Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987) Movie Meaning and Ending Explanation

Planes, Trains, And Automobiles is about a struggling filmmaker’s troubles finding a place for his movie in the crowded marketplace. In order to showcase his film in a proper manner, he enlists the help of two colleagues from his past.

One, a man of many talents who has seen better times and one who is an ex-junkie. Through humorous events, the film provides an insight into the comedian’s dysfunctional relationship with his daughter, the issue of racial discrimination and the plight of the working class.

All About Of Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987) Movie 

The Meaning of Movie

The movie provides a humorous look at the challenges faced by someone trying to get their film noticed and into theaters. In particular, it shines a light on the difficulties that can come from relationships with family members, those in positions of authority (such as bosses or co-workers) and those who are struggling financially. Ultimately, Planes, Trains & Automobiles shows us that despite our odds we can always find hope and happiness in our lives.

The Story Behind the Movie

The Story Behind the Movie

The movie was based on the experiences of screenwriter/director John Hughes. After struggling to find a distributor for his film, he enlisted the help of two friends – one who had experience in the advertising world and another who was an ex-junkie. Through humorous events in the film, Hughes provides a poignant look at relationships, racism and class inequality.

Hidden Meaning

Hidden Meaning

Despite its humorous elements, Planes, Trains & Automobiles is ultimately a movie about the power ofetermination and the ability to overcome obstacles. In particular, it tells the story of two friends – one who has lost his way and another who has found his purpose in life. By bonding over their shared challenges, they are able to help each other reach their full potential.

Ending of the Movie

Ending of the Movie

The film ends with the three friends driving home from a movie theater. Hughes offers a proud nod to his daughter in the backseat and tells her that she did an excellent job watching the movie by herself.

As they drive along, they reflect on all that has happened – including their shared experience of overcoming challenges. In the end, it is clear that no matter how hard things may seem at times, there is always hope for those who are willing to search for it.

Key Characters of the Movie

John Hughes

John Hughes

the screenwriter and director of Planes, Trains & Automobiles.

George Bailey

George Bailey

a white Collier County resident who is struggling to make ends meet.

Elaine Cunningham

Elaine Cunningham

George’s boss at the gas station where he works.

Pete Best

Pete Best

an old friend of John’s who helps him get his film distributed.

Paul Newman

Paul Newman

one of the stars of the film.

Important Events

-John Hughes writes and directs Planes, Trains & Automobiles.

-The movie is a box office success and critical darling.

-George Bailey’s struggles are one of the central themes of the film.

-Elaine Cunningham is George’s boss and also happens to be white.

-Pete Best is a friend of John Hughes and helps get the film distributed.

-Paul Newman stars in the movie as one of its main characters.

What Is the Message of the Movie?

The message of Planes, Trains & Automobiles is that despite our difficulties, we can all find hope and meaning in our lives. John Hughes’ films are often character-driven and focus on the importance of relationships. In Planes, trains & automobiles, he uses the story of George Bailey to explore the power of connection and friendship. Ultimately, it is these connections that help us overcome whatever challenges life may bring our way.

How Was the Movie Made?

Planes, trains & automobiles was written and directed by John Hughes. It was filmed in 1978 and stars Paul Newman as George Bailey, Elaine Cunningham as his boss at the gas station, and Pete Best as a friend of John’s.

Visual Effects

Visual Effects

Although the visual effects in Planes, trains & automobiles are not as advanced as they are today, they were nevertheless adequate for the time period in which the movie was made. For example, scenes featuring Newman’s character flying across town were probably done with digital models and CGI.

The Ending of the Movie Explained

In the end, it is revealed that Pete Best was actually John Hughes himself and that he faked his death in order to stay anonymous. He remains a powerful figure in the movie’s epilogue, as George Bailey continues to rely on him for support.

Was the Ending Satisfying?

Many viewers found the ending satisfying, as it answered many of the lingering questions posed by the movie. Others felt that it was too abrupt and unresolved.


Planes, Trains and Automobiles is the name of a 1987 comedy-drama film directed by Ron Howard. It was written by Walter Bernstein, based on an idea by both of them and A. E. Hotchner. The film features Steve Martin and John Candy in the lead roles, together with other supporting actors such as Richard Pryor, Annette Bening, Peter Falk, and Gilda Radner. It won Bowie’s first Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Picture and was nominated for a further four Golden Raspberry Awards: Worst Director (Howard), Worst Actor (Martin), Worst Supporting Actor (Candy) and Worst Screenplay (Bernstein).


1.How Did the Ending of Planes, Trains & Automobiles Come About?

Ans: The ending of Planes, Trains & Automobiles came about because the movie was running out of money. The producers had to find a way to end the movie in a way that would make sense and be satisfying for the audience.

They decided to have Steve Martin’s character return home and tell his story. This gave the movie an emotional ending that satisfied the audience.

2.Does This Movie Have a Happy Ending or Is It Sad and Depressing?

Ans: There is no right or wrong answer to this question, as people may have different opinions on the ending of the movie. However, if you are looking for a movie that is sad and depressing, then this may not be the right movie for you.

3.What Happened to Dels Wife in Planes, Trains and Automobiles?

Ans: The answer to this question is not clear as the movie does not give a clear indication. However, it can be assumed that Dels wife died in some manner.

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