Home Alone (film): Wikis

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Home Alone

The Home Alone movie poster. (Poster includes the Ontario Film Review Board classification)
Directed by Chris Columbus
Produced by John Hughes
Written by John Hughes
Starring Macaulay Culkin
Joe Pesci
Daniel Stern
John Heard
Catherine O'Hara
Roberts Blossom
John Candy
Music by John Williams
Cinematography Julio Macat
Editing by Raja Gosnell
Distributed by 20th Century Fox
Release date(s) November 16, 1990 (US)
December 7, 1990 (UK)
December 13, 1990 (AUS)
Running time 103 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $18,000,000 US (estimated)
Gross revenue $500,000,000 (worldwide)[1]
Followed by Home Alone 2: Lost in New York

Home Alone is a 1990 American comedy family film written and produced by John Hughes and directed by Chris Columbus. The film features Macaulay Culkin as Kevin McCallister, an eight-year-old boy, who is mistakenly left behind when his family flies to Paris for their Christmas vacation. While initially relishing time by himself, he is later greeted by two would-be burglars played by Daniel Stern, and Joe Pesci. Kevin eventually manages to outwit them with a series of booby traps. The film also features Catherine O'Hara, John Heard, Devin Ratray and Roberts Blossom. Home Alone is the highest grossing live action comedy of all time in the United States. [2]

Contents

Plot

The extended lace curtain Irish-American McCallister family prepares to spend Christmas with Peter and Frank's brother in Paris, France, gathering at Peter and Kate's home in Chicago the night before their flight. Eight year old Kevin, Peter and Kate's youngest son and the protagonist of the film, finds himself the subject of ridicule from the other children. After getting into an argument with his older brother Buzz because he ate Kevin's cheese pizza on purpose, he is sent to the third floor of the house, wishing his family would disappear. The family accidentally leaves Kevin asleep in bed, as a power outage resets the time and causes them to wake up four hours late and a neighbor boy named Mitch Murphy who also leaves for vacation to Missouri is mistaken for Kevin in a headcount, and they hastily depart to the Chicago O'Hare International Airport, for a flight to Paris-Orly Airport onboard a McDonnel Douglas DC-10. During the flight, Kate realizes that they have left Kevin behind, and once everyone is in Paris, she immediately tries to book a return flight back to Chicago. Kate manages to fly into Dallas and Scranton, Pennsylvania, but the flight to Chicago was out of order. However, she does manage to hitch a ride with a man named Gus Polinski and his polka band, the Kenosha Kickers, who are driving to Milwaukee after their flight was canceled in a blizzard.

Meanwhile, Kevin wakes up to find the house empty and is overjoyed to find that his wish came true. He gets away with taking Buzz's life savings, shooting Buzz's gun, jumping on the bed, watching a gangster film, and eating a large amount of junk food. However, Kevin finds himself scared by the appearance of the Chicago Police Department (called by his parents to check on Kevin via payphone from Paris-Orly), his next door neighbor "Old Man" Marley, who was rumored to have murdered his family many years earlier, and the appearance of The Wet Bandits, Harry Lyme and Marv Merchants, who are breaking into other vacant houses along the block. The Wet Bandits are aware of which houses are vacant, as Harry impersonated a police officer doing wellness checks on families before the holidays. On Christmas Eve, Kevin manages to overhear Harry and Marv discuss plans for breaking into his house that night. After conversing with a Santa Claus impersonator and watching a local choir perform in a church in hopes to have his family return, Kevin runs into Marley and comes to realize that he is a nice man and that none of the rumors about him are true. Kevin finds out that Marley is estranged from his son and suggests that he reunite with him for Christmas.

