Every year, millions of Americans travel across the country to reunite with their loved ones for Thanksgiving. And the chaos of the holiday season makes for a rather dreadful traveling schedule, as proven by the 1987 John Hughes comedy Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.
The film follows Neal Page, a man trying to make it back to Chicago to be with his family for the holiday feast. Along the way, he meets an annoying shower ring salesman — Del Griffith — and the two become travel companions.
The duo spend three days together and continuously face the obstacles of the holiday travel season. 34 years later, and we still come back to this comedic masterpiece every Thanksgiving.
Let's see what the cast has been up to since the movie first came out!
Steve Martin as Neal Page
The universally loved comedian Steve Martin gave it his all to portray the high-strung advertising executive Neal Page in Planes, Trains, & Automobiles. All Neal wants to do is make it home in time to be with his family on Thanksgiving.
Since then, Steve Martin has appeared in over 60 projects, the most recent being the critically acclaimed Hulu series Only Murders in the Building. Steve stars in the show alongside his close friend and frequent collaborator, Martin Short, in addition to the woman who can do it all, Selena Gomez.
John Candy as Del Griffith
The late actor perfectly encapsulates his character, Del Griffith. The good-hearted yet annoying shower curtain ring salesman does everything he can to help Neal get home for the holidays. Despite his optimism and positive attitude on life, he later reveals the heartbreaking secret of his wife’s passing and admits he has nowhere to go for Thanksgiving.
Unfortunately, John Candy passed away seven years after the film’s release on March 4, 1994. At the age of 43, he had a heart attack in his sleep. Before his death, he starred in productions like Uncle Buck, Home Alone, Wagons East, and Canadian Bacon.
Laila Robins as Susan Page
The actress made her feature film debut as Susan Page, Neal’s wife, in Planes, Trains, & Automobiles. Since then, Laila has landed many roles on the small screen, as well as in the 2015 British thriller film Eye in the Sky. Since 2019, she has starred in The Boys, The Equalizer, Dr. Death, and The Walking Dead.
Michael McKean as State Trooper
Michael McKean portrays the State Trooper who halts Neal and Del’s journey to Chicago. He pulls the pair over for driving on the highway in an unsafe vehicle with no roof, no outside mirror, no functioning gauges, and a melted speedometer. Since Planes, Trains, and Automobiles, the Saturday Night Live alum has appeared in numerous projects. His most recent include Better Call Saul, Good Omens, and the Rugrats reboot.
Kevin Bacon as Taxi Racer
A young Kevin Bacon makes a brief cameo as a man who races Neal for a taxi in New York City. Spoiler alert, he wins.
Prior to this project, Kevin had landed the role of Chicago teenager Ren McCormack in Footloose. As of recently, he stars in the Showtime series City on a Hill; his upcoming films include The Toxic Avenger and an untitled John Logan film, which he’s currently filming in Georgia.
Dylan Baker as Owen
Like Laila Robins, Dylan Baker also made his feature film debut in Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. He portrays Owen, a character the central pair meet en route to Chicago. Since the film, Dylan has managed to continue a pretty successful career. His latest projects include the Netflix film Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, as well as television shows like Hunters, Evil, and The Hot Zone: Anthrax.
Edie McClurg as Car Rental Agent
Edie McClurg appears in one of the best scenes in the entire movie. She plays a St. Louis car rental agent who claps back at Neal after he disrespects her in front of the other customers. Recently, Edie transitioned into voice acting with roles in Wreck-It Ralph, Frozen, and Zootopia. She also has an upcoming project titled Eyes Upon Waking.
Olivia Burnette as Marti Page
Olivia Burnette was just 6 years old when she began acting, and her first job happened to be Planes, Trains, and Automobiles. In the flick, Olivia portrays Neal's daughter, Marti, who desperately misses her father and hopes he makes it home in time for the holiday. Per her IMDb page, Olivia has 42 credits to her name, the most recent being the FX series Sons of Anarchy.
Matthew Lawrence as Neal Page Jr
Matthew Lawrence also made his feature film debut in the John Hughes holiday movie. Matthew plays Neal Page Jr., the son of our main protagonist. Like his sister, Neal Jr. hopes his dad will make it home for Thanksgiving. Though he's known for his roles in Mrs. Doubtfire, Boys Meets World, and Melissa & Joey, Matthew's latest projects include Hawaii Five-0 and the action film Money Plane.