv cries in pain, but keeps walking, regardless of the line of sharp objects. Harry and Marv meet at the stairs, and Harry comments about Marv being barefoot, and Marv asking Harry why he looks like a chicken. They both look up at Kevin at the top of the stairs, who smiles and says, "I'm up here, you morons! Come and get me." They glance at each other, reaching an agreement to get the kid. They head toward the stairs, but slip and fall on the toys that are laid out on the ground. Kevin says a notable line in the story: "You guys give up or you thirsty for more?" Harry and Marv get up, and climb up the stairs, muttering angrily. They do not notice the swinging paint can, and as Kevin pushes it towards the burglars, Harry ducks and warns Marv, who gets struck on the head by the paint can. Harry responds to Marv saying that he will catch the kid for him. However he does not notice a second paint can, and as Marv yells out at Harry to duck, Harry gets hit on the head by the flying paint can. In a comedic fashion, Harry plunges down the stairs, landing right on top of Marv. As they both struggle to get up, Kevin runs up the stairs, checking the rope trap, and runs up to the attic, where an escape rope and pulley leading from the attic to the treehouse was deployed.
Harry and Marv run up the stairs, and Harry gets clipped by the rope, but Marv manages to get out, grabbing one of Kevin's legs before he can escape to the attic. Then, during the struggle, Kevin notices Buzz's pet tarantula at the middle of the stairs, and as Marv is yelling at Harry, who is unconscious, to get up and help, Kevin attempts to reach the tarantula. He is eventually successful, and, in triumph, drops the spider on Marv's face. As Marv is shocked by the terrifying creature, Kevin runs upstairs and musters up the courage to climb the rope to the treehouse. Marv, in panic, drops the spider, and it lands on Harry's stomach. Harry, still unconscious, does not react to the spider. Marv picks up his crowbar and as Harry begins to wake up, Marv slams his crowbar into Harry's stomach. Harry, not knowing what is going on, gets angry at Marv, and as Marv tries to explain the situation, Harry takes the crowbar and hits Marv many times. Harry gives back the crowbar and they run up the stairs. Meanwhile, Kevin is halfway to the treehouse, and he looks down at how far he is off the ground. He finally reaches the treehouse, crashing and knocking out some wood.
Harry and Marv are in the attic overlooking the treehouse, and they both wonder where Kevin is. Marv suggests that Kevin committed suicide, and Harry is doubtful, until he sees the rope. Kevin tells them: "Come and get me!" and Harry says that going downstairs is just what he wants them to do: go downstairs and get bruised up by his various traps. Harry decides to use the rope, however Marv is terrified because the pulley is on Kevin's side, so he and Harry would have to travel by hand. Harry calls Marv a scaredy-cat, and this finally convinces Marv to go through with it. As they are both climbing the rope, Marv whimpers and makes several suggestions to go back. Then, Kevin steps out of the treehouse with a pair of shears and says: "Hey guys, check this out!" Harry ironically tells Marv to go back to the attic. Kevin cuts the rope, and Harry and Marv go swinging into a wall, still hanging on the rope, and then they plunge to the ground. Harry and Marv are exhausted. They take longer than usual to recover.
Meanwhile, Kevin climbs down from the treehouse and is able to escape, and goes back to the house to call the police, and runs across the street to the Murphys' house that Harry and Marv had raided and robbed before. However, he is captured by the two burglars, who claim that they have outsmarted him. They tell Kevin that they are going to do everything that was dealt to him. They were going to burn his head, shove a needle through his foot, and bite every single finger in his hand. Just as they are about to take revenge, Old Man Marley appears and hits them with his snow shovel. He then returns Kevin home safely. The police arrive and arrest the two, with Kevin watching across the street, smiling. He hangs up the stockings and leaves milk and cookies on the table. He goes to his parents' bedroom and takes out a picture of his mom and dad. He prays that he would have a family again.
Kevin wakes up the next morning and immediately runs downstairs, hoping that his wish to get his family back had come true. It has not, but the van pulls up to the house and Kate runs inside and finds him. Moments later the rest of the family arrives at the house, having taken the other flight home, and Kevin tells them of his food shopping which impresses everyone. He does not tell them what happened the night before with Harry and Marv, but his father finds Harry's gold tooth on the floor.
