It is time once again to examine a script from one of my favorite films and reveal the differences between paper and screen. So far in this series, I’ve covered National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, and A Christmas Story. It was never my intention to cover just holiday films, but these choices do make sense because I tend to re-watch (and I’m assuming you re-watch) so many holiday movies during the Christmas season. In this comparison, I’m continuing with another holiday favorite, the 1990 film Home Alone.
I have a vivid memory of watching Home Alone in the theater. My dad was never much of a moviegoer so the few films I remember watching with him really stick out in my mind. My parents divorced in 1990 so my guess is I encourage Dad to take me during a weekend visit. We watched it at the small, two-screen Ritz theater in downtown Clearfield, PA. I remember the belly laughs we both experienced throughout the film, but of course, most laughs came when the robbers fell for Kevin’s traps.
Another interesting memory I have about the film is watching Siskel and Ebert’s At The Movies review. I remember being really hyped to watch it just from the trailers. Outside of Entertainment Tonight and At The Movies, there really wasn’t anywhere to find more footage so I made it a point to watch Siskel and Ebert’s review. It impacted me beyond the point of getting to see some more footage because both critics didn’t have many good things to say about it. It was the first time I can remember being annoyed with critics and thinking to myself “Why would anyone not like this movie?” My eyes were opened to critics after that and while I probably realized that people had different opinions, I wouldn’t let their opinions influence my excitement to see a film.
Beyond my initial memories of Home Alone, I’ve made quite a few with my own family over the years re-watching the movie. It’s been a staple in our household every Christmas season and recited about weekly throughout the year. When someone is acting foolish around the house, we’re quick to tell them “Buzz, don’t be a moron.” If anyone is questioned about removing their shoes, the proper response is always to question why the other person is dressed like a chicken. When a piping hot cheese pizza is removed from the oven, someone usually hovers over the pie calling it lovely and claiming it just for them. Needless to say, one of my motivations to look at the script is to see how many of these highly quotable lines are contained within and what other gems might have been cut.
The script I found online is the 108-page script dated Jan 17, 1990 and noted as the fourth draft. It is also noted that some revisions were made February 2, 1990. Wiki claims principal shooting was February 14 to May 8, 1990 so chances are this script is the one used for filming. I’m also embedding deleted scenes I found on YouTube that are queued up to watch some of the differences. In all, I’ve compiled at least 45 differences between the theatrical release of the film and the script. Here they are for your enjoyment in chronological order:
Uncle Frank’s Film Choice
This is a minor difference but speaks volumes to the Uncle Frank character. When Kevin enters his parents’ bedroom and asks his mom about why he can’t watch the movie, Kate responds with “If Uncle Frank says no it must be really bad.” Her response tell us that Uncle Frank’s films choices are less than desirable by most.
In the script, Kate backs up Frank a little more with her response saying “If Uncle Frank says no, I say no.” To me, that response implies she respects Frank’s opinion a little bit more than the shady cheapskate that I always view him as.
“In a Minute.”
When Aunt Leslie enters the bedroom, she has a little more dialogue in the script with Peter, Kate, and Kevin. She tells Peter that there is a policeman downstairs. Peter asks what he wants but Kevin interrupts asking Aunt Leslie about the movie. She tells him “In a minute, Kevin.” Kevin mocks her and announces he’s sick of everybody saying “In a minute.”
In the movie after asking Peter if he has a voltage adapter, Leslie turns to tell Kevin to go pack his suitcase. That’s a great moment in the film and sets up the next scene with Kevin fretting about what to pack. In the script, that line is omitted and the first mention of the suitcase isn’t until that next scene with Kevin asking his brother Jeff what to pack. “Buzz told ya, Cheek-face. Toilet paper and water.”
Much Ado About a Voltage Adapter
The dreaded voltage adapter, the converter which changes the voltage of electrical power for American devices to work in Europe, comes up a couple times in the film. Peter asks Kate about one so he can shave in France. (The “Grow a goatee” line seems to be ad-libbed.) Leslie also asks about it when she talks to them in the bedroom. Both of those instances are in the script and film but the voltage adapter comes up again in the script.
As Heather and Tracy meet on the stairs in the commotion, Tracey mentions that her Dad said hairdryers won’t work in France. Heather tells her she needs a voltage adapter. When she asks what that is, Heather tells her to ask her mom.
Pizza in 20 Minutes!
