ST. LOUIS, Mo. – There is one movie that you may want to consider re-watching this Thanksgiving because St. Louis, and the annual pilgrimage we all make to reunite with family, are central to the story. John Hughes’ film Planes, Trains, and Automobiles starring Steve Martin and John Candy came out in 1987 and is timeless. If you’ve lived in the Midwest like me for your entire life you’ll recognize the highways, airports, and pitstops along the way. Plus, there’s a heartwarming twist at the end.
Steve Martin plays an advertising executive named Neal Page. He needs to return to Illinois from New York to spend Thanksgiving with his family. His flight is diverted to Wichita because of a snowstorm where he is forced to room with John Candy’s character. The rest of this buddy film is a romp through some familiar territory back to Chicago.
Their train breaks down near Jefferson City, Missouri where they get stranded in a field. They take a bus to St. Louis where Martin’s character loses it at St. Louis Lambert Airport. You won’t forget the frustrating car rental scene.
There are not many films that address turkey day. So, you may want to check this one out. Rotten Tomatoes ranks the film at 92% fresh and in the top five Thanksgiving movies of all time. But, it may not be for the whole family because it is rated R, for language. For instance, there is a notorious scene where a certain curse word is used 18 times in one minute.
So, where can you stream Planes, Trains, and Automobiles? It is on AMC, Paramount+ and PlutoTV. It is also available on other streaming services.