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Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)

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A man must struggle to travel home for Thanksgiving with an obnoxious slob of a shower curtain ring salesman as his only companion.

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1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Joy
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Peg
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Waitress (as Susan Kellerman)
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Martin (as George O. Petrie)
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Storyline

All that Neal Page wants to do is to get home for Thanksgiving. His flight has been cancelled due to bad weather, so he decides on other means of transport. As well as bad luck, Neal is blessed with the presence of Del Griffith, shower curtain ring salesman and all-around blabbermouth who is never short of advice, conversation, bad jokes, or company. And when he decides that he is going the same direction as Neal.... Written by Murray Chapman <muzzle@cs.uq.oz.au>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Pack in the Laughter! See more »

Genres:

Comedy | Drama

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Country:

Language:

Release Date:

25 November 1987 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Planes, Trains and Automobiles  »

Filming Locations:

 »

Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Gross:

$49,230,280 (USA)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The car that Neal and Del drive was modeled after the Wagon Queen Family Truckster from National Lampoon's Vacation (1983), which John Hughes wrote 4 years earlier. See more »

Goofs

After Del and Neal drive their rented car between and sideswipe the two semi trucks it is shown that Del has bent the top of the steering wheel down, nearly in half. In subsequent shots, after the car fire, the steering wheel is shown again as being fully round. This is especially noticeable when Del drives the car out of the motel room after backing into the room. See more »

Quotes

Neal: Well, let me just close this conversation, saying you are a unique individual.
Del: What is unique, uh...? Latin for "asshole?"
See more »

Crazy Credits

As the title Planes, Trains & Automobiles scroll across the screen, we hear the sound of them at the same time. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Jersey Girl (2004) See more »

Soundtracks

Three Coins in the Fountain
(1954)
Music by Jule Styne
Lyrics by Sammy Cahn
Performed by Steve Martin (uncredited)
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Consistently funny with some good adult sentiment
5 October 2003 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

Neal Page is trying to get home in time for thanksgiving with his family. When his plane is diverted to Wichita due to heavy snow elsewhere he finds himself partnering up with shower curtain salesman Del Griffith. However Del is not Neal's immediate first choice for travelling partner and the two soon find that one misfortune after another wears their patience very thin.

While comedies have moved on to become more grosser and outrageous in order to tickle our dulled funny bone, PT&A manages it with what now seems like restraint but is really a good example of `wacky™' comedy, mixed with a good vein of sentiment and character. The plot is pretty good although some of it pushes the boat out to the unreal in order to get laughs – but this isn't a problem because it DOES get laughs, if it hadn't then it might have been an issue. Most of it is hilarious although some drags early on.

The deeper beauty of the film is how well controlled Hughes is in painting his emotions. Usually his stuff can be sickly sweet but here he mixes it well with the comedy. The relationship between Neal and Del is good and they both have things to learn (more so Neal), the hurt they inflict on one another is well done and not to the point that the comedy is stopped. Thankfully the two actors are good enough to carry it off. Martin is close to his manic best and Candy plays a loveable goof. The best scene to see them working is when Martin is laying into Del in the hotel room – the expressions on their faces (Candy esp) during this makes it hard not to feel anything. The support cast do good work whether it be now-famous cameos or just support cast but each character has their own little thing!

Overall I worry that modern audiences may have become so used to everything being so OTT and gross that this film may seem subtle (even though it isn't). However aside from that this is a very funny film that does have a good heart. Not a perfect film in any way but it does exactly what it says on the tin - it made me laugh hard but also had a believable emotional core.


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Would you have brought Del home? peterpulanski
a professional shower curtain ring seller? ichabodcrane370
Final Scene: Heartwarming or Sad? federeragassi
I just read the whole full unedited script and I gotta say.... shellyturtle1981
Do you think Neil got Del a job? ducas123
Neal's missing rental car themoviemaverick-1
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