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‘Planes, Trains and Automobiles’ One Of The Best Comedy Film From 80s

“Planes, Trains and Automobiles” is one of the best comedy films from the 80s. Not only does it tell a humorous story about a Chicago advertising man traveling back to his hometown for Thanksgiving, but it also has some of Hollywood’s funniest and most memorable comedic performances. The movie was directed by John Hughes who is known for his comedies such as “The Breakfast Club,” “Pretty in Pink,” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.” It’s not surprising then that this movie continues to be one of the best comedy films from the 80s year after year. Struggling with a broken down car and his son’s overbearing grandparents in tow, a Chicago advertising man has to travel back to his hometown for Thanksgiving. The tagline for “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles” is: “It’s Thanksgiving. Eleven guys, one crazy journey.” This sounds like one of the most problematic movies you could watch, but thankfully it is not as bad as it sounds. The movie starts on a funny note and the humor never stops throughout the whole movie.

Cast and Character:

  • Steve Martin as Neal Page
  • John Candy as Del Griffith
  • Laila Robins as Susan Page
  • Michael McKean as a State Trooper 
  • Dylan Baker as Owen
  • Lulie Newcomb as Owen’s wife
  • Olivia Burnette as Marti Page
  • Larry Hankin as Dobby
  • Richard Herd as Walt
  • Matthew Lawrence as Neal Page
  • Edie McClurg as a car rental agent
  • Bill Erwin as a man on a plane

Release Date:

The film was released on November 25, 1987.

What is the film about?

The story behind “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles” is about a man named Neal Page (Steve Martin), who hates his hometown Chicago and doesn’t have much of an interest in doing anything around the town. His dream is to get away from it all at Thanksgiving and then go back to New York City. He tries to make it happen but finds that roadblocks are in his way: his boss, his co-worker, his former girlfriend, and a family of shower curtain ring salesmen. However, after several attempts, he can reach New York City. As his plane is taking off, he sees a sign welcoming him to Chicago. The most memorable moment in the whole movie is when Del and Neal spend Thanksgiving at Del’s brother-in-law, Ned’s home. Ned played by John Candy, tells Del how important he is in his life. 

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What makes this movie different from others?

One of the main characteristics that make this movie different from others is the protagonist. In most movies, the protagonists are handsome, smart, and successful but in “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles,” one of the main characters is not any of those things. Neal Page (Steve Martin) is a short, overweight, balding middle-aged man who has a nervous habit of picking his nose and doesn’t have many friends due to his social awkwardness. This makes him a perfect character for this kind of movie as he can easily be made fun of by Hollywood’s comedic genius. Due to his appearance, many people laugh at him even though he is a complete gentleman and has only good intentions for others.

Who can watch this film?

“Planes, Trains and Automobiles” is one of those movies for everyone. It is mainly about a boy’s attempt to get back home for Thanksgiving and the problems that arise with it. The characters are relatable and the plot is never too complicated so anyone can understand exactly what is going on.


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