Christmas Specials Wiki
Christmas Specials Wiki

Home Alone is an American 1990 family comedy feature film, directed by Chris Columbus and written and produced by John Hughes.



As the film opens, the McCallister family is preparing to spend Christmas with Peter and Frank's brother, Rob, in Paris, gathering at Peter and Kate's house in Oak Park, Illinois, a suburb of Chicago, the night before their flight. Their youngest son, eight-year-old Kevin, finds himself the subject of ridicule from his siblings and cousins. After getting into a fight with his oldest brother, Buzz, who ate his cheese pizza on purpose, he's sent to the third-floor bedroom, where he wishes that his family would disappear. They accidentally leave him asleep in bed, as a power outage resets the time and causes them to oversleep. Their next-door neighbors' son, Mitch Murphy, is mistaken for him in the head count, and they hastily depart to O'Hare International Airport for the flight to Orly Airport. During it Kate realizes that they have left Kevin behind, and once they arrive in Paris, she immediately tries to book a return flight back to Chicago. She manages to fly to Dallas and Scranton, but the flight from there to Chicago is 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 cancelled due to 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 Buzz's life savings, practices shooting with Buzz's BB gun, jumps on the bed, watches a gangster film that his Uncle Frank wouldn't let him watch the night before, and eats a large amount of junk food. However, he finds himself scared by the appearance of the Chicago Police Department called by Pater and Kate to check on him via pay phone from Paris, his neighbor across the street, "Old Man" Marley, who is rumored to have murdered his family many years earlier, and the appearance of the Wet Bandits, Harry Lyme and Marv Murchins, who are robbing other vacant houses along the block. They are aware of which ones are vacant, as Harry impersonated a police officer at the beginning of the film doing wellness checks on families before they went out of town for Christmas.


On Christmas Eve, Kevin overhears Harry and Marv discussing plans for robbing his house that night. After conversing with a Santa Claus impersonator and watching a local choir perform in the church in hopes of having his family return, he runs into Marley. They talk, and he realizes that Marley is in fact a very nice man and that none of the rumors about him are true. He tells Kevin he is watching the choir because his granddaughter is in it, and he never gets to see her because he and his son have not spoken in years after having had a big argument. Kevin advises him to reconcile with his son.


Kevin, his own spirits lifted by encouraging Marley, returns home to prepare a series of various booby traps around the house. Harry and Marv, who were initially fooled by his illusions that it is occupied, now realize that he is home alone and attempt to break in, running into the various booby traps. After they spring almost every one in the house, Kevin flees to the second floor and calls 911 from a landline. Harry and Marv manage to chase him out of the house; he flees to Marley's house, which is unlocked. They trap him when he runs to the top of the basement stairs and hang him on a coat hook on the door. They decide to do the same things that he did to them, and Harry decides to bite his fingers one at a time first, but Marley sneaks up behind them and knocks them out with a snow shovel before taking Kevin off the hook and back home. Shortly after he is safely returned home, Harry and Marv are arrested. Additionally, the police were aware of every house that they have robbed because of their habits of leaving the water running to leave their mark.


Kevin wakes up on Christmas morning and is disappointed to see that his family is still gone. He then hears Kate get home and call for him. He goes downstairs, and they meet and reconcile. Immediately after, the rest of the family, having flown directly from Paris to Chicago, arrives. Kevin and Buzz have a moment of reconciliation. Kevin keeps silent about his encounter with Harry and Marv, but Peter finds Harry's gold tooth and wonders what it is. Kevin then goes over to the window, where he sees Marley greeting his son and his family and smiles, realizing that Marley took his advice. While he is hugging his granddaughter, he looks up, sees Kevin, and waves to him (as a sign of thanking him). Kevin waves back, grinning, and watches as Marley heads inside with his family. However, Buzz interrupts Kevin's musings by suddenly calling out, "KEVIN!! What did you do to my room?!" He immediately runs off (probably to Buzz's room) as the film ends.


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

Soundtrack album[]

The soundtrack album, released by CBS Records in November 1990, contained nineteen tracks consisting of the original score, composed by Williams, and other Christmas songs used in the film.

# Title(s) Length
1 "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 Kindergartener" 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"/"Finale" 4:19
18 "Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas" (Mel Tormé) 3:05
19 "We Wish You a Merry Christmas"/"End Credits"
(includes "Somewhere in My Memory")


Actor/actress Character(s)
Macaulay Culkin Kevin McCallister
Joe Pesci Harry Lime
Daniel Stern Marv Murchins
John Heard Peter McCallister
Roberts Blossom "Old Man" Marley
Catherine O'Hara Kate McCallister
Angela Goethals Linnie McCallister
Devin Ratray Buzz McCallister
Gerry Bamman Frank McCallister
Hillary Wolf Megan McCallister
John Candy Gus Polinski
Larry Hankin Officer Balzak
Michael C. Maronna Jeff McCallister
Kristin Minter Heather McCallister
Daiana Campeanu Sondra McCallister
Jedidiah Cohen Rod McCallister
Kieran Culkin Fuller McCallister
Senta Moses Tracy McCallister
Anna Slotky Brooke McCallister
Terrie Snell Leslie McCallister
Jeffrey Wiseman Mitch Murphy
Virginia Smith Georgette McCallister
Matt Doherty Steffan McCallister
Ralph Foody
Michael Guido
Ray Toler Rob McCallister
Billie Bird Woman in airport
Bill Erwin Man in airport
Gerry Becker
Victor Cole
Police officers
Porscha Radcliffe
Brittany Radcliffe
Clarke Devereux Officer Devereux
Dan Charles Zukoski Pizza boy
Lynn Mansbach French woman
Peter Siragusa Lineman
Alan Wilder Scranton ticket agent
Hope Davis Paris ticket agent
Dianne B. Shaw Airline counter person
Tracy Connor Check out girl
Jim Ryan Stock boy
Kenneth Hudson Campbell Santa Claus impersonator
Sandra Macat Santa's elf
Mark Beltzman Stosh
Ann Whitney Drugstore clerk
Richard J. Firfer Store manager
Jim Ortlieb Herb
Kate Johnson Police operator
Michael Hansen
Peter Pantaleo
Airport van drivers
Jean-Claude Sciore Paris gate agent
Monica Devereux Flight attendant #1
Edward Bruzan
Frank R. Cernugel
John Hardy
Eddie Korosa
Robert Okrzesik
Leo Perion
Vince Waidzulis
Polka band members
Uncredited actors
Irene Columbus Woman with baby on flight to Paris
Quinn Culkin Girl at airport
Raja Gosnell Murphys' answering machine voice
James Huffman Kid at airport
Earl Hundt Airport patron
Larry Nazimek Airline pilot
Paula Newsome Shopper
Paul Ruffino Polka van driver
Yuri Rutman Sailor at airport
Luciano Saber Airport traveler
Linda Wylie Flight Attendant #2


Home Alone poster

The poster for the film's theatrical release

As with most of Hughes' films, the film was set—and most of it was shot—in the greater Chicago area. Any other shots, such as those of Paris, are either stock footage or film trickery. The scene where Kevin wades through Marley's flooded basement when trying to outsmart Harry and Marv was actually shot in the swimming pool of New Trier High School. A mock-up of the McDonnell Douglas DC-10 business class was also put together there, on the basketball courts. 21st Century Fox picked up the project after Warner Bros.'s rejection when the budget escalated from $14 million to $17 million.

The Home Alone house, or more precisely 671 Lincoln Avenue, is a three-story single family home detached ones used for shooting most of the scenes in the film and the first few scenes of the sequel, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York. The kitchen was actually shot in the house, along with the main staircase, basement, and most of the first-floor landing. However, the dining room, and all of the rooms downstairs (excluding the kitchen) were built on a soundstage. It is located in the village of Winnetka, Oak Park, 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 five bedrooms, 3.5 bathrooms, a fully converted attic, a fireplace, a detached double garage, and a greenhouse. "Kevin's tree house" in the backyard was demolished, since it was built specifically for the film. It is listed as a Chicago-area tourist destination, as well as being cited as an example of "How to Get Your Home in the Movies".


Following its original theatrical release, FoxVideo made the film available on VHS and Laserdisc in 1991.

The film made its DVD debut on October 5, 1999. The DVD, which contained a non-anamorphic widescreen transfer, was later repackaged in a Christmas Classics box set with those of A Christmas Carol, Jingle All the Way and Miracle on 34th Street, on November 7, 2006. It was repackaged again, this time with the DVDs of the first three Home Alone sequels, in another box set released on October 14, 2008.

A new DVD release with a higher-quality anamorphic widescreen transfer and several bonus features, labeled as the Family Fun Edition, was released on November 21, 2006. A Blu-ray version was later released on December 2, 2008, and later included in a 2-pack with the Blu-ray release of Home Alone 2: Lost in New York in 2010. The Family Fun Edition Blu-ray was released again in 2011 as a combo pack that also contained the DVD and a Digital Copy. A 25th Anniversary Edition DVD and Blu-ray were released on October 6, 2015, both individually and in a "Collector's Edition" collection with Blu-rays and DVDs of the four sequels.


