Home Alone turned 30, ya filthy animals! It's been three decades since Macaulay Culkin was left to his own devices in the family flick, which was widely released in the U.S. on November 16, 1990... though it feels like just yesterday.
Also starring Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, John Heard and Catherine O'Hara, Home Alone went on to become a holiday classic and spawned two sequel feature films as well as two made-for-TV flicks. There's even a reboot in the works.
As Christmastime approaches, and you settle in again to watch Kevin McCallister defend his home against two boneheaded burglars, OK! takes a look at 15 little-known facts about the famous film.
Scroll through the gallery below to learn more about the holiday classic!
1. Screenwriter John Hughes was inspired to write "Home Alone" after seeing Macaulay Culkin’s performance in 'Uncle Buck.' And although he wrote the part of Kevin McCallister specifically for the young actor, the film’s director, Chris Columbus, still auditioned hundreds of children for the role before giving it to the up-and-comer.
2. Kevin’s famous scream scene was improvised! “That was not written the way Macaulay performed it,” Columbus revealed. “But on the first take, he... kept his hands glued to his face, and his hands stayed completely still as he screamed like the Edvard Munch painting. That’s why he was such an interesting kid: No one else would have done that.”
3. Culkin had a 30-year-old stunt double! Stuntman Larry Nicholas was the same size as the 9-year-old actor.
4. Let it snow! The crew used potato flakes and fans to make it look like it was blizzarding for the iconic Christmas morning scene.
5. The McCallister family’s Chicago home is a real property located in Winnetka, Ill. Since the film’s release, it’s become a popular tourist attraction and was sold in 2012 for $1.585 million.
6. There’s more than one Culkin in the movie! Mac’s younger brother Kieran (who now stars on 'Succession') made his screen debut playing Kevin’s cousin.
7. Buzz’s girlfriend is actually a guy. According to Devin Ratray, who played Kevin’s mean older brother, producers thought the line “Buzz, your girlfriend... woof” would upset any girl in the photo. But luckily, “the art director had a son who was more than willing to volunteer for the part.”
8. Catherine O’Hara, who starred as Kevin’s mom, Kate, worried that some of her lines were too mean for a mother to say to a child and even argued with the director about changing them. But now that the actress has kids of her own, “I know I’m capable of saying much more horrific things to my sons.”
9. John Candy agreed to film his part as the clarinet player even though he was in the middle of another job — and only had 21 hours to make it work! “We improvised for those 21 hours,” O’Hara recalled. “It was the best!”
10. Robert De Niro and Jon Lovitz both turned down the role of Marv’s partner in crime, Harry, which then went to Joe Pesci.
11. Pesci didn’t interact with Culkin outside of filming because he wanted the young actor to be legitimately afraid of him. Pesci also had such a hard time not swearing on set that he was forced to develop the muttering gibberish he uses when he’s in pain or stressed.
12. The tarantula that walked across Daniel Stern’s face was real! So was the actor’s blood-curdling scream: “I asked if that would spook the spider, but I guess tarantulas can’t hear,” Stern, who starred as robber Marv, explained. “I was committed fully to that movie.”
13. Stern and Pesci were former costars and friends before joining forces for 'Home Alone.' Stern said they took their inspiration for the Wet Bandits from cartoons like Wile E. Coyote and the classic comedy duo Laurel and Hardy.
14. Culkin has a battle scar from his time on the flick. In the scene where Kevin is hung from the back of a door by his collar, Harry threatens him by saying, “‘I’m gonna bite all your fingers off, one at a time.” During rehearsal, “Pesci actually bit me,” recalled Culkin. “He broke the skin and everything!”
15. Talk about a raise: Culkin was paid $100,000 for the film but was able to command $4.5 million for the sequel — a record-breaking amount for a child star.