Every year it happens, as reliable as the notion that a gangster will skip a bunch of numbers when he’s giving you to the count of 10 to get your ugly, yellow, no-good keister off his property: Someone—frequently a whole bunch of someones—will suddenly discover around Christmas-time that the old-timey gangster movie Kevin McCallister watches in Home Alone isn’t a real bit of vintage crime cinema. This year, that revelation came for a whole bunch of people courtesy of Seth Rogen, who spent his holiday educating the masses:
To be fair, the title of the fake movie (Angels With Filthy Souls) is intended to mess with you a bit, since it’s an obvious reference to James Cagney’s Angels With Dirty Faces. (Actor Ralph Foody, who plays Johnny, even fires the same model of Tommy gun that Cagney brandished in the 1938 film.) And the film’s producers—who shot the short before principal filming on the Christopher Columbus classic began—went out of their way to capture an authentic noir aesthetic. In fact, you can even read about all the lengths they went to in this brief oral history of the mini-film, which Vanity Fair ran in 2015, because, again, this just keeps happening.
Really, though, we have to give our younger selves a bit of a hard time for this one, if only because it’s kind of ludicrous that a kid in Kevin’s situation would use his ultimate freedom in order to watch a black-and-white movie from the ’30s, and not, you know, Predator or something. The McCallister family is pretty well-off, after all; we have to assume their VHS collection was well-stocked, and we can only imagine how Harry and Marv would have reacted to getting called “One ugly motherfucker” or being told that they ain’t got time to bleed.