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This Villain was Headlined on December, 2018.

Villain Overview
Merry Christmas little fella, we know that you're in there, and that you're all alone!
~ Harry to Kevin
Yeah, C'mon kid, open up. It's Santy Claus and his elf!
~ Marv to Kevin forcing to open the door.

Harold "Harry" Lime and Marvin "Marv" Merchants, also known as The Wet Bandits, and later the Sticky Bandits, or simply known as Harry and Marv, are the main antagonists of the 1990 theatrical Christmas action comedy film Home Alone, and its 1992 sequel Home Alone 2: Lost in New York.

They are a villainous duo of incompetent burglars who target rich and renovated houses, and later a store called Duncan's Toy Chest. Harry is the leader, and Marv is the follower, or else the comic relief.

Marv later returns without Harry as one the secondary antagonists with his mother Molly and his new girlfriend Vera, of Home Alone's 2002 first direct-to-video sequel Home Alone 4: Taking Back The House. He was played by French Stewart, who also portrayed Richard Stahl.

Harry was portrayed by Joe Pesci (who also played Tommy DeVito in Goodfellas and Nicky Santoro in Casino), and Marv was portrayed by Daniel Stern.

Personality

Harry and Marv are greedy robbers who rob money and cash, but are also very bad at their job as they are continually defeated by Kevin McCallister, who would proceed to cause all manner of cartoonish injury to the hapless criminals in defense of his home (at least in the first movie).

Individually, Harry is shown to be the more intelligent and leader of the duo, but his short temper, overconfidence and tendency to underestimate Kevin results in him not thinking things through and falling into Kevin's various traps. Him being the leader, Harry also often keeps Marv in line by stomping on his foot or telling him to "shut up", whenever he risks exposing them. He is more sadistic as shown when he threatens to bite Kevin's fingers off after they captured him in the first movie. Harry, however, does show some signs of honor. For example, he was willing to spare Kevin's life in the second movie as long as he handed the camera over. He also keeps Marv around despite the latter's lack of common sense hindering him. Overall, Harry remains the more ruthless of the duo since he is more willing to kill others; even kids.

On the other hand, Marv is a rather gullible and cowardly individual, falling for Kevin's tricks and believing that there are people inside the McCallister house, as well as failing to notice Kevin's traps until he has fallen into them. That said, there are moments where he thinks things through better than Harry; often suggesting ideas for their schemes. He is also shown to be a bit more reasonable despite being equally willing to kill Kevin after everything that he has put him through.

Marv also shows that he can be as ruthless as his partner when angered. For example, when confronting Kevin near the end of the first film, he not only supported Harry's decision to "bite all of Kevin's fingers off", but also wanted to "smash his face with an iron". This proves that Marv while not as smart and a bit kinder, can sometimes be as sadistic as his partner.

Despite their incompetence, Harry and Marv display ferocious determination in their pursuit of Kevin, and prove themselves to be extremely dangerous criminals when he is at their mercy, intending to torture him in the first film and outright attempting to murder him in the second.

Biographies

Home Alone

Harry and Marv Escaped

In the first film, Harry and Marv target houses around the neighborhood that are vacant. Harry impersonates a police officer in order to discover which families will be leaving for Christmas. While robbing these houses, Marv tends to leave the water running and block the sinks, leading to the houses being flooded and the real law enforcement officers knowing which houses they've hit.

Harry disagrees with the practice, calling it "sick", though Marv insists that they need a "calling card". However, the McCallister household, which Harry referred to as the "Silver Tuna", is the largest property in the neighborhood, and their most anticipated target.

However, 8-year old child Kevin McCallister is home alone on Christmas Eve, having been accidentally left behind while the rest of his family went to Paris. Kevin manages to scare them off multiple times, but they eventually discover that he is alone and they have been tricked the entire time. Despite Marv's protests of a child being alone, Harry still persists with the robbery.

Kevin overhears Harry and Marv discussing plans for breaking into his home at night, and as a response, sets up numerous cartoon-like booby traps around the house. After Kevin shoots the both of them with a BB gun through the dog flap (Harry in the crotch, and Marv in the forehead when he peeps his head through the flap), they separately attempt to enter the house and get to him, falling into the traps Kevin planned out for them and suffering various comedic injuries.

Eventually, they manage to capture Kevin in one of the houses they have already broken into earlier, and decide to inflict the same injuries they have sustained on him in retaliation, but not before Harry bites Kevin's fingers off one by one. Fortunately, before he can do so, he and Marv end up being knocked unconscious with a snow shovel by Kevin's elderly next-door neighbor, Old Man Marley, whom Kevin had befriended earlier after learning that the rumors about him being a murderer were false. Marley then takes Kevin back home safely while the police arrive and arrest Harry and Marv. Harry glares at Kevin through the police car, and Kevin sarcastically smiles and waves as the Wet Bandits are driven away. When the McCallisters return home, Kevin decides not to tell them about his encounter with Harry and Marv; however, his father Peter finds Harry's gold tooth on the floor, which had been knocked out the night before, much to his confusion.

