One of the most celebrated comedy films of not just the 1980s but of all time, John Hughes’ legendary Planes, Trains and Automobiles makes its’ long-awaited 4K UHD debut this November just in time for Christmas. Yes, it’s a Thanksgiving film, but it still confidently fits right into the festive schedule alongside National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation and other classics of the era.
The definitive odd-couple buddy comedy, the film sees Steve Martin’s workaholic Neal cross paths with happy-go-lucky salesman Del (John Candy) and embark on a doomed journey across the US to get home in time for Thanksgiving.
Absolutely packed with heart and timeless gags, the film remains a flawless comic delight. Martin and Candy were never better than they are here, and their on-screen chemistry is unmatched – and if you’re able to get through the film’s final ten minutes without balling uncontrollably, I’m pretty sure you have absolutely no soul.
Paramount’s new 4K restoration is something of a mixed bag. While it is considerably stronger than the Blu-ray (which was never particularly good), this is hardly reference quality. DNR – those three powerful letters than send shivers down the spine of any purist – has been applied rather heavily in places, and the whole thing appears rather lifeless and drab. HDR application is negligible, too, so there’s really no saving grace in the visuals here. This is a very dated master that the 4K format has come waaaay beyond, and it’s a real shame to see this classic treated this way.
But the real Holy Grail of this release is the long sought-after deleted/extended scenes that were thought lost until they were recently rediscovered and restored(ish) from the John Hughes archive. There’s a lot of gold here, and it’s an absolute dream come true to finally be able to experience these until-now mythical deleted scenes. While it’s clear why some of them didn’t make the final cut, they’re a fascinating addition to the disc that more than make up for the 4K restoration of the film itself.
While the 4K image is a big disappointment, the inclusion of the above deleted footage and the strength of the film itself makes this an absolute must-own. Planes, Trains and Automobiles remains a definitive comedy masterpiece.
Those aren’t pillows…
MAKING ITS DEBUT ON NOVEMBER 21 2022, JOHN HUGHES’ COMEDY CLASSIC LANDS ON 4K ULTRA HD™ AND 4K ULTRA HD™ ZAVVI EXCLUSIVE STEELBOOK® WITH OVER AN HOUR OF PREVIOUSLY UNRELEASED FILM FOOTAGE