Today is Thanksgiving, so what better film to watch than a beloved classic. You may be surprised to read that I’d never seen this film before. It’s one of those films that slipped me by, and I never got around to seeing it, even though the director and cast are in my list of favorite filmmakers! How can I call myself a fan of films when I’ve never set eyes on this work of art, you may ask?
I am happy to say that I now can say with conviction that I’ve not only seen this film, but will put it in my que of must see films every Thanksgiving from today forward. I was only saddened when I thought of the passing of the director not too long ago. A true talent, and one whom I’m sure will be missed by many.
A Week of Thanks
5 Films About Thanksgiving
~ Planes, Trains and Automobiles ~
Director: John Hughes
Cast: Steve Martin, John Candy, Kevin Bacon, Michael McKean, Laila Robins
Country: United States
Specs: 93 mins. / Color / OAR 1.85:1 / MPAA Rating: R
Neal Page (Martin), an overworked stressed out businessman, is traveling from New York to Chicago for Thanksgiving to be with his family. When he misses the plane, he meets Del Griffith (Candy), a jovial traveling salesman who happens to also be traveling to Chicago. They agree to team up to get back home by way of any means possible. Unfortunately, the entire trip turns into one big error-prone adventure, testing the patience of Neal, and giving new meaning to the term “friendship”.
Hughes, Martin and Candy deliver a laugh a minute in this hilarious slapstick comedy of misfortunes. It truly is sad that both Hughes and Candy were taken from this realm at such early ages, leaving a void in their place.
Martin shines as the straight man, and the duo bring back memories of other great comedic talents such as Laurel and Hardy, and Abbott and Costello. The timing of the dialogue is impeccable, with the expressions of both Candy and Martin to match. Rarely does such controlled humor play well, and as deadpan as these craftsman were able to pull off. The one liners, many of which I have been familiar with even without having seen the film, are truly classic, and deserving of their “fame”.
It’s no wonder the recent film “Due Date” attempted to copy the formula seen here. Sadly, that film is a testament to the talent found here. A great way to spend Thanksgiving, apart from the obvious….Macy’s Thanksgiving Parade.
My Rating: ***** / A-
Available on Amazon: Planes, Trains and Automobiles