20 Festive Home Alone Facts
Is Home Alone your ultimate Christmas movie? Find out more about it right here with these festive fun facts!
Home Alone is one of the most popular Christmas movies of all time, and it's easy to see why! It's festive, it's funny, and even though it's now more than thirty years old, it still feels fresh! But there's a lot you might not know about the movie - do you know which lines were improvised, or who almost played Kevin's mom? Find out here, then check out some of our Home Alone quizzes - the Ultimate Home Alone Quiz, or find out if you could survive Home Alone!
1. It's inspired by the director's biggest fear
Director Chris Columbus has said that his biggest fear as a kid was burglars invading his home, and that was why he wanted to make the movie. It must have been nice for him to film the booby trap scenes!
2. Home Alone isn't alone
It's actually the first of six movies, with the latest one released in 2021. Macaulay Culkin only appeared in the first two, but Kevin's rotten brother Buzz actually appears in the 2021 movie Home Sweet Home Alone, and says that Kevin is now a businessman who specialises in home security systems!
3. It has a lot of names all over the world
Home Alone has a lot of different titles in other languages. In France and Italy it's called "Mom, I Missed the Plane" and in Brazil it's called "They Forgot Me." In Hungarian it's known as "Tremble, Burglars!"
4. A lot of Marv's role is ad-libbed
Quite a lot of Marv's weird antics were made up by actor Daniel Stern on the spot. This includes sticking snowglobes to the dashboard with gum, his goofy face before being hit by the paint can, and asking Harry "Why are you dressed like a chicken?"
5. ...yes, that was a REAL tarantula
For the scene where Buzz's pet tarantula crawls over Marv's face, they made a prop spider - but when it didn't work properly Daniel Stern agreed to do ONE take with the real spider on his face. He wasn't actually screaming though as that would have scared the spider, so the scream was added later.
6. Macaulay Culkin shows off his art skills
The map Kevin draws of his booby traps was actually drawn by Macaulay Culkin in real life!
7. "Angels With Filthy Souls" isn't a real movie
The movie Kevin loves to watch, a black-and-white gangster flick called "Angels With Filthy Souls", is not a real film. Director Christopher Columbus recreated camera techniques from the 1940s to film the scenes of the movie we get to see.
8. Macaulay Culkin's brother makes an appearance!
Kevin's cousin Fuller is played by Macaulay's real-life brother Kieran Culkin! Kieran also appeared in Home Alone 2, and is still an actor.
9. Other family members also make appearances
Several members of Chris Columbus's family appear throughout the film. His daughter and mother-in-law are passengers on the plane, and his father-in-law is the police officer who says the line "Tell them to count their kids again."
10. The Home Alone house is real...
...and last year a lucky fan got to stay in it! The mansion is in the Chicago suburb of Winnetka, and tourists frequently go to see the outside of the house. Last year Airbnb hosted an experience for four guests to stay overnight. We wonder if the first thing they did was jump on the bed!
11. The music is by a very famous composer
Home Alone's iconic score is by film legend John Williams, who is best known for composing the themes for Star Wars, Indiana Jones, Harry Potter, E.T. and many more. The film was pretty low-budget so the producers thought they'd never get him - but he loved the rough cut of the film and wanted to do something different from his usual work.
12. Buzz's girlfriend isn't what she seems...
The photo of Buzz's girlfriend is actually a boy in a wig (specifically, the son of the film's art director). Chris Columbus thought it would be too mean to make fun of the appearance of a real girl.
13. One of the film's most iconic moments was an accident
In the airplane scene Catherine O'Hara, who plays Kevin's mom, forgot her lines and tried to save the take by yelling "Kevin!" This became one of the most famous moments of the film, and later of the entire series!
14. The shooting schedule was tricky
Lots of scenes in the movie take place at night, but they had to be shot very quickly and as efficiently as possible because Macaulay Culkin wasn't allowed to work too late. There are strict laws in the film and TV industry about how long kids can work, so he was probably under a lot of pressure to do the scene perfectly!
15. Kevin's mom could have been VERY different
Lots of actresses were considered to play Kevin's mom before Catherine O'Hara was cast, with Kirstie Alley being the first choice. But some of the other options included pop star Madonna, Morticia Adams' actress Anjelica Huston, and even Carrie Fisher (best known as Princess Leia)!
16. The furnace scene was going to be scarier
The scary scene where Kevin goes into the basement and sees the furnace come alive was a LOT more terrifying in the original script. In this version the furnace would have sprouted arms and legs and chased Kevin to the stairs. This would have cost too much money to film though, so unfortunately (or maybe fortunately for us) it was cut.
17. Harry REALLY bit Kevin
In the scene where Kevin is cornered by the Wet Bandits, Harry's actor Joe Pesci actually bit Macaulay Culkin's finger, hard enough to leave a scar! Joe Pesci stayed away from Macaulay during filming, so that Macaulay would be more frightened of him and give a better performance.
18. You can play Home Alone yourself
The first two movies were made into video games for the Sega and SNES. So, if you happen to own either system, you can take on the Wet Bandits yourself!
19. The film is VERY popular in Poland
Believe it or not Home Alone is one of the most popular Christmas movies in Poland, with four million people watching it on Christmas Eve in Poland in 2017 (that's about 11% of the population!) This is because it was one of the first American movies to be shown in Poland when the Soviet Union ended. If no TV station is planning to broadcast it, people write letters of complaint until one agrees!
20. Macaulay Culkin has fond memories of the movie
To this day Macaulay Culkin calls his on-screen mother Catherine O'Hara "mom". Awwwww!