by Mikey Cahill
THE year 1990 was a simpler time. Kevin McCallister was a young boy about to set off on a holiday with his family, but as we know this didn't happen.
He got separated not once but twice and was forced to defend himself against bungling burglars Marv and Harry, aka The Wet Bandits. Home Alone was a box office smash and fans have picked up on many of its quirky facts.
Here's 18 of them.
1. Home Alone cracked The Guinness Book of World Records as the Highest Box-Office Gross - Comedy, accumulating $476.6 million worldwide.
2. The poster and iconic image of Kevin (Macaulay Culkin) with his hands on his face, screaming from the sting of aftershave, is based on the famous painting The Scream by Edvard Munch.
3. Macaulay Culkin improvised one of the best lines in the film: "You guys give up, or are you thirsty for more?"
4. Joe Pesci (Harry) kept forgetting that he was filming a family movie during his character's on-screen outbursts, so director Chris Colombus advised him to say "fridge" instead of a certain other word.
5. Pesci avoided Culkin on set because he wanted the young actor to be afraid of him and think he was a meanie.
6. John Candy, who plays Gus Polinski, "the Polka King of the Midwest", improvised all of his lines.
7. The movie that Kevin watches on videotape is not a real film, but footage specially created. It was called Angels With Filthy Souls is a play upon the movie Angels With Dirty Faces (1938).
8. During rehearsal for the scene where Harry attempts to bite off Kevin's finger, Joe Pesci accidentally bit Macaulay Culkin which left a small scar.
9. Many of the shots that focus on Kevin in the beginning of the movie are filmed from above his head, making him seem small and helpless. By the end of the film, Kevin is mostly shot from below, portraying him as taller and more confident.
10. Those pointy Christmas ornaments that Marv steps on then screams in pain? They were actually candy.
11. Macaulay Culkin's stuntman was in fact a very short 30-year-old man.
12. When Kevin runs through his water-filled basement it was actually the local high school's swimming pool.
13. Daniel Stern (Marv) was smart and wore rubber feet for his barefoot scenes.
14. Home Alone is revered as a traditional Christmas movie in Poland. It has aired on national television during prime time Christmas season every year since 1990. In 2011 it gained a TV audience of five million.
15. Robert De Niro turned down the role of Harry.
16. Macaulay Culkin beat out hundreds of other boys for the star role. Columbus was hesitant to cast Culkin, because writer/producer John Hughes had recently cast him in Uncle Buck and Colombus didn't want to appear as a pushover in the film community. It was only after auditioning myriad other young actors that he realised Culkin was the ideal choice.
17. Despite Kevin being home alone, he is never seen on screen in his own room.
18. The "evil furnace" in the basement was done by two set-hands using fishing line and flashlights.
LEIGH PAATSCH'S REVIEW
Home Alone ****1/2
Macaulay Culkin at the peak of his cheeky child-star powers. The great John Hughes (Breakfast Club) at the creative controls. Yes.