Film: Into the Night

Under-rated 1985 comedy-thriller directed by John Landis, and starring Michelle Pfeiffer and Jeff Goldblum.

Briefly, Ed Okin is an insomniac aerospace engineer (Goldblum) who encounters an Iranian smuggler's girlfriend/mule Diana (Pfeiffer), at LAX, inadvertently rescuing her from her fiancÚ's homicidal crime family and getting drawn into a complicated jewel heist plot.

Has examples of:

  • Action Survivor: Ed. He begins the film a poor schnook who gets dragged into a criminal conspiracy he's way unprepared for. By the end of the film, he's encountered three different flavors of organized crime, the Iranian secret police, CIA and FBI agents, and even Elvis impersonators, and is no longer phased by anything.
    Ed Okin: (facing down an Iranian assassin) "This is ridiculous. You... You're a big shot, huh? You got a gun. Now what, shithead? You. Huh? Maniac...." (pauses and takes a deep breath) "Let me ask you something. Maybe you can help me. What's wrong with my life? Why is my wife sleeping with someone else? Why can't I sleep?"
  • The Alleged Car: Ed's doesn't like to start.
  • Aluminum Christmas Trees: The "Go see Cal" commercial playing in the background at one point with a man riding a hippo is a real automotive dealership, and a real commercial. Cal Worthington "And his 'dog' spot" (which was always some different strange animal) were ubiquitous in the Los Angeles area. The dealerships still exist, but Cal died in September 2013.
  • And Starring: "and David Bowie as Colin Morris"
  • Asleep for Days Ed, at the end, for two days - and awakening in the same position with hands behind the head and his elbows up and not a bit stiff!
  • Berserk Button: The SAVAK agents are touchy. It ends badly for the parrot.
  • Elvis Impersonator: Diana's brother Charlie is a big time Elvis fan (and an impersonator). She goes to him for help, and he throws her out of his house.
    Diana: Elvis wouldn't do this! And I knew him!
    Charlie: You didn't know him. You may have fucked him, but you didn't know him!
  • Farce: Ed is waiting for Diana on a TV show set and he leans against a rock which breaks, and tries to use a payphone only to discover it's a prop.
  • Fanservice Extra: Girls are shown nude three times in this film and none of them are really important to the plot.
  • Femme Fatale: Diana is between this and Damsel in Distress. Slightly subverted in that she knows full well she's a "bad guy" but doesn't want to hurt Ed.
  • Good Scars, Evil Scars: The SAVAK agent played by Landis has an impressive set of Evil Scars, including a large one on his throat (which is apparently to explain why he's The Speechless).
  • Indy Ploy: From the moment Ed and Diana meet, the film is one long series of Indy Ploys devised by the two of them.
  • The Insomniac: Ed's insomnia is what gets the plot going.
  • Knife Fight: Colin Morris gets into a such struggle, and it kills him offscreen.
  • MacGuffin: Six perfect emeralds from the crown jewels of Iran.
  • Manic Pixie Dream Girl: As an Unbuilt Trope at the time, Diana has elements of this, but while she certainly does shake up Ed's humdrum life, Ed spends a lot of the first half of the film just wanting to go home now and forget abou her.
  • Modesty Bedsheet: in the opening Ed's wife is asleep nude in bed with the bedsheet conveniently covering her rear.
  • My Car Hates Me: Inverted. Insomniac Ed, who drove to the airport after finding his wife in flagrante delicto, has decided to go back home, but he can't get his car started. Enter Michelle Pfeiffer, being chased by Iranian diamond smugglers. She jumps into his car and tells him to go — and the car starts right up!
  • Need a Hand, or a Handjob?: Played with. Herb tells Ed that in Las Vegas there's a certain hooker who will do anything you ask for a certain price. Ed, who knows what he's talking about but isn't really interested, responds "Will she buy me a pony?" in Sarcasm Mode.
  • One Crazy Night: A madcap all-night adventure involving the CIA, the FBI, a pile of money, and the Iranian secret police, all because one guy couldn't sleep.
  • P.O.V. Cam: Used when Diana's friend Christy is being drowned by Shaheen's boys.
  • Slapstick: quite a bit of the comedy, especially involving the four Iranian hitmen. In fact, that's why Landis plays one of them - he found that he could more easily direct actors with little experience in this comedic tradition if he led by example.
  • Title Theme Tune: "Into the Night", during the opening credits.
  • There Is No Kill Like Overkill: During the climax, most of the bad guys get blown away, but the one played by John Landis seems to get a special sendoff. In an interview, he said "That's the way I'd want to go".
  • Token Romance: Averted. There is no romantic tension or subplot between Ed and Diana at all, leaving it up to the viewer if something happens after the movie ends.
  • Victoria's Secret Compartment: Though in this case it *does* refer to the, uh, other compartment.
  • Villains Out Shopping: Or rather getting suits in the middle of the night.
  • Vomit Discretion Shot: After picking her up in the parking lot, Diana asks Ed to pull over because she's sick, leading to this trope.
  • You Didn't See That: At the end a friend of Jack's dumps a HUGE load of cash on the bed for Ed and Diana from Jack. Ed says "Is this all ours?" The agent then fills his pockets with a few stacks and points out there's nothing Ed and Diana can do about what he just did.
  • Your Cheating Heart: The film starts with Ed discovering his wife is having an affair.