In its opening weekend, the film grossed $17 million in 1,202 theaters, averaging $14,211 per site and just 6% of the final total. It 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. It ended up making a final gross of $285,761,243, the top grossing film of its year in North America. It is listed in the Guinness Book of Records as the highest grossing live-action comedy ever.

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

Though the film was a great success in theaters, critical reception to it has been mixed. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times felt that the plot was too implausible and the entire film too contrived. Modern day review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes gave it a "Rotten" score of 47%. Reviewers cited that slapstick comedy has little appeal. The user section, however, on the site was positive with a "Fresh" score of 85% and a 63 out of 100 rating, which indicates "generally favorable reviews", at Metacritic. It received an Academy Award for Best Original Score nomination written by John Williams.

Novelization and deleted scenes[]

A children's novelization of the film was published several months prior to its initial November 1990 opening. It 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 Harry impersonating a police officer. This particular scene takes place directly after the McCallisters leaves for the airport. It also includes the burglars' surnames. Joe Pesci's character, Harry Lyme, is a reference to Orson Welles' character in the 1940s film The Third Man.

Video games[]


A video game based on the film was released by THQ in North America for the PC, NES, Super NES, Game Boy, Sega Genesis, and Game Gear, in fall 1991, and Japan in spring 1992. Its plot is essentially the same; Kevin must stop the Wet Bandits in 20 minutes or less before the police arrive.

Another video game based on the movie was released for the PlayStation 2 in 2006.


The film won two 1991 Young Artist Awards for Most Entertaining Comedy Movie and Best Actor Macaulay Culkin, portraying his lead role as Kevin. It also won the 1991 Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Award for Favorite Movie. It was also nominated for two 1991 Oscars for Best Score (which it lost to Dances With Wolves) and Best Original Song (which it lost to Dick Tracy).


The film was followed by a commercially successful sequel, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, which was the only Home Alone follow-up to bring back the original cast from the first film.

Home Alone 3, released in 1997, had completely different characters and a completely different storyline. It was also the only film in the series to not be set on or around Christmas--it is set in January. For that reason, it is not covered on this wiki.

A fourth film, Home Alone 4, followed in 2002. It 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. It was the first film in the series to be made-for-TV instead of theatrical release.

A fifth film with another unrelated storyline, Home Alone: The Holiday Heist, followed in 2012 and was also made-for-TV.

Almost immediately following the Walt Disney Company's acquisition of 21st Century Fox, a Home Alone reboot was announced. The new film, titled Home Sweet Home Alone, premiered on Disney+ on November 12, 2021, to overwhelmingly negative reception.

Angels with Filthy Souls[]

Angels with Filthy Souls is a fictional gangster film that was made specifically for use in Home Alone. The title is likely a reference to the 1938 film Angels with Dirty Faces. When the pizza boy comes to deliver Kevin his cheese pizza, he plays it and fast forwards through Snakes' parts to make the pizza boy believe that Johnny lives in the house and run off when he fires at Snakes. To thwart Harry and Marv, Kevin later plays it to trick them into thinking there are armed, dangerous adults in the house and uses fireworks to make things more believable. Marv mentioning that the voices in the house sounded familiar was meant to set up an ultimately deleted post-credits scene in which Harry and Marv watch the movie while in prison, leading them to recognize the dialogue Marv heard earlier.

Home Alone 2: Lost in New York shows that there is a sequel, Angels with Even Filthier Souls, which aids Kevin as well. And in Home Sweet Home Alone, a rebooted science-fiction version of the original scene appears, to which Hunter comments that it "is garbage. I don't know why they're always trying to remake the classics. Never as good as the originals." The original clip was also used in the 2019 film Pokémon: Detective Pikachu.

