Genre Grandeur – Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987) – MovieRob (Encore Review 3)

For this month’s next review for Genre Grandeur – Road Trip Movies, here’s a review of Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987) by me.

Thanks again to Simon of Moustache Movie News  for choosing this month’s genre.

Next month’s Genre has been chosen by Michael Eddy and it is Hitchcockian Films.

Hitchcock films by the master himself and the best “Hitchcock films” not directed by Hitchcock.

Please get me your submissions by the 25th of January by sending them to

Try to think out of the box! Great choice Mike!

Let’s see what I thought of this movie:


[another driver is trying to alert them that they’re driving on the wrong side of the highway]

“He says we’re going the wrong way…” – Neal

“Oh, he’s drunk. How would he know where we’re going?” – Del

Number of Times Seen – Too numerous to count (Theater in ’87, cable, video, DVD, 10 Jun 2013, 25 Dec 2014, 19 Jul 2016 and 27 Dec 2017)

Link to original reviewHere, Here and Here

Brief Synopsis – A businessman trying to get home for Thanksgiving ends up traveling with a traveling salesman and everything that can go wrong on this journey does.

My Take on it – This is one of my favorite films because it is hilarious the whole way through.

The chemistry between John Candy and Steve Martin is superb and it’s hard to imagine anyone else in these roles.

They are able to play off one another so well and they make their journey quite memorable and hilarious for us the whole way through.

This is such a quotable film and many of the events that happen to the characters can be seen both from a funny perspective and also a sad and poignant one too.

The film’s runtime is slightly under 90 minutes and is perfect because nothing feels strained or missing.

There is a rumor that there exists a 3 hour version of this film in a vault somewhere and I would love to see it, but apparently ever since the death of John Hughes a few years back, that has become an impossibility.

Bottom Line – This John Hughes film works so well mainly due to its casting of Martin and Candy as the two leads. They work so well together and off each other which in turn makes their journey so memorable and hilarious for the viewer.  This film is so quotable and many of the things that happen to the characters are hilarious and sad at the same time. The runtime is perfect at slightly under 9o minutes which proves that short can also get the job done just as well because nothing feels at all stretched or extraneous.  I’d love to one day see the full 3 hour version which is floating around somewhere, but it’s also rumored that since Hughes’ death, that will probably never happen. Highly Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia –  No transportation company wanted to appear inept or deficient in any way, so crews had to rent twenty miles of train track and refurbish old railroad cars, construct a set that looked like an airline terminal, design a rent-a-car company logo and uniforms, and rent two hundred fifty cars for the infamous Rent-a-Car sequence. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (no change from original review)


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To see my reviews of Oscar Winning Performances check out this link

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Here is a link to my movie index A-Z

7 thoughts on “Genre Grandeur – Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987) – MovieRob (Encore Review 3)

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