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."