Neal Page is an advertising executive on a business trip in New York City trying to return to his family in Chicago for Thanksgiving. After a meeting ends without a decision, Neal attempts to hail a cab. Del Griffith, a traveling salesman who sells shower curtain rings, has unknowingly taken a taxi that Neal bought from an attorney. The two meet again at La Guardia Airport where they board a plane to O’Hare. Their plane is diverted to Wichita due to a blizzard in Chicago.
The pair resort to various means to try and reach Chicago, but one attempt after another is defeated. Forced to share a room in a cheap motel on the first night, Neal loses his temper with Del and lambastes him. In response, Del admits that he regards Neal as a cold cynic and says that despite how Neal feels, he likes himself and his wife and customers like him. Neal calms down and the two men go to sleep. During the night their cash is stolen by a burglar.
The following day they attempt to reach Chicago by train, but the locomotive breaks down, leaving the passengers stranded in a Missouri field. After reaching Jefferson City, Del sells his remaining shower curtain rings to buy bus tickets, but neglects to tell Neal that they are only valid to St. Louis. Upon arrival, Neal again offends Del over lunch and the two part ways.
Neal attempts to rent a car, but finds the space at the distant rental lot empty. After walking back to the airport terminal, Neal vents his anger at the rental agent to no avail. In desperation, he attempts to hail a taxi to Chicago, but insults the dispatcher, who then attacks Neal. Del arrives in time to rescue Neal with his own rental car. While driving, they find themselves arguing again.
Planes, Trains and Automobiles is a 1987 American comedy film written, produced and directed by John Hughes. The film stars Steve Martin as Neal Page, a high-strung marketing executive, who meets Del Griffith, played by John Candy, an eternally optimistic, outgoing, overly talkative, and clumsy shower curtain ring salesman. They share a three-day odyssey of misadventures trying to get Neal home to Chicago from New York City in time for Thanksgiving with his family.
Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)
Directed by: John Hughes
Starring: Steve Martin, John Candy, Laila Robins, Michael McKean, Dylan Baker, Carol Bruce, Olivia Burnette, Diana Douglas, Martin Ferrero, Susan Kellermann
Screenplay by: John Hughes
Production Design by: John W. Corso
Cinematography by: Donald Peterman
Film Editing by: Paul Hirsch
Costume Design by: April Ferry
Set Decoration by: Jane Bogart, Linda Spheeris
Art Direction by: Harold Michelson
Music by: Ira Newborn
Distributed by: Paramount Pictures
Release Date: November 25, 1987