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Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)

Cast: Steve Martin, John Candy, Laila Robins, more...
Director: John Hughes
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Studio: Paramount
Genre: Comedies, Quest, Road Movies
Running Time: 92 min.
Languages: English
Subtitles: English
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Were it not for its profanity-laden opening scenes, John Hughes' Planes, Trains and Automobiles might have been suitable family entertainment: certainly it's heaps less violent and mean-spirited than Hughes' Home Alone. En route to Chicago to spend Thanksgiving with his family, easily annoyed businessman Neal Page (Steve Martin) finds his first-class plane ticket has been demoted to coach, and he must share his flight with obnoxious salesman Del Griffith (John Candy). A sudden snowstorm in Chicago forces the plane to land in Wichita. Unable to find a room in any of the four-star hotels, Neal is compelled to accept Del's invitation to share his accommodations in a cheapo-sleazo motel. Driven to distraction by Del's annoying personal habits, the ungrateful Neal lets forth with a stream of verbal abuse. That's when Del delivers the anticipated (but always welcome) "I don't judge, why should you?"-type speech so common to John Hughes flicks. The shamefaced Neal tries to make up to Del, but there's a bumpy time ahead as the mismatched pair make their way back to Chicago, first in a balky train, then by way of a refrigerator truck. We know from the outset that the oil-and-water Neal and Del will be bosom companions by the end of Planes, Trains and Automobiles, but it's still a fun ride. The best bit: a half-asleep Del thinking that he's got his hand tucked between two pillows -- until his bedmate, Neal, bellows "Those aren't pillows!" ~ Hal Erickson, All Movie Guide

GreenCine Member Reviews

a fun hughes classic by alexjb February 9, 2005 - 11:24 PM PST
2 out of 2 members found this review helpful
maybe it's the child-of-the-80s in me, but john hughes movies just seem to keep popping up as 'classics' in my mind. spirit-of-the-age sort of stuff.

it's simple plot, good lines- lots of great quotable one-liners, and some good physical comedy to boot. nothing complicated or mentally challenging, but nothing insultingly implausible either, and nothing that will force you to wince and say "what the hell? that's rediculous!!" ... except maybe the scene with the truck; but by then it's pretty far in, so you won't care... ;-)

candy and martin both have good timing, obviously, and they work well together. for those who care, this was at a point in steve martin's career when you might have expected him to be getting the laughs, especially the slapstick, but he plays it straight pretty well.

GreenCine Member Rating

(Average 6.60)
206 Votes
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