Release dateFebruary 22, 1985 (1985-02-22) (U.S.) CastJeff Goldblum (Ed Okin), Michelle Pfeiffer (Diana), Stacey Pickren (Ellen Okin), Carmen Argenziano (Stan), Dan Aykroyd (Herb), David Cronenberg (Group Supervisor) Similar moviesAll Ladies Do It, Blackhat, Knock Knock, The Key, The Boy Next Door, The Voyeur
TaglineA dangerous romance
Into the Night is a 1985 American comedy-thriller film directed by John Landis, 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 "Into the Night", "In the Midnight Hour" and "Lucille", performed by B.B. King.
Upon discovering that his wife is having an affair, depressed insomniac Ed Okin (Jeff Goldblum) drives to LAX on his friend Herb's (Dan Aykroyd) suggestion. There 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 Iranians 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 agents of a criminal Iranian expatriate and a British hitman (David Bowie).
The couple's caper gets increasingly out of hand, until Diana is eventually taken hostage by the thugs at the airport; here, Ed shares his ennui with the man holding a gun to Diana's head. The man shoots himself instead. Taken to a motel room by federal agents, they are given a fortune in cash from one of Diana's wealthy friends via a federal agent. Diana showers and Ed finally sleeps. He wakes up after a full night's rest to an empty hotel room, with most of the money gone. However, when he leaves the room, Diana is waiting for him... with the money, a smile, and an offer of a ride.
Jeff Goldblum as Ed Okin
Michelle Pfeiffer as Diana
Dan Aykroyd as Herb
Bruce McGill as Charlie
David Bowie as Colin Morris
Richard Farnsworth as Jack Caper
Vera Miles as Joan Caper
Irene Papas as Shaheen Parvici
Clu Gulager as Federal Agent
Kathryn Harrold as Christie
Stacey Pickren as Ellen Okin
Art Evans as Jimmy
John Hostetter as Aerospace Engineer
John Landis appears in the film himself as the mute member of the quartet of Iranian henchmen, alongside:
Jack Arnold, director of science fiction films, including It Came from Outer Space (1953), as the man with the dog in the elevator.
Rick Baker, Academy Award-winning make-up artist on An American Werewolf in London (1981), as the drug dealer.
Paul Bartel, director of low-budget films, including Eating Raoul (1982), as Beverly Wilshire Hotel Doorman.
David Cronenberg, director of body horror films, including Shivers (1975) and Rabid (1977), as Ed's supervisor in the boardroom.
Jonathan Demme, who at the time had directed a number of lower-budget and exploitation films, as the thin federal agent with glasses.
Richard Franklin, Australian director of Roadgames (1981), as the aerospace engineer sitting next to Herb in the cafeteria.
Carl Gottlieb, who co-wrote Jaws (1975), as the large federal agent with moustache.
Amy Heckerling, director of Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982), as "Amy", the clumsy waitress.
Jim Henson, creator of The Muppets, as the man on the phone talking to 'Bernie'.
Colin Higgins, who wrote Harold and Maude (1971) and directed The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas (1982), as the actor in the hostage film.
Lawrence Kasdan, writer and director of Body Heat (1981), as the police detective who interrogates Bud.
Jonathan Lynn, co-writer of Yes, Minister, as the tailor who fits the SAVAK agents.
Paul Mazursky, director of Bob & Carol & Ted & Alice (1969) and An Unmarried Woman (1978) as Bud Herman, the beachhouse owner and accused drug dealer.
Carl Perkins, rockabilly musician and composer of 'Blue Suede Shoes', as Mr. Williams.
Daniel Petrie, director of A Raisin in the Sun (1961), as the director of the hostage film.
Dedee Pfeiffer, actress and sister of Michelle Pfeiffer, as the hooker.
Waldo Salt, Academy Award-winning screenwriter of Midnight Cowboy (1969) and Coming Home (1978), as the derelict who informs Ed of his car having been towed.
Don Siegel, director of Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956) and Dirty Harry (1971), as the man caught with a girl in the hotel bathroom.
Jake Steinfeld has a small role as "Larry," Jack Caper's bodyguard.
Roger Vadim, director of And God Created Woman (1956) and Barbarella (1968), as Monsieur Melville, the French kidnapper.
The film was greenlit by Sean Daniel, president of Universal; he was the executive who had championed Landis on National Lampoon's Animal House. Three weeks into the 60-day shoot, John Landis was ordered to stand trial for involuntary manslaughter arising out of the Twilight Zone shoot. Daniel told the press he thought Landis and his colleagues had been "unfairly sent to trial for what is obviously a human catastrophe, not a criminal act."
Into The Night has a rating of 41% on Rotten Tomatoes, based on 22 critics' reviews, indicating a generally 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."
Into The Night won the Special Jury Prize at the 1985 Festival du Film Policier de Cognac.
The score for Into the Night was written by Ira Newborn (tracks "Enter Shaheen" and "Century City Chase"). Newborn also composed two new songs for the film soundtrack, "Into the Night" and "My Lucille" (both performed by blues singer B.B. King) and also arranged the classic song "In the Midnight Hour". The vinyl edition of this soundtrack included two songs composed by Ira Newborn, which are not included on the film soundtrack: "Don't Make Me Sorry" (co-written by Joe Esposito), performed by Patti La Belle, and "Keep It Light" (co-written by Reginald "Sonny" Burke), performed by Thelma Houston. The official edition of the soundtrack also includes the songs "Let's Get It On", performed by Marvin Gaye, and "I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)", performed by The Four Tops, both of which appeared during the film. There is no CD issue of this soundtrack, but all songs performed by B.B. King on the film soundtrack are available on Classic B.B.King CD (from "The Universal Masters Collection").
On the vinyl edition there is a John Landis quote about the film soundtrack:
"Into the Night" (B.B. King)
"My Lucille" (B.B. King)
"In the Midnight Hour" (B.B. King)
"Enter Shaheen" (Ira Newborn)
"Century City Chase" (Ira Newborn)
"Don't Make Me Sorry" (Patti La Belle)
"Keep It Light" (Thelma Houston)
"Let's Get It On" (Marvin Gaye)
"I Can't Help Myself (Sugar Pie Honey Bunch)" (The Four Tops)