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Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)

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1:26 | Trailer

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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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Writer:

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Popularity
959 ( 497)
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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Doobie
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Walt
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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:

What he really wanted was to spend Thanksgiving with his family. What he got was three days with the turkey. See more »

Genres:

Comedy

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  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,009,482, 29 November 1987, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$49,530,280
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

(Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Many of the highway scenes were actually filmed on a stretch of (at the time) unopened highway (U.S. Highway 219) that runs between Buffalo and Springville, New York. See more »

Goofs

The length of Dell's cigarette when in the restaurant. (When Neil is about to tell him that he wants to travel alone.) See more »

Quotes

Neal: [on tequila and Doritos] What do you think? You think this is a good combination?
Del: No, probably not.
See more »

Crazy Credits

There are no opening credits after the title, which scrolls across the screen like a plane, train, and automobile. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Mike's New Car (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Lost Again
(1983)
Written by Boris Blank & Dieter Meier
Performed and produced by Yello
Courtesy of Polygram Special Products, a division of Polygram Records, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

Consistently funny with some good adult sentiment
5 October 2003 | by 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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