Planes, Trains and Automobiles (1987)

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Paramount Pictures
Neal: What do you think the temperature is?
Del: … One.

Starring: John Candy as Del Griffith and Steve Martin as Neal Page, dir. John Hughes.

cinemagraph source: orbo-cinemagraphs
planes-trains-and-automobiles-cinematography
Cinematographer: Donald Peterman (Flashdance, Splash, Point Break)

Anecdote Time!

Back in the days of the dinosaurs when I attended high school (jks, it was probably like 2010), for drama class we were tasked with choosing a monologue from a play, film or TV show, memorize it, and present it to the class. After a total of ten minutes spent brainstorming, I knew I had to pick Steve Martin‘s brilliantly performed “You’re No Saint” scene from the 1987 classic, Planes Trains and Automobiles; a screenplay the late, great John Hughes wrote, of course.

I remember we were given quite awhile to prepare for it so the day eventually came when I had to stand in front of my class and recite this almost five minute monologue.

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Accurate Representation Of Myself During Class | MGM

I went up on the stage, took a deep breath and started, “… You’re No Saint…” (~3:38)

(I got an A, by the way)

The Monologue

“You’re no saint… You got a free cab, you got a free room, and someone who will listen to your boring stories. Didn’t you notice on the plane when you started talking, eventually, I started reading the vomit bag? Didn’t that give you some sort of a clue like, ‘hey, maybe this guy is not enjoying it?’ You know everything is not an anecdote. You have to discriminate. You choose things that are funny or mildly amusing or interesting. You’re a miracle! Your stories have NONE of that. They’re not even amusing ACCIDENTALLY!

‘Honey, I’d like you to meet Del Griffith, he’s got some amusing anecdotes for you. Oh and here’s a gun so you can blow your brains out. You’ll thank me for it.’ I could tolerate any insurance seminar. For days I could sit there and listen to them go on and on with a big smile on my face. They’d say, ‘How can you stand it?’ I’d say, ‘Cause I’ve been with Del Griffith. I can take ANYTHING.’ You know what they’d say? They’d say, ‘I know what you mean. The shower curtain ring guy. Woah.’

It’s like going on a date with a Chatty Cathy doll. I expect you have a little string on your chest, you know, that I pull out and have to snap back. Except I wouldn’t pull it out and snap it back – you would. Agh! Agh! Agh! Agh! And by the way, you know, when you’re telling these little stories? Here’s a good idea – have a POINT. It makes it SO much more interesting for the listener!”

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