Kenilworth home from “Planes, Trains & Automobiles” goes on the market
For $1.8 million, the Kenilworth home that Steve Martin's character in "Planes, Trains and Automobiles" tried 25 years ago to reach for Thanksgiving — while dogged by John Candy's character — can be yours. | Photo courtesy of Coldwell Banker North Shore
Updated: July 8, 2012 8:32AM
Normally, it’s painfully redundant to write about something that’s already been written about twice elsewhere.
But it’s not as bad when the principal person involved in the tale is totally unaware of the previous publicity.
Veteran North Shore Realtor Barbara Mawicke said Friday that she hadn’t known that one of the houses she’s handling has been the subject of two recent Internet stories. Apparently, not too many other people knew, either.
Together, both postings had resulted in zero inquiries into the property in question, she said.
The house at 230 Oxford Road, Kenilworth, is the home that Neal Page (Steve Martin) tries to get back to for 93 minutes of screen time in one of the few John Hughes movies about adults.
“It was so long ago, I don’t think very many people would have remembered it,” said Mawicke, though her Coldwell Banker North Shore webpage dutifully notes that the red brick Colonial was “Featured in (the) 1987 ‘Planes, Trains & Automobiles’ movie with Steve Martin & John Candy,” just in case anybody’s interested.
They may not be, since the house’s innards aren’t guaranteed to conjure up memories of the movie.
An old trivia column on the IMDb film website indicates that Hughes spent about $100,000 and five months building changes into the interior. Most, if not all, of those alterations are no longer present, a comparison of stills from the movie and pictures from Mawicke’s website indicate.
All the pictures can be seen on a recent “Hooked on Houses” website posting. Someone named “Julia” writes the site, but doesn’t further identify herself.
Julia has tabbed the house as her current third favorite movie house “on my blog right now,” after the Hamptons beach houses in “Something’s Gotta Give” and the “Revenue” TV series. Fourth is “the house with the blue shutters” from “The Notebook.”
Julia also posts about celebrities’ homes and exposes goofy pictures from real estate listings, like the one in which a large bear is seen waiting in the hall to greet potential buyers.
Mawicke listed the “Planes” house for $1.8 million eight weeks ago. Her own son John is the owner, and he’s selling it because he and his family have relocated to Hong Kong, she said.
He never cared about the house’s obscure fame.
“He bought the house because he liked it,” his mother said. It went for $1.4 million in 2009.
An Internet link to the “Hooked on Houses” posting can be found in a short story about the house on A.V. Club Chicago.
Over the phone, Mawicke listened to the last sentence of that piece: “The house has six bedrooms, three full and two half baths, a sunroom, and may actually be haunted by the ghost of John Candy.”
Mawicke immediately corrected the record, saying, “It actually has seven bedrooms.”
Ghosts, she didn’t seem concerned.
She backed down a moment later, remembering she’d decided not to claim the seventh bedroom on the listing.
She had to be prodded about Candy’s unauthorized residency. She said that appeared to be a joke, though she wasn’t sure.