Despite its humble origins, the comedy “Home Alone” (1990) spawned three sequels, introduced slang into the American lexicon, and over time, became a holiday classic. Members of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, led by Richard Kaufman, will perform the film’s Oscar-nominated score by John Williams in three live-to-picture concerts on Dec. 6-8.
Everyone knows the movie was filmed in the Chicago suburbs and turned little Macaulay Culkin into a star. But do you know …
Scream and scream again: The “Home Alone” poster and image of a screaming Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) with his hands on his face was inspired on the famous painting The Scream by Edvard Munch. (For more about the iconic work, check out this graphic titled “The Scream Franchise: Deconstructing Munch’s Famous Painting” in Lapham’s Quarterly.)
To Warsaw, with love: “Home Alone” is now a yuletide tradition in Poland, where the film (“Kevin sam w Domu” or “Kevin Alone in the House”) has become the Polish equivalent of “It’s a Wonderful Life” (1946). Every year since the early 1990s, “Home Alone” has been broadcast on Polish national television. Wesołych Świąt!
Snow falls over the Civic Opera House: The artificial snow created for “Home Alone” was donated to Lyric Opera of Chicago, which has reused the fluffy stuff in several productions since then.
We see The King of Orient Are? According to urban legend, Elvis Presley makes a cameo in this movie — even though he left the building for good in 1977. Fans who believe Elvis is still alive insist that the heavily bearded man standing in the background of the scene where Mrs. McCallister is shouting at the desk clerk (just before she meets John Candy) is the King of Rock ‘n’ Roll.
The gift that keeps on giving: “Home Alone,” which became the highest grossing film of 1990, remained in the box office Top 10 until June 1991. The Guinness Book of World Records has cited it as the highest-grossing live-action comedy ever released domestically. Take that, you filthy animal!
A version of this post appeared previously on Sounds and Stories.