What Movie Is on Kevin McCallister's TV Screen When He's 'Home Alone'?

Allison DeGrushe - Author

Dec. 20 2023, Updated 4:12 p.m. ET

Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) eating junk and watching rubbish in 'Home Alone.'
Source: 20th Century Fox

The Gist:

  • One of the highest-grossing Christmas films of all time is Home Alone.
  • In the comedy flick, Kevin enjoys a bowl of ice cream while watching Angels with Filthy Souls.
  • Unfortunately, Angels with Filthy Souls is not a real movie.
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I don't know about you, but Home Alone takes the cake as my all-time favorite Christmas movie. It absolutely belongs in the extensive lineup of holiday classics, to its heartwarming family plot and Macaulay Culkin's iconic and downright adorable performance as the young Kevin McCallister.

The holiday comedy flick is filled with memorable lines, like the classic moment where Kevin, left to his own devices at home, proudly declares that he's "eating junk and watching rubbish." Let's face it, we've all been there, haven't we?!

Now, speaking of "watching rubbish," Kevin decides to watch a movie he's been itching to see but couldn't because of age restrictions. Curious to know which film it is? Keep reading to discover the answer!

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Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) covers his eyes while watching 'Angels with Filthy Souls.'
Source: 20th Century Fox

What movie does Kevin watch in 'Home Alone'?

For those who haven't experienced the joy of Home Alone yet (go watch it right after you're done reading), our sweet Kevin McCallister settles in for some cinematic fun with a gangster movie called Angels with Filthy Souls. The black-and-white film is rather violent, with the scene Kevin watches showcasing Johnny (Ralph Foody) maniacally laughing as he unleashes a storm of bullets on Snakes (Michael Guido).

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As expected, this R-rated spectacle sends shivers down Kevin's spine, prompting him to shield his eyes and urgently call out for his mom, who happens to be halfway across the globe in Paris with the rest of the McCallister clan.

But fear not! Kevin turns the tables on his fright by ingeniously using a VHS copy of Angels with Filthy Souls. This film happens to be a handy tool for thwarting clumsy burglars known as the "Wet Bandits" and giving unsuspecting pizza delivery guys the fright of a lifetime.

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In the follow-up, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Kevin repeats his antics from the previous year — eating a massive bowl of ice cream and enjoying a movie night. This time, he decides to watch the sequel to Angels with Filthy Souls, appropriately titled Angels with Even Filthier Souls.

Once more, Kevin skillfully employs the movie as a strategic tool to navigate his way out of whatever predicament he finds himself in, even orchestrating a daring escape from his room at the Plaza Hotel.

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It turns out 'Angels with Filthy Souls' is not a real movie.

I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but Angels with Filthy Souls is not a real movie. Alright, don't be too bummed out; there's a silver lining! The fictional film's title actually pays homage to a genuine crime drama flick from 1938 starring James Cagney, and it's called Angels with Dirty Faces.

Art director Dan Webster previously told Vanity Fair, "I believe the title was decided upon only because we needed to create a label for the tape Kevin puts in the VHS player. Now that is a very old-fashioned sentence!"

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Character actor Ralph Foody as stereotypical 1930s mobster Johnny in 'Angels with Filthy Souls.'
Source: 20th Century Fox

The shoot for Angels with Filthy Souls was a wild one-day ride, happening on the final "test day" just before principal photography officially began on Home Alone. Employing techniques reminiscent of '40s cinema and using black-and-white negative film stock, the sequence captured a high-key lighting and high-contrast aesthetic.

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Production designer John Muto described the outcome as a captivating blend, likening it to "a cross between film noir and the really crazy stuff you see in early television, like Playhouse 90 or One Step Beyond."

Much like the rest of the interior shots in Home Alone, including those within the McCallister family home, the Angels with Filthy Souls sequence was filmed on a sound stage located in the abandoned gymnasium of New Trier West High School. The entire set was comprised of only a few walls.

"We had nothing to lose," director of photography Julio Macat said. "We went for it."

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