Skip to main content
You have permission to edit this article.
1987: Here was our first take on 'Planes, Trains and Automobiles'

1987: Here was our first take on 'Planes, Trains and Automobiles'

  • 0
Steve Martin filming scene in St. Louis

Steve Martin (center with bags) during filming for "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" at St. Louis Lambert International Airport

The movie "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" was partially filmed in St. Louis. It was released on Nov. 25, 1987. But just as it took Neal Page a while to warm to Del Griffith, it took viewers a while to warm to this film, which has since become a holiday classic. Here was our original review.  

"Planes, Trains and Automobiles" is that old American standby, the road, rail and flight-pattern comedy.

As recent variations of an age-old movie genre go, it is fairly good, but somehow you hope for more from Steve Martin and John Candy. Martin is an uptight marketing executive and Candy a talkative on-the-road salesman. They are thrown together just before Thanksgiving on a flight from New York to Chicago.

The usual holiday blizzard closes O'Hare, and the flight is rerouted to Wichita. From there, Candy and Martin make their way to Chicago by way of Jefferson City, St. Louis (which they enter from the west across Eads Bridge) and the fields of Illinois.

Transportation includes the devices mentioned in the title was well as a bus and a couple of trucks. Director John Hughes ("Pretty in Pink," "Ferris Bueller's Day Off) generally succeeds in abandoning one form of transportation for, the next before things get too predictable, although there are a few slow stretches, particularly early on.

This comedy might have been hilarious as opposed to amusing if Hughes had taken a few more chances with his comedy, and perhaps let; the very talented Candy cut loose a little more.

Still his speciality is taking stock characters and making them seem likable and even believable; and he generally succeeds in doing that again this time around.

There are a few very funny scenes, including one at Lambert Field that includes 95 percent of the naughty language that is responsible for the "R" rating, and that just would not be the same if Steve Martin had been saying "heck."

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 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" (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times). Now with all-new bonus features, the "Those Aren't Pillows!" Edition is a perfect holiday treat that lasts all year.

Stay up-to-date on what's happening

* I understand and agree that registration on or use of this site constitutes agreement to its user agreement and privacy policy.

Related to this story

Most Popular

Get up-to-the-minute news sent straight to your device.


Breaking News


National News