There aren’t many truly great movies about Thanksgiving, but John Hughes’ ‘80s comedy Planes, Trains and Automobiles can be counted among them, if not right at the very top of the list. Viewing it at this time of year is an annual tradition for a lot of people, who have been taking to social media to celebrate their eternal affection for it.
The plot sees stressed marketing executive Neal (Steve Martin) attempt to travel home to Chicago for Thanksgiving after a fruitless business meeting in New York, only for a series of mishaps to result in him having to take a circuitous route using the various titular modes of transportation with talkative travelling salesman Del (John Candy), the pair bickering and eventually bonding during their chaotic journey.
Below you find just a small fraction of the declarations of love for the holiday classic that have cropped up this past week as tons of people have taken to rewatching it.
Planes Trains and Automobiles… one of the best films ever and always on on thanksgiving week
— Ralph Booth (@sotonroyal) November 21, 2020
Planes, Trains And Automobiles is the best Thanksgiving movie. There’s not even a close second.
— Coach Duggs (@CoachDuggs) November 25, 2020
I need to watch Planes, Trains and Automobiles around this time every year. John Candy and Steve Martin at their finest. pic.twitter.com/2DogUNCbEe
— Paul Barlow (@PaulNBarlow) November 26, 2020
It's Thanksgiving and I always watch Planes, Trains and Automobiles.
I miss John Candy.💔
— Jayne Marie Lake🌊🌊🌊 (@SOCALRE4U) November 23, 2020
Remember folks, it's the season to watch my all time favorite movie
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles pic.twitter.com/gfI9HKcZPn
— Johnny (@JohnnyAirGuitar) November 21, 2020
Just finished my traditional Thanksgiving viewing of Planes, Trains, And Automobiles. Can we talk about how brilliant John Candy is in this movie. pic.twitter.com/p8qIGaQ6aJ
— James (@Mrfurious32821) November 26, 2020
Watching Planes, Trains and Automobiles…it's one of my favorites…never gets old pic.twitter.com/uyxQYCYsLD
— Rach against the machine (@rachel_berc) November 27, 2020
Planes, Trains and Automobiles is the best thanksgiving movie. Fight me. pic.twitter.com/75LITBXukj
— Step Toilet 🚽 (@StephTolev) November 26, 2020
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles is the greatest Thanksgiving Day film of all time #ThoseArentPillows
— John Benedeck (@JohnBenedeck) November 27, 2020
Planes, Trains, and Automobiles is the greatest movie ever made.
— Richard Christy (@cwotd) November 26, 2020
As well as the outpouring of affection, a mini-documentary has pieced together how the film might have looked if the large amount of the stuff that was shot but went unused was restored, using the shooting script, stills and deleted material to point out where the cuts were made and how some moments have greater weight when linked to the removed events. In particular, it highlights a few poignant scenes that demonstrate how difficult the holiday can be for people who are lonely.
There are few examples of films that are just about perfect, but Planes, Trains and Automobiles might be one. It’s a comedy without an ounce of spite or malice that stars two legendary actors at the height of their power and fame and celebrates the sense of togetherness that the spirit of Thanksgiving has always been about, and is a movie that will forever remain a favorite for people who embrace its message.