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  • by David C. Terr

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    home alone movie posterTitle: Home Alone

    Director: Chris Columbus

    Starring: Macaulay Culkin, Joe Pesci, Daniel Stern, John Heard, Catherine O'Hara

    Release Date: Nov. 16, 1990 (USA)

    Running Time: 103 min

    Genres: Comedy, Crime, Family

     

    Commentary
    Home Alone is a classic comedy starring 10-year-old Macaulay Culkin, perhaps the greatest child celebrity since Shirley Temple, and certainly the highest paid. He does a terrific job acting as a young boy accidentally left alone at his parents' house while his family goes off on vacation without him. The movie contains lots of hilarious scenes, like when he screams after trying on cologne and when he goes shopping on his own, but the best part is when he protects his folks' house from a couple of burgalers. Home Alone is pure fun and laughs for the whole family.

    Plot Summary

    • Introduction: Egged on by his mischievous brother, Kevin McCallister (Culkin), the youngest of a large family, gets into a fight with his family one night. He tells his mother he wishes he'd never see any of them again.
    • Home Alone: The next morning he appears to have gotten his wish when his family mistakenly leave him behind as they go on vacation to France for Christmas, leaving him by himself in their house. Kevin becomes ecstatic since now he has the whole house to himself and for once can do whatever he likes. He has some problems, however, dealing with his fear of the basement and mostly of his creepy old neighbor Marley, who carries around a shovel and Kevin suspects is a killer. Kevin manages to fend very well for himself, even going shopping and tricking the clerk into thinking his folks are waiting for him outside. He also manages to work up the nerve to talk to Marley in church, discovering that he's not a bad guy after all!
    • The Burgalers: Kevin's real problems come from dealing with a couple of neighborhood burgalers (Pesci and Stern) who call themselves "The Wet Bandits" since they leave the water running at every house after they rob it. Kevin is very resourceful, however. First he manages to fool them into thinking his family is home and having a big Christmas party by playing Christmas music and moving life-size props around the house with the shades down. Once the burgalers catch on to his tricks, however, he decides it's time for action and goes into high gear. He torments them in all sorts of ways, like dropping a hot iron on one of their heads and burning the other one's hand by making the doorknob red hot. He even calls the police on them from his treehouse. Eventually the burgalers catch Kevin, but Marley rescues him by knocking them each on the head with his shovel. The police then come and arrest the burgalers.
    • Reunion: Shortly thereafter, the family finally manages to get back home to be reunited with Kevin. They're all glad he's okay, except his brother is pissed at him for ruining his bedroom!

    Cultural Significance
    Home Alone was an immensely popular film, earning millions for Culkin, making him the richest child his age in the world. He went on to star in several other movies including the sequel Home Alone 2: Lost In New York. None of his other films were on par with this one, however.

    Movie Clips

    Here's the original trailer.

     

    Here's the scene in which Kevin realizes his family is missing.

     

    Kevin thinks he's conquered his fears - for a moment.

     

    Here's the classic scene in which he tries on cologne.

     


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