See also[]

External links[]

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20th Century
Miracle on 34th Street (1955 remake) (1973 remake) (1994 remake) • Die HardDie Hard 2Home AloneHome Alone 2: Lost in New YorkGeorge Balanchine's The NutcrackerTrapped in ParadiseJingle All the WayHome Alone 4The Family StoneDeck the Halls12 Men of ChristmasHome Alone: The Holiday HeistJingle All the Way 2Home Sweet Home Alone
Television episodes and specials
20th Television
M*A*S*H "Dear Dad" • "Dear Sis" • "Death Takes a Holiday" • "All About Christmas Eve"
Tracey Ullman "Santa Baby" • "Kay's Gift" • "Merry Catnip"
The X Files "Christmas Carol" • "Emily" • "How the Ghosts Stole Christmas"
Malcolm in the Middle "Christmas" • "Christmas Trees" • "Pearl Harbor" • "Hal's Christmas Gift
Bones "The Man in the Fallout Shelter" • "The Santa in the Slush" • "The Goop on the Girl"
How I Met Your Mother "How Lily Stole Christmas" • "Little Minnesota" • "False Positive" • "Symphony of Illumination" • "The Over-Correction" • "The Final Page, Part 1" • "The Final Page, Part 2"
Glee "A Very Glee Christmas" • "Extraordinary Merry Christmas" • "Glee, Actually" • "Previously Unaired Christmas"
New Girl "The 23rd" • "Santa" • "LAXmas" • "Christmas Eve Eve"
The Mindy Project "Josh and Mindy's Christmas Party" • "Christmas Party Sex Trap" • "Christmas" • "When Mindy Met Danny"
Last Man Standing "Last Christmas Standing" • "Putting a Hit on Christmas" • "Elfie" • "Wedding Planning" • "Gift of the Wise Man"
Other shows "Christmas Story" • "The Worst Noel" • "Haus Arrest" • "Amends" • "Blue Christmas" • "A Christmas Story" • "Cookies for Santa" • "In God We Trust" • "Road to Tradition" • "Afternoon Delight" • "Christmas" • "The Glitch That Stole Christmas" • "Secret Santa"
20th Television Animation
The Simpsons "Simpson Christmas" • "Simpsons Roasting on an Open Fire" • "Marge Be Not Proud" • "Miracle on Evergreen Terrace" • "Grift of the Magi" • "Skinner's Sense of Snow" • "She of Little Faith" • "'Tis the Fifteenth Season" • "Simpson Christmas Stories" • "Kill Gil, Volumes I & II" • "The Fight Before Christmas" • "Holidays of Future Passed" • "White Christmas Blues" • "I Won't Be Home for Christmas • "The Nightmare After Krustmas" • "'Tis the 30th Season" • "Bobby, It's Cold Outside" • "The Way of The Dog" • "A Springfield Summer Christmas for Christmas" • "Manger Things" • Feliz Navidad
King of the Hill "The Unbearable Blindness of Laying" • "Pretty, Pretty Dresses" • "Hillennium" • "'Twas the Nut Before Christmas" • "The Father, the Son, and J.C." • "Livin' on Reds, Vitamin C and Propane" • "Ms. Wakefield"
Family Guy, American Dad!, and The Cleveland Show "A Very Special Family Guy Freakin' Christmas" • "The Best Christmas Story Never" • "The Most Adequate Christmas Ever" • "Rapture's Delight" • "A Cleveland Brown Christmas" • "Road to the North Pole" • "For Whom the Sleigh Bell Tolls" • "Murray Christmas" • "Season's Beatings" • "Die Semi-Hard" • "Jesus, Mary and Joseph!" • "'Tis the Cleveland To Be Sorry" • "Minstrel Krampus" • "Christmas Guy" • "Dreaming of a White Porsche Christmas" • "The 2000-Year-Old Virgin" • "How the Griffin Stole Christmas" • "Ninety North, Zero West" • "Gifted Me Liberty" • "Don't Be a Dickens At Christmas" • "Santa, Schmanta" • "Christmas is Coming" • "Yule. Tide. Repeat." • "The First No L" • "Christmas Crime" • "The Return of the King (of Queens)" • "Family Guy Christmas for Hulu"
Futurama "Xmas Story" • "A Tale of Two Santas" • "The Futurama Holiday Spectacular" • "I Know What You Did Next Xmas"
Bob's Burgers "God Rest Ye Merry Gentle-Mannequins" • "Christmas in the Car" • "Father of the Bob" • "Nice-Capades" • "The Last Gingerbread House on the Left" • "The Bleakening" • "Better Off Sled" • "Have Yourself a Maily Linda Christmas" • "Yachty or Nice" • "Gene's Christmas Break" • "The Plight Before Christmas" • "The Nightmare 2 Days Before Christmas"
Other cartoons "Hook's Christmas" • "A Christmas Surprise for Mrs. Stillman" • Olive, the Other ReindeerIce Age: A Mammoth Christmas • "The War on Grafelnik" • "Miracle on Culpepper Slims Boulevard" • "A Very Solar Holiday Opposites Special" • "Dip the Halls Adventure" • "Xmas with The Skanks Adventure"