His own spirits lifted by encouraging Marley, Kevin returns home to prepare a series of booby traps about the house. Harry and Marv, who were initially fooled by Kevin's illusions that the house is occupied but now realize that he is home alone and attempt to break in, running into the various traps. After the two spring almost every trap in the house, Kevin flees to the third floor of the house, and dials 9-1-1 from a landline. Harry and Marv manage to chase Kevin out of the house; he then flees to the vacant neighboring home, which was unlocked and unoccupied. The Wet Bandits trap Kevin when he runs to the top of the stairs connecting the basement and the first floor. They decide to do the same things that Kevin did to them and Harry decides to bite Kevin's fingers one at a time first, but Marley knocks them out with his snow shovel and takes Kevin home. Shortly after Kevin is safely returned home, Harry and Marv are arrested. Additionally, the police were aware of every house The Wet Bandits have hit due to their habits of leaving the household's water running to leave their mark.

Kevin wakes up the next morning to find that his mother has returned. Shortly afterward, the rest of the McCallisters, having traveled directly to Chicago from Paris, arrive. Kevin keeps silent about his encounter with Harry and Marv, but Peter finds Harry's missing gold tooth and wonders what it is. Kevin and Buzz have a moment and it looks like they will finally start to get along. Kevin discovers that Marley took his advice and watches from the window as he and his son reunite, smiling. However, Buzz interrupts Kevin's musings by yelling the line, "Kevin! What did you do to my room?!". Immediately following it, the film ends.

Production

As with most of Hughes's films, Home Alone was set—and most of the film was shot—in the greater Chicago area. Any other shots, such as those of Paris, are either stock footage or movie trickery. The scene where Kevin wades through a flooded basement when trying to outsmart the burglars was actually shot in the swimming pool in New Trier High School. A mock-up of the McDonnell Douglas DC10 business class was also put together in the school, on the basketball courts.[3] 20th Century Fox picked up the project after Warner Bros.'s rejection when the budget escalated from $14 million to $17 million.[4]

The Home Alone house, or more precisely 671 Lincoln Avenue,[5] is a three-story single family detached house used for shooting the majority of the scenes in the movies Home Alone (1990) and the first four scenes of Home Alone 2: Lost in New York (1992).[6] The kitchen in the film was actually shot in the house, along with the main staircase, basement and most of the first floor landing. However, the house's dining room, and all of the rooms downstairs (excluding the kitchen) were built on a sound stage. It is located in the village of Winnetka, which is a suburb of Chicago, located about 19 miles (30 km) north of the city in New Trier Township. It was built in 1920 and features 5 bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, a fully-converted attic, a fireplace, a detached double garage and a greenhouse.[7]. "Kevin's tree house" no longer exists in the backyard, since it was built specifically for the film. It is listed as a Chicago-area tourist destination,[8] as well as being cited as an example of "How to Get Your Home in the Movies."[9]

Cast

Music

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Home Alone: Official Soundtrack

Home Alone
Soundtrack by John Williams
Released 1990
Genre Classical
Label Sony Music

Released by Sony Music Entertainment in 1990, the soundtrack contained 19 tracks consisting of the original score composed by John Williams and other Christmas songs used in the film.

  1. "Home Alone Main Titles" (4:53)
  2. "Holiday Flight" (0:59)
  3. "The House" (2:27)
  4. "Star of Bethlehem (Orchestral Version)" (2:51)
  5. "Man of the House" (4:33)
  6. "White Christmas" (2:40)
  7. "Scammed by a Kindergartner" (3:55)
  8. "Please Come Home for Christmas" (Southside Johnny) (2:41)
  9. "Follow That Kid!" (2:03)
  10. "Making the Plane" (0:52)
  11. "O Holy Night" (2:48)
  12. "Carol of the Bells" (1:25)
  13. "Star of Bethlehem" (2:59)
  14. "Setting the Trap" (2:16)
  15. "Somewhere in My Memory" (1:04)
  16. "The Attack on the House" (6:53)
  17. "Mom Returns and Finale" (4:19)
  18. "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" (Mel Tormé) (3:05)
  19. "We Wish You a Merry Christmas / End Title" (4:15)

"Somewhere in My Memory"

The film's signature tune, "Somewhere in My Memory", was actually written to 'run alongside the film' by Williams. It can be heard in numerous sections of the film, either in full length or fragments, forming the backbone for the movie's soundtrack and setting an innocent, nostalgic mood, mainly depicting Kevin's struggles and his sorrow, which is reflected in the lyrics of the song. "Somewhere in My Memory" today is performed in many Christmas concerts in schools or professional orchestras and choirs alike across the globe.[10] A version in Spanish was recorded in Spain for the ending credits of the film; this version was performed by singer Ana Belén and is entitled "Sombras de otros tiempos" ("Shadows of Other/Former Times").

