How To Watch Planes Trains And Automobiles


Background of the Film

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles is a classic comedy film directed by John Hughes and released in 1987. The movie follows the hilarious misadventures of Neal Page, played by Steve Martin, and Del Griffith, played by John Candy, as they try to make their way home for Thanksgiving. The film was well-received upon its release and has since become a beloved holiday favorite.

John Hughes, known for his ability to capture the essence of everyday life and create relatable characters, wrote and directed Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. The film showcases his talent for blending comedy and heartwarming moments, making it a timeless contribution to the genre.

The casting of Steve Martin and John Candy in the lead roles was a stroke of genius. Martin’s impeccable comedic timing and ability to portray the frustrated everyman perfectly complemented Candy’s affable charm and knack for delivering laugh-out-loud moments. Their on-screen chemistry was undeniable and added depth to the film’s humor.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles was produced by Paramount Pictures and had a modest budget of $30 million. Despite initial concerns about the film’s commercial success, it went on to become a box office hit, grossing over $49 million worldwide.

The film’s success can be attributed not only to the talent involved but also to the universal themes it explores. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles taps into the frustration and comedic mishaps that often accompany long-distance travel, particularly during the chaotic holiday season. Audiences can relate to the characters’ shared experiences, such as delayed flights, cramped hotel rooms, and unexpected detours, which adds to the film’s appeal.

Furthermore, the film succeeds in balancing comedy with heartfelt moments, creating a story that resonates with viewers. The underlying theme of friendship and finding common ground in the face of adversity strikes a chord, making the characters’ journey more meaningful and memorable.

Overall, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles has solidified its place in cinematic history as a must-watch comedy. Its enduring popularity can be attributed to John Hughes’ masterful storytelling, the exceptional performances of Steve Martin and John Candy, and the relatability of the film’s themes. From its memorable quotes to its uproarious mishaps, this film continues to entertain audiences year after year.

Cast and Crew

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles boasts a talented cast and crew that brought the film to life with their exceptional performances and creative vision. Here are the key members involved in the making of this comedy classic:

Director: John Hughes

John Hughes, renowned for his contributions to the comedy genre, served as the director of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. Known for his ability to capture the authenticity of everyday life and portray relatable characters, Hughes brought his unique storytelling style to this film.

Writer: John Hughes

John Hughes also penned the script of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. His adeptness at blending comedy with heartfelt moments shines through in the witty dialogue and engaging storyline of the film.

Lead Actors:

– Steve Martin as Neal Page

Steve Martin delivers a stellar performance as Neal Page, a high-strung businessman desperate to get home for Thanksgiving. Martin’s impeccable comedic timing and ability to convey frustration and exasperation elevate the character, making him relatable and humorous.

– John Candy as Del Griffith

John Candy portrays Del Griffith, the lovable but clumsy shower curtain ring salesman who becomes Neal’s unwitting travel companion. Candy’s charm, warmth, and knack for physical comedy make Del a memorable and endearing character.

Supporting Cast:

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles also features a talented supporting cast who contribute to the film’s comedic and emotional depth:

– Laila Robins as Susan Page, Neal’s wife

– Michael McKean as State Trooper

– Dylan Baker as Owen, the car rental agent


– John Hughes

– Tom Jacobson

– Neil A. Machlis

Music Composer: Ira Newborn

Ira Newborn composed the film’s score, which perfectly complements the comedic and emotional beats of the story. The film’s soundtrack features a mix of classic songs and original compositions, further enhancing the viewing experience.

Together, the cast and crew of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles collaborated to create a comedy masterpiece that continues to entertain audiences with its talented performances and behind-the-scenes expertise.

Plot Summary

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles tells the uproarious and heartwarming story of Neal Page, a high-strung marketing executive, and Del Griffith, a gregarious shower curtain ring salesman, as they navigate a series of misadventures while trying to make their way home for Thanksgiving.

The film begins with Neal, played by Steve Martin, desperately trying to catch a flight from New York City to Chicago to spend the holiday with his family. However, due to a series of unfortunate events, Neal’s flight is grounded and he is left stranded at the airport. In his frustration, he crosses paths with Del, portrayed by John Candy, who offers him a ride in his rental car when they discover they are going in the same direction.

From this point forward, the odd couple embarks on a chaotic journey across various modes of transportation, including planes, trains, and automobiles. Along the way, Neal and Del encounter a plethora of obstacles, including rental car mishaps, hotel room mix-ups, and even a run-in with the police. Despite their vastly different personalities and constant clashes, a genuine friendship begins to develop between the two men as they share their personal stories and connect on a deeper level.