The final scene shows Kevin looking out his window next door toward Old Man Marley's house, where his son and family are reunited for the first time in years. While watching the scene and happy that Marley had, at last, took him up on his suggestion, Kevin hears Buzz shout, "Kevin, what did you do to my room!" Kevin runs off to hide and the film ends.
- Macaulay Culkin as Kevin McCallister, an energetic 8-year-old boy who is the youngest son of the McCallister family. He can be obnoxious and annoying, but he is proven to be extremely clever and resourceful.
- Joe Pesci as Harry, the short leader of the Wet Bandits. He is intelligent, but short tempered and ruthless.
- Daniel Stern as Marv, the tall member of the Wet Bandits. The dimmer of the duo, he has a childlike enthusiasm for toys and likes to leave the water running to 'mark' the houses they have robbed.
- John Heard as Peter McCallister, Kevin's father.
- Catherine O'Hara as Kate McCallister, Kevin's mother.
- Roberts Blossom as Old Man Marley, the McCallisters' elderly neighbor.
The rest of the McCallister family is portrayed by: Devin Ratray as Buzz and Mike Maronna as Jeff, Kevin's older brothers; Hillary Wolf as Megan and Angela Goethals as Linnie, Kevin's older sisters; Gerry Bamman as Uncle Frank; Terrie Snell as Aunt Leslie; and Kevin's cousins are portrayed by Jedidiah Cohen as Rod, Senta Moses as Tracy, Daiana Campeanu as Sondra, Kieran Culkin as Fuller, Anna Slotky as Brooke, and Kristin Minter as Heather.
The cast also includes: John Candy as Gus Polinski, "the Polka King of the Midwest"; Ralph Foody as Johnny and Michael Guido as Snakes, and Acey (mentioned only) gangsters who appear in the fictional black-and-white film "Angels with Filthy Souls"; Larry Hankin as Larry Balzak, a police sergeant who works in family crisis; Ken Hudson Campbell as a man dressed as Santa Claus; and Hope Davis as a Paris-Orly Airport receptionist.
Home Alone was initially a Warner Bros. production; when 20th Century Fox took over the project, the budget grew from $14 to $17 million. Columbus' work with Home Alone began several years earlier when Hughes helped him secure the directing job for National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation. That project ended poorly when a personality clash between Columbus and Chevy Chase led to Columbus leaving the movie. Hughes then gave him the script to Home Alone, which he accepted. Hughes had originally asked Patrick Read Johnson to direct but declined due to his commitment on Spaced Invaders. Johnson would go onto direct Baby's Day Out, another film written and produced by Hughes.
Hughes suggested to Columbus that they cast Macaulay Culkin in the main role because of his experience with the child actor while shooting Uncle Buck. Columbus met with other actors for the part, by his count "hundreds and hundreds", as he felt it was his "directorial responsibility". It totaled to 200 children. Columbus finally met with Culkin and agreed he was the right choice for the role. Due to Culkin's age, he could only work until 10 PM which created shooting problems for the crew because of the movie's many night-time scenes.
Casting turned out to be a tremendous task. For the role of Harry Lime, one of the bandits, Robert De Niro, Rowan Atkinson, Bob Hoskins, Danny DeVito, Christopher Lloyd, Dudley Moore, Phil Collins and Jon Lovitz were considered for the role. However, De Niro and Lovitz both rejected the role, which was ultimately turned over to Joe Pesci.
Initially, when the filmmakers approached Daniel Stern to play Marv, his asking price was thought to be too high, so actor Daniel Roebuck was cast as Marv instead. However, after two days of rehearsal, the filmmakers were underwhelmed by Roebuck's chemistry with Pesci, so Roebuck was replaced by Stern. Roebuck later admitted that although he was upset to be fired from the production, he now believes the experience to be "such a little blip of unimportance."
Although the role of Uncle Frank was given to Gerry Bamman, the character was originally written for Kelsey Grammer, who would later be known for his iconic role in Frasier. On the set of Home Alone, Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern both had difficulty refraining from swear words, which became annoying to Pesci since Culkin was on set as well. In fact, the only swear word that made it into the film was "shit" accidentally said by Daniel Stern when his shoe fell through the doggy door.