Novelization and deleted scenes

A children's novelization of Home Alone was published several months prior to the film's initial November 1990 opening. This adaptation features chapters and pictures that showcase several large scenes that were filmed but deleted from the final film. One of the many notable cut scenes features Marv impersonating a police officer. This particular scene takes place directly after Kevin's family leaves for their vacation in Paris. The novelization also includes the surnames of the burglars: Joe Pesci's character, named Harry Lyme, is a reference to Orson Welles' character in the 1940s film The Third Man.

Video games

The first Home Alone game was released in 1991. Home Alone video games were released for the Nintendo Entertainment System, the Sega Genesis, the Super Nintendo Entertainment System, and Sega Game Gear, the Game Boy, the Sega Master System, the Amiga and personal computers. The Home Alone game on the SNES system used still images and character's voices from the film in its gameplay. It also features the characters from the movie as well as new enemies created for the game including a fat gangster, ghosts, large rats and very large tarantulas. A video game titled Home Alone was released for the PlayStation 2 in 2006. It was not released in the United States.

Reception

In its opening weekend, Home Alone grossed $17 million in 1,202 theaters, averaging $14,211 per site and just 6% of the final total. Home Alone proved so popular that it stayed in theaters well past the Christmas season. It was the #1 film at the box office for 12 straight weeks, from its release weekend of November 16-18, 1990 through the weekend of February 1-3, 1991. It remained a top 10 draw at the box office until the weekend of April 26 that year, which was well past Easter weekend. It made two more appearances in the top 10 (the weekend of May 31-June 2 and the weekend of June 14-16) before finally falling out of the top 10.[11] The film ended up making a final gross of $285,761,243, the top grossing film of its year in North America[12] The film is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the highest grossing live-action comedy ever.[13]

By the time it had run its course in theaters, Home Alone was the third highest grossing movie of all time, according to the home video box. In total, its cinema run grossed $477,561,243 worldwide.[14]

Though it was a great success in theaters, critical reception to the film has been mixed. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times felt that the plot was too implausible and the entire movie too contrived.

Modern day review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, gave the film a "Rotten" score of 47%. Reviewers cited that slapstick comedy has little appeal. The assessment did not take into account the fact that the movie came out almost two decades ago[citation needed]. The user section, however, on the site was positive with a "Fresh" score of 84% and a 63 out of 100 rating, which indicates "generally favorable reviews", at Metacritic.

Sequels

The film was followed by a commercially successful sequel, the 1992 release Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, which brings back the original cast from the first film. Home Alone 3, release in 1997 has completely different actors, and a different storyline. A fourth film followed in 2002, Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House. This film features some of the same characters featured in the first two films, but with a new cast and storyline that does not fall into the same continuity.

Angels with Filthy Souls

Johnny informing Snakes that he isn't welcome anymore.

Angels with Filthy Souls, a parody of the 1938 Warner Bros. film Angels with Dirty Faces, is a fictional gangster film that appears within the movie and was made specifically for Home Alone.

The film appeared within Home Alone as Kevin used it to make outside characters think there were adults in the house.

Plot

The film involves Chicago gangsters who apparently have business to be dealt with. Snakes enters Johnny's office and questions him about the money owed for getting the "stuff." Johnny smugly replies that Acey no longer has any authority, and implies that he is not about to give Snakes any money. Snakes shows discomfort when he finds out that Acey is upstairs taking a bath, and almost immediately Johnny takes out his Tommy Gun.

Johnny tells Snakes to get out before he counts to ten, but Johnny cuts the count short, counting to two and then jumping straight to ten. He fires repeatedly while laughing maniacally.