Every detail about the car delivering Little Nero’s pizza is in the script except for the time. In the script it’s “Pizza in 30 Minutes or Less” while in the movie, the delivery time on the sign is only 20 Minutes. I guess the 10 minute difference furthers the need to drive like a bat out of hell and knock over statues without reservation.
The 20 minutes might have just been a mistake because the pizza delivery guy has a cut scene where he tells the smaller kids they are his witnesses he arrived in 30 minutes or less. This deleted scene is queued up below…
Statue of Limitations
And speaking of statues, that gag of knocking over the one in front of the McAllister house (twice with the pizza delivery and once with the airport van) is not in the script.
What Happened to Kevin’s Room?
In the film, Kevin’s sister Linnie tells him he has to sleep with his bed-wetting cousin Fuller on the hide-a-bed. The script gives us an extra line of dialogue to further explain this. Kevin follows up by asking her, “What happened to my room?” Linnie tells him, “Heather, Tracy, and Sondra took it.” That’s when Kevin explodes about the house being so full of people and when he grows up and gets married, he’s living alone.
Buzz Has a Potty Mouth
The film sanitizes Buzz’s dialogue (and the robber’s dialogue) for what I assume is to keep the film at a PG rating. Buzz is much more brash in the script. In the scene with Buzz and cousin Rod packing up in Buzz’s bedroom, he tells Rod his spider just ate a “shitload” of mice guts. When Kevin subtly knocks on his door to ask him about sleeping in his room, Buzz calls him a “dick rash” instead of “flehm wad.”
Old Man Marley is a Hermit
It’s been made known that director Christopher Columbus rewrote John Hughes’ script to include Old Man Marley (the McAllister’s neighbor) and his heartfelt story. It appears the script I’m reading will not reflect that as Buzz gives a different depiction of the character.
Marley is still the alleged South Bend Shovel Slayer but instead of salting the streets with his mummified remains, he only comes out of his house once a day to get his mail. According to Buzz, his groceries and everything else is delivered to his house. Buzz also tells Rod that he keeps watching for him on America’s Most Wanted so he can “turn his ass into the authorities” and “make a trillion dollars.”
Also instead of Marley peering up at the boys, the script finishes out the scene with Buzz slow stalking Kevin to leave his room. Buzz tells him if he doesn’t leave, he’ll tie him to Marley’s front porch and ring the doorbell until he comes out. Buzz turns to Rod and then says about Kevin “He’s a microweenie with the balls of a butterfly.” This deleted scene is queued up below…
Uncle Frank Prank
In the film, the first time we meet Uncle Frank is when he snatches the pizzas from the delivery boy and directs him to his brother-in-law for payment. In the script, we meet Frank coming out of the bathroom with a Michelin Guide under his arm. As Kevin exits Buzz’s room, they meet in the hallway with Uncle Frank giving him a smack on the head with his magazine and asking him “Parlez vou Francais yet, squirt?” Kevin tells him that’s not his name.
Uncle Frank then plays a prank on Kevin. He asks Kevin if he knows what they are gonna call him in France. Kevin doesn’t know so Frank grabs his pants and gives them a downward tug yelling “Yank!” Kevin glares at him as he chuckles and walks away. This deleted scene is queued up below…
Later in the script when the family is rushing out of the house to catch the airport shuttles, he pulls the prank again on Peter. It’s more implied because Frank asks him what they are going to call him in France, the scene cuts away and when it comes back to Peter, he is adjusting his pants.
Peter Passes the Buck
In the movie, Peter McAllister finally comes down the stairs to address the police officer (Harry) and the pizza boy who is waiting for his money. While he doesn’t give any money to the pizza boy, he talks to Harry about the home’s security.
In the script, Peter ignores both the cop and the pizza boy leaving Kate to handle them both after she wrangles Kevin in the wake of the cheese pizza incident with Buzz. She explains to the cop their travel plans but nothing about their security. When she sends Kevin to the third floor and comes back to finish with the cop, he’s gone.
Say Good Night, Kevin
There are a couple subtle differences in the script during the pizza brawl. When the dust settles, it’s Kevin’s sister Tracey who tells him he’s “such a disease” instead of his brother Jeff. Also, when Kate pulls Kevin out of the kitchen and tells him to say goodnight, his mocking response of “Good Night, Kevin” is not in the script suggesting it was ad-libbed.
