This story of a young boy outwitting a duo of bungling burglars with an intricate series of booby traps turned child actor Macaulay Culkin into one of Hollywood’s highest-paid stars.
The McCallister clan gather in Peter and Kate’s Chicago home prior to flying off to spend Christmas in Paris.
In the chaos of leaving they overlook 8-year-old Kevin (Culkin). Once in the air, his absence is noted but snowstorms prevent his distraught mother (Catherine O’Hara) from getting back to him.
Kevin can’t believe his luck. He watches forbidden videos, eats his favourite junk food, rifles through his brother’s things and sleeps in his parents’ bed. He does get scared, though, and when two burglars, Harry (Joe Pesci) and Marv (Daniel Stern) decide to break into the house he gets really scared.
However, courage and resourcefulness come to the fore as he devises elaborate and painful booby traps to deter them.
Culkin had already appeared in a couple of films, but his extraordinarily self-possessed and all-encompassing performance in Home Alone launched him into child superstardom. He earned $100,000 for this film, and by the time he made Home Alone 2 in 1992 he commanded $5 million.
John Hughes (who had already snared the teenage market in the 1980s) both wrote and produced this massive Christmas hit. Home Alone made it into the Guinness Book of World Records as the Highest Comedy Box Office Grosser with international earnings of $533 million.
Michael C. Maronna