This occurs three times in the movie. The first time, Kevin is sitting alone eating a large bowl of ice cream When Johnny begins firing at Snakes, Kevin is scared and calls out "MOM!" and the scene cuts to the airplane.

The second time is when the young pizza delivery boy delivers a pizza to the McCallisters' house. Kevin plays the clip to scare the delivery boy away, paying him through the cat flap.

The third time, Marv tries to break into the house during the day while Kevin is working in the kitchen. He sees Marv and turns on the tape; he then gets a pot and some firecrackers and lights them. When Johnny starts firing, the firecrackers start going off, causing Marv to believe that someone was really shot and killed in the kitchen. Marv gets back in the van and tells Harry about what he heard inside the house. Marv claims he heard the name "Snakes" before but doesn't remember where. The two burglars hang back to discover that they're "being scammed by a kindergartner."

Characters

The main characters include:

  • Johnny, portrayed by Ralph Foody, a new mobster boss that wastes no time in informing Snakes that he isn't welcome anymore.
  • Snakes, portrayed by Michael Guido, dressed in a coat and hat, he has come to collect his 10% dues from Johnny and Acey.
  • Acey, an unseen character repeatedly referred to by Snakes as the original man in charge who owes him money.

Reference in other media

The film is referenced in the film Dogma, where a muse named Serendipity (Salma Hayek) claims that she is responsible for nineteen of the top twenty top-grossing films of the time, claiming that Home Alone is the exception; allegedly, someone sold their soul to Satan in order to bring the proceeds up for Home Alone.

Also, on the FOX sketch comedy series In Living Color, "Home Alone Again" is the sequel to the film, with Michael Jackson (played by Tommy Davidson) trying to get into Macaulay Culkin's home. Jonathan Taylor Thomas, who would himself become a child star through his role on Home Improvement, portrayed Culkin in the parody.

References

  1. ^ "Home Alone Box Office". http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=homealone.htm. Retrieved 2009-08-04. 
  2. ^ Home Alone - Movie Review, http://www.movie-gazette.com/1081, retrieved 2009-08-07 
  3. ^ "Remembering Home Alone". http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=iI79sLJ8G8Q. Retrieved 2008-09-26. 
  4. ^ Teather, David (2007-11-30). "Fade to red". The Guardian. http://www.guardian.co.uk/film/2007/nov/30/1. Retrieved 2009-09-30. 
  5. ^ "Home Alone filming locations". http://www.movie-locations.com/movies/h/homealone.html. Retrieved 2008-06-13. 
  6. ^ "Home Alone 2: Lost in New York Filming Locations". movielocationsguide.com. http://www.movielocationsguide.com/Home_Alone_2:_Lost_in_New_York/filming_locations. Retrieved 2008-06-15. 
  7. ^ "Facts about the Home". jamielynnphillips. 2006-01-03. http://www.zillow.com/HomeDetails.htm?zprop=3360197. Retrieved 2008-06-21. 
  8. ^ "Chicago - Things to do". http://www.harraton.com/wedding/chicago.html. Retrieved 2008-06-15. 
  9. ^ "How to Get Your Home in the Movies". realestate.com. 2007-06-16. http://www.realestate.com/tipsandtools/Buzzworthy/How-to-Get-Your-Home-in-the-Movies.aspx. Retrieved 2008-06-15. 
  10. ^ "Home Alone Signature Tune". http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TVYhBmIpQOU. Retrieved 2008-06-13. 
  11. ^ "Home Alone (1990) - Weekend Box Office Results". Box Office Mojo. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=weekend&id=homealone.htm. Retrieved 2007-12-24. 
  12. ^ Movies.com: Movie box office results for the top 50 movies of 1990
  13. ^ Home Alone - Movie Review, http://www.movie-gazette.com/1081, retrieved 2009-08-07 
  14. ^ "Movies.com: Movie box office results for the top 50 movies of 1990". Movies.com. http://movies.go.com/boxoffice?cat=1990. Retrieved 2007-12-24. 