The film's stunts also created tension for the crew during shooting. Columbus said, "Every time the stunt guys did one of those stunts it wasn't funny. We'd watch it, and I would just pray that the guys were alive." Stunts were originally prepared with safety harnesses, but because of their visibility on camera, the film's final stunts were performed without them. According to Buzzfeed, an injury had occurred between Pesci and Culkin during one of the rehearsals where "Harry tries to bite off Kevin's finger." Culkin still has the scar.
Some scenes were shot in a three-story single-family house located at 671 Lincoln Avenue in the North Shore village of Winnetka where Hughes' previous films Breakfast Club, Ferris Bueller's Day Off, Sixteen Candles, Planes, Trains & Automobiles, She's Having a Baby and Uncle Buck had also been shot. The kitchen in the film was shot in the house, along with the main staircase, basement, attic and most of the first floor landing. The house's dining room, and all the downstairs rooms (excluding the kitchen) were duplicated on a sound stage to allow more room for equipment and crew. The house was built in 1920 and features five bedrooms, a fully converted attic, a detached double garage and a greenhouse. The tree house in the back yard was built specifically for the film and dismantled after filming ended.
The scenes inside the church were shot at Grace Episcopal Church in Oak Park, Illinois.
Angels with Filthy Souls (a parody of the 1938 crime film Angels with Dirty Faces), shooting took only one day. To create the illusion that the film was a 1940s gangster film, the scene was filmed with black-and-white negative film and Johnny's office used authentic items from that era.
Initially Columbus hoped to have Bruce Broughton score the films, and early posters listed him as the composer. However, Broughton was busy with The Rescuers Down Under and he had to cancel at the last minute. From there Columbus was able to get in touch with Steven Spielberg who helped him contact John Williams to produce the final score. Christmas songs, such as "O Holy Night" and "Carol of the Bells", are featured prominently in the film, as well as the film's theme song "Somewhere in My Memory". The soundtrack was released by Sony Classical in cassette on December 4, 1990 and in CD on May 27, 2015.
Home Alone grossed $285.8 million in the United States and Canada and $190.9 million in other countries for a worldwide total of $476.7 million, against a production budget of $18 million.
In its opening weekend, Home Alone grossed $17 million from 1,202 theaters, averaging $14,211 per site and just 6% of the final total and added screens over the next six weeks, with a peak screen count of 2,174 during its eighth weekend at the start of January 1991. Home Alone proved so popular that it stayed in theaters well past the Christmas season. It was the Template:Abbr 1 film at the box office for 12 straight weeks, from its release weekend of November 16–18, 1990 through the weekend of February 1–3, 1991. It was finally dethroned from the top spot when Sleeping with the Enemy opened with $13 million. It nevertheless remained a top ten draw at the box office until the weekend of April 26 that year, which was well past Easter weekend. It made two more appearances in the top ten (the weekend of May 31–June 2 and the weekend of June 14–16) before finally falling out of the top ten. After over nine months into its run, the film had earned 16x its debut weekend and ended up making a final gross of $285,761,243, the top-grossing film of its year in North America. The film is listed in the Guinness World Records as the highest-grossing live-action comedy ever.
By the time it had run its course in theaters, Home Alone was the third-highest-grossing film of all time worldwide, as well as in the United States and Canada behind only Star Wars ($322 million at the time) and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial ($399 million at that time), according to the home video box. In total, its cinema run grossed $477,561,243 worldwide. Box Office Mojo estimates that the film sold over 67.7 million tickets in the US.
On Rotten Tomatoes, Home Alone holds an approval rating of 64% based on 53 reviews, with an average rating of 5.6/10. The site's critical consensus reads: "Home AloneTemplate:'s uneven but frequently funny premise stretched unreasonably thin is buoyed by Macaulay Culkin's cute performance and strong supporting stars." On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating, it has a score of 63 out of 100, based on 9 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.
Variety magazine praised the film for its cast. Jeanne Cooper of The Washington Post praised the film for its comedic approach. Hal Hinson, also of The Washington Post, praised Chris Columbus's direction and Culkin's acting. Although Caryn James of The New York Times complained that the film's first half is "flat and unsurprising as its cute little premise suggests", she praised the second half for its slapstick humor. She also praised the conversation between Kevin and Marley, as well as the film's final scenes.
Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film a Template:Frac out of 4-star rating and 2 thumbs down. He compared the elaborate booby-traps in the film to Rube Goldberg machines, writing "they're the kinds of traps that any 8-year-old could devise, if he had a budget of tens of thousands of dollars and the assistance of a crew of movie special effects people" and criticized the plot as "so implausible that it makes it hard for [him] to really care about the plight of the kid [Kevin]". However, he praised Culkin's performance. Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly magazine gave the film a "D" grade, criticizing the film for its "sadistic festival of adult-bashing". Gleiberman said that "[John] Hughes is pulling our strings as though he'd never learn to do anything else".
Macaulay Culkin won a Young Artist Award for Best Young Actor Starring in a Motion Picture. The film was nominated for two Academy Awards, one for Best Original Score, which was written by John Williams, and the other for Best Original Song for "Somewhere in My Memory", music by Williams and lyrics by Leslie Bricusse.
Accusations of plagiarism
The 1989 French film 3615 code Père Noël, which is about a young boy who is home alone with his elderly grandfather and has to fend off a home invader dressed up as Santa Claus, has been noted for its plot similarities to Home Alone. 3615 code Père Noël director René Manzor threatened the makers of Home Alone with legal action on the grounds of plagiarism, alleging that Home Alone was a remake of his film. 3615 code Père Noël was not released in the United States during its original theatrical run in January 1990 and didn't become widely available there until 2018.
Sequels and homages
The film was followed by a commercially successful sequel in 1992, Lost in New York, which brings back the first film's cast. The film within a film, Angels with Filthy Souls, had a sequel in Home Alone 2, Angels with Even Filthier Souls. Both Angels meta-films featured character actor Ralph Foody as stereotypical 1930s mobster Johnny.
Home Alone 3, released in 1997, has completely different actors, and a different storyline with Hughes writing the screenplay.
A fourth made-for-TV film followed in 2002, Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House. This entry features some of the same characters who were in the first two films, but with a new cast and a storyline that does not fall into the same continuity. Hughes did not write the screenplay for the TV film.
In December 2015, Culkin reprised his role as an adult Kevin McCallister in the inaugural episode of the Jack Dishel web series, "DRYVRS", where a visibly disturbed Kevin recounts his experience of being left home alone by his family. In response to Culkin's video, Daniel Stern appeared in a short video reprising his role as Marv, released in conjunction with Stern's Reddit AMA, where he pleads for Harry to return to help protect him against Kevin's cunning traps.
On December 12, 2018, Culkin made a guest appearance as himself in an episode of RedLetterMedia's Best of the Worst Series, during which he reviewed Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House.
On December 15, 2018, Culkin made a guest appearance as himself in an episode of The Angry Video Game Nerd to review multiple video game adaptations of the first two Home Alone films, as well as a gameplay session of The Pagemaster with James Rolfe and Mike Matei in the days following that episode's release.
On December 19, 2018, Culkin would once again reprise his role as an adult Kevin McCallister in a 60-second advertisement for Google Assistant, titled Home Alone Again; the commercial contains shot for shot remakes of plentiful scenes from the film, and Google Assistant helps Kevin set up the house to look active by remotely turning on lights, devices such as an electronic toy train set, and setting up cutouts of people, including basketball player Kevin Durant, in order to have thieves parked in a van outside (presumably Harry and Marv) steer clear of the house.
- President Herbert Hoover has been mentioned in almost every Home Alone film.
- It was known that after all the cussing in Goodfellas, Pesci (who ad libs a lot) had a difficult time holding back actual profanity in scenes of acting out pain and anger. A number of times "motherfucker" would slip out and the scene would have to be redone. Director Chris Columbus suggested Pesci used the famous "fridgearidgeafridge" mumble he commonly uses after being injured. However, there is a case of mild profanity in the film, where Kevin taunts one of the burglars by calling him a "horse's ass".=
- The roles of Marv and Harry were reportedly offered to Robert De Niro and Danny DeVito respectively.= De Niro and DeVito turned them down in favour of Daniel Stern and Joe Pesci, the latter happening to be a close friend of De Niro.
- The gangster movies watched by Kevin in Home Alone (called "Angels with Filthy Souls") and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York ("Angels with Even Filthier Souls") are not real movies, but rather specially created footage, inspired by 1938 Oscar-nominee - Angels with Dirty Faces.
