Planes, Trains And Automobiles
Very few directors have ever been able to inject a comedy with such a deft balance of laughs and heart in the way Hughes did so effortlessly, a skill displayed to its fullest effect in this Thanksgiving road trip film with Steve Martin and John Candy.
Martin plays Neal Page, an advertising executive desperately trying to make it from New York City back home to Chicago in time to spend Thanksgiving with his family. He gains an annoying (and slovenly), unwanted travel companion in Del Griffith (Candy), a travelling salesman who seems to inadvertently ensure that everything disastrous that can happen will happen. Their travels quickly become a comedy of errors as they have flights canceled, trains break down and even cars burst into flame in the middle of nowhere.
It's hilarious to watch as things quickly go from bad to worse, but what really makes “PT&A” one of the best road trip movies ever made is in watching Martin and Candy play off each other. It's a classic mismatched pairing and clash of personalities, but these two are just so perfectly fitted to their roles that it becomes something special.
Candy in particular knocks it out of the park here and anyone who says the man was little more than a funny fat guy has clearly never paid attention to Del's motel and train station confessions. Del Griffith is one of the most lovable yet heartbreaking characters put in a comedy and it's all thanks to the heart of Hughes' writing and Candy's performance.
— Stewart Smith
Thanksgiving Turkey Melt
2 tablespoons butter, room temperature
4 thick slices of white bread
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
Several slices of leftover turkey
4 slices Swiss cheese
2 tablespoons leftover gravy
2 tablespoons leftover cranberry sauce
In a cast-iron skillet melt 1 tablespoon butter over low heat. Spread the other tablespoon of butter on one side of the bread. Turn the slices over and on two pieces of bread spread the mayonnaise and on the other two pieces the leftover cranberry sauce. Top the mayonnaise bread with turkey and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Top the turkey with some leftover stuffing and then the leftover gravy. Add the cheese slices and then top with the bread that was spread with the cranberry sauce. Using a spatula transfer the sandwich to the skillet. Raise the heat to medium and cook the bread until golden. Using the spatula carefully turn the sandwich and press it down into the skillet. Turn the heat to low and remove from the pan when the cheese is melted and the bottom bread slice is golden. Let the sandwich set for a minute before slicing or serving.
— Recipe by Christine Gardner