Movie Classic – Home Alone (1990)

Take a trip back to a magical time, when laughing at others' pain was all part of the festive cheer

Home Alone taps into a fear everyone felt as a kid – being left alone. But it also shows the excitement of having the run of the house – and being able to set booby traps. Macaulay Culkin (back when he was endearing) played Kevin McCallister, left home alone after his family jetted off on a Christmas holiday, forgetting him.

After the initial reaction to eat crap and trash the house – let's be honest, we'd all do the same – things turn sour as burglars the Slippery Bandits decide to break in. Of course Kevin has his older brother’s BB gun and pet Tarantula – along with an arsenal of Rube Goldberg-style traps – to defend his family pad.

20th Century Fox ended up producing Home Alone after Warner Bros rejected the project when the budget went from US$14 million to US$17 million. It ended up making US$500 million at the cinema and became the third highest grossing film of all time. Bad luck for the brothers Warner.

John Williams, we thank you. Home Alone still has one of the greatest Christmas soundtracks of all time. And the Academy Award for Best Original Score proves it.

The gangster film Angels With Dirty Souls – used by Kevin to scare off the pizza delivery boy – was made up for the film, in tribute to the classic noir Angels with Dirty Faces. Its equally fictional sequel, Angels With Even Dirtier Souls, features in Home Alone 2. If you want to see complete footage of the satirical film, you’ll need to get hold of the 2006 DVD release of Home Alone where it was included as a bonus.

Apart from Joe Pesci, the cast was relatively unknown – though John Candy turns up in the middle of the film, playing a helpful road trip buddy to Mrs McCallister as she tries to get home to Kevin. His slightly grating character seems to be a nod to his equally annoying role in Planes, Trains & Automobiles.

There are now four Home Alone films, but let's be honest, only the first two, starring Culkin, were any good.

Macaulay Culkin is now 31, has recently broken up from Mila Kunis, has been to jail for drug possession, slept in Michael Jackson’s bed, and is now working on The Wrong Ferarri, A Screwball Tragedy - A Film by Adam Green, made entirely on an iPhone. We salute his commitment to tech.

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