Monday, 26 August 2013

Things I've Learned From DVD Commentaries 5

Film: Home Alone
Commentators: Chris Columbus (Director), Macaulay Culkin (Actor)


Columbus wasn't sure that he wanted to direct a film again as he had just suffered a major flop with Heartbreak Hotel.
Columbus tried hard to make the film look as festive as possible, in the opening scenes. A lot of characters are wearing red and/or green clothes and parts of the house is decorated in said colours.
Some of the adult cast, especially Joe Pesci and John Heard, weren't happy making the film or with the fact that a child was top-billed.
The film was made for $18 million, which is pretty cheap.
Since Culkin has the most screen-time and therefore had the most work to do, Columbus filmed the opening scenes without his lead child star as much as possible. Culkin even filmed some of his sides wthout the other actors.
Bruce Broughton was the original composer of the film but had to drop out and was replaced by John Williams. There were early posters produced to advertise the film that credited Broughton as composer.
Culkin really likes to laugh at his own jokes.
In the scene where Kevin is scared by the furnace, Columbus initially wanted a CG furnace to get up and chase the kid but it was too expensive. Thankfully.
For the bit where Kevin mocks a photo of his brother's girlfriend, Columbus didn't have the heart to insult an actual girl for her looks so it is actually a boy in drag.
Daniel Stern was the director's first choice to play Marv but the studio didn't want him. Another (unnamed) actor was cast but he lacked chemistry with Pesci and wasn't as quick with the improvisations. He was let go and Stern was hired.
The sledge used by Culkin in the film is in the office of Columbus, signed by the cast.
Angela Goethals who played one of Kevin's sisters also played Culkin's sister in Rocket Gibraltar, two years before. It was Culkin's first film.
Columbus and Culkin admit that Kevin screaming while putting on aftershave makes no sense as he doesn't actually shave.
Columbus loved John Candy to pieces.
Home Alone was number 1 in the US for two months.
While waiting for filming to continue during the Church scene, Culkin fell asleep in the pews.
There was a plan to film HA2 and 3 back to back as John Hughes had an idea for part 3 but the Studio said no.
Columbus praises the stunt doubles of Stern and Pesci no end as they did the flips and falls for real with very little protection.
When the spider is placed on Daniel Stern's face, he is miming screaming as they didn't want to scare the spider.
Mel Torme re-recorded 'Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas' for the film.
The scene where John Candy talks about bad parents to Catherine O'Hara was completely improvised by the actors.
Culkin has a really good memory.


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