External links


Quotes

Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Home Alone is a 1990 film about a boy named Kevin McCallister (played by the rising child star Macaulay Culkin), who is accidentally left at home for the holidays while the rest of his family goes to Paris. He must then protect his house from two intruders that have gone on a breaking and entering spree through the neighborhood.

Directed by Chris Columbus. Written by John Hughes

Contents

Kevin McCallister

  • This is my house! I have to defend it!
  • [in his mind] I wish they would all just disappear.
  • I took a shower, washing every body part with actual soap, including all my major crevices, including in between my toes and in my belly button, which I never did before but sort of enjoyed. I washed my hair with adult-formula shampoo and used cream rinse for that just-washed shine. I can't seem to find my toothbrush, so I'll pick one up when I go out today. Other than that, I'm in good shape. [applies aftershave] AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAGHHHHHHHHHHHH!

Dialogue

Kevin: I made my family disappear!
[Kevin has a flashback to what his family told him the night before.]
Megan: Kevin, you're completely helpless.
Linnie: You know, Kevin, you're what the French call les incompétents.
Buzz: Kevin, I'm going to feed you to my tarantula.
Jeff: Kevin, you are such a disease!
Kate: There are 15 people in this house, and you're the only one who has to make trouble.
Frank: Look what you did, you little jerk!
Kevin: [smiles] I made my family disappear.

Kevin: The 3rd floor?
Kate: Go.
Kevin: It's scary up there.
Kate: Don't be silly. Fuller'll be up in a little while.
Kevin: I don't wanna sleep with Fuller. You know about him. He wets the bed. He'll pee all over me. I know it!
Kate: Fine. We'll put him somewhere else.

Kevin: Everyone in this family hates me.
Kate: Then maybe you should ask Santa for a new family.
Kevin: I don't want a new family. I don't want any family. Families suck!
Kate: Just stay up there. I don't wanna see you again for the rest of the night.
Kevin: I don't wanna see you again for the rest of my whole life. I don't wanna see anybody else, either.
Kate: I hope you don't mean that. You'd feel pretty sad if you woke up tomorrow morning and you didn't have a family.
Kevin: No, I wouldn't.
Kate: Then say it again. Maybe it'll happen.
Kevin: I hope that I never see any of you jerks again!
[he runs upstairs in a huff, and Kate closes the door]

Kate: [breaks up Kevin and Buzz's fight; to Kevin] What is the matter with you?!
Kevin: [points to Buzz] He started it! He ate my pizza on purpose! He knows I hate sausage and olives and onions and...
Frank: [wipes his soda-dampened pants] Look what ya did, ya little jerk!

Johnny: Who is it?
Snakes: It's me, Snakes. I got the stuff.
Johnny: Leave it on the doorstep, and get the hell outta here.
Snakes: All right, Johnny. But what about my money?
Johnny: What money?
Snakes: Acey said ya had some dough for me.
Johnny: Is that a fact? How much do I owe ya?
Snakes: Acey said 10%.
Johnny: Too bad Acey ain't in charge no more.
Snakes: Whattaya mean?
Johnny: He's upstairs, takin' a bath. He'll call you when he gets out. Hey! I tell ya what I'm gonna give you, Snakes. [pulls out his Tommy Gun] I'm gonna give you to the count of 10, to get your ugly, yellow, no-good keister off my property, before I pump your guts full o' lead!
Snakes: [about to leave] All right, Johnny. I'm sorry. I'm goin'!
Johnny: 1... 2... 10!
[he starts firing his gun at Snakes and laughs maniacally]
Johnny: Keep the change, ya filthy animal.

[last line]
Buzz: Kevin! What did you do to my room?!

Taglines

  • A Family Comedy Without The Family.
  • When Kevin's Family Left For Vacation, They Forgot One Minor Detail: Kevin. But Don't Worry... He Cooks. He Cleans. He Kicks Some Butt.
  • This Non-Family Comedy is a Real Scream.

Cast

External links

Wikipedia
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