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Into The Night (1985) is an American comedy/adventure motion picture directed by John Landis, and starring Jeff Goldblum and Michelle Pfeiffer. The film is notable for a large number of cameo appearances made by various filmmakers and directors, including Landis himself. The soundtrack features the songs 'In the Midnight Hour' and 'Lucille', performed by African-American blues guitarist B.B. King. While the picture was being filmed, Landis was still caught up in the controversy surrounding his previous release, Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983), during the filming of which an helicopter accident led to the deaths of Vic Morrow and two Asian child actors.


Upon discovering that his wife is having an affair, depressed insomniac Ed Okin (Jeff Goldblum) drives aimlessly around Los Angelesmarker; he ends up at the airport, where he is surprised by a beautiful jewel smuggler, Diana (Michelle Pfeiffer), who lands on his car and begs him to drive her away from four Iranian secret police agents who are chasing her. She persuades him to drive her to various locations, and he becomes embroiled in her predicament. After becoming increasingly exasperated with her demands, he discovers that Diana has smuggled priceless emeralds from the Shah of Iran's treasury into the country, and is being pursued by various assorted assailants, including the aforementioned SAVAK agents and a British hitman (David Bowie).

The couple's caper gets increasingly out of hand, until Diana is eventually taken hostage by the SAVAK thugs at the airport; here, Ed finally comes into his own, saving the day and curing his insomnia and acute boredom in the process.


Cameo Appearances

John Landis appears in the film himself as the mute member of the quartet of Iranian henchmen, alongside:

Critical reception

Into The Night has a rating of 38% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 21 critics' reviews, indicating a mixed critical reception. Vincent Canby in the New York Times wrote: "A little bit of Into The Night is funny, a lot of it is grotesque and all of it has the insidey manner of a movie made not for the rest of us but for moviemakers on the Bel Air circuit who watch each other's films in their own screening rooms." He reserved praise, however, for the performances of the two leading actors: "Mr. Goldblum does little except react to the outrages of others, which he manages with a good deal of comic poise. Miss Pfeiffer, last seen as Al Pacino's cocaine-zonked wife in Scarface, is so beautiful that one is apt not to notice that she has the potential for being a fine comedienne." Variety held a similar view, writing that the "film itself tries sometimes too hard for laughs and at other times strains for shock," while also praising the performance of Jeff Goldblum, "nonetheless enjoyable as he constantly tries to figure out just what he's doing in all of this."

Some critics saw the large number of cameo appearances by Landis's friends and colleagues as unnecessary and distracting. Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times wrote: "If I had been the agent for one of the stars, like Goldblum, Michelle Pfeiffer, Richard Farnsworth or Kathryn Harrold, I think I would have protested to the front office that Landis was engaging in cinematic auto-eroticism and that my clients were getting lost in the middle of the family reunion." Time Out wrote: "The casting of innumerable major film-makers in small roles seems an unnecessary bit of elbow-jogging, but David Bowie makes an excellent contribution as an English hit man, and the two leading players are excellent: Pfeiffer in particular takes the sort of glamorous yet preposterous part that generally defeats even the best actress and somehow contrives to make it credible every inch of the way."


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