Tag Archives: John Hughes

Planes, Trains and Automobiles


Continuing the trend of quotable movies this week is the ultimate…Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987) starring Steve Martin and John Candy and written and directed by John Hughes. This would have to be one of John Hughes best movies, for me. John Hughes, in an interview on the ‘Those Aren’t Pillows’ DVD edition, said he was inspired to write the film’s story after an actual flight from New York to Chicago he was on was diverted to Wichita Kansas, thus taking him 5 days to get home. John Hughes wrote the first-draft of the screenplay in 3 days. His average writing time for a screenplay in those days was about 3-5 days with 20-some rewrites.steve-martin-planes

Upon receiving the script through his agent, Steve Martin was surprised to discover the script’s 145 page length, with a comedy typically aiming for 90 pages. When Martin met with John Hughes, he asked if the director had any intention of cutting the script. According to Martin, Hughes looked at Martin strangely and said “Cutting?”, making Martin realize the director had no intention of cutting the script. Steve Martin was convinced to join the production after favoring two scenes he had read from the script; the seat adjustment-scene in the car, and the F-word tirade at the car rental desk.steve-martin-trains

The film was also, reportedly, a favorite of John Candy’s. Interestingly, the car in the film that Steve and John drive was modeled after the Wagon Queen Family Truckster from National Lampoon’s Vacation (1983), which John Hughes wrote 4 years earlier and which also stars John Candy as the security guard at Wallyworld.

Here’s some really great dialogue from the movie:

Neal: Del… Why did you kiss my ear?
Del: Why are you holding my hand?
Neal: [frowns] Where’s your other hand?
Del: Between two pillows…
Neal: Those aren’t pillows!
[they both leap out of bed, screaming and shaking their hands in disgust]those-arent-pillows


Neal: You know everything is not an anecdote. You have to discriminate. You choose things that are funny or mildly amusing or interesting. You’re a miracle! Your stories have NONE of that. They’re not even amusing ACCIDENTALLY! “Honey, I’d like you to meet Del Griffith, he’s got some amusing anecodotes for you. Oh and here’s a gun so you can blow your brains out. You’ll thank me for it.” I could tolerate any insurance seminar. For days I could sit there and listen to them go on and on with a big smile on my face. They’d say, “How can you stand it?” I’d say, “‘Cause I’ve been with Del Griffith. I can take ANYTHING.” You know what they’d say? They’d say, “I know what you mean. The shower curtain ring guy. Woah.” It’s like going on a date with a Chatty Cathy doll. I expect you have a little string on your chest, you know, that I pull out and have to snap back. Except I wouldn’t pull it out and snap it back – you would. Agh! Agh! Agh! Agh! And by the way, you know, when you’re telling these little stories? Here’s a good idea – have a POINT. It makes it SO much more interesting for the listener!


Del: You play with your balls a lot.
Neal: I do NOT play with my balls.
Del: Larry Bird doesn’t do as much ball-handling in one night as you do in an hour!
Neal: Are you trying to start a fight?
Del: No. I’m simply stating a fact. That’s all. You fidget with your nuts a lot.
Neal: You know what’d make me happy?
Del: Another couple of balls, and an extra set of fingers?


Del: Simple. There’s no way on earth we’re going to get out of here tonight. We’d have more luck playing pickup sticks with our butt-cheeks than we will getting a flight out of here before daybreak.

Classic…just classic…thanksgiving

Happy Birthday!


Have you ever wondered who shared your birthday?  I was thinking about that today in fact.  It being my birthday and all.  Now being a twin, I share my birthday with my brother.  So I’m used to the concept.  But it’s always cool to see who else shares your same birthday.  I feel like there is a connection between me and them.  A bond that no one can break.  Who are my birthday buddies?  Here are a few of them.

February 18th Birthdays:

John Travolta


Who doesn’t know him?  When people ask me who I share my birthday with, I almost always respond with him.  Of course.  He’s a nice guy, that has done some great films.  Some of his best work is Saturday Night Fever, Grease, Urban Cowboy, Pulp Fiction, Get Shorty, Wild Hogs, and so much more.  But my favorite thing about him is, he married Kelly Preston.  Wow!  It takes a real man to keep a woman like her happy for over 25 years.  In Hollywood no less.  Way to go Travolta!

John Hughes

MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET, producer John Hughes, on set, 1994. TM and Copyright ©20th Century Fox Film Corp. All rights reserved.

Few film directors can say they helped to define a generation.  John Hughes is one of them.  He made some of the best and most memorable films from the 80’s.  Who doesn’t remember Mr. Mom, National Lampoon’s Vacation, Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Weird Science, Pretty in Pink, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, Planes Trains and Automobiles, Home Alone, as well as many, many more.  He will be missed!

Molly Ringwald

Molly Ringwald

She must have shared a few birthdays with one of her favorite writer/director’s, as her and John Hughes collaborated frequently.  Craft services could save a few pennies and make just one cake to cover both birthdays.  Some of her films are Sixteen Candles, The Breakfast Club, Pretty in Pink, The Pick-up Artist, and Betsy’s Wedding.   And she’s only two years older than me.

Matt Dillon


The only man on this list that I have actually met.  And I wasn’t disappointed.  He’s a very nice guy.  So, I’m happy to say that we share the same birthday.  He’s got quite the repertory as well with films such as: My Bodyguard, Little Darlings, The Outsiders, Rumble Fish, The Flamingo Kid, There’s Something About Mary, Crash, as well as many others.  Way to go Matt.  Keep up the good work.  Make us February 18ther’s proud!

George Kennedy


What can be said for the great George Kennedy.  Mr. Disaster Movie Man himself (I made that up).  He’s simply awesome.  And he’s done some of the best films of all time: Spartacus, McHale’s Navy, In Harm’s Way, The Dirty Dozen, Cool Hand Luke, Airport, Earthquake, The Naked Gun, and so much more.  My birthday buddies are looking pretty good.  Not too shabby.  Thanks George for rounding us out.

Here are a few other birthday buddies worth mentioning: Milos Forman (director of One Who Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest and Amadeus ), Cybill Shepherd (The Last Picture Show, Moonlighting), Jack Palance (City Slickers), Greta Scacchi (Presumed Innocent), and Dr. Dre (Rapper).

Happy Birthday!