Pfeiffer, Quaid and the Film they Never Made: Into the Night Meets Innerspace

In preparation for my last post I took a trip back in time last week when I watched Innerspace and Into the Night as a double bill. Talk about a recipe for a fun few hours.These movies ooze the 80s from every pore. The hair, the clothes, the attitude, everything. Great atmosphere, good suspense, and early Pfeiffer.Innerspace stars Dennis Quaid as washed up, alcoholic aviator Tuck Pendleton, who is miniaturised in a scientific experiment and injected into the wrong man. A part-time supermarket clerk and full-time hypochondriac called Jack Putter, played by Martin Short. Meg Ryan plays Quaid’s love interest Lydia, who gets swept into the intrigue when she has to help Putter retrieve a stolen computer chip from the bad guys, before her ex-boyfriend’s oxygen supply runs out.If you look at Innerspace as a twisted kind of Dean Martin/Jerry Lewis movie, Into the Night provides a similar kind of screwball vibe, with a more than a hint of Hitchcock. Jeff Goldblum is a cuckolded aerospace engineer who suffers from chronic insomnia. Thanks to Michelle Pfeiffer, Goldblum has his feet swept out from under him and falls into a nightmarish L.A.world of smugglers, movie manquées, millionaires, trigger happy Arabs, and finally, a Ramada Inn.This is one of my favorites of all these double features. Into the Night and Innerspace are fabulous and they pair together so well. A big part of why people love directors Joe Dante and John Landis is the shared reverence for classic Hollywood that works its way into their films. Innerspace includes a Strangers On a Train reference and it feels like it absolutely has the right to be there.Dennis Quaid was perfect movie star casting for the role of Tuck Pendleton. He’s so charismatic that it’s easy to forget he spends most of his screen time alone. Martin Short’s comic timing is always impeccable and Meg jumps off the screen with a new kind of energy when she finally gets involved. She seems perfect for the role of ‘feisty reporter’, as if she’s just fallen right out of a film from the 30s.I had a great time watching these shenanigans unfold, and then passed the night dreaming of a re-cast Innerspace with Goldblum as Jack Putter and Pfeiffer as Quaid’s former flame. That’s no slight on Meg and Martin Short. I just had a hankering to see mid 80’s Michelle wearing Lydia Maxwell’s leather mini-skirt.

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