Planes, Trains & Automobiles

Visible crew/equipment: When Del is trying to negotiate for a room at the El Rancho motel, part of the boom mic pole enters in the upper right corner of the frame (matted widescreen version of the film, not just the open matte 4:3 version). (01:09:05)

Floyd1977

Continuity mistake: In the driving scene from St. Louis to Chicago, Del is having a hard time taking off his parka in the car. After he spins out of control his parka is half off when Neal says "It's getting hot in here, you should take your parka off." The next shot you see them driving away and Del's parka is on again. (00:33:15)

Continuity mistake: At the beginning, when Neil is racing Kevin Bacon for the taxi, he trips over the trunk and falls into the street, nearly being run over by a BMW. The car honks and pulls away. When the shot switches to show Kevin Bacon getting in the taxi, the car that almost hit Neil is now an Oldsmobile. (00:03:50)

Continuity mistake: When Dell and Neal are sitting on the side of the highway in downstate Illinois, the sign says "Chicago 102" in one scene and "Chicago 100" in another.

Revealing mistake: When Steve Martin first calls home to tell his wife that the flight is delayed we see a lovely, cozy picture of the Page family enjoying a delicious, home cooked meal. However, in the shot where the kids are all sitting at the table the youngest child (back to camera) is being carefully 'watched' by a woman who is sitting on the floor next to his chair. I presume it is the actor's mother making sure that her little baby doesn't fall off the chair...

Factual error: At the very beginning of the film during the boardroom scene, Steve Martin checks his plane ticket. Departure time on ticket from NYC is 6:00pm. Arrival time to Chicago is 6:45pm. Travel time from NYC to Chicago is approximately 2.5 hours. Arrival time after time zone change should be approx. 7:25pm, not 6:45 pm. (01:31:25)

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Suggested correction: Unsure about plane travel time in the 80s. But it currently takes 90 min to travel from DC to Chicago, and the airlines usually add a buffer. So this trip would most likely arrive at 6:30 CST, and a 15 min buffer time would still be reasonable (6:45 pm). For example, my plane tickets usually say estimated flight time of 1:45 or 2 hrs, but when the air currents are normal, it takes 90 min. DC is slightly further south than Chicago, while NYC is slightly further north.

Visible crew/equipment: When Neil is looking for the car he hired in the car park, there is a tracking shot from Neil's POV moving along the backs of the cars. On the car in space V-2 you see the reflection of the camera on the dolly and some crew members moving.

Jack Vaughan

Continuity mistake: Right after the close call going the wrong direction on the freeway and Steve Marting pulls his fingers out of the car's dashboard. The following shots show John Candy releases his grip of the steering. The top of the steering wheel has been completely push forward. All remaining shots of the car show the steering wheel in perfect alignment.

Continuity mistake: After the train breaks down, the scene apparently takes place in the late afternoon. The sun angle is low in the shots where Del is hauling his trunk across the field. We then see a wide shot and the sun is higher in the sky.

manthabeat Premium member

Continuity mistake: After leaving the El Rancho hotel. (when pulled over by the state police) Neil seams to find some new clothes, including a too small hunting hat, and scarf. On the walk home, Neil is carrying a large suit case, instead of his garment bag and brief case.

Continuity mistake: Neil returns to the station where he left Del at the end. As he gets off the train and goes into the station, it's not the same station he was at earlier. The background outside shows houses and trees. Where did the buildings of Chicago go?

manthabeat Premium member

Revealing mistake: When they are sitting in the bus station in Jefferson City - and then the next scene is the somewhat "speeded up" shot of the kid running up and down the aisles of the bus (before the "take a picture, it'll last longer" scene) - as the kid is running up and down the aisle, watch the woman in the front left seat. The handheld windmill that the kid is running with hits her in the head and her eyes "pop open" as to be surprised by the hit.

ckbyers

Factual error: In Wichita, when Del and Neal are getting picked up by Owen at the Braidwood Inn, there is a mountain right behind Owen. There are no mountains in Kansas.

Other mistake: When Neal checks his airline ticket it says he departs from N.Y.C. J.F.K. but the movie claims to have him flying out of LaGuardia.

Continuity mistake: When Neil is chasing the cab after Del stole it, the bags he is carrying change hands in different shots.

Continuity mistake: When Neal is racing Kevin Bacon for the taxi, he gets close to the cab and all lanes of traffic are at a standstill. Seconds later when he trips over the trunk, the lane he falls into is empty and a car has to brake hard to avoid hitting him, indicating it was travelling at speed already.

Plot hole: After the car burns, and they arrive at the motel, Neal only has $17.00 on him and nothing but melted credit cards, forcing him to give up his watch to help pay for the room. Del only has $2.00 but his watch doesn't quite flip the bill. At this point, between Neal and Del, they only have $2.00. However, when Neal invites Del into the room, so he doesn't freeze to death, they are eating Doritos and drinking shooters. Even in 1987 Doritos and a bunch of shooters must have cost more than $2.00. This is assuming Del didn't already have them in his trunk. But even if he did, at the end, Neal gets on his train, makes a return trip to find Del just where he thought he'd be, and then they'd both have to get back onto that train. After all, they both showed up at Neal's home. Once again, It would take money to get on that train. Four train fares with only $2.00. Neal's first trip, return trip, and Neal with Del for the last trip = four fares.

DrLoomis1978

Factual error: In the scene at the Braidwood Inn, after Neal shakes Owen's hand and the shot is of Owen with the freeway in the background, you can see a Jays Potato Chips truck drive past. The inn is supposedly near Wichita, Kansas. Jays Potato Chips were not sold west of the Mississippi at the time.

bogiehead

Continuity mistake: When Neal and Del are waiting for Owen in the Braidwood parking lot, a couple of the cars change type and position between the overhead shot when Neal says "Just get me to the train station" and when we see Owen's truck pulling up. There was not enough time between shots for any cars to have moved.

Del: You could kill a man like that, hitting him in the stomach. That's how Houdini died you know.

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Trivia: When Neal's wife is watching TV in bed, she is impossibly viewing the John Hughes film "She's Having a Baby," which didn't even premier in theaters until February of 1988, three months after "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" premiered in November 1987. John Hughes (who directed both films) used his own unreleased "She's Having A Baby" footage/soundtrack and a cameo by Kevin Bacon as teasers for the upcoming 1988 film. There's still some speculation that the plots of the two films actually intersect, and that Kevin Bacon (who is credited as the Taxi-Racer in "Planes, Trains and Automobiles") was playing his character, Jake, from "She's Having a Baby."

Charles Austin Miller

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Question: What is the "discount credit card" that Del uses when checking-in at the motel? While Neal is paying, it looks like the staff switches his card for Neal's (Diner's Club), that Del later uses to pay for his car rental. However in the morning, once they realize they got robbed of their cash, Del says that he does not have any credit card (other than a Seven outlet one).

AnthonyA

Chosen answer: In the film it was called "Oversighters Discount Club". It did have a similar logo as the Diner's Club logo (with an "O" instead of the "CD" design). However, this isn't a real life credit card or company. Although there are "discount" cards, usually through an employer, where various companies agree to give discounts if one uses that discount card.

Bishop73

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