In the film, Frank is insistent on having Champagne when they get to their first class seats on the plane. Then he tells his wife Leslie to put the crystal glasses in her purse. None of that is in the script. In fact, Frank and Leslie sit across the aisle from Peter and Kate and Frank is the one that assures Kate that the kids are fine back in coach.
Frank is also the one who mentions the only flying he did as kid was in the family station wagon.
No Stove Scares
Kevin’s fear of the basement is in both the movie and the script, but the stove does not come to life. The script says the stove is “a huge, old boiler with wrapped pipes that look like tentacles reaching into the floor and the house above.” As he scans the basement, Kevin also sees a dozen, tattered marionette dolls hanging from the ceiling.
No “I’m Free!” Montage
At the point when Kevin says “I made made family disappear”, there are two montages that play out in the movie. The first is the montage of all his family members grumping at him from the night before. Kevin says the line again and we get another montage of him jumping on the bed with popcorn shouting “I’m Free!” and then runs around the house screaming. A great moment in the movie, but only partially appears in the script later.
Cheetos and Ice Cream
In the movie, we catch up with Kevin eating a huge ice cream sundae watching Uncle Frank’s movie choice “Angels With Filthy Souls.” Kevin does fix himself some ice cream in the script, but it also tells us “Between bites, he dips Cheetos into the ice cream” and “He’s drinking a Pepsi.” What a meal.
There is also a cut scene in the script were Kevin announces he’s starving and as he opens the fridge door, he can’t remember the food groups. This deleted scene is queued up below…
McAllisters Are No Angels
After the “I’m Free!” montage in the movie, Kevin starts snooping around in Buzz’s bedroom. Instead of the montage, the script adds an additional scene of Kevin watching a home movie in the living room (before he watches the Angels With Filthy Souls) that explains why he is motivated to snoop in Buzz’s room and jump on Megan’s bed with popcorn (not his parent’s bed like in the montage.)
So what happens in the home movie that causes Kevin to mess with Megan and Buzz? It’s the morning before a previous McAllister family vacation to Busch Gardens. As we zoom back from a park brochure, we see Megan in her pajamas. Peter narrates that they are visiting the resort as Kevin appears in his pajamas. Kevin puts on an elephant mask and Peter continues that there first guest is Kevin the elephant boy. Buzz then sneaks around behind Kevin and tells Peter, “Hold on, Dad. Elephants don’t wear…pajamas!” Buzz yanks down Kevin’s pajama bottoms which causes Kevin to take an erratic swing at his older brother. It misses and instead hits Megan in the gut. She screams “OOF! You Little Bastard!” as the camera points downward and Peter tells them to “Cut It Out!”
The video cuts off and then comes back to Kevin arguing with his Dad that “THIS IS THE WORST VACATION OF MY LIFE! HOW WOULD YOU LIKE TO HAVE SOMEBODY PULL YOUR PANTS DOWN IN FRONT OF FEMALE RELATIVES WITH BIG MOUTHS?” Kate then enters telling Buzz to “turn that damn thing off!” and tells Kevin to get in the other room. Kevin tries to plead his case but Kate is having nothing of it because he hit Megan. Kevin asks her “Why am I always the one who gets in trouble? I should never have come here with your stupid children.” Kate responds “Maybe you’d like to spend this vacation by yourself?” Kevin tells her “Fine.” She responds again “We oughta just leave you and teach you a lesson.”
Kevin points the remote at the TV to pause the tape. He rewinds that last line of his Mom saying “We oughta just leave you and teach you a lesson.” Kevin gets a grin on his face and that’s when he goes upstairs to mess around in Megan and Buzz’s bedrooms. This scene from the script really adds depth to the family’s history and poor Kevin catching the blame. Looking through the deleted scenes on YouTube, it doesn’t appear it was ever filmed.
Turn on the Answering Machine
Another subtle difference that would’ve dated the movie even more is when Kate is trying to remember what they forgot to do at the house. One of the responses she says in the script is “Did you put the answering machine on?” I’m not sure that was even a thing when we did use answering machines. Didn’t we usually just leave them on? Maybe with the power going out, they would have needed to turn it back on but the phone lines were still down anyways.
Kate’s Not Laughing
During Kate’s panic on the plane, the movie depicts a quiet scene in the middle of the night. However, the script sets the background as the passengers watching a funny movie. When Kate comes to her senses and yells “Kevin!”, it is in the middle of a funny part of the movie and the whole cabin laughs.