As Neal and Del face one setback after another, their determination to reach their destinations grows stronger. Their bond is tested as they endure a snowy car accident, spending the night in a cattle truck, and even hitchhiking with a speeding shower curtain salesman. Through it all, they learn valuable lessons about acceptance, compassion, and the true meaning of friendship.

In a heartwarming and bittersweet twist, Neal finally reaches his home in Chicago only to realize that Del is alone for the holidays. Overwhelmed by gratitude and the transformation he underwent during their journey, Neal invites Del to join his family for Thanksgiving. The film ends with Neal and Del sharing a heartfelt moment with Neal’s family, cementing the enduring friendship they formed through their unforgettable adventure together.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles is a comedy masterpiece that combines hilarious escapades with genuine emotional depth. It showcases the power of unexpected friendships and the importance of embracing life’s unpredictable moments, ultimately leaving a lasting impact on both the characters and the audience.

Genre and Themes

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles is a comedy film that seamlessly blends humor with heartfelt moments, creating a unique blend of laughter and emotion. The film falls under the genre of road trip comedy, a subgenre known for its comedic mishaps and unexpected adventures.

One of the main themes explored in the film is the chaos and frustration that often accompany long-distance travel, particularly during the holiday season. The audience is taken on a wild ride alongside the characters, experiencing their exasperation with delayed flights, cramped hotel rooms, and unexpected detours. This theme of travel-related mishaps taps into the shared experiences of audiences, making the film relatable and entertaining.

Another predominant theme in Planes, Trains, and Automobiles is the power of friendship and human connection. Despite their initial differences, Neal and Del form an unlikely bond as they overcome various obstacles together. The film highlights the transformative nature of friendships formed during unexpected circumstances, reminding viewers of the joy and support that genuine connections can bring.

The film also explores themes of empathy and compassion. As Neal and Del spend more time together, they learn to look past each other’s quirks and see the humanity within. Their shared experiences and personal stories help them develop a deeper understanding and appreciation for one another. This theme of empathy serves as a reminder to audiences about the importance of understanding and kindness in cultivating meaningful relationships.

Furthermore, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles touches on themes of family and the holiday spirit. The film depicts the desire to be with loved ones during special occasions and the lengths people go to make it home for the holidays. It captures the essence of Thanksgiving, emphasizing the importance of togetherness and gratitude, even in the face of adversity.

Overall, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles combines the comedy genre with themes of travel mishaps, friendship, empathy, and the holiday spirit. Through its hilarious and heartfelt moments, the film offers a unique and relatable viewing experience that can resonate with audiences of all ages.

Reviews and Reception

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles received positive reviews from critics and audiences alike upon its release in 1987. The film’s unique blend of comedy, heart, and strong performances garnered praise for its ability to entertain and resonate with viewers.

Critics commended the chemistry between Steve Martin and John Candy, which brought an authenticity and depth to their characters’ friendship. The duo’s impeccable comedic timing and nuanced performances were frequently highlighted as the film’s strongest aspects. Martin’s portrayal of the frustrated straight man and Candy’s lovable charm garnered praise for their ability to elicit both laughs and genuine emotion.

The film’s screenplay, written by John Hughes, was also highly regarded. Hughes’ talent for combining laughter with heartfelt moments was recognized as a key contributor to the film’s success. The witty dialogue and relatable situations showcased his ability to capture the essence of everyday life in an entertaining way.

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles resonated with audiences due to its universal themes and memorable scenes. The film’s mix of physical comedy and emotional depth struck a chord, making it a beloved holiday favorite. Viewers appreciated how the film balanced laugh-out-loud moments with heartfelt messages of friendship, empathy, and the importance of family during the holiday season.

Commercially, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles performed well at the box office, grossing over $49 million worldwide against a modest budget of $30 million. Its enduring popularity has led to continual success, with the film being reissued and celebrated as a holiday classic over the years.

Over time, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles has become a highly regarded comedy, often appearing on top lists of the best holiday films. Audiences continue to embrace its timeless humor and heart, making it a beloved and enduring part of popular culture.

The film’s positive reception and enduring popularity are a testament to its ability to entertain and connect with viewers through its exceptional performances, relatable themes, and well-crafted comedy. Planes, Trains, and Automobiles remains a celebrated comedy that continues to charm audiences, solidifying its place in cinematic history.

