‘Planes, Trains & Automobiles’ Blu-Ray SteelBook Review – Steve Martin & John Candy Comedy Remains A Holiday Classic

In New York the marketing executive Neal Page wants to travel home to Chicago for Thanksgiving. He has difficulties getting a taxi and his flight is cancelled. He meets in the airport the clumsy and talkative shower curtain ring salesman Del Griffith who has taken his cab and they travel side-by-side to Chicago. However the bad weather shuts down O’Hare Airport and they land at Wichita, Kansas. They both want to go to Chicago and they decide to travel together. Along their journey Neal changes his viewpoint about Del Griffith and his own behavior.

Planes, Trains & Automobiles was reviewed previously in the John Hughes 5-Movie Collection which you can read about here

Video Quality

The disc included in this package is identical to the previously-released Blu-Ray. The assessment of the video quality can be found here

Audio Quality

The disc included in this package is identical to the previously-released Blu-Ray. The assessment of the audio quality can be found here

Special Features

The main reason for this new release is to get the film in a sleek new Steelbook that is quite fetching in person. The front artwork is a depiction of Neal and Del leaning against a steel gate inside an airport, and the rear features a burning boarding pass. The interior sports a still photo of the two in their destroyed car. Photos of the Steelbook can be found at the end of this review.

  • Getting There Is Half The Fun – The Story of Planes, Trains and Automobiles: A 17-minute featurette in which John Hughes, Steve Martin, and John Candy speak to the press about the idea for the story, the casting of the film, the writing process of Hughes, the colorful language in the film, shooting the infamous bed scene and more. This is intercut with other interviews with talent such as Kevin Bacon and various crew members. Hughes has a very dry sense of humor that can be hilarious but quite awkward. 
  • John Hughes – Life Moves Pretty Fast
    • John Hughes – The Voice Of A Generation: A 28-minute piece in which a cadre of celebrities come together to speak on the one and only John Hughes. The participants discuss Hughes as a person, his writing style, his talent for creating memorable characters, the way in which he captures the truth of life and so much more that pays proper tribute to the man. 
    • Heartbreak and Triumph – The Legacy of John Hughes:  A 26-minute piece that further explores Hughes and his connection with his actors and the way in which they give life to them. This piece pays more attention to his talents as a director, the use of music in his films, difficulties that he weathered in the industry, his untimely death and more. These two pieces together create a piece that is essential for fans of these films. 
  • John Hughes For Adults: A four-minute piece that focuses more on Hughes’ work on more adult-oriented fare. This piece is culled from the interview session featured in the first supplement. 
  • A Tribute To John Candy: A three-minute featurette in which the cast and crew pay tribute to the late actor, his immense talent and his big heart. 
  • Deleted Scene – “Airplane Food”: A nearly four-minute scene not used in the film in which Del discusses his process of ordering special food on each airline. This is pretty hilarious and more than worth a watch. 
See also
'Suze' Review - A Reminder Of The Highs And Lows Of Being Human [SBIFF 2024]


Final Thoughts

Planes, Trains & Automobiles is one of the high points in the career of the great John Hughes which is saying something for such a comedic icon. The pairing of Steve Martin and John Candy is irresistible and results in some of the funniest moments either has ever delivered. Not only is the film an amazing comedy, it proves to be one of the better holidays films to watch around Thanksgiving with family. Paramount Home Entertainment has released the previously-available Blu-Ray in a new Steelbook packaging that is quite lovely. It would be even more lovely if the film had been granted a new 4K UHD Blu-Ray release, but the A/V presentation holds up as good with room for improvement. If you have yet to buy the film and love a Steelbook package, this is the best way to purchase the film at this time. Recommended 

Planes, Trains & Automobiles will be available to purchase on Limited Edition Blu-Ray Steelbook on November 23, 2021. 

Note: Images presented in this review are not reflective of the image quality of the Blu-Ray.

Disclaimer: Paramount Home Entertainment has supplied a copy of this disc free of charge for review purposes. All opinions in this review are the honest reactions of the author.

Notify of
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments