Study Guide

Home Alone Officer Larry Balzak (Larry Hankin)

Officer Larry Balzak (Larry Hankin)

This guy seems like he just drank a massive cup of chamomile tea—he's so laidback, he seems as if he's about to nod off.

Or maybe he's just used to getting phone calls from frantic people.

When Kevin's Mom realizes he's missing, she phones the village police in their Chicago suburb. First she gets the police operator, Rose, who transfers her to the Family Crisis Intervention wing of the department. That's where she encounters Balzak, who goes through a checklist, asking whether her son has ingested poison, been in a household accident, or suffered other mishaps.

When she explains that she just wants someone to check in on Kevin and tell him that the family's coming back, Balzak transfers her back to Rose…who finally agrees to send over a cop.

Why is Balzak's name "Balzak," anyway? Does he have some sort of covert relationship to the great French writer Honor de Balzac (different spelling)? Or is he named that way just because screenwriter John Hughes thought it would be funny?

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