Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987)
November 27, 2014 9:40 AM - Subscribe

A high-strung marketing executive must struggle to travel home for Thanksgiving with an obnoxious slob of a shower curtain ring salesman as his only companion. Starring Steve Martin and John Candy, written and directed by John Hughes.

Rotten Tomatoes gives it 94%, and Roger Ebert gave it 4 stars, saying "The movies that last, the ones we return to, don't always have lofty themes or Byzantine complexities. Sometimes they last because they are arrows straight to the heart."

23 Reasons "Planes, Trains And Automobiles" Is The Best Thanksgiving Movie Ever

This is the first in the Holiday Movie Club. Planning for this year, 2014, is here.
posted by the man of twists and turns (13 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
available on Netflix Streaming as well as digital rentals, and it was on CW last night.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:45 AM on November 27, 2014

It amazes me that this movie carried an R rating. 1987 was very long ago in so many ways. I realize it was the lengthy stream of profanity when Steve Martin's character finally lost it- but it sure seems like such a sweet and wholesome movie. John Hughes had some serious stones in releasing it as an R rated movie and not bowdlerizing / editing it down to PG.
posted by jenkinsEar at 9:47 AM on November 27, 2014 [4 favorites]

You're FUCKED.
posted by Chrysostom at 10:30 AM on November 27, 2014

Steve Martin is good in this -- he does uptight very well -- but John Candy is magnificent; the slow reveal of Del's vulnerability and loneliness. He's the real deal.
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 10:37 AM on November 27, 2014 [3 favorites]

What I like about Candy's performance is - what you see is what you get.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 10:44 AM on November 27, 2014 [3 favorites]

Also, I like to think Steve Martin is channeling his real inner asshole in this film.
posted by joseph conrad is fully awesome at 10:45 AM on November 27, 2014

"You're messing with the wrong guy!"

(The end-credits song is SO SO EIGHTIES. As is Neal's could-not-be-any-more-WASP-ey home.)
posted by We had a deal, Kyle at 10:47 AM on November 27, 2014 [2 favorites]

This movie is a holiday tradition in my family. My Dad and I used to watch it every Thanksgiving when I was a kid, and when I moved out after high school I bought him a DVD copy of it for Christmas. I own it on DVD and Blu-ray. It's my favorite non-sci-fi comedy of all time. Each time I watch it, I see something new. Here's a bit from TV Tropes outlining something I picked up on when I watched it last night:
When driving from St. Louis to Chicago, it would normally take about 6 hours, but they drive from what looks like early evening deep into the night and then drive for a while in the morning before being told that they are still 3 hours away from Chicago. However, if you look at the officer's State Trooper badges and the name of the truck's company, you'll see where they are. They went into Wisconsin.
posted by Servo5678 at 1:07 PM on November 27, 2014 [4 favorites]

Here, have a deleted scene.
posted by Servo5678 at 1:08 PM on November 27, 2014 [2 favorites]

This is a lovely film, very funny, and two great performances from Martin and Candy. I like how we are mostly meant to sympathise with Martin, but the film doesn't entirely give him a free ride, as he can be a complete arse a lot of the time. The one scene that slightly bugs me is the airport scene, where Martin doesn't get a car for no reason at all, then, rather than wait for someone to come, decides to walk back along a highway. I don't know quite why that bugged me more than the pair driving the burnt out wreck of a car, but there you go.
posted by Cannon Fodder at 11:52 PM on November 27, 2014 [1 favorite]

I think of this movie every time I see someone try to take off their jacket while driving.
posted by RobotHero at 11:02 PM on November 28, 2014 [1 favorite]

"...where's your other hand?"

"Between two pillows..."
posted by Ray Walston, Luck Dragon at 5:22 PM on November 30, 2014 [1 favorite]

I saw PT&A in the theater, back when I spent a lot more time seeing movies, and I remember really enjoying it. Reading this has brought a lot of that back for me. I'm going to have to give it another go this year.
posted by blurker at 9:43 AM on December 3, 2014

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