Home Alone 2: Lost In New York

Harry and Marv return in the sequel, which takes place a year after the first film, breaking out of a prison in Chicago during a riot and traveling to New York City via fish truck. After Marv renames them the Sticky Bandits, they immediately begin seeking a new target to rob, after which they plan to acquire fake passports and flee the United States. They eventually decide to rob Duncan's Toy Chest, a successful toy shop that intends to donate it's earnings to a children's hospital.

As fate would have it, Kevin has also made his way to New York, after accidentally boarding the wrong flight while the rest of his family went to Florida for Christmas. Upon encountering him, Harry and Marv pursue the boy in order to exact revenge for their previous encounter . They eventually succeed in capturing him, with Marv telling Kevin of their plan, who secretly uses his Talkboy to record it. Kevin manages to escape from the duo into Central Park, but they refrain from chasing after him, deciding that he won't be able to survive the park at night by himself. The Sticky Bandits later hide away inside the toy store to make sure it is left vacant by the staff and customers on the night of Christmas Eve, so that they can steal the money undeterred. Eventually, Kevin sets off the alarm by throwing a brick with a note for the store's owner, Mr. Duncan tied to it in one of the store's windows after taking pictures of them robbing the store, and the bandits are enraged of Kevin ruining their plan and were forced to stupidly pursue Kevin with the money across New York only to end up falling into every one of Kevin's new traps that he set for them at his uncle Rob's (whose family is still in France from the previous film) renovated house (like he did in his house in the first movie).

Sticky Bandits

Harry and Marv capturing Kevin McCallister.

Eventually, they manage to capture Kevin again when he slips on some ice in the pavement after calling the police on a pay phone. Taking the chance to get their revenge against him, the bandits take him into Central Park, where Harry pulls a revolver from his jacket and prepares to kill Kevin. Thankfully, not only is the gun jammed after being covered in varnish due to Kevin's booby traps, the pigeon lady (whom Kevin has made friends with earlier, like Old Man Marley) throws bird seed on the bandits, prompting the pigeons to attack them. Kevin then takes the chance to light up fireworks in order to mark the bandits' positions to catch the attention of the arriving police.

As the officers handcuff and arrest them after discovering the photos and the cassette tape that Kevin used as evidence, Marv stupidly confesses to his and Harry's crimes, such as robbing the store, breaking out of prison, and trying to kill Kevin. Harry angrily tries to kick Marv as the police take them away, and the bandits are soon sent back to prison.

Home Alone 4

Marv and Vera

Marv and Vera.

Harry does not appear in the third film and the fifth films, but Marv would go on to appear in the fourth film this time as the secondary antagonist. This time, he is joined by his wife Vera and his mother Molly. They plan to kidnap the prince of a visiting royal family and hold him for ransom. Marv explains that Harry's plans resulted in them being imprisoned twice, so Marv grew tired and decided to sever ties with Harry.

However, Kevin ends up crossing paths with Marv again as his dad, who divorced with his wife, is dating a rich woman named Natalie, whom the royal family are due to visit. Marv ends up arrested again at the end of the film along with his girlfriend and mother. The three are then taken into custody.

This time around, Marv is played by French Stewart, Molly is played by Barbara Babcook, and Vera is played by Missi Pyle.

Trivia

  • Harry shares his name with the main antagonist of The Third Man, played by Orson Welles.
  • In Home Alone 4, Marv's appearance (besides a different actor) resembles closely of that to Harry, with a similar hat and clothing.
  • Daniel Stern, who played Marv in the first two films, was approached to reprise the role of Marv in Home Alone 4, but he turned it down, calling it "an insult, total garbage.". On the other hand, Joe Pesci was never approached to reprise his role as Harry, likely because he had retired from acting by then. Instead, Harry's name is only mentioned.
  • It is shown in the second movie that Marv is Jewish, since he said to Kevin that "America don't fly to the Promised Land". Later, he declared "Happy Hanukkah" to himself as he robbed Duncan's Toy Chest. His actor Daniel Stern is Jewish in real life.
  • The 1995 film Bushwhacked (which stars Daniel Stern) was originally going to be a spinoff of Home Alone in which Marv was to reform, only to get set up for a crime that he didn't commit.
  • On December 24, 2015, Daniel Stern posted a video on his Facebook and YouTube channel, reprising his role as an older Marv pleading for Harry to help him as Kevin is back and targeting all home invaders in a sadistic manner, recalling the injuries they got when they fell for Kevin's booby traps. Marv then hears someone approaching and the video cuts to black as the sound clip of Marv screaming when Kevin put the tarantula on his face from Home Alone is heard. The video itself is a response to the DRYVRS episode that featured Macaulay Culkin reprising his role as an older Kevin and torturing a home invader (which, in actuality, was a carjacker).
  • Macaulay Culkin and Joe Pesci were somewhat enemies in real life. During filming of the first Home Alone, Pesci accidentally bit Culkin after getting too serious with his role, leaving a permanent scar. Culkin angrily berated Pesci, saying "I don't care how many OSCARS you have, or whatever - don't go biting a nine-year-old! What the heck's wrong with you!?".[1] It is also said that Pesci intentionally avoided Culkin on set in order to make him genuinely frightened by the sight of him. Their next altercation occurred on the set of Home Alone 2 when Culkin innocently (and jokingly) asked Pesci why he never smiled. Pesci told him to shut up. The feud between Culkin and Pesci may have inspired the first "The Joe Pesci Show" skit on Saturday Night Live (where Jim Breuer portrayed Pesci); the skit ended with Pesci hitting Culkin on the head with a paint can (a reference to a scene from Home Alone) and saying that he laughed when Culkin died in a scene from My Girl.
  • The Competent Robbers are minor villains from the Family Guy episode "Christmas Guy". They appear in the fictional movie Home Alone with Competent Robbers. Unlike the comedic and incompetent Harry and Marv, these robbers are deadly serious and good at their job, easily avoiding Kevin's traps and killing him, leaving no witnesses. These versions of the characters were also more evil, as they murdered Kevin unprovoked.
  • In the original screenplay for Home Alone, Harry and Marv were the secondary antagonists, having been hired by Kevin's cheapskate uncle Frank (played by Gerry Bamman in the film), who was jealous of his brother Peter's wealth, to rob Peter's and the other houses in the neighborhood and get Kevin.
  • Harry is the more violent and smarter one of the two, whereas Marv's the more cowardly and stupider one.
  • The van that Marv and Vera drove in the fourth film is similar to that of the one that he and Harry drove in the first film.
  • Both of them can be described as superhuman in reality as most of Kevin's traps can deal damages that are great enough to paralyze them in one shot and even outright kill them — especially in Home Alone 2, where Harry is flung into the air an lands on a car roof with enough force for it to collapse under him, and Marv has several bricks dropped on his head from a three story building.
  • In Home Alone, Daniel Stern improvised Marv's lines "Why the hell are you dressed like a chicken?" and "Maybe he committed suicide."
  • The broken Christmas ornaments that Marv stepped on in Home Alone were actually candy. For all his barefoot scenes, Daniel Stern wore rubber feet.
  • Robert De Niro was offered for the role of Harry, but declined. Joe Pesci (who plays Harry) had also worked with De Niro in Raging Bull, Goodfellas, Casino, The Good Shepherd and The Irishman.
  • Danny DeVito was originally considered for the role of Harry before Joe Pesci was cast.
  • In addition to DeVito, Jack Nicholson was considered for the role of Harry.
  • The late Robin Williams was considered for the role of Marv, but declined.
  • During shooting of Home Alone, Joe Pesci, who is known for playing short-tempered characters, forgot he was in a family-friendly movie during Harry's tantrums. As a result, he was advised by director Chris Columbus to say "fridge". Ironically, Marv can be heard saying "shit" after his shoe falls through the McCallister's dog door.
  • In Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Daniel Stern said that a pigeon flew into his mouth and stated "the taste was revolting".
  • According to the Internet Movie Firearm Database, Harry carried what appeared to be a Smith & Wesson Model 10 Revolver during his cop disguise.[2]
  • In Home Alone 2, Harry wishes himself, "Merry Christmas, Harry."  Marv then wishes himself, "Happy Hanukhah, Marv."  This is a sign that Harry is Christian, and Marv is Jewish.
  • According to real doctors, the injuries that Harry and Marv sustain would be worse in real life.
    • In the Screen Junkies video Honest Action - Home Alone, it was determined that the injuries sustained in Home Alone and Home Alone 2 would kill Harry 9 times over and kill Marv 14 times over.
  • They're appearances and personalities inspire to Jasper and Horace from 101 Dalmatians and Ashcan and Pete from Homeward Bound 2: Lost in San Fransisco

References

  1. Culkin's 14-Year-Old Bite Scar From Pesci
  2. Home Alone

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Ida Kenzel | Molly Merchants | Marv Merchants | Vera Murchins | Sinclair | Hughes | Jessica

           Home Alone logo Villains

Movies
Home Alone: Harry Lime & Marv Merchants
Home Alone 2: Lost in New York: Harry Lime & Marv Merchants
Home Alone 3: Peter Beaupre | Alice Ribbons | Earl Unger | Burton Jernigan
Home Alone 4: Taking Back the House: Molly Merchants | Marv Merchants | Vera Murchins
Home Alone 5: The Holiday Heist: Sinclair | Hughes | Jessica

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