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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.

Director:

John Hughes

Writer:

John Hughes
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3,841 ( 124)
1 nomination. See more awards »

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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
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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

Certificate:

R | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 November 1987 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Planes, Trains and Automobiles See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$30,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,009,482, 29 November 1987

Gross USA:

$49,530,280

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$49,530,280
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Stereo

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Del and Neal are pulled over by a Wisconsin State Trooper. Driving from St. Louis to Chicago through Wisconsin would be extremely out of the way, which could explain the added time shown for travel, as driving from St. Louis to Chicago would only take about five hours. It also would explain why the truck they are riding in approaches downtown Chicago from the northwest. See more »

Goofs

In the Braidwood Inn, after Neal has finished his shower, he pulls back the shower curtain, sees the mess that Del has left in the bathroom and seems surprised, but he shouldn't be surprised as he would have had to notice it before he had gotten into the shower. Except for the fact that they both agreed on entering the room that Neal would shower first. See more »

Quotes

Neal: I'd like one room for the night.
Del: If you're upset, maybe we should get separate rooms.
Neal: You get your own room.
Hotel Clerk: Will you be paying with credit card?
Neal: Yes. I have a Visa card... Diner's Club card... and a gasoline card.
[he lays them out - all of them are burned]
Hotel Clerk: [chuckles] These aren't... these aren't credit cards.
Neal: Do you take cash?
Hotel Clerk: Forty-two fifty.
Neal: [lays money on the table] How about seventeen dollars...
[...]
See more »

Crazy Credits

After all the end credits, we get to see advertising exec William Windom in the office as in the scene in the beginning of the movie, still examining the pictures Neal Page were waiting for him to get through with at that point. See more »

Alternate Versions

TV version show a scene during the first plane ride where they order dinner. Del talks about which he meals he orders according to what airline he's flying. Neal's dinner is lasagna, which due to various delays, has been reheated several times. Unsatisfied, Neal gives the lasagna and the rest of his food, to Del, who shares it with the old man next to Neal. Neal keeps the brownie with his meal, but a lady in front of them throws her hair back, disgusting Neal, so he gives the brownie to Del, who again shares it with the old guy giving him "the bigger half." See more »


Soundtracks

Six Days on the Road
(1959)
Written by Earl Green and Carl B. Montgomery
Performed by Steve Earle and John Mandoukos (as The Dukes)
Produced by Steve Earle and Tony Brown
Steve Earle performs courtesy of MCA Records
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

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