- Pepsi Cola products can be seen throughout this movie especially in reference to Fuller having something to drink and wetting the bed. In the opening scenes of Home Alone 2 he is drinking Coke and their product placement is used exclusively in the sequel with no Pepsi products seen.
- The species of Tarantula buzz owns is a Chilean Rose Tarantula.
- The film that the family is watching while at their Uncle Rob's house in France is It's a Wonderful Life (1946) dubbed in French. The scene shown is when George Bailey tells Mr. Potter he doesn't need 24 hours to think over his offer and the answer's no. The family watch the same movie in Home Alone 2 when they go to Florida, but this time it's dubbed in Spanish.
- The issue of the Playboy magazine that Kevin finds in Buzz's room is from July 1989. The centerfold for that month was Erika Eleniak.
- 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.
- The posters and DVD cases for the movie had Culkin with his hands on his face and screaming, based on the famous painting "The Scream" by Edvard Munch.
- This film was banned in Poland.
- In Kevin Smith's 1999 film Dogma, Salma Hayek's "Muse" character claims that, while she was responsible for nineteen of the top twenty highest-grossing movies of all time, she had nothing to do with this film's success (going further to claim that someone sold their soul possibly referring to John Hughes, who was mentioned by Jay earlier in the film) to get the grosses up. ("The one about the kid, by himself in his house, burglars trying to get in and he fights them off? I had nothing to do with that one. Somebody sold their soul to Satan to get the grosses up on that piece of shit.")
- In an episode of Seinfeld, George Costanza (Jason Alexander) weeps when watching Home Alone at Jerry Seinfeld's apartment, claiming that the old man character "got to him."
- Home Alone is one of the films parodied in Spy Hard.
- The McCallisters' house is in Oak Park, Illinois, but the actual street used is in nearby Winnetka.
- Home Alone was the most popular Christmas movie in the 90's.
- Professional Wrestler turned author Mick Foley referenced this movie and its sequel Home Alone 2 to prove that a PG rated movie is more violent than an episode of Monday Night Raw.
- Harry and Marv appear in an unused epilogue scene, never intended for the theatrical release, where the two burglars are Raped in a prison shower room. Harry is seen at the end, crying in a corner while Marv screams a profanity-laden racial tirade. Their attackers are both black and white.
- During an special episode of Late Night with Conan O'Brien filmed in Chicago in 2006, there was a special segment that featured the show's announcer Joel Godard visiting the locations of famous films set in Chicago. It was in this episode that the home from this movie was featured, and had Godard attempt to break in as the Wet Bandits did in the movie. Godard opened a window, leading to an expression of fear as an unseen person shoots Joel with a shotgun. The camera fades to black and cuts to a memorial to Joel, stating he was born in 1911 and died in 2006.
- When Harry was showing Marv when the automatic timers on the houses would go on, he pointed out the Murphy's house as number 663, but when Kevin called the police trying to lure them to the same house, he described it as "656 Lincoln Blvd."
- In the scene when Harry and Marv were robbing the Murphy house, Kevin's father calls and instructs "Chuck Murphy" to "call us in Paris". Why would Kevin's father call the Murphy house when they knew they were in Florida?
- In the scene when the family just gets on the plane, "Uncle Frank" asks for champaign and must be assured by the flight attendant that "it is free".
- The hand picking up the tarantula that was placed on Daniel Sterns face at the end wasn't Macaulay Culkin's hand.
- There is inconsistency in the airplanes shot during the period of Kate's return to Chicago, the flight from Chicago to France is first filmed with two exterior shots from a McDonnell Douglas DC-10, the interior from the same plane, but landing in Paris shows a Boeing 757–223, leaving Paris shows a McDonnell Douglas MD-82 flying over the camera in each shot. Finally, landing in Scranton features a DC-10 exterior landing shot.
- The video release of Home Alone was proudly sponsored by American Airlines.
- In the novel by Todd Stresser, there were scenes that did not make the cut. One was of Harry impersonating the Police Officer, with Marv waiting outside in their plumbing van. The final film showed Harry in the home but didn't explain why he was there until later in the film. The scene was much longer in the book with Harry complaining that the costume was too tight as he loaned it from a costume shop and telling Marv that "the silver tuna", the MacAllister's house, will be theirs.
- Elvis Presley, if still alive, was said to make a short cameo appearance during the airport scene.
