The Home Alone house was one of the first movie posts I wrote, and it continues to be one of the most popular ones in my Movie Monday series. Since then I have learned a lot more about the house and found some photos of the real interiors as they look today, so I decided it was time for an update. What better way to kick off a month of Christmas-movie posts?
Let’s take a look at the entry first. The above photo is how it looked in Home Alone 2. Below is a snapshot I took in the original movie. Notice the changes they made, like how there are fewer family photos on the wall going up the stairs?
Julio Macat, the Director of Photography, said Home Alone was his favorite of all the movies he’s photographed.
Looking through the entry from the dining room, into the living room:
Here’s how the living room with the piano looked in the movie:
Here’s a photo of the same rooms taken in the actual house:
The family gathered in this room in Home Alone 2:
Big thanks to Eric, who generously allowed me to share his photos of the real home with you. He writes:
These are rare photographs of the gorgeous Winnetka, Illinois, house that was used in the movie Home Alone. The pictures of the inside of the house were taken by me sometime in 2004. I have to thank the wonderful owners of the house, for being kind enough to invite me in to their private home and allow me to snap a few quick shots.
Director Christopher Columbus says he was striving to make a film that looked timeless. “We intended the film to feel like Christmas, so we filled the house with greens and reds. I wanted the house to feel like a warm place.”
A photo Eric took of the real room in the house, taken in 2004:
Macaulay Culkin points out in the DVD commentary that in real life he would have crashed into the wall if he really attempted to sled down the stairs and out the front door.
A photo taken in the real house looking down the stairs:
Be sure to visit Eric’s website to see the rest of the photos he took of the house.
In the days before fancier effects were available, they used potato flakes to simulate the snow. It looks so pretty you’d never know the difference, would you?
In this shot you can see the backyard with the tire swing and tree house:
Macaulay Culkin says the homeowners were excited about having the film shot there. They would greet the crew with coffee and hot chocolate.
The kitchen, like the rest of the house, was decorated in shades of red and green.
Did you notice we see almost every room of the house except Kevin’s?
Buzz’s bedroom–before all the shelves come crashing down:
Kevin in his parents’ bedroom:
This shot of the parents’ bathroom is from a deleted scene:
The parents’ bath as seen in the movie:
The upstairs hallway:
A glimpse into the hall bath:
Kevin watches a (fictional) old movie, called Angels With Filthy Souls:
Despite the resemblance between the actual rooms and the ones in the films, few of the interior scenes were shot inside the real house. Director Christopher Columbus talks in the DVD commentary about recreating the interiors on a sound stage in a high school gymnasium (a source tells me that they used the nearby New Trier High School, which was vacant at the time).
In these production shots taken during filming you can see that they’re just sets (not real rooms in a house):
Ceilings appear to be 8 ft high in the actual house but are taller in the movie. The foyer is reportedly wider in the movie, too.
The Home Alone house sits on Lincoln Avenue in Winnetka, Illinois. Here are some stats that Eric tracked down about it:
- 5 beds
- 3.5 bath
- 4,243 sqft
- Lot 23,278 square feet
- Built in 1920
The house was recently assessed at $1,810,500. The Amazing Eric also shared these floor plans that he worked out himself.
First-floor floor plan:
Kevin drew his own floor plan when formulating his “Battle Plan.” Macaulay Culkin says that he remembers being given some Crayons to color some of it in and make it look “authentic.”
Did you notice the guy with the beard standing behind Catherine O’Hara in the airport? Did you ever think he bears a striking resemblance to Elvis Presley?
Well, there are some diehard “Elvis Is Alive” fans who did see a resemblance. They point to this “sighting” as proof that The King of Rock ‘n Roll is still alive (and apparently working as a movie extra)!
Here’s an exterior shot of the house as it looks today:
And here’s how it looks when the yard is all leafy and green in the summer (found here):
Did you know…
- John Hughes wrote the part of Kevin with Macaulay Culkin in mind after working with Culkin on Uncle Buck, but he still had to audition for director Chris Columbus.
- Hughes reportedly wrote the script in a single weekend.
- When it premiered, Siskel & Ebert gave the movie Two Thumbs Down.
- The Guinness Book of World Records named Home Alone the “Highest Box Office Gross – Comedy” after it made $533 million internationally.