Home Alone is a 1990 American Christmas comedy film written and produced by John Hughes and directed by Chris Columbus. The film stars Macaulay Culkin as Kevin McCallister, a boy who is mistakenly left behind when his family flies to Paris for their Christmas vacation. Kevin initially relishes being home alone, but soon has to contend with two would-be burglars played by Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern. The film also features Catherine O'Hara and John Heard as Kevin's parents.
Since its release, Home Alone has become the highest-grossing live action comedy film of all time in the US and was as well worldwide until 2011's The Hangover: Part II. Home Alone has spawned a successful film franchise with four sequels, including the 1992 film Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, the only Home Alone sequel to have the original cast reprising their roles. The film received mixed to positive reviews from critics.
The night before their flight to Paris for a Christmas holiday, the McCallister family gather at the Winnetka, Illinois home of Peter (John Heard) and Kate (Catherine O'Hara) McCallister. Their 8-year-old son, Kevin (Macaulay Culkin), is ridiculed by his siblings and cousins. After a fight with his older brother, Buzz (Devin Ratray), Kevin is sent to the third floor of the house, where he wishes that his family would disappear. During the night, a power outage resets the alarm clocks and causes the family to oversleep. In the confusion and rush to reach their flight on time, Kevin is left behind and the family is unaware until they are already airborne. Once in Paris, Peter and Kate try to book a flight home, but all the flights are booked for the next two days. The clerks put Kate on standby for any possible seat opening. The rest of the family goes to Peter's brother's home in Paris, and Kevin's siblings and cousins are crushed by empathy for their abuse toward Kevin.
Meanwhile, Kevin wakes up to find the house empty and is overjoyed with his new freedom. The police arrive to check on Kevin but are unable to locate him. Kevin's joy soon turns to fear as he deals with his next door neighbor, "Old Man" Marley (Roberts Blossom), who is rumored to have murdered his family with a snow shovel in 1958, and two burglars, Harry (Joe Pesci) and Marv (Daniel Stern) (the "Wet Bandits"), who are burglarizing the neighborhood's vacant homes and have targeted the McCallisters. Kevin deters the duo by tricking them into thinking the house is still inhabited, but they eventually realize that Kevin is home alone.
Kate manages to get a flight to the United States but ends up in Scranton, Pennsylvania. She tries to book a flight to Chicago but again, they are all booked. Kate refuses to accept the situation, and she is overheard by Gus Polinski (John Candy), the lead member of a traveling polka band, who offers to let her travel with them to Winnetka on their way to Milwaukee in a moving van, which she happily accepts.
On Christmas Eve, Kevin overhears Harry and Marv discussing plans for breaking into his house that night. Kevin goes to church and watches a choir perform. He runs into Marley, who sits with Kevin and they briefly speak; he learns that Marley is actually a nice man and that the rumors about him are false and that him salting the sidewalks every night with the snow shovel is just a responsibility he takes on. He tells Kevin he is watching the choir because his granddaughter is in it, but he never gets to see her because he and his son are estranged, and have not been on speaking terms ever since; Kevin suggests that he try to reconcile with his son.
Kevin returns home and rigs the house with numerous booby traps. Harry and Marv break in, springing the traps and suffering various injuries. While the duo chases Kevin around the house, he calls the police and escapes the house, luring the duo into a neighboring vacant home. Harry and Marv manage to catch him and discuss how they will get their revenge, but Marley sneaks in and knocks Harry and Marv unconscious with his snow shovel before they can do anything to Kevin. Harry and Marv are arrested and connected to multiple other burglaries because of Marv's habit of flooding the houses that he and Harry have burglarized (hence "Wet Bandits").
On Christmas Day, Kevin is disappointed to find that his family is still gone. He then hears Kate enter the house and call for him; they reconcile and are soon joined by the rest of the McCallisters, who waited in Paris until they could get a direct flight to Chicago. Kevin keeps silent about his encounter with Harry and Marv, although Peter finds Harry's missing gold tooth. Kevin then observes Marley reuniting with his son and his family. Marley notices Kevin and the pair acknowledge each other before Marley and his family go home. Buzz suddenly calls out, "Kevin, what did you do to my room?!" at which point Kevin runs off.
- Macaulay Culkin as Kevin McCallister, an energetic 8-year-old boy who is the youngest son of the McCallister family. He can be obnoxious and annoying, but he is proven to be extremely clever and resourceful.
- Joe Pesci as Harry, the short leader of the Wet Bandits. He is intelligent but short tempered and ruthless.
- Daniel Stern as Marv, the tall member of the Wet Bandits. The dimmer of the duo, he has a childlike enthusiasm for toys and likes to leave the water running to 'mark' the houses they have robbed.
- John Heard as Peter McCallister, Kevin's father.
- Catherine O'Hara as Kate McCallister, Kevin's mother.
- Roberts Blossom as Old Man Marley, the McCallisters' elderly neighbor.
The rest of the McCallister family is portrayed by: Devin Ratray as Buzz and Mike Maronna as Jeff, Kevin's brothers; Hillary Wolf as Megan and Angela Goethals as Linnie, Kevin's sisters; Gerry Bamman as Uncle Frank; Terrie Snell as Aunt Leslie; and Kevin's cousins are portrayed by Jedidiah Cohen as Rod, Senta Moses as Tracy, Daiana Campeanu as Sondra, Kieran Culkin as Fuller, Anna Slotky as Brooke, and Kristin Minter as Heather.
The cast also includes: John Candy as Gus Polinski, "the Polka King of the Midwest"; Ralph Foody as Johnny, a gangster who appears in the fictional film "Angels with Filthy Souls"; Larry Hankin as Larry Balzak, a police sergeant who works in family crisis; Ken Hudson Campbell as a man dressed as Santa Claus; and Hope Davis as a Paris-Orly Airport receptionist.