7.6/10
105,156
371 user 124 critic

Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)

Trailer
1:26 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $2.99 (SD) on Prime Video

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

Director:

John Hughes

Writer:

John Hughes
Reviews
Popularity
2,561 ( 642)
1 nomination. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

Uncle Buck (1989)
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Bachelor and all round slob, Buck, babysits his brother's rebellious teenage daughter and her cute younger brother and sister.

Director: John Hughes
Stars: John Candy, Macaulay Culkin, Jean Louisa Kelly
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The Griswold family's plans for a big family Christmas predictably turn into a big disaster.

Director: Jeremiah S. Chechik
Stars: Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Juliette Lewis
Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

The Griswold family's cross-country drive to the Walley World theme park proves to be much more arduous than they ever anticipated.

Director: Harold Ramis
Stars: Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Imogene Coca
Comedy | Western
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

Three actors accept an invitation to a Mexican village to perform their onscreen bandit fighter roles, unaware that it is the real thing.

Director: John Landis
Stars: Steve Martin, Chevy Chase, Martin Short
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

A Chicago man's hope for a peaceful family vacation in the woods is shattered when the annoying in-laws drop in.

Director: Howard Deutch
Stars: Dan Aykroyd, John Candy, Stephanie Faracy
Caddyshack (1980)
Comedy | Sport
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

An exclusive golf course has to deal with a brash new member and a destructive dancing gopher.

Director: Harold Ramis
Stars: Chevy Chase, Rodney Dangerfield, Bill Murray
Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A high school wise guy is determined to have a day off from school, despite what the Principal thinks of that.

Director: John Hughes
Stars: Matthew Broderick, Alan Ruck, Mia Sara
Scrooged (1988)
Comedy | Drama | Fantasy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A selfish, cynical television executive is haunted by three spirits bearing lessons on Christmas Eve.

Director: Richard Donner
Stars: Bill Murray, Karen Allen, John Forsythe
Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.2/10 X  

The Griswolds win a vacation tour across Europe where the usual havoc ensues.

Director: Amy Heckerling
Stars: Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Dana Hill
Spies Like Us (1985)
Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.4/10 X  

Two bumbling government employees think they are U.S. spies, only to discover that they are actually decoys for Nuclear War.

Director: John Landis
Stars: Chevy Chase, Dan Aykroyd, Mark Stewart
Weird Science (1985)
Comedy | Romance | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.6/10 X  

Two high school nerds attempt to create the perfect woman, but she turns out to be more than that.

Director: John Hughes
Stars: Anthony Michael Hall, Ilan Mitchell-Smith, Kelly LeBrock
Fletch (1985)
Comedy | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

Irwin M. "Fletch" Fletcher is a newspaper reporter being offered a large sum to off a cancerous millionaire, but is on the run, risking his job, and finding clues when it's clear the man is healthy.

Director: Michael Ritchie
Stars: Chevy Chase, Joe Don Baker, Dana Wheeler-Nicholson
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Steve Martin ... Neal Page
John Candy ... Del Griffith
Laila Robins ... Susan Page
Michael McKean ... State Trooper
Kevin Bacon ... Taxi Racer
Dylan Baker ... Owen
Carol Bruce ... Joy
Olivia Burnette ... Marti
Diana Douglas ... Peg
Martin Ferrero ... Second Motel Clerk
Larry Hankin ... Doobie
Richard Herd ... Walt
Susan Kellermann ... Waitress (as Susan Kellerman)
Matthew Lawrence ... Little Neal
Edie McClurg ... Car Rental Agent
Edit

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:

View content advisory »
Edit

Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 November 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Planes, Trains and Automobiles See more »

Edit

Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,009,482, 20 December 1987, Wide Release

Gross USA:

$49,530,280
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

John Candy does a Jamaican impression in the hotel room when they're drinking the different types of alcohol. In Cool Runnings (1993), his character does a Jamaican impression to the Olympic qualifying judge after they tell him the qualifying time just got shorter. 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

Screaming Driver: [late at night on the highway, Del is unknowingly driving in the opposite lane while a couple drive alongside him notice] Holy shit! Look at that guy on the wrong side of the highway! He's going to kill somebody!
Screaming Driver's Wife: Oh, my God!
Screaming Driver: [honks his horn and rolls his window down to get their attention] Hey! Hey!
[Del notices and honks back in retaliation]
Neal: [waking up from the noise] Hey, what's going on?
Del: Some joker wants to race.
[...]
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 Mike's New Car (2002) See more »

Soundtracks

Mess Around
(1953)
Written by Ahmet Ertegun
Performed by Ray Charles
Produced by Ahmet Ertegun & Jerry Wexler
Courtesy of Atlantic Recording Corp., a division of Warner Special Products
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

 
Arguably the best comedy of the 1980s
2 June 2004 | by MovieAddict2016See all my reviews

The greatness and pure genius of "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" is that, while it is uproariously hilarious, it also reveals great hurt and truth - unlike any comedy I have ever seen before or since.

Scenes such as those in the Bravewood Inn are classics. The argument between Neal and Del is the turning point in the film, and it is the first time that the audience realizes that they are in for more than they thought they were. There are certain elements of tenderness, heart, agony, conflict, and heartfelt emotion in "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" that make it transcend the genre.

Steve Martin and John Candy don't just act; they embody themselves so deeply in their characters that it almost sets a standard for how comedic pairings should be. Line them up next to Chris Farley and David Spade and the differences are astronomical. Watching Steve Martin is like acting a comedian at the top of his game. Just watch his reactions. The facial reaction from Steve in response to Del's comeback in the Bravewood Inn is perfect; we understand what Neal is going through, and Steve Martin lets us know this by placing himself in a recognizable area. We also understand Del, and that is really the key to this movie: Being able to identify with both characters almost equally. How often can you say that about buddy pictures? I don't ever feel much sympathy for Chris Farley, if that means anything.

John Candy remains one of the most underrated and underwritten film comedians of all time. Offered constant mediocre scripts during the eighties and early nineties, all the way up until his death in 1994, he could make the material something more, something watchable. I recently viewed "Funny Farm," a painfully unfunny film to sit through. I imagined what John Candy could have done with Chevy Chase's role, and I found myself laughing. Why? Because John Candy can make anything watchable. Just how many times would you watch "Summer Rental" or "The Great Outdoors" if the lead actor was Jim Carrey?

There's some important content in this film, but it is never overpowered by laughs, nor vice versa. They go hand-in-hand. I come back to the Bravewood Inn argument scene. After the hilarious, ongoing insults Neal throws at Del, Del responds and says, "You wanna hurt me? Go right ahead if it makes you feel any better. I'm an easy target. Yeah, you're right, I talk too much. But I also listen too much. I could be a cold-hearted cynical like you, but I don't like to hurt people's feelings. So you go right on and think what you like about me. But I'm not changing. I - I like me. My wife likes me. My customers like me. 'Cause I'm the real deal. Whatcha see is whatcha get." It's creepy how much dramatic, emotional and truthful subtext sneaks into this film, and yet it only makes it all the better for it. "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" is my favorite Comedy, yes I know that I have said it before. But, it is a serious comedy that has both heart and is hilarious at the same time. Entertainment at it's best. And isn't that what movies are all about?

5/5 stars.


142 of 169 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 371 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial



Recently Viewed