More than thirty years have passed since the family left Kevin McCallister home alone for the holidays, and... a timeless Christmas classic was born. But even if you watch Home Alone every December - there are a few facts you may not know about John Hughes and Chris Columbus' masterpiece. The film was released in theaters on November 16th, 1990 and catapulted Macaulay Culkin to the top of Olympus/Hollywood. The Christmas story of 8-year-old Kevin successfully dealing with adult gangsters (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern) plotting a robbery became one of the most successful at the worldwide box office. In this review, little-known facts to gloss over with family and friends this holiday season.
A real tarantula
Kevin does many gruesome things to the gangsters throughout the movie, but perhaps one of the bloodiest was a scene with a real tarantula on Marv's (Stern) face. The actor agreed to have the spider crawl on his face for a close-up shot, which was done in one go. A soul-crushing scream had to be substituted in the montage so as not to frighten either the spider or its "victim".
Cousin Fuller starred in "The Heirs."
Remember at the beginning of the movie when Kevin won't sleep next to his cousin Fuller because he's afraid he'll pee on him? The notorious toddler, played by Macaulay's brother Kieran, "grew up" into one of the most ballsy members of the Roy family, Roman, from the HBO series The Heirs. The guy who adored Pesi became the chief operating officer of Waystar Royco.
10 days to write a script
According to the son of John Hughes, the script for the film "Home Alone" he wrote in less than 10 days. He was inspired by the anxiety before the family's first trip to Europe in 1989. "Two weeks later, after returning home, he revisited the plot: what if one of the kids was accidentally forgotten?", James told Chicago Magazine in 2015. - Within nine days, he had completed the first draft of Home Alone. What's more, the last 44 pages took only 8 hours, "He was worried he was working too slowly."
McCallister's house is worth more than $1.5 million
The nearly 400-square-meter, red-curtained, Gregorian-style house in Winnetka, Illinois, which Columbus found as the McCallister family nest, went for $1.585 million in 20015. And just the other day, the mansion from the sequel "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York" (1992) went on sale for $6.7 million.
A 27-year record
"Home Alone" made a hurricane at the box office starting in November 1990. It held the top spot at the box office for 12 consecutive weeks, remaining in the top ten until June 1991. In the process, the picture earned nearly $477 million and became the highest-grossing movie of 1990, as well as the highest-grossing family comedy of all time. That record stood for 27 years, until 2017.
Joe Pesci unintentionally bit Macaulay Culkin
Kevin, as an adult, said in 2004 that the fight on the set between Kevin and the gangsters was not for fun, literally. There's a scene in the movie when they do catch McCallister and threaten to finish him off. "In the first movie, they strung me up, and Pesci said: 'I'm going to eat all your fingers, one by one,'" Culkin narrated to Rule Forty Two. - And during that scene, he bites me, to the point of bleeding."
The movie could have starred Robert De Niro
Before Joe Pesci was confirmed to play Harry Lime, the role was offered to another movie star, Robert De Niro. In fact, Pesci wasn't even the second choice. After De Niro's refusal to portray on the screen odious thug offered comedian Jon Lovitz. But even here there was a misfire. In the end, the role found the perfect performer - Joe Pesci.
Old man Marley was not in the script
John Hughes' first draft didn't include old Marley (Roberts Blossom), the neighbor whom Kevin thought was a serial killer but who turns out to be the kindest man who saves a boy from the hands of gangsters. Hughes added this character, whose name is a reference to Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol in Prose, Being a Ghost Story of Christmas," after Chris Columbus asked him to end Kevin's story on a uplifting note.