15 Fascinating Facts You Never Knew About Home Alone
This is it! Don’t get scared now.
And by “it,” we obviously mean the 25th anniversary of Home Alone, which premiered in the theaters two-and-a-half decades ago today. It has since gone on to become one of the most (if not the most) successful and iconic holiday movies ever, and it still holds the record for the highest grossing live-action comedy of all time in the U.S. But perhaps even more importantly, Kevin McAllister’s story is firmly rooted in our collection of films we must watch every holiday season. Before you cue up your annual viewing this year, here are 15 surprising tidbits you might not have known about the Christmas classic.
__Without Uncle Buck, there would be no Home Alone. __ The idea for Home Alone reportedly came to John Hughes during the filming of Uncle Buck, which also stars Macaulay Culkin.
And without Home Alone, there’d be no Harry Potter movies. Well, kind of. The success of Home Alone propelled director Chris Columbus to mega-fame in the family movie arena, leading him to nab several high-profile movies going forward—including Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets.
Macaulay Culkin isn’t the only Culkin in the movie. His younger brother Kieran played Kevin’s cousin Fuller, best known in the movie for his infamous bed-wetting.
The role of Uncle Frank was specifically written for Kelsey Grammer. But Grammer ultimately decided to pass on the film.
Robert De Niro and Jon Lovitz turned down the role of Harry Lime. And the role went to Joe Pesci, who avoided Culkin on set so that he’d be more afraid of him.
And Pesci actually bit Macaulay Culkin in the scene where Harry bites Kevin’s finger. Leaving a scar on Culkin’s finger.
That whole tarantula scene was real, too. Pesci’s partner-in-crime, Daniel Stern, agreed to put the tarantula on his face for just one take. He had to mime his screams, which were then dubbed in later, to avoid scaring the spider.
But that tar-and-nail staircase was not. Stern wore rubber feet for the scene where he walks up the stairs booby-trapped with tar and nails.
Also not real: the picture of Buzz’s girlfriend (woof). It’s actually a photo of the art director’s son dressed up to look like a girl because Columbus thought it would be too cruel to use an actual photo of a teenage girl.
And one more to throw in the fictional category: Angels With Filthy Souls. The movie footage Kevin uses to scare off the pizza guy and other intruders was created specifically for Home Alone, though it was inspired by James Cagney’s Angels With Dirty Faces.
Thanks to Home Alone, the Talkboy is now a real thing. The Talkboy was originally conceived as a non-working prop for the movie, but in 1993, a letter campaign by young fans led to the creation of a retail version.
Remember Kevin’s older sister Megan? She’s an Olympian now. Hilary Wolf, who played Megan in the film, went on to be a part of the summer Olympic judo team for the United States in both 1996 and 2000.
Home Alone was in the theaters for a really long time. After debuting in mid-November, Home Alone remained in the theaters until May or June of the following year in some places—and was No.1 at the box office for 12 of those weeks.
One place that really loves Home Alone? Poland. Home Alone has been shown on national television in Poland every year since 1990.
And there’s a Home Alone conspiracy theory involving…Elvis. Some fans believe that Elvis is, in fact, alive and well—and he makes an appearance as an extra in the airport scene.