Five of our favorite Dennis Quaid movies
Dennis Quaid has been very busy lately — whether he is entertaining us on-screen in an array of iconic roles or serenading us on-stage as the frontman of Dennis Quaid & The Sharks — we have a lot to ask the acclaimed actor & singer-songwriter when he visits RFD-TV’s TalkShopLive!
In honor of his upcoming visit to our studios, we wanted to take a look back at his impressive resume of box office hits over the last three decades. From a loveable rom-com dad to an Air Force pilot-turned-astronaut to the President of the United States (two different ones!), it’s clear that Mr. Quaid is a great actor with an impressive range.
So, it was difficult to narrow down to just a few of our favorite Dennis Quaid movies:
“The Right Stuff” (1983)
In one of his first major film roles, Quaid plays real-life United States Air Force pilot-turned-astronaut Gordon “Gordo” Cooper in The Right Stuff, based on the 1979 Tom Wolfe book of the same name. This epic historical drama “bombed” at the box office, grossing $5 million less than the film’s $27 million budget. However, the film later achieved huge success in home movie rentals, achieved widespread critical acclaim, and was nominated for eight Academy Awards (winning four of them). The film was also selected for preservation by the Library of Congress U.S. National Film Registry in 2013 in honor of its historical and cultural significance.
Quaid has starred in several roles based on the lives of real people since this movie’s release, including his role as the notorious rock musician Jerry Lee Lewis in Great Balls of Fire! (1989), and two recent releases, playing the 40th President of the United States in Reagan, and Major League Baseball player Ricky Hill in The Hill (2023).
“The Big Easy” (1987)
One of Quaid’s other iconic roles of the 1980s was his portrayal of Detective Remy McSwain in this New Orleans-based romantic thriller. This film really has it all: crime, police corruption, romance, drama, a great soundtrack --- and not to mention Quaid at the helm (starring opposite Ellen Barkin) in a laid-back, funny role that allows him to showcase a full range of emotions.
Quaid was praised critically for his performance, as well, and received the Independent Spirit Award for Best Male Lead in 1988. The movie was also later adapted for television by USA Network in the mid-1990s.
“The Parent Trap” (1998)
One of Quaid’s most beloved characters hit screens in the late 1990s, playing Nicholas “Nick” Parker, the loveable dad and vineyard owner of Hallie and Annie (Lindsay Lohan) in the remake of the 1961 film, The Parent Trap -- which is also based on a 1940s German novel called Lisa and Lottie.
While most of the buzz around the film when it was released surrounded Lohan, who was chosen from among more than 1,500 young actresses for the role, many of the same fans of the film rewatch today and look past the hijinx to realize their greater appreciation for the romantic-comedy storyline shared between Quaid’s character and Annie and Hallie’s mother, Elizabeth “Liz” James (played by Natasha Richardson).
“Far From Heaven” (2002)
Quaid plays one of his most harrowing dramatic roles in the independent period drama, Far From Heaven, starring opposite Juliane Moore. The film tells the story of Cathy Whitaker (Moore), a 1950s housewife, living in wealthy suburban Connecticut as she sees her seemingly perfect life begin to fall apart when she discovers her husband, Frank Whittaker (Quaid), is carrying out elicit homosexual relationships behind her back. Once discovered, Frank agrees to sign up for conversion therapy, continues to struggle, and eventually turns to alcohol to cope.
The film also takes on tough topics, including racism, miscegenation, views on homosexuality, and escapism prevalent in the undercurrents of the period in which the film is set. The movie received a great deal of critical success, including Independent Spirit Award wins, multiple Academy Award nominations, and Golden Globe nominations including Quaid’s nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
“The Day After Tomorrow” (2004)
Another one of Quaid’s roles that has seen a big resurgence lately is his portrayal of Jack Hall, a paleoclimatologist raising flags in the end-of-the-world drama The Day After Tomorrow, which many people watched during the early days of the COVID-19 quarantine period. The film follows Hall (Quaid) as he journeys from Washington, D.C., to New York City in order to reach his son (played by Jake Gyllenhaal) during an intense, international storm that plunges the planet into a new Ice Age.
While the film, which is based on a sci-fi novel, was criticized for some scientific inaccuracies – it also achieved overwhelming mainstream success, becoming one of the top 10 highest-grossing films the year it was released.
“Out of the Box” by Dennis Quaid & The Sharks
When looking over the impressive career of Dennis Quaid, you cannot forget his work in music, too, as the frontman of Dennis Quaid & The Sharks! After 18 years of performing, and thousands of miles under their belt, the group has released their first full-length studio album, “Out Of The Box.”
“As far back as I can remember, music has always been a big part of my life,” Quaid says. “My third cousin was Gene Autry, the original Western movie singing cowboy. My grandmother played piano and sang songs from the ’20s, songs from her youth. My dad played piano and crooned like Bing Crosby and looked a little like Dean Martin.”
The release, which Quaid also co-produced, celebrates the best of “rock ’n’ roll and country-soul,” or as Quaid calls it, “a junkyard of American music,” with a mix of great original songs as well as some classic rock covers.
Quaid is also releasing a new gospel record, “Fallen,” which he will discuss with us later this week on RFD-TV. So don’t miss it! Pre-order your signed copy now!
Premieres Wednesday, June 14, 2023
7 PM