top of page
  • Writer's pictureThe Screen Room

Movie Villain Monday: Harry & Marv AKA “The Wet Bandits” - Home Alone (1990)

It’s Movie Villain Monday and over the next couple of weeks I’ll be featuring Christmas related villains.

This week we’ve got not one but TWO villains suggested by Clare on Facebook.

It’s Harry and Marv AKA The Wet Bandits/Sticky Bandits from Home Alone (1990) and Home Alone 2: Lost In New York (1992).

Who are the Wet Bandits?

Harold “Harry” Lime and Marvin “Marv” Merchants (Harry and Marv) are dim witted burglars and the main antagonists in the first two Home Alone movies. They were played hilariously by Joe Pesci (Harry) and Daniel Stern (Marv).


In the first film, Harry and Marv are out to burgle all of the houses on a particular street over Christmas time when most of the residents are away for the holidays. What they don’t count on is 8 year old Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) being home alone in the house they most want to rob (“the silver tuna”), and foiling their dastardly plot.

In the second movie the duo escape from prison and head to New York. This time they plan to rob a successful toy store but as luck would have it, Kevin is also there after boarded the wrong flight while his parents are on their way to Florida for Christmas.

When Harry and Marv encounter Kevin they set out to get revenge, as well as robbing the toy store.


Harry and Marv are simple burglars, although whereas Harry (the slightly sharper of the two) just wants to burgle houses for the financial rewards, Marv wants notoriety. He blocks up the sinks in the houses they burgle and leaves the water running so they flood (hence the name “The Wet Bandits”). He calls it their “calling card”.

In the second movie, Marv devises a sticky glove (he wraps tape around his hand) so he can steal money out of charity buckets over the Christmas period (hence the name “The Sticky Bandits”).


Although Harry is the brains of the operation, neither of the criminal duo are particularly bright. Harry is hot headed and overconfident while Marv has a childlike naivety that makes him pretty gullible. Despite their lack of intelligence though, both are extremely ruthless and persistent in achieving their goal.


It’s hard to imagine anyone else playing the dim witted but loveable pair, but as with a lot of iconic roles Pesci and Stern weren’t the first two actors to be considered.

Both Robert De Niro and Jon Lovitz (The Wedding Singer) turned down the role of Harry before Joe Pesci eventually took it, while Daniel Stern who was originally cast as Marv dropped out early on due to an extended production schedule with no extra pay. He was quickly replaced by actor Daniel Roebuck (The Fugitive) but after two weeks of rehearsals and a lack of chemistry with Pesci, he was let go and Stern was re-hired.

In 1995 Daniel Stern starred in a movie called Bushwacked. This was originally intended to be a Home Alone spin-off where Stern’s character, Marv had gone straight but ended up getting framed for murder. It was instead released as a separate film altogether.

The house used in Home Alone is located at 671, Lincoln Avenue in Winnetka, Illinois and has unsurprisingly become a tourist attraction over the years. Built in 1920 the house belonged to a couple who hadn’t owned it for very long when they were approached by the production company about turning it into a film set. It was up for sale back in 2011 and eventually sold in 2012 for $1.585 million!

Home Alone topped the box office charts on release and held on to the number one spot for twelve weeks! It was the highest grossing film of 1990 and even earned a Guinness World Record for highest-grossing domestic live-action comedy ever. It held on to that record for 27 years!

Harry: “Marv?”

Marv: “Harry?”

Harry: “Why the hell did you take your shoes off?”

Marv: “Why the hell are you dressed like a chicken?”

Another great movie villain suggestion!

Which Christmas movie villain should I feature next week..?


Post: Blog2 Post
bottom of page