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Into the Night (1985)

How long can a night last (if you don't sleep)? — Written by JakeBlues on 26.06.2012


Into The Night, directed by John Landis in 1985, has a plot that's entirely developed in one single day, the night part being by far the center of the story.
Everything in fact, from the movie beginning to the end, happens during approximately 24 hours.
And, trust me on this if you still haven't seen the film, A LOT happens during those 24 hours… :)
Normally, when somebody reaches the end of a day and gets to bed, he spends the night sleeping, without nothing happening until the morning after.
The difference here is that the main movie character, Ed Okin (Jeff Goldblum) suffers from a severe case of insomnia.
His nights are therefore almost endless, as he cannot fall asleep.
His insomnia is the primary cause of all his troubles in the movie and this particular, crazy night will change his entire life forever.
Unexpectedly coming home from work one day because of his terrible status after another sleepless night, he happens to discover that his wife is cheating on him.
He is too tired to react aggressively, so he simply leaves home, the following night, starting to wander, driving around Los Angeles.
He'll end up at the airport, where he will have his first, daring meeting with the second main movie character: Diana (Michelle Pfeiffer).
She is exactly the opposite kind, her life is packed with action and thrill, as she is apparently trying to escape from some Middle East villains that are trying to kill her.
Ed almost casually saves her life, and since that moment the apparently unlikely, improbable couple is formed, and their story together is the center of this enjoyable comedy.
To make a long story short, after many adventures, ups and downs and hazards, Ed will be born again at the end of the movie: he will find the ability to finally sleep again and he'll have the possibility to turn his boring, useless life upside down.

Both Jeff Goldblum and Michell Pfeiffer were at the beginning of their career as actors when they starred in Into The Night, and both performances are great and surely contributed to turn them quickly to proper movie stars.

Jeff Goldblum is simply perfect as the perpetual insomniac!
His character goes through all the story with a constant sleepy attitude which is at the same time incredibly funny and totally convincing.
His reactions are always slow, he never gives the idea of fully understanding what's happening around him, and this compared to the frenzy of many action scenes is one of the most comical elements of the movie.

Michelle Pfeiffer is, first and foremost, gorgeous here.
She is 25 years old in Into The Night, her beauty and class are already very evident, her icon status already in full power.
She is also perfect portraying a young woman that is using her charm to get the best possible life, but that puts her in great trouble and danger as well.

The couple works just perfectly together, imho.

Then, there's John Landis unique direction.
Some scenes, for example the one on the movie set where Diana is working, are his trademark.
It is in fact never fully clear what is true and what is false, if a location is real or if it's a movie set: pure John Landis! :)
His supporting actor role as one of the villains is also great.
Another of his trademarks is being able to have other famous movie directors appearing as actors in his movies.
Into the night gets a lot of them: directors like David Cronenberg, Jonathan Demme, Lawrence Kasdan, Paul Mazursky, Don Siegel, Roger Vadim and many others all have cameo roles in the movie.

To me, though, the best cameo appearance in Into The Night comes from the great David Bowie, again portraying a vicious villain who almost kills Ed in a fantastic scene in the movie.

And, music wise, a final mention must be made on the original soundtrack of the movie.
Immense bluesman B.B. King, toghether with his famous guitar Lucille, are audible during many scenes of the film, and that heavenly music is, by itself, a good reason to watch (or watch again) Into The Night.
Another great comedy, from the classical John Landis golden age!

Jake Blues

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