25 years after its release in 1990, Home Alone is still a family favorite Christmas film and the sole reason anyone still cares what Macaulay Culkin is doing now. A kid with ingenuity and a solid head on his shoulders is hard to find nowadays which makes the film even more worth while to watch as Kevin McAllister takes on “too dumb to beat him” criminals in Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern. Although the movie has been around for decades there may be several things you still don’t know about it, so take it all in before next Christmas and astound your family and friends with your impressive knowledge of a classic film.
15. Joe Pesci’s “F-Bombs”
Joe Pesci’s character Harry is the brains of the low-level crook operations done by himself and Daniel Stern’s character Marv, however Pesci had some trouble remembering he was in a family film. Given the surprising violence, it is no surprise he forgot the type of film he was in but that also meant during his angry rants there were a lot of F-bombs dropped and director Chris Columbus had to suggest the use of “fridge” instead.
14. Robert De Niro And Jon Lovitz Were Up For The Role Of Harry
It seems Columbus really wanted the dim-witted criminals to have an authentic gangster vibe with Robert De Niro and Jon Lovitz both being offered the part of Harry. Both turned it down however which opened the door for Pesci.
13. Elvis Presley Is Still Alive
Obviously, this isn’t a fact, but an interesting piece of trivia about the film is that many believe Elvis Presley (who died in 1977) makes an appearance in the film. For those who believe the King never died, they think he is the bearded man who stands in the background of the scene where Mrs. McCallister is fighting with the airline representative when trying to get a flight to Chicago.
12. John Candy
John Candy’s part in the movie was filmed in one day, literally taking 23 hours to complete. His character was inspired from his role in the John Hughes classic, Planes, Trains & Automobiles and his entire story about forgetting his son at a funeral home was completely improvised by the actor.
11. Origin Story
Believe it or not the entire concept for the blockbuster film originated from just one scene in Uncle Buck. The 1989 film stars of course both John Candy and Macaulay Culkin, and Home Alone comes from the scene where Culkin’s character interrogates a potential babysitter through the letterbox in the door. Homage is paid to this scene in Home Alone when Culkin uses Marv’s face as target practice when he sticks his head through the doggy door.
10. “Buzz, your girlfriend…WOOF!”
The unimpressive photo of Buzz’s girlfriend that Kevin finds was meant to look that silly. It was actually a crew member’s son dressed up as girl because the movie’s director, Chris Columbus, didn’t want to make fun of a real girl like that because it would be too cruel.
9. The Truth Behind The Furnace
In the movie, Kevin is scared of going into the basement of the house where a very terrifying furnace sits. In Kevin’s mind the furnace is evil and scary and was originally supposed to be part of a longer dream sequence. In Kevin’s dream he would be tormented by different parts of the house including the furnace, but in the end it was too expensive. Instead the menacing furnace scene is really two guys with a fishing line and flashlights.
8. The Talkboy
The Talkboy that Kevin uses in the film was originally just a prop and not a real product at the time the movie came out. In 1993 however it became a real thing after many young fans wrote letters wanting to buy the Talkboy.
7. The House Is For Real
Unlike many films now, the McCallister house actually exists and is located at 671 Lincoln Avenue in Winnetka, Illinois. The house boasts 4,250 square feet and three stories. It sold for $1.5 million in 2012, although it doesn’t come booby-trap equipped.
6. Old Man Marley
Although he has a pretty big role in the movie, Old Man Marley, the scary next door neighbor wasn’t in the original script. Columbus thought John Hughes’ script was just too much slapstick comedy and added Marley as a guide to teach Kevin about forgiveness and the importance of family.
5. Highly Lucrative
Given its undying popularity it should be no surprise that Home Alone raked in a lot of dough at the box office but it made lots of money in other ways as well. Along with the creation of the Talkboy, Home Alone also had its own board game as well as three video games tied to it and of course four other films, but as we all know after the second film it all goes downhill.
4. Real Injuries
In the scene where Harry and Marv finally get their hands on Kevin and Harry bites his finger, Pesci actually bit Culkin, hard enough to leave a scar on his finger too! As for the tar and nails stairs scene, Daniel Stern wore rubber feet and didn’t actually go barefoot.
3. Macaulay Culkin As Kevin
Since the movie is derived from the Uncle Buck scene with Macaulay Culkin it isn’t surprising the child actor snagged the leading role in Home Alone. However, he didn’t really have a choice as writer John Hughes wrote the role specifically for Culkin. Columbus had over 100 other young guys audition though just to make sure Culkin was the definite right choice. This was further confirmed as true after he stopped appearing in the films after Home Alone 2 and none of the other films were nearly as good.
2. Angels With Filthy Souls Is NOT A Real Movie
Given its significance to Kevin outsmarting the criminals, many people couldn’t wait to rent the old gangster film featured in Home Alone. Much to their surprise Angels With Filthy Souls is not actually a movie however. The footage was created specifically for Home Alone although it was largely based on the real movie Angels With Dirty Faces. “I’m gonna give ya to the count of 10, to get your ugly, yella, no-good keister off my property.”
1. The Tarantula Is Real But The Scream Isn’t
In the scene where Daniel Stern’s character Marv gets the tarantula on his face and lets out his memorable scream, he isn’t really screaming. Stern agreed to have the spider on his face for only one take and one take only and since screaming would have scared the spider, they had to dub it in to the film later.