Home Alone turns 25 today.
I’ll step and let that sink in for a moment – right, all good?
Yes, the Christopher Columbus-directed film about one 8 year old boy, Kevin McAllister (Macaulay Culkin) who is mistakenly left behind at home by his family on Christmas Eve when his extended family flies out for Paris, and not only survives quite nicely thank you very much, reuniting an estranged family represented by grouchy neighbourhood hermit Old Man Marley (Roberts Blossom) but manages to decisively see off two determined would-be thieves is 25 today, released on on November 16, 1990 in the U.S.
What made the film, which released to mixed to positive reviews, so successful, is off open to debate, but I like to think that it had something to do with the fact that the producers crafted a movie that gave us the traditional heartwarming Christmas message about love, caring and inclusiveness with a darker than normal tint to proceedings.
It was, if you recall, a darkly violent movie in certain respects with the two thieves who styled themselves as the West Bandits, Harry (Joe Pesci) and Marv (Daniel Stern), not exactly seen off in the most pacifist of ways by Kevin.
But then to be fair, he was an 8 year old boy, and boys that young see cartoon violence as not only crazy amusing but an entirely appropriate way to handle pretty much anything.
It was very much in keeping with what an 8 year old might do in those highly-unusual circumstances; and on the warm-and-fuzzy side of the equation, what would happen when a ferociously determined, and overwhelmingly-guilty mother (Catherine O’Hara) finally made it home and wrapped her son in her arms.
God bless you every one indeed – yeah even you West Bandits; well, possibly not but in the spirit of the season, maybe a little.
And now, to mark the film’s 25th anniversary – once again, take a deep breath and sip some eggnog; there that’s better isn’t it? – Quirk Books has released Home Alone: The Classic Illustrated Storybook, which ew calls a “flattened and colorized” celebration of the film.
With my copy of the book still incoming, I’m relying on these excerpts from the book to get a sense of what it will be like, but it looks like a very cool way to celebrate a most remarkable, enduring Christmas classic that brought every kid’s fantasy about being left to their own devices to life.