MGM decided to produce the movie and were told it would cost around $10 million. Although they used an actual house in Chicago for outside shots, they had built the entire inside of the house in an abandoned high school. The scene where water was flooding the basement was filmed inside the school's Olympic size pool.
When it comes to Joe Pesci, about every other word out of his mouth in person or on screen, are cusswords so they worried that he wouldn't be able to stay with the script. To combat it, Joe came up with his own way of cussing so that the movie good stay PG. It also made the movie even funnier.
John Candy played a very funny role in the film as the guy with a Polka band. Because the movie's budget was low, Candy performed in the movie out of his friendship with Hughes and was paid just $500 which was the minimum the actor's union would allow anyone to be paid for a day's work.
The film was going over budget so the director and producer went to MGM to ask for $4.7 million more dollars to finish the project and MGM declined. They were willing to scrap their initial investment and move on. An MGM representative went to the school and began going around telling people they were fired. But what the MGM person didn't know is that the director and producer saw the writing on the wall and had already pitched the idea for "Home Alone," to 20th Century Fox and they said if MGM canceled the project, they'd come in with investment money to finish it. So at pretty much the same time people were hearing they were fired, the director and producer went around telling them they still had their jobs and were now working for FOX. The movie remained number one at the box office for around 12 weeks and has now brought in $500 million dollars. Needless to say, some MGM executives screwed up big time.
John Candy made one more film after this then tragically died at the age of 43. The amazing screenwriter, John Hughes, died of a sudden heart attack at 59 while walking on a sidewalk in New York City. He and his wife were there visiting their son and new grandbaby. He was truly one of the best and most productive screenwriters of our time.
By the way, everyone involved in the film loved Macaulay Culkin. If you think about it, risking $14 million dollars on an 11 year-old kid who's supposed to carry the film, is pretty gutsy.