- The Spanish title for the movie used outside Spain is 'Mi pobre angelito' ('My poor little angel'). In Spain, however, the title was translated literally, though.
- In the Kevin Smith film Dogma the character Serendipity references the film, saying that it is "the only one of the top 20 highest grossing films" that she did not inspire.
- In both films Home Alone and Home Alone 2: Lost in New York Kevin says that he doesn't want any presents. Also, in both films, Kevin steals something leading him into trouble.
- Macaulay Culkin hosted Saturday Night Live and did a spoof of the movie. As in the movie he shoves Buzz in the kitchen. Only this time he shoves Chris Farley into a table.
- In both films Kevin makes a friend (Old Man Marley and the Bird Lady) who saves him at the last minute from Harry and Marv.
Injuries suffered by the robbers
- Shot in the crotch groin with an air rifle by Kevin with Buzz's BB gun in the back door.
- Slipped twice on the slippery front concrete steps, causing his crowbar to fall.
Burns his right hand palm on the red-hot front doorknob handle heated by an electric charcoal starter heating element outside the front door, leaving an M-shaped brand on his palm (the knob was presumably monogrammed for the McCallisters), that is seen in the next movie.
- Burned his head with a blow torch activated by a string tied to the back door, ripping his hat open and burning his scalp.
- Walked straight into a glue-covered piece of clingfilm Saran Wrap, then blasted in the face by feathers. Runs into a piece of plastic wrap coated with glue/caulk, then gets blasted with feathers blown from a large fan; effectively being tarred and feathered.
- Slipped on the Micro Machines toys, just like Marv.
- Hit in the head by a paint can, losing his beloved gold tooth out in the process.
- Tripped over a string wire stretched across the upstairs hallway and hurt his back on the 2nd floor.
- Whacked in the stomach chest with a crowbar by Marv trying to kill Buzz's tarantula spider, Axle.
- Hit against the wall after Kevin cuts the rope that both Marv and himself were hanging from.
- Whacked in the face by Marley with a snow shovel.
- Falls over bins after being scared away from house by gangster audio on videotape
- Gets hot in the forehead with an air rifle by Kevin with Buzz's BB gun at the backdoor of Kevin's house.
- Slipped down the icy slippery concrete stairs that led to Kevin's basement.
- Smashed in the face by an iron] falling down the laundry chute while trying to turn on a light.
- Stepped on a long nail, barefoot, falling, back injured by hitting floor after losing his shoes and socks on the tar-covered stairs leading upstairs from the basement.
- Fell down tar-covered stairs and landed flat on his back after stepping on long nail barefoot. After losing his socks and shoes, he attempts to climb a staircase covered in tarmac, about halfway he stands in a nail. Which goes into his foot, shouting in pain; he falls backwards landing on his back.
- Crowbar dangling from basement door falls on his head.
- Slips on the icy basement stairs again while leaving the basement.
- Steps on baubles and sharp Christmas ornaments barefoot while trying to sneak in through a window, hurting his feet.
- Slipped on the Micro Machines, just like Harry.
- Hit in the head by a paint can.
- Kevin places Axl (Buzz's tarantula) on his head which, although not seriously hurting him, scares him silly on the 2nd floor.
- Whacked three times in the left arm by Harry in the arm with the same crowbar that Marv had already hit him with after failing to hit Kevin's spider, which hits Harry instead on the 2nd floor.
- Hit against the wall after Kevin cuts the rope wire that both Harry and himself were hanging from.
- Whacked in the back of head by Marley with a snow shovel.
- Slipped on Micro Machines toy cars at the foot of the stairs laid by Kevin in the living room's main entrance.
- Hit in the face by 2 paint cans, sending them backwards into the main entrance floor while climbing the stairs (Harry winds up losing his gold tooth, which infuriates him).
- While the two are trying to get to the tree house using a zip line connecting the tree house with the main house, hit against the outside wall after Kevin cuts the rope that they were hanging from, causing them to swing into a brick wall and fall on the ground (Harry gets a black eye in the process).
- Get knocked out by Marley with a snow shovel in the Murphy's house.
- Fell down the stairs backwards
According to a study done by Mick Foley for his book Foley is Good, many of the injuries suffered in this movie would have resulted in serious injury and/or death.
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