So we’re on the rollercoaster that are the holidays. The coaster has topped the drop off and is now screaming down the tracks like a train wreck express, picking up speed by the second. Of course, here at Women and Words, we’re about to blow right into our very own Hootenanny—12 glorious days of Tucker, reimagined holiday songs, and sleds chock full of awesome giveaway books packed by amazing elves. Including today there’s only three, YES THREE days left before the fun and festivities begin! In the meantime, as I while away my evenings watching old holiday shows, Home Alone popped on. Yeah, it might be 29 years old (how is that possible??) but it’s still one hell of a ride, kind of like The Renegade at Valleyfair. If you’ve never seen Home Alone, you better toddle right on out and get it. I’m quite sure it’s on sale somewhere.
But—me thinks—as I sit by the (electric) fire, sipping (peppermint schnapps spiked) hot chocolate, what don’t I know about this legendary tale of kid vs bad guys? Here are 12 tidbits:
- The movie takes place in suburban Illinois, Winnetka, to be specific. It’s 17 miles north of Chicago.
- The church Kevin goes to is just down the street from the mansion he calls home. That rather incredible residence last sold for a million and a half in 2012 or 2015, depending on where you look.
- Little Nero’s pizza doesn’t exist. It’s a spoof on Little Caesars pizza.
- Cousin Fuller, who drinks too much pop (or soda for those not-so-cool cats) and thus has a terrible bed wetting problem, is in real life Macaulay Culkins’ little bro Kieran.
- The directors went to enormous lengths to pull off plausible reasons a kid might be left behind. In one early scene in the kitchen, Kevin gets pissed and shoves his evil brother Buzz, who hits the center island and knocks over milk on the plane tickets and passports. (No smartphones with e-tickets!) Dad grabs napkins and cleans it all up, not realizing Kevin’s ticket landed in the trash with the sopping wet nappies. This allows the fam, when they think all the tickets have been handed out, to carry on, thinking Kevin is with them in the mad rush to the plane, when, in fact, he’s at home.
- Music was composed by John Williams, who also composed portions of all the Harry Potter scores! In the mad scramble to get out the door after oversleeping, we hear some rather familiar tunes. Williams borrowed the orchestration and melody from Tchaikovsky’s Russian Dance within the Nutcracker suite, and it works very well!
- Cousin Heather is in charge of doing a head count on the kids as they all load into the airport shuttle, and accidentally counts the neighbor kid, who’s rooting through luggage at the back of the shuttle, and then somehow counts herself twice. They were screwed from the get-go!
- Once the crew is on the plane, Director Chris Columbus pops in a bunch of cameos: the woman in a red sweater holding a baby is his mom-in-law, the squirt is his daughter, the first class flight attendant is Columbus’s wife. It’s a good thing to keep the relatives close.
- Then Kevin is all by himself. And is he excited! He goes into brother Buzz’s room and goes through his treasure chest. He finds a pic of Buzz’s girlfriend (rather unflattering). Director Columbus didn’t want to use a real girl and traumatize her, so he had his son dress up as the girlfriend. A noble attempt to shield the fairer sex, but a pretty shitty message on the whole, in my opinion.
- The movie Kevin watches is called Angels With Filthy Souls, which was actually made for this movie. However, the title is a riff off a James Cagney movie called Angels with Dirty Faces. A rather fine foreshadowing of the faces of the bad guys as the film rolls.
- 30-year-old Larry Nicholas did all of Kevin’s stunt work throughout the movie. He must have been a tiny guy!
- The late John Candy shot every scene he was in in one day. 23 hours to be exact.
Okay. That’s enough of that. But the time you took to read this post brought us all THAT much closer to the Hootenanny!
HAVE A WONDEROUS, LITERARY, FOODIE, SNOOZY HOLIDAY!