14 things you (probably) didn't know about Home Alone

  • 14 things you (probably) didn't know about Home Alone

Home Alone is easily one of the best Christmas films of all time - the prospect of a small boy setting deadly traps for a pair of petty criminals consistently brings joy to everyone during the festive season.

But there are loads of cool things that you didn't know about it, including...

1. Kevin's Uncle Frank was originally going to have Marv and Harry kill Kevin

It is rumoured that the original version of the script had Harry and Marv rob the McAllister house on the instruction of Kevin's mean uncle Frank.

He also would have got The Wet Bandits to kill Kevin, which is a bit extreme.

Fans have theorised that in the finished movie, it was Frank that caused Kevin to be left home alone, which indicates that it was his plan to have the house robbed and Kevin killed all along.

2. Despite rumours of dubbing, Marv confirmed that he actually did his tarantula scream

It's widely-believed that Marv's blood-curdling scream during the memorable scene in which Kevin puts Buzz's tarantula on Marv's face was mimed on set and dubbed in later.

But Daniel Stern explained in a Facebook post on Christmas Eve 2015 that he actually performed the scream live on set as the animal handlers assured him that tarantulas don't have ears.

Stern also explained that he had asked if the tarantula's poison had been removed, but was told that it would have died if its poison was extracted.

3. Joe Pesci gave Macaulay Culkin raw treatment to make the young actor afraid of him

In a bid to keep Macaulay Culkin scared of The Wet Bandits, Joe Pesci deliberately avoided the young actor

Also, when it came to rehearsing the scene where Harry attempts to bite off Kevin's finger, Pesci actually bit Culkin, leaving a small scar that he still has today.

4. Buzz's girlfriend was actually a boy

The picture that Kevin finds of Buzz's girlfriend was actually a boy wearing a wig and made up to look like a girl.

Director Chris Columbus thought it would be too cruel for a girl to be made fun of in that manner, so got the art director's son to play Buzz's girlfriend.

5. Joe Pesci couldn't stop swearing, and had to find a workaround for the family film

Star of many foul-mouthed characters, Joe Pesci had a tough time remembering to stop swearing during his on-screen outbursts.

To remedy this, Chris Columbus advised him to say "fridge" instead of the f-word.

6. Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern thought the film was going to flop, so overacted on purpose

The Wet Bandits didn't feel the film had any potential while shooting, so they both intentionally gave over-the-top performances to entertain themselves.

To their surprise, the film became one of the biggest and most-loved Christmas films of all time, thanks in part to their performances.

7. Chris Columbus' least favourite booby-trap is Harry getting covered in feathers

Having already being shot in the groin with a bb gun, slipping on ice and landing flat on his back, having his hand burned by a searingly-hot doorknob and having the top of his head severely burned by a blowtorch, Harry then finds himself adding insult to extensive injury by being smeared with glue and covered in feathers.

Ever the sadist, director Chris Columbus revealed that the feathers was his least favourite booby-trap, as it is too 'soft' compared to the other life-threatening attacks throughout that sequence.

8. Elvis fans believe that The King has a cameo

Despite having passed away in 1977, many fans who claim he is still alive, believe that he appears in the film.

In the scene where Kevin's mother is shouting at the desk clerk about getting home (just before she meets John Candy), the man with the beard standing in the background is Elvis himself.

See for yourself:

9. Marv and Harry's look was based on another famous Christmas figure

The Wet Bandits' look was based on Fagin from Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist, complete with fingerless gloves and long coats.

10. The role was written for Macaulay Culkin, but Chris Columbus didn't want to cast him

John Hughes wrote the part of Kevin specifically for Macaulay Culkin after having worked with him a couple of years previously on Uncle Buck.

Chris Columbus, who didn't want to look like a pushover to his film peers, was hesitant to cast the young actor, so auditioned hundreds of boys for Kevin.

After having gone through the audition process hundreds of times, Columbus realised that Macaulay Culkin was actually the best choice for the part.

11. The Wet Bandits could have been very different indeed

Robert DeNiro was offered the role of Harry, but turned it down; meanwhile Daniel Stern was the first choice for Marv, but his salary was too high.

Another actor was cast, but had no chemistry with Joe Pesci, so the studio stumped up the money to get Stern.

12. Chris Columbus wanted the furnace scene to be much more menacing

The furnace in the McAllister's basement that terrifies Kevin, Chris Columbus initially wanted it to come to life, get up on all fours and chase Kevin to the basement stairs.

Having a scene like that would have cost over a million dollars, so Columbus changed his plan to have the furnace lighting up and groaning Kevin's name.

This was achieved with two guys moving around fishing line and shining torches, which was a heck of a lot cheaper.

13. Macaulay Culkin was in no danger of getting run over by Harry and Marv's van

The scene where Kevin walks past a driveway as Harry and Marv's van is inches away from hitting him didn't put the young actor in any danger at all.

The effect was achieved by having Macaulay Culkin walk backwards and the van reverse away from him, then playing the scene backwards.

A small giveaway is the van's exhaust smoke drifting into its pipe, rather than out of it.

14. Joe Pesci almost revived his Goodfellas 'funny how?' speech in the film

On set, director Chris Columbus would ask Joe Pesci to repeat his famous 'how am I funny' speech from Goodfellas.

Columbus was such a fan that a similar scene, with Pesci demanding answers from Daniel Stern about him having an edge, was included but was eventually deleted.

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