Into the Sun (1992 film)

Into the Sun is a 1992 action comedy film involving a pilot and actor thrown into a dangerous situation. The film stars Michael Paré and Anthony Michael Hall.

Into the Sun
Into the Sun poster.jpg
Directed byFritz Kiersch
Written byJohn Brancato
Michael Ferris
Produced byKevin M. Kallberg
Oliver G. Hess
Jim Begg
Mark Amin
StarringMichael Paré
Anthony Michael Hall
Deborah Moore
CinematographySteve Grass
Edited byBarry Zetlin
Music byRandy Miller
Trimark Pictures
Distributed byTrimark Pictures
Release date
  • January 31, 1992 (1992-01-31) (U.S.)
Running time
101 minutes
CountryUnited States
Budget$7 million[1]


Paul "Shotgun" Watkins (Michael Paré) is an American pilot stationed in Sicily who patrols the Middle East. He is taken off his normal duties to orient Tom Slade (Anthony Michael Hall), a conceited actor about being a pilot in United States Air Force for an upcoming film role. Slade wants to "get the feeling" before he plays the part in a movie about fighter pilots. When shown fighter aircraft, Tom says dismissively: "F-14, F-16, whatever. I'm not good with numbers. I've got accountants for numbers." Paul is determined to show the cocky Hollywood actor that being a fighter pilot isn't as easy as Slade thinks it is. But after Slade, with no flying experience whatsoever excels during a flight simulator session, Paul begins to question the value of his own flying ability. In a subsequent scene where Paul accompanies Slade to an oxygen-deprivation chamber so that the actor can better understand the importance of maintaining composure at high altitudes, Slade appears unaffected while Paul, far more experienced in such an environment, eventually winds up becoming disoriented as has to have his oxygen mask placed on him by the simulation's proctor. Ultimately, Watkins takes Slade for a ride in an F-16 fighter and subjects him to extreme aerial maneuvers. Paul is gratified when the actor becomes disoriented and nearly vomits. Soon thereafter, having inadvertently crossed into the airspace of a hostile country, they are shot down and find themselves stranded behind enemy lines. Paul and Slade must then find a way to mend their differences and find a way back to safety.

The movie's title is used during one exchange where Slade is discussing the script with Paul. In the script, the pilot, facing a dire situation from which he will likely not make it back from, riffs in a John Wayne-ish accent that, upon being shot down and facing the prospect of a crash landing, says he has no problem with death and it's akin to "flying right into the sun." Paul thinks this bit of dialogue is not very realistic. When Slade asks Paul what he would say in such a dire situation, Paul responds, "Oh, I don't know. Maybe something like OH SH*T!"



Into the Sun began shooting March 12, 1991 with principal photography completed on April 25, 1991. Most of its aerial footage are taken from Iron Eagle movie stock (hence its Israeli Air Force camouflage, but USAF roundels). The filming in Israel provided the aerial sequences choreographed by Jim Gavin, whose earlier works include Blue Thunder.[2][N 1]


Film historian and reviewer Leonard Maltin noted that Into the Sun was very similar to scenario seen in The Hard Way (1991) starring Michael J. Fox and James Woods. The two films, however had a "change of milieu and budget. He summarized his appraisal as "aerial stunts aren't bad considering the threadbare production values, but it's only for those who'll try out anything that pops up on the video store shelves."[4]

Janet Maslin in her review for The New York Times, noted that the comedy elements dominated. "Mr. Hall, whose earlier performances (in films like "National Lampoon's Vacation" and "Sixteen Candles") have been much goofier, remains coolly funny and graduates to subtler forms of comedy with this role. ... Mr. Pare, who looks like a model and sounds like a wrier version of Sylvester Stallone, makes an appropriately staunch straight man. He and Deborah Maria Moore, as the pert major who attracts both Tom and Shotgun, give the film a decorative luster it might otherwise lack. Terry Kiser has some amusing moments as the loudmouth talent manager who, asked if the "star" and "sensation" who is his client can be described as "Tom Slade, the actor," pauses nervously. He thinks that may be going too far."[5]



  1. ^ The aircraft used for both the American and the enemy air forces were Israeli jets: single-seat F-16As, two-seat F-16Bs, and F-21/C-2 Kfirs simulating MiG-23s (the latter painted with imaginary national markings).[3]


  1. ^ "AFI|Catalog".
  2. ^ Thomas, Kevin " 'Iron Eagle': Middle-east rescue mission." The Los Angeles Times January 17, 1986. Retrieved: May 20, 2019.
  3. ^ "Iron Eagle trivia." IMDb. Retrieved: May 20, 2019.
  4. ^ Maltin 2006, p. 655.
  5. ^ Maslin, Janet. "Review/Film: Into the Sun (1992); Spoofing movie stars and a war." The New York Times, January 31, 1992.


  • Maltin, Leonard. Leonard Maltin's 2007 Movie Guide. New York: New American Library, 2006. ISBN 978-0-451-21916-9.

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