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Most famous Thanksgiving movie to ever film at WNY

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Thanksgiving is fast approaching here in western New York (next Thursday). Seems like 2021 has passed in the blink of an eye, but soon the holiday season will be here.

One of the best things about the holidays is the countless Christmas movies that are coming back to television. It’s not just Christmas movies either. Thanksgiving movies are a thing too and in case you didn’t know, the most famous Thanksgiving movie of all time was filmed right here in western New York City.

In the 1980s, there was no filmmaker more famous than John Hughes. He is the man behind blockbuster movies such as Pretty in pink, Ferris Bueller’s day off, The breakfast club, and Sixteen candles.

One of his other famous films was Planes, Trains and Automobiles. The 1987 comedy classic stars Steve Martin and John Candy. It tells the story of a father trying to return from New York to Chicago the week before Thanksgiving, and his nightmarish journey through Central America with an unlikely companion who follows him.

The film was primarily shot in Batavia and South Dayton, with scenes shot along I-219 in western New York City. Other locations were used in Erie and Cattaruagus counties.

Extras were paid $ 50 for a 10 hour day. Many, including my dad, have stories of Candy in western New York while filming the movie.

Do you remember the scene in Stubbville, Kansas? It’s actually South Dayton. Director and screenwriter John Hughes wanted a place that looked like the Midwest, but snowier, which was ironic since it didn’t snow during filming, so a snow machine had to be used.

John Candy grew up in Toronto, so he knew the Buffalo area well before making the movie.

Planes, Trains & Automobiles is one of the funniest movies I’ve ever seen and judging by the reaction it has garnered over the years, I’m not the only one making this assessment. The ’80s comedies were so cited, and it’s near the top of the list.

Does anyone remember the filming of Planes, Trains and Automobiles in western New York?

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