Iconic Scenes

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles is filled with memorable and iconic scenes that have become ingrained in the hearts and minds of viewers. These moments not only showcase the film’s comedic brilliance but also highlight the chemistry between Steve Martin and John Candy, adding to its enduring legacy.

One of the most iconic scenes in the film takes place when Neal and Del wake up after their car crashed into a snowbank during a blizzard. As they step out of the car, they discover that it has been completely destroyed. They share a hilarious exchange of insults and frustrations as they attempt to salvage what’s left of their journey. This scene perfectly captures the slapstick comedy and the unlikely friendship between the two characters.

Another memorable scene occurs when Neal and Del find themselves stranded in a motel room with only one bed. The comedic tension escalates as they try to find a way to comfortably share the space. The physical comedy that ensues, as they jostle for position and try to create a makeshift barrier between them, is both hilarious and endearing. This scene showcases the comic timing and physicality of Martin and Candy, emphasizing their ability to generate laughter through their interactions.

The airport scene is also an iconic moment in the film. Frustrated by numerous delays and setbacks, Neal finally reaches his breaking point and unleashes a memorable tirade of expletives at the airport staff. Steve Martin’s passionate and humorous delivery in this scene has become a highlight of the film, showcasing his ability to captivate audiences with his comedic energy.

Additionally, the Thanksgiving dinner scene near the end of the film is a heartwarming and pivotal moment. Neal, realizing Del will be spending the holiday alone, invites him to join his family for the feast. This scene encapsulates the underlying themes of friendship, gratitude, and the importance of human connection. The genuine warmth and emotion displayed by the cast during this scene have made it one of the most memorable and touching moments in the film.

From the outrageous and hilarious mishaps to the heartfelt and poignant moments of connection, Planes, Trains, and Automobiles” is filled with numerous iconic scenes that have left a lasting impression on audiences. The comedic brilliance, the chemistry between the lead actors, and the relatable situations depicted in these scenes have cemented the film’s status as a beloved comedy classic.

Filming Locations

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles takes viewers on a journey through various locations as the characters navigate their way home for Thanksgiving. While the story may span multiple destinations, the majority of the filming took place in and around Chicago, Illinois.

Chicago, known for its iconic skyline and diverse neighborhoods, served as the backdrop for many of the film’s scenes. The bustling city streets, as well as its transportation hubs like O’Hare International Airport, provided the perfect setting to capture the chaos and excitement of travel.

One notable filming location in Chicago is the Drake Hotel. This luxurious hotel, situated on the Magnificent Mile, was used for the scenes when Neal and Del encounter a mix-up with their hotel reservation. The grandeur and elegance of the Drake Hotel added to the comedic and chaotic atmosphere of the film.

Another memorable location featured in the film is the famous “L” train system in Chicago. The “L” train scenes were shot on the Brown Line, specifically between the Sedgwick and Armitage stops. The train sequences add a sense of authenticity to the story, as Neal and Del navigate the crowded trains and encounter quirky fellow passengers.

In addition to Chicago, the film also showcases scenes filmed in Kansas. The barren and snowy landscape encountered by Neal and Del during their car journey was actually shot in parts of Kansas. The vast, open spaces and snowy terrain add to the sense of isolation and adventure experienced by the characters.

Overall, the filming locations of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles contribute to the film’s realism and comedic charm. From the bustling streets of Chicago to the snowy landscapes of Kansas, each location enhances the story and transports the viewers alongside Neal and Del on their unforgettable journey.

Trivia and Fun Facts

Planes, Trains, and Automobiles is not only a beloved comedy, but it is also filled with interesting trivia and fun facts that add to its legacy. Here are some intriguing tidbits about the film:

– John Hughes, the writer and director of the film, was inspired to write Planes, Trains, and Automobiles after experiencing a particularly difficult journey from New York to Chicago himself. His personal travel mishaps served as the foundation for the hilarious and chaotic adventures of Neal and Del.

– The famous car rental scene, where Neal is presented with a less-than-ideal vehicle, was improvised by Steve Martin. The shocked and frustrated reaction by Martin was completely genuine as he had not seen the car prior to filming the scene.

– The film features a memorable cameo by Kevin Bacon. In a brief but memorable role, Bacon appears as a smiling and scantily-clad shower curtain ring salesman who steals Del’s cab.

– The airport scene where Neal loses his temper took over 20 takes to get right. Steve Martin’s comedic timing and delivery were honed throughout the retakes, resulting in a scene that is often cited as one of the film’s funniest moments.

