Thursday, December 17, 2009
So, I'm showing my students Home Alone today, and having them make note of 10 ironic instances in the film. See, I'm a good teacher. No wasted time right? Home Alone cracks me up and is another one of my favorite holiday films. Here is some trivia for you and some pics to go along with it. Have a great Thursday!
--John Candy filmed his part in only 1 day, albeit an extremely long 23-hour day. The story about having once forgotten his son at a funeral home was entirely improvised. His part is obviously inspired by the character he played in Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987) also written by John Hughes.
--The concept for this movie originated during the filming of a scene in Uncle Buck (1989) in which Macaulay Culkin plays a character who interrogates a would-be-babysitter through a letterbox.
--The movie that Kevin watches on video tape is not a real film, but footage especially created. It was called "Angels With Filthy Souls." Along with other similar era references in the movie, this is a play upon the movie Angels with Dirty Faces (1938) starring James Cagney.
--The role of Uncle Frank was written for Kelsey Grammer.
--Jeffrey Wiseman who plays the inquisitive neighbor, Mitch Murphy, auditioned for the role of Kevin McCallister.
--Entered into The Guinness Book of World Records as the "Highest Box Office Gross - Comedy", accumulating $533,000,000 internationally.
--The posters and DVD cases for the movie had Culkin with his hands on his face and screaming, based on the famous painting "The Scream" by Edvard Munch.
--Joe Pesci kept forgetting that he was filming a "family" movie during his characters on-screen outbursts so director Chris Columbus advised him to say "fridge" instead of the "F-word".
--Despite filming a family movie, Daniel Stern once slipped in the "s-word", which can be heard when he is retrieving his boot through the doggy door at 55:27 on the DVD.
--Although the part was written especially for Macaulay Culkin by John Hughes, several hundred other boys were auditioned by director Chris Columbus just because he wanted to confirm that Culkin was right for the part.
--The wax-and-plastic artificial snow used in this film was given to the Lyric Opera of Chicago when shooting finished. It has since been used in numerous opera productions.
--Robert De Niro turned down the role of Harry.
--Little Nero's Pizza is an parody of Little Caesar's Pizza. "Caesar" was the title used by Roman emperors, such as Nero.
--In the scene where Harry bites Kevin's finger, Joe Pesci actually bit Macaulay Culkin, leaving a scar on his finger.
--Daniel Stern agreed to have the tarantula put on his face for exactly one take. He had to mime screaming because the noise would have scared the spider, and the scream was dubbed in later.
--The picture Kevin finds of "Buzz's girlfriend" was a picture of a boy made up to look like a girl because Chris Columbus thought it would be too cruel to make fun of a girl like that.
--Several of Chris Columbus' family members make cameos in the film: His mother-in-law and his then infant daughter Eleanor Columbus are both passengers on the plane. His wife Monica Devereux-Columbus is a stewardess and his father-in-law plays the police officer who gives the line "tell them to count their kids again."