‘Home Alone’ Originally a Tragedy, Deleted Scene Changes Entire Movie

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Home alone buglers

Credit: 20th Century Studios

As hundreds of viewers curl up in front of their screens to watch their favorite holiday classics, one ’90s gem wasn’t quite the Christmas comedy it eventually became. Before they were getting slammed by Kevin in Home Alone, the Wet Bandits were almost the film’s source of emotional weight.

Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) doing the iconic scream in 'Home Alone'
Credit: 20th Century Studios

Home Alone (1990) is one of the many icons of classic Christmas cinema, right up there with It’s a Wonderful Life (1946) and the various adaptations of A Christmas Carol. However, as much laughter and ’90s cheese as scenes of a young Macaulay Culkin brings to our screen every year, the reason many watch the movie is just to see Harry and Marv get the snot beat out of them.

Related: 7 Reasons Why ‘Home Alone 2: Lost in New York’ Tops the Original

Although Kevin McAllister is the delightful mastermind of the whole affair, Harry and Marv (Joe Pesci and Daniel Stern) are the primary source of the film’s comedic elements. They’re two bumbling bandits who spend the Christmas weekend raiding the mansions in Kevin’s wealthy neighborhood, and it’s always hysterical to see them fall victim to one of his traps. However, a deleted scene proves they weren’t always the villains the movie paints them to be.

Home Alone: Comedic Tragedy or Tragical Comedy?

In retrospect, Harry and Marv probably aren’t the most dangerous cinematic villains. This writer certainly can’t imagine them adding murder charges to their burglary and theft rap sheets, but the scene above gives them more humanity. While they’re still not right in their actions, they become more relatable and sympathetic.

Related: Every Chris Columbus Christmas Movie Ranked From Worst to Best

In the scene titled “Criminal Decency,” Harry and Marv plot their scheme for how to proceed with that evening’s thefts. In a moment of reflection, Harry starts a dialogue about the moral decay of society and the holiday season that genuinely strikes a truthful, surprisingly tragic chord, at least until Marv snaps the mood back to comedic with “Which house do you wanna hit first?”

Harry getting his head set on fire in Home Alone
Credit: 20th Century Studios

Granted, this isn’t a scene the typical audience would expect from the film’s antagonists, but it feels like this scene could have remained in the film to give the characters at least a little weight. If the movie were remade today, it would certainly reflect modern consumer culture.

Related: If ‘Die Hard’ Isn’t a Christmas Movie, Neither Is ‘Home Alone’

It might be a little silly to read so much from one scene, but it’s hard to say Harry and Marv are wrong in this one instance. Could it be that their thievery was something of a karmic response, and Kevin was getting in the way of poetic justice? Maybe, but we still love seeing the slapstick gold that comes from these two getting bashed by an 8-year-old kid.

Do you think Harry and Marv were right in this scene? Let Inside the Magic know in the comments down below!

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