Among the actors best known for starring in some of the funniest comedy films ever made, a handful of them are known for bringing audiences as much laughter and tears, like John Candy. I say this because I’m revisiting the work of the two-time Emmy-winning star of the hit sketch comedy series, SCTV, reminds fans that he died at the age of 43 in 1994, while filming the movie East cars in Mexico.
Although it is sad that comic icon John Candy died so young and is no longer around to entertain us with his pristine talent, at least he still gave us plenty of reasons to keep laughing at the exceptional variety of hilarious movie classics in his filmography. The following are our picks for the best John Candy movies you can find right now on streaming, as a digital rental or purchase, or on physical media — starting with one of the best movies ever made over Thanksgiving.
Planes, trains and cars (1987)
In a desperate attempt to get to his family in Chicago in time for Thanksgiving, an uptight advertising executive (Steve Martin) is forced to become travel buddies with an obnoxious shower curtain ring salesman (John Candy) on a one-way ticket to disaster. .
Why It’s One Of John Candy’s Best: Among his many collaborations with writer and director John Hughes, arguably the most iconic of the bunch was when Candy was perfectly cast as the lovely obnoxious Del Griffith in Planes, trains and carswhich is also one of the best Steve Martin movies and arguably the ultimate comedy about a road trip from hell.
Uncle Buck (1989)
When a family crisis forces his brother and sister-in-law out of town, a carefree bachelor (John Candy) must care for his nieces and nephew (Macaulay Culkin) whose lives are turned upside down by his unconventional approach to parenting.
Why It’s One Of John Candy’s Best: Two years later Planes, trains and carsWriter and director John Hughes would team up again with Candy and cast him in the title role of the hilarious family comedy, Uncle Buckwhich, according to his daughter, was not much different from the actor’s real personality.
The Blues Brothers (1980)
After being released from prison, a musician (John Belushi) and his brother (co-writer Dan Aykroyd) strive to reunite their old band for a show in hopes of raising money to help the orphanage they grew up in. to rescue.
Why It’s One Of John Candy’s Best: John Candy worked with a wide variety of other comedic legends like himself, including former SNL stars Aykroyd and Belushi in director John Landis’ timeless musical comedy, The Blues Brothers, as Burton Mercer – a detective with a keen sense of humor, an appreciation for the blues and a thirst for Orange Whips.
Unhappy with the way their lives are progressing, a pair of immature men (Bill Murray and co-writer Harold Ramis) believe they can change their lives by enlisting in the U.S. military, ignorant of the harsh truths about the career they are. . in front of.
Why It’s One Of John Candy’s Best: Another SNL veteran John Candy worked with, Murray, when he played Ox — a guy who joins the military to “lose a few pounds” — is in the raunchy, politically incorrect favorite, Stripeswhich is also one of the best films of director Ivan Reitman.
Space Balls (1987)
A wimpy outlaw pilot (Bill Pullman) and his half-human, half-canine companion (John Candy) are tasked with saving a princess (Daphne Zuniga) from the clutches of an evil, helmeted tyrant (Rick Moranis).
Why It’s One Of John Candy’s Best: In addition to sharing the screen with SNL stars, Candy would often reunite with his SCTV co-stars such as Moranis, with whom he reunited in space balls — one of co-writer, director and star Mel Brooks’ biggest spoof films, focusing on the Star Wars movies, specifically.
Years after being rescued by a young mermaid as a boy, a New York City product manager (Tom Hanks) is suddenly reunited with the mythological aquatic beauty (Daryl Hannah) under similar circumstances and falls in love instantly.
Why It’s One Of John Candy’s Best: another guy SCTV vet who John Candy would reunite with on the big screen is future Schitt’s Creek star Eugene Levy, as in director Ron Howard’s funny, supernatural romantic comedy, Splashwhich is also one of the few times Candy has performed alongside future two-time Academy Award winner, Hanks.
Armed and Dangerous (1986)
A bumbling former cop (John Candy) and a disgraced lawyer (Eugene Levy) reluctantly take jobs as security guards and discover they had been hired as scapegoats for a warehouse robbery, inspiring them to team up against their shady bosses.
Why It’s One Of John Candy’s Best: A few years later SplashCandy and Levy would reunite and be in the spotlight as the unlikely heroes of Armed and Dangerous — a riotous and underrated action comedy from Candy’s Stripes co-star Harold Ramis actually co-wrote and helped produce, and also plays Meg Ryan.
Who is Harry Crumb? (1989)
The latest in a long line of successful private detectives and masters of disguise (John Candy) seems unable to live up to his family’s legacy, but manages to tackle a case involving a kidnapped young heiress .
Why It’s One Of John Candy’s Best: Another slightly underrated comedy in which Candy plays a bumbling cop unknowingly hired by the bad guy and appears next to a… SCTV vet (future) Freaks and Geeks cast member Joe Flaherty, in this case) is Who is Harry Crumb? – which was directed by SCTV writer Paul Flaherty and executive produced in part by Candy herself.
The Rescuers Down Under (1990)
Two mice (Bob Newhart, Eva Gabor) from a secret organization that specializes in retrieving those in need are tasked with traveling to Australia and teaming up with a local kangaroo agent to rescue a boy and a rare Golden Eagle safely back from a deadly poacher.
Why It’s One Of John Candy’s Best: Among his few notable voice acting roles, the one that John Candy is probably most famous for is when he lent his voice to one of the best animated sequels, The Saviors Down Underas Wilbur – an ambitious and friendly albatross whose brother, Orville, was the albatross featured in the original the rescuers from 1977.
Stream The Rescuers Down Under on Disney+ (opens in new tab).
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A prosecutor (Kevin Costner) suspects there is more to know about the assassination of President John F. Kennedy than the administration would like the American public to know.
Why It’s One Of John Candy’s Best: Of his few dramatic roles, which are arguably John Candy’s most underrated, but undeniably most transformative, his performance as shady New Orleans lawyer Dean Anderson in JFK — Oliver Stone’s controversial, conspiratorial and suspenseful courtroom drama.
Cool Running (1993)
After a devastating loss that costs him a spot in the Olympics, an ambitious athlete (Leon) enlists the help of a disgraced former athlete from America (John Candy) to guide him and his teammates through bobsleigh – a sport that was almost completely unheard of in Jamaica at the time.
Why It’s One Of John Candy’s Best: In a role where he uses both his dramatic and comedic talents wonderfully, Candy plays the initially reluctant coach of Jamaica’s first Olympic bobsleigh team in running cool — one of the best sports films of its time and based on an inspiring true story.
Canadian bacon (1995)
When the President of the United States (Alan Alda) begins to experience a slump in approval ratings, a political strategist (Kevin Pollack) convinces him that a good way to gain a good reputation with the American people is to get a Beginning the Cold War with Canada.
Why It’s One Of John Candy’s Best: In his last acting credit, released a year after his death, Canadian-born John Candy, ironically, plays an American who aspires to invade the Great White North after taking heat for criticizing his beer during into a hockey game Canadian bacon — a sensational political satire that could only have been written and directed by Academy Award-winning documentary filmmaker Michael Moore.
John Candy is still very much missed, but he lives on in the great movies above!