– Despite their character’s dueling personalities onscreen, Steve Martin and John Candy had a great working relationship off-screen. The two actors enjoyed each other’s company and remained friends after filming. Their genuine camaraderie contributed to the believability of their onscreen friendship.

– The film’s original ending was much darker. In the original script, Del was meant to reveal that he was actually homeless, adding a layer of tragedy to his character. However, test audiences didn’t respond well to this ending, so it was changed to the more heartwarming Thanksgiving dinner scene.

– The film’s emotional impact is often attributed to the performances of Steve Martin and John Candy. In one of the final scenes, when Neal realizes Del will be alone for Thanksgiving, Steve Martin’s tears were real and unscripted. The moment captured the genuine emotions shared between the two actors.

– The music throughout the film, including the memorable theme, was composed by Ira Newborn. The score perfectly complements the comedic and emotional beats of the story, enhancing the viewer’s experience.

These trivia and fun facts highlight the behind-the-scenes magic that contributed to making Planes, Trains, and Automobiles the beloved comedy it is today. From improvised moments to unexpected heartwarming scenes, each detail adds to the film’s enduring legacy.

Similar Movies

If you enjoyed Planes, Trains, and Automobiles and are looking for more films with a similar blend of comedy and heartfelt moments, here are some recommendations:

1. The Hangover (2009)

Following a group of friends who embark on a wild Las Vegas bachelor party, The Hangover is a comedy filled with outrageous situations, unexpected twists, and unforgettable camaraderie.

2. Due Date (2010)

Starring Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis, Due Date follows two mismatched travelers forced to endure a cross-country road trip together. Hilarity ensues as they encounter a series of eccentric characters and comedic mishaps.

3. Uncle Buck (1989)

Also written and directed by John Hughes, Uncle Buck stars John Candy as a carefree and eccentric uncle who is put in charge of his nieces and nephew. The film combines humor and heart, showcasing Candy’s comedic brilliance.

4. Tommy Boy (1995)

Starring Chris Farley and David Spade, Tommy Boy follows the misadventures of an energetic and bumbling man who tries to save his father’s auto parts business. This comedy offers a blend of physical comedy, memorable one-liners, and a heartwarming story of friendship.

5. Midnight Run (1988)

In this action-comedy, Robert De Niro and Charles Grodin star as an unlikely pair forced to team up and go on the run from the FBI and mobsters. With a mix of comedy and suspense, Midnight Run delivers entertaining performances and plenty of laughs.

6. Trains, Planes and Automobiles (2013)

A remake of the original film, Trains, Planes and Automobiles shares a similar premise as two strangers, played by Dylan Walsh and Nick Navarro, face numerous obstacles while trying to make it home for Thanksgiving. The film offers a modern take on the classic journey comedy.

These films provide a mix of comedy, memorable characters, and heartfelt moments that resonate with fans of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. Whether it’s the laughter-inducing escapades or the unlikely friendships formed on chaotic journeys, these movies capture the essence of hilarity and heart that make for an enjoyable viewing experience.

Where to Watch

If you’re eager to watch Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, you have several options for streaming or purchasing the film:

1. Streaming Services:

– Netflix: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles is available for streaming on Netflix in select regions. Check your local Netflix library to see if it is available in your country.

– Amazon Prime Video: If you have an Amazon Prime subscription, you can stream Planes, Trains, and Automobiles at no additional cost. The film is included in the Prime Video library.

2. Digital Rental/Purchase:

– iTunes: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles can be rented or purchased digitally through the iTunes Store. Once rented, you will have a limited time to watch the film before it expires.

– Google Play: You can rent or buy the digital version of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles from Google Play Movies & TV. This allows you to stream the film on various devices.

– Vudu: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles is available for digital rental or purchase on Vudu, a video-on-demand platform. Watch the film instantly through the Vudu app or website.

3. DVD or Blu-ray:

If you prefer a physical copy, you can purchase the DVD or Blu-ray of Planes, Trains, and Automobiles from various retailers, both online and offline. Check popular platforms like Amazon, Walmart, or Best Buy for availability.

Remember to check the availability and pricing of the film on these platforms, as it may vary depending on your location and the current licensing agreements.

With these options, you can easily enjoy Planes, Trains, and Automobiles from the comfort of your own home, allowing you to experience the laughter and heartfelt moments of this beloved comedy whenever you please.