Steve Martin and John Candy star in John Hughes’ classic tale of holiday travel gone awry. Neal Page (Martin) is an uptight advertising executive trying to get home to Chicago for Thanksgiving. When his flight is rerouted to Wichita, he reluctantly partners with Del Griffith (Candy), an obnoxious yet loveable shower curtain ring salesman. Together, they embark on a cross-country adventure that includes various modes of transportation, hilarious mishaps, and unforgettable rental car shenanigans. Planes, Trains and Automobiles is a screwball comedy with a heart.
(1987) 2017, 1080p, Color, DTS-MA 5.1, Rated R, 1 hour and 28 minutes
1.85: 1 Aspect Ratio
Starring: Steve Martin, John Candy, Kevin Bacon, Edie McClurg
Directed By: John Hughes (Martin and Candy)
It’s been 30 years since this film hit the silver screen and though it looks a bit dated, it is still pretty funny after all of this time. Think of this film as a Home Alone comedy, but geared more for adults. Martin and Candy play off each other well and there is more than a little poignancy mixed in with funny story about getting home in time for the holiday. The bonus for me was recognizing some of the location shots from a town near where I grew up, in Braidwood, IL. I have some family members that play this movie every year, sort of like A Christmas Story, and they wouldn’t think of letting Thanksgiving go by without seeing this movie.
My take? I liked the movie well enough to see it once and recommend it, but as an annual “event”, not really. I have always liked Martin’s career (now he’s doing music), but Candy was just starting to take off in his career when he tragically died in 1994. No telling how high his star could have risen, if only…
The humor has some elements of slapstick, but it mostly dialog driven and the repartee between these two is great. Because of the infamous “rental car” scene with Martin, I cannot recommend this as a family fare due to the language, but the rest of the movie is funny enough for the grownups and kids.
The picture and sound are solid and clean for the most part. Some long shots and pans are a bit soft, but that is a source problem and not a dig at the BD. A few night scenes exhibit some crushing, but the colors and details are clean and sharp. I saw very few specks of dirt or scratches. Compared to the old DVD I used to watch, it is a big upgrade in picture quality. The sound is very good, but the subwoofer will not come on during most of the movie. Not untypical for this genre.
Interviews, commentaries and an homage to John Candy are included.