Happy Thanksgiving Everyone From Del Griffith!
“Six bucks and my right nut says we’re not landing in Chicago.”
Yes, it’s the greatest Thanksgiving film of all time! How to begin? Oh, how about this way:
“Planes, Trains & Automobiles”
This is the late John Hughes’s masterpiece, and the single best film ever made about Thanksgiving. Steve Martin is terrific…and most importantly, it is John Candy’s greatest performance ever…the simple story of a man who just wants to get home in time to spend Thanksgiving with his family…
Check out the trailer:
Steve Martin plays Neal Page – who just wants to get this flight from New York to Chicago for Thanksgiving. What happens first? He gets sat next to Del Griffith…first of all, look at the book Del’s reading!
Del Griffith, Shower Curtain Ring Salesman and all-around blabbermouth, is never short of advice, conversation, bad jokes, or company.
So the first thing Page does is try to shut him down…
Neal: “Eh, look, I don’t want to be rude, but I’m not much of a conversationalist, and I really want to finish this article, a friend of mine wrote it, so…”
Del: “Don’t let me stand in your way, please don’t let me stand in your way. The last thing I want to be remembered as is an annoying blabbermouth… You know, nothing grinds my gears worse than some chowderhead that doesn’t know when to keep his big trap shut… If you catch me running off with my mouth, just give me a poke on the chubbs…”
Then Del sums up their flight quite succinctly:
Del: “Six bucks and my right nut says we’re not landing in Chicago.”
They are diverted to Wichita…and the comedy never lets up as the unlikely duo use trains, cars and a lot of fighting to try and get home…which lead to the classic moment when they are forced to share a room in a snowstorm…
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!”
There are so many great moments in this film, and so many repeatable lines – like when a car full of people scream to Del that “you’re going the wrong way!” Yes, as he’s driving the wrong way on the highway. What does Del say?
“Going the wrong way? How do they know where we’re going?”
John Candy has never been better: Del Griffith is a buffoon, but he’s also a truly warm and generous person – something that Steve Martin comes to realize in the course of their journey home for Thanksgiving.
This is a great movie – funny, touching, and uplifting…a great way to celebrate John Candy, and another example of Martin’s comedy genius…like this scene at the rental car counter:
The film ends with an uplifting message that celebrates our differences and the meaning of real friendship and compassion, with this great shot:
This is a Thanksgiving tradition for me, and John Candy is sorely missed…it also reminds me to celebrate Steve Martin a bit more as well…
Steve Martin’s great comedies run the gamut from “The Jerk” to the classic “Dirty Rotten Scoundrels”:
Here are some more Steve Martin classics now available on blu-ray, including some of his best TV moments:
Let me know if you want to hang out for Thanksgiving with Del!