In the film, Kevin’s fears come to life in the form of the stove in the basement. In the script, he battles even more elements that come to life in an elaborate dream sequence. It was cut from the movie because of an estimated $1 million price tag. In the dream sequence, Kevin wakes to hear the hose boards creaking and a faint, repeated whisper of his name. He realizes it’s just a tree branch scraping against the window. He psyches himself up, repeating his Dad’s words of encouragement to face his fears. Suddenly he hears a devilish version of “Silent Night” coming from the nearby Nutcrackers. He screams and runs out of the room.
He skids to a stop, seeing a shadowy figure on the wall. The shadow turns into the “Night on Bald Mountain” demon from Fantasia. Kevin cries out and continues running while the camera shows a hat and coat on the wall as the source of the shadow that now fades back to normal. He enters the dining room and comes face-to-face with the grandfather clock that comes to life and “scares the hell out of Kevin.” He exits the dining room and stops for a moment, get a slight chill. He comes to the realization that the pilot light has gone out in the furnace and begins filling with dread.
He opens the basement door and stand at the top of the stairs saying to himself “If I don’t face my fears now…I’ll be a dreamsicle by tomorrow morning.” He slowly descends the stairs and his foot hits something at the bottom. It’s a mannequin head now with a face that tells Kevin “Only a dummy would come into the basement.” The mannequin begins to laugh as the other mannequins join in. He closes his eyes assuring himself it’s not real. When he opens them, everything is silent.
He approaches the furnace and opens the mouth to peer inside and find the pilot light. He sees several mouse traps around it and begins to hear mice chattering sounds in his head. He tells them to stop as he reaches in to push the red button for the pilot light. As he presses the button, the furnace erupts and comes to life with steam pouring out of the pipes. Kevin runs up the stairs and as the camera pans back, the furnace is calm and Kevin wakes up from his dream.
In the film when the plane lands in Paris, Kate beelines for the pay phones to call home. In the script, there is a scene with Uncle Rob, Aunt Georgette, and family ready to greet the McAllisters at the airport. They stretch a large sign and begin waving when the see the family. Kate bursts through the sign like a football player on gameday, ignoring their greetings. This cut scene was actually filmed and is queued up below…
Faux Party Setup Montage
In the movie, Kevin announces he’ll be ready after he’s tailed by Harry and Marv to the church where he hides in the nativity. In the script, Kevin delivers his line “This is my house. I have to defend it” (which is later in the movie) and heads back to the house to setup his fake party. We then get a montage: Kevin arranges the living room chairs to face toward the windows, a piano song book being flipped to “Joy To The World”, a sports hero poster being peeled from Buzz’s wall, an electric train being removed from the closet, a laugh box being removed from Jeff’s drawer, one of the nutcrackers with a rifle being snatched from the piano top, Kevin carrying mannequins up from the basement and carrying stereo speakers from the family room to the kitchen.
Gunman in the Window
There is an extra element of fear added during the pizza delivery scene in the script. After the pizza boy receives his $12 from Johnny the mobster (Kevin playing back the movie), Kevin then backlights the nutcracker with the rifle from the previous montage which is now in the kitchen window. The pizza boy sees the shadow of the nutcracker rifleman on the window curtain and then Kevin plays the “I’m gonna give you to the count of ten…” line.
Denied By Ed and Irene
In the movie, there is a short scene of Kate at the airport appealing to passengers Ed and Irene to swap tickets for a later flight. Kate barters cash, a pocket translator, a watch, and earrings to Irene who finally caves when Kate shows her desperation. The script adds a little bit more to scene and a different outcome.
Instead of earrings, Kate barters a bracelet and a necklace. Irene and Ed both tell her they didn’t like the bracelet and turn to board the plane. Kate then gives her plea to Irene but as she turns to Ed, his hearing aid goes out. He didn’t hear Kate’s last-ditched effort to persuade them and tugs on Irene to board the plane. Other passengers then jostle around a crushed Kate as they board the plane.
Kevin the Piano-man
When Harry and Marv pull up to the McAllister house, after learning from the Murphy’s answering message that they are still in Paris, they are baffled at the party going on before their eyes. In the movie, we get the montage of Kevin’s elaborate props that fool the robbers set to Brenda Lee’s “Rockin’ Around the Christmas Tree.” The script plays out this scene a little different.
