Cast of Planes Trains and Automobiles

of Planes Trains and Automobiles

“Planes, Trains and Automobiles,” released in 1987, stands as a hallmark of comedy cinema, blending humor with heartfelt moments. Directed by John Hughes, the film captures the chaotic journey of two mismatched travelers striving to get home for Thanksgiving. This article delves into the talented cast that brought this iconic film to life.

Main Cast

Steve Martin stars as Neal Page, an uptight marketing executive desperate to return home to his family for Thanksgiving. Neal’s journey from frustration to understanding is central to the film’s emotional arc. Martin, known for his sharp wit and comedic timing, shines in this role, showcasing both his comedic and dramatic talents.

Before this film, Martin had already established himself with hits like “The Jerk” and “Roxanne,” and his performance in “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” further cemented his status as a versatile actor.

John Candy as Del Griffith

John Candy’s portrayal of Del Griffith, a well-meaning but irritating shower curtain ring salesman, is unforgettable. Del’s optimistic and friendly nature contrasts sharply with Neal’s irritability, creating a dynamic that drives the film’s humor and heart. Candy, beloved for his roles in “Splash” and “Uncle Buck,” delivers a performance that is both hilarious and deeply touching, highlighting his ability to bring depth to comedic characters.

Supporting Cast

The supporting cast of Planes, Trains and Automobiles plays a crucial role in enriching the film’s narrative, providing depth and adding humor to the story. While Steve Martin and John Candy headline the film, the ensemble cast contributes significantly to the film’s charm and success. Here, we delve into the roles and performances of the supporting cast of “Planes, Trains and Automobiles.”

Laila Robins as Susan Page

Cast of Planes Trains and Automobiles

Laila Robins portrays Susan Page, Neal’s caring and patient wife. Though her screen time is brief, her character is central to Neal’s motivation to get home. Susan represents the warmth and stability Neal desperately seeks amidst the chaos of his journey. Robins’ subtle and sincere performance adds emotional depth to the film, reminding audiences of the personal stakes behind Neal’s frantic travels.

Beyond her role in the cast of “Planes, Trains and Automobiles,” Laila Robins has enjoyed a distinguished career in both television and theater, with notable performances in shows like “The Blacklist” and “Homeland.”

Michael McKean as State Trooper

Michael McKean appears as a state trooper who encounters Neal and Del on the road. His brief but memorable role adds to the film’s humor, especially during a scene where the duo faces the consequences of their vehicular misadventures.

McKean’s ability to infuse authority with comedy enriches the narrative and provides a humorous yet realistic obstacle for the protagonists. Known for his versatile roles in “This Is Spinal Tap” and “Laverne & Shirley,” McKean’s contribution to the cast of “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” is a testament to his comedic talent.

Kevin Bacon as Taxi Racer

In a fun and unexpected cameo, Kevin Bacon appears as a fellow traveler racing Neal for a taxi. This early scene is pivotal in setting the tone for Neal’s subsequent frustrations and misadventures. At the time, Bacon was on the rise to stardom with roles in “Footloose” and “Quicksilver.” His brief appearance in the cast of “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” adds an element of surprise and delight for audiences familiar with his work.

Dylan Baker as Owen

Dylan Baker’s portrayal of Owen, a peculiar and slightly off-putting character who offers Neal and Del a ride, stands out as one of the film’s most quirky and memorable moments. Owen’s odd behavior and unique mannerisms contribute to the comedic tone of the film.

Baker’s talent for playing eccentric characters is evident in this role, making his performance a memorable part of the supporting cast of “Planes, Trains and Automobiles.” Baker later gained recognition for his roles in “Happiness” and “The Good Wife,” showcasing his versatility as an actor.

Edie McClurg as Car Rental Agent

Edie McClurg delivers one of the film’s most iconic scenes as a car rental agent who becomes the target of Neal’s frustration. Her cheerful demeanor contrasts perfectly with Neal’s mounting exasperation, highlighting McClurg’s comedic skills.

Known for her roles in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and “Back to School,” McClurg consistently excels in supporting comedic roles. Her performance in the cast of “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” is a standout moment that continues to be remembered fondly by fans of the film.

Cameo Appearances

In a brief yet entertaining cameo, Kevin Bacon appears as a fellow traveler racing Neal for a taxi. This early scene sets the tone for Neal’s subsequent struggles. At the time, Bacon was rising to fame with roles in “Footloose” and “Quicksilver,” and his cameo here adds an extra layer of fun for fans.

Dylan Baker as Owen

Dylan Baker’s portrayal of Owen, a peculiar and slightly off-putting character who offers Neal and Del a ride, is both quirky and memorable. Baker’s talent for playing eccentric characters shines through in this small but impactful role. He later gained recognition for his roles in “Happiness” and “The Good Wife.”

Edie McClurg as Car Rental Agent

Edie McClurg delivers one of the film’s most memorable scenes as a car rental agent who bears the brunt of Neal’s frustration. Her cheerful demeanor contrasts perfectly with Neal’s meltdown, showcasing McClurg’s comedic skills. Known for her roles in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and “Back to School,” McClurg consistently excels in supporting comedic roles.

Director and Crew Contributions

John Hughes

John Hughes’ vision for “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” was to create a comedy that resonated on an emotional level. Known for his work on “The Breakfast Club” and “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off,” Hughes expertly balanced humor with heartfelt moments in this film. His direction brought out the best in his cast, creating a timeless classic.

Producers and Crew

The producers and crew played a significant role in the film’s success. Their collaboration ensured a seamless blend of humor and pathos, capturing the essence of the story. The synergy between the cast and crew created an environment where the actors could deliver their best performances, contributing to the film’s lasting appeal.

Legacy and Impact of the Cast

Planes Trains and Automobiles

The performances in “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” were well-received by both critics and audiences, with particular praise for Martin and Candy’s chemistry. The film’s success bolstered the careers of its main cast members and remains a high point in their filmographies. Its influence can be seen in numerous comedy films and TV shows that followed, often paying homage to its unique blend of humor and heart.

Behind-the-Scenes Stories

The camaraderie between the cast members, particularly Martin and Candy, is evident in the film’s dynamic. Anecdotes from the set reveal a friendly and collaborative atmosphere, with the actors often improvising and contributing to the film’s humor.

These behind-the-scenes stories highlight the genuine connection between the cast, adding depth to their on-screen performances.

The cast of “Planes, Trains and Automobiles” played a pivotal role in making it a beloved comedy classic. Steve Martin and John Candy’s unforgettable performances, supported by a talented ensemble cast, brought the film’s characters to life in a way that continues to resonate with audiences.

The legacy of this film and its cast endures, reminding us of the enduring appeal of well-crafted comedy and heartfelt storytelling.

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