Here’s 10 of the the most interesting things you (probably) didn’t know about Home Alone (1990)…
The picture Kevin finds of Buzz’s girlfriend was actually a picture of a boy altered to look like a girl.
The film’s director, Chris Columbus, felt it would be too cruel to make fun of a girl in that way. The Art Director’s son was the boy that was used in the photo.
The movie that Kevin watches on video tape is not a real film, but footage specially created for the movie which went by the name “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.
The concept for this movie came about 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 Candy filmed his part in just one day, albeit a 23 hour day. The story about having once forgotten his son at a funeral home was entirely improvised. His part was reportedly inspired by the character he played in Planes, Trains & Automobiles(1987), also written by John Hughes.
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, suspecting that the film was going to be terrible (as did Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern). However, upon seeing the finished film and its subsequent success, Heard apologised to Columbus during filming on Home Alone 2 (1992), having broken character before his first take to do so. Columbus stills has the footage of Heard’s apology.
Believe it or not, everyone on-set was amazed with how mature and professional young Macaulay Culkin was. Joe Pesci told Entertainment Weekly, “Mac is not like a nine-year-old. He’s an old man already.”
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 John 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.
According to Chris Columbus, Kevin Nordine did all the effects for the film in his parents’ basement in Chicago by drawing all of the effects onto the film. The effects were created for only a few hundred dollars at a time.
The heating implement Kevin uses to heat the doorknob, is an electric charcoal starting tool for barbecue grills.
Chris Columbus envisioned a scene in which the furnace came to life, gets up on all fours and chases Kevin to the stairs. However, 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.
Old Man Marley, played by Roberts Blossom, is rumoured to be a serial killer. Blossom’s most notable role prior to this film was the lead role in Deranged: Confessions of a Necrophile (1974) as a fictionalised version of notorious serial killer Ed Gein.
Kevin’s backyard tree house was not originally part of the property.