From the earlier montage in the script, we see Kevin at the piano with strings tied to his feet to move the mannequins in the window. It’s not Brenda Lee that serenades the faux party but Kevin himself haphazardly playing “Joy to the World” on the piano. Concentrating on the sheet music, he occasionally hits the wrong keys on the piano which triggers him to activate the laugh box that he retrieved earlier from Jeff’s room.
Buzz the Buzzsaw
As Kevin tucks himself in bed to watch Johnny Carson, the script adds a little more to the scene. Kevin brushes his teeth and gives a funny line saying his used “stolen goods” and wipes his fingerprints off the handle. He then hops in his parent’s bed, turns on the television, and says “Here’sssssssss Johnny!” Then we cut to the apartment in France where we see Peter in bed alone, still awake. In another room, Linnie and Megan are in bed, still awake. In another room, Jeff is awake on the floor while Buzz is snoring like a buzzsaw in bed. This deleted scene is queued up below…
The script continues with a scene of Kate sleeping at the airport, curled up on several seats and using her purse as a pillow. Over the P.A. we hear an announcement for passenger McAllister on standby for the flight headed to Detroit via Boston to come to the counter. Kate sits up, grabs her bags, and heads to the counter.
Pushing the Cart For Mommy
Another scene in the script that was cut from the movie extends Kevin’s visit to the grocery store. A woman notices Kevin shopping alone and asks him “Pushing the cart for Mommy?” Kevin tells her “Yes, ma’am” as she says he should get a lot of good things tomorrow from Santa for being such a good helper. Kevin shrugs back “You never know.”
Kevin then asks her “What’s the stuff you put in the washing machine to make clothes feel as fluffy soft as a kitten and smell as fresh as a springtime breeze?” The woman is puzzled and tells him “Fabric softener” as Kevin realizes he might be giving away his unguided visit. He quickly tells her “It’s for…mommy” as he continues shopping. This deleted scene is queued up below…
The script adds a line at the checkout that has me puzzled. As the cashier is ringing up Kevin’s purchases, he adds more small talk while perusing his magazine. He tells her “I wish I could use the stove. I’d make some of these Macafurters.” He shows her a page from the magazine and tells her they look good while she smiles and nods back. What is a Macafurter? A hot dog topped with mac and cheese? Mac and cheese with chopped up hot dogs? Hot dogs stuffed with mac and cheese? Inquiring minds want to know.
Something that’s left out of the script that appears in the movie is the cashier (or the store manager in the trailer) questioning Kevin about his unsupervised visit.
Harry Examines the House
In the movie, Harry and Marv are parked behind the McAllister residence trying to figure out what is going on. Harry tells Marv to check out the place which leads into the fake shootout scene with Kevin playing the mobster movie. In the script, it’s actually Harry that checks out the house himself. Kevin plays the movie but just the beginning part where Harry believes there are other men in the house.
Harry returns to Marv to tell him that there were two guys in the house and one upstairs taking a bath. In this case, I like the movie version so we get the complete movie reel and the fake shots fired at Marv.
Linnie’s True Meaning of Christmas
Another cut scene from the film that is in the script features Peter and Linnie at the Paris apartment. Following up the lying awake scene, Linnie gets up and finds her Dad awake in the house. He invites her to sit with him as she asks where her Mom is. Peter tells her she is on a flight to Detroit (Scranton in the movie.) Linnie is bummed that she and Kevin won’t be with them for Christmas. Peter assures her that Christmas will be just be delayed.
Linnie thinks delaying Christmas is a bad idea even though Peter tells her they don’t have much of a choice. She comes to the realization that no family should be apart for Christmas despite how mean they’ve been to each other for the rest of the year. In the cut scene from the film, Peter continues the narrative by asking her about the true meaning of Christmas which she believes is families being together. This deleted scene is queued up below…
Harry’s Last Good Christmas
The script adds more to the scene when Harry and Marv awake in their van and see Kevin cutting the tree in his back yard. Harry peers through the window of the house and Kevin notices him from the reflection in the ornament. After Kevin calls for his Dad and Harry leaves, the script tells that Kevin rushes upstairs to Buzz’s room and grabs his BB gun from the wall rack. He then reaches in Buzz’s nightstand and pulls out a box of BB’s to load the weapon.
As Kevin opens the window to snipe the robbers, he hears the them talking as they retreat to the van. When Marv tells Harry that robbing the house with the kid there isn’t a good idea, Harry rebuttals that the McAllister house is the only reason they started working the block and its “the difference between me having a good or bad Christmas. And Marv, I ain’t had a good Christmas since 1962.” Marv gives in by telling Harry “I don’t wanna spoil Christmas for ya.”
Gus Polinski’s Greatest Hit
We meet Gus Polinski at the airport (played by the late great John Candy) who offers to help Kate in her travels. In the movie, Gus introduces himself and thinks Kate might recognize him as the “Polka King of the Midwest.” He asks her if she’s heard some of his songs like “The Twin Lakes Polka” and “Polka Twist.” In the script, he just mentions one of his hits: “I Don’t Want Her You Can Take Her She Can’t Stuff the Kielbasa Polka” Kate response is “Sounds familiar.”
After the brief scene of the band playing in the back of the truck (Gus playing accordion in the script but clarinet in the movie), it is notable that the film has an additional scene with Gus trying to encourage Kate with his story about leaving his son at a funeral parlor. John Candy and Katherine O’Hara’s dialogue was all ad-libbed for the scene in the movie because it is not in the script.
Department Store Santa
Another difference is that the script holds the Santa scene at a department store and not at the outdoor village depicted in the movie. Kevin also insists on standing rather sitting in Santa’s lap because he’s “a little old” for it. After the conversation, Santa asks Kevin if we wants a candy cane, but he refuses stating “No, thanks. I don’t want to spoil my appetite.” In this case, I kinda like the scene in the film where Santa gives him a few Tic Tacs.
Kevin Gets Emotional
As Kevin walks back to his house after his visit with Santa, the movie shows him passing by a house hosting a family party which causes Kevin to become sad. The script extends this scene and depicts Kevin going as far as walking up to the front door of the house. There is a scene of the joyous family from inside the house and Kevin begins to sob from the doorway. The scene ends with the door closing in his face.
Marley Spills His Guts
The scene with Kevin and Old Man Marley in the church is one of my favorites. We learn alot about Marley’s life in that short scene but the script gives us even more information. Marley tells Kevin that this specific church means a lot to him. “I was baptized in this church. I got married in this church. My boys got married in this church. I said goodbye to my wife in this church.” Kevin doesn’t understand the last statement and asks him “You got divorced in this church?”
Then Marley begins to laugh which starts with a small snort and chuckle but grows louder. Marley blows his nose and tells Kevin “I don’t laugh too much anymore, but you got me.” Marley explains it was for her funeral and that it won’t be long before he joins her. It take a minute for Kevin to understand that Marley means in heaven as he points upward. Then, Marley grills Kevin (like in the movie) about his behavior and if he’s been a good boy this year.
The script doesn’t include Marley’s relationship with his son and seeing his granddaughter. Rather, it focuses more on Kevin’s transgressions with his family and Marley tells him to fix things up by saying a prayer. Kevin asks him how long it takes for the prayer to work with Marley responding “Give him ’till morning.” They shake hands and Marley tells Kevin “I hope you get a big surprise when you get home.” Kevin exits the church and thinks about Marley’s last statement which prompts him to hurry home to prep for the crooks.
After Kevin finishes his battle plan, he sits down to his microwave dinner. In the movie, its mac and cheese but the script tells us it’s a turkey dinner.
X Marks the Spot
There are a couple subtle differences as the burglars enter the house. The script adds a quick cut to Kevin marking an “X” on his battle plan after Harry burns his hand on the door knob. The script does have the line when Kevin is sitting on the stairs “Do you guys give up?” but the next line “Or are you thirsty for more?” is not in the script and must have been ad-libbed for the movie.
Why the Hell Did You Set Your Head on Fire?
One of my favorite lines from the film happens when Harry and Marv meet in the dining room. Harry asks Marv “Why the hell did you take your shoes off?” with Marv responding “Why the hell are you dressed like a chicken?” The script has a different line for Marv which doesn’t have quite the ring: “Why the hell did you set your head on fire?”
After the crooks slip on the Micro Machines, the script says Kevin opens fire with his BB gun from the top of the stairs adding more pain to the crooks.
Harry Gets Paint-Canned First
Another subtle difference in the script, Harry catches the first paint can in the mouth and it’s Marv who gets hits after and falls on Harry.
In the movie, Kevin puts the spider on Marv’s face after he snatches Kevin by the leg. This plays out different in the script. Harry trips on the wire and falls to the floor. While Marv is struggling with Kevin, who is kicking him in the head trying to escape, Harry slowly stands up with the spider on his face. He peels it off and throws it towards Marv which then lands on his face. Marv flings the spider off which then lands on Harry’s shoe. Marv then revs up his crowbar and comes down on Harry’s shoe which causes him to scream in pain.
Kevin’s Not Hooked
In the movie, we get the surprise meet up inside the Murphy’s house next door. The crooks hang him on the back of the door by a hook and then tell Kevin exactly what they want to do to him. Harry tells him he’s gonna bite every one of his fingers and that’s when Marley saves the day with his snow shovel. The script is slightly different.
As Kevin opens the door from the basement, Harry greets him with “Evening, little nipper.” Before Marv or Harry even lay a finger on Kevin, Marley hits them both with the snow shovel. He winks at Kevin and tells him “A little trick I learned in South Bend.” Of course, this is a callback to Marley being referred to as the “South Bend Shovel Slayer.”
Michael Jordan Taunts the Crooks
As Harry and Marv leave in the police squad car and look back at Kevin’s house, the script tells that we see the sports standee bobbing in the window first before Kevin shows his grinning face. The script is non-specific about the standee calling it the “shirtless sports hero” (maybe hinting it is a professional wrestler?) Of course, Michael Jordan is the standee we see in the movie.
Kevin Gets Angry Christmas Morning
When Kevin bolts down the stairs Christmas morning to greet his Mom, he finds no one. The movie shows him sulking after he realizes all his prayers and pleas have not been answered. The script takes it a bit further having him show anger at first. When he realizes his family is not home, he yells “Dammit!” and grabs a crystal paperweight from the coffee table, ready to throw it at the tree. But he comes to his senses, sitting the paperweight down and deciding to open the front door just to be sure no one is home. He shuts the door and that’s when the polka party wagon pulls up and Kate walks inside.
The Sweet Sound of a Christmas Bell
In the film, Kate enters the house and turns the corner to see Kevin with a straight face. She apologizes and Kevin gives her a huge smile as they embrace. The script has a different approach to their reunion.
Kevin has retreated to his bedroom and is holding the picture of his family. Kate enters the house and sees what Kevin has done in the living room with the tree, stockings, and cookies. She begins to cry as she approaches the tree and plucks a bell ornament from it. She gives it a jingle which Kevin hears upstairs. The bell rings again. Kevin puts down the photo and plugs his ears to see if the sound is just in his mind. He hears it again and begins to walk into the hallway and down the creaky stairs. Kate hears the creak from the living room knowing Kevin is home. Kevin turns the corner as their eyes meet and Kate rings the bell again. Then they embrace.
The script has a post credits scene that I thought would’ve been a great way to end the movie. After the credits roll, we fade up to a television that is showing the gangster movie. After a few seconds, we see that it’s being shown in jail with many prisoners watching. Amongst the prisoners are Harry and Marv who move their heads to look at each other like the movie is some cruel joke.
This was another fun journey that revealed some fun scenes and insights into a movie that I’ve probably watched 50 times. I’m not sure the elaborate dream sequence would have been the best move for the film had they spent the $1 million dollars to make it. I actually prefer the practicality of the effects in the movie.
The ending in the movie was a little more heartfelt with Marley reuniting with his family. It happens in the script but Marley’s connection with the church building didn’t really give him the story he needed to focus on his reunion as well. Beyond him helping Kevin and giving each other a nod to catching the crooks, giving Marley a reunion story equal to Kevin’s really tied their stories together.
I think my favorite difference is the home movie that really highlights Kevin’s perspective in the family. Being the baby isn’t always the easiest position, especially when you have so many siblings under the same roof. Seeing how Kevin struggled and having his family embrace him at the end gives the audience the hope that maybe his siblings (and parents to a certain extent) learned their lesson of how to treat others in the house.
I hope you enjoyed this journey with me! If you want even more Behind-The-Scenes footage of Home Alone, check out The Making of Home Alone on YouTube. Now, I’m off to cook myself some Macafurters (if I can figure out exactly what in the world they are!)
Amazing job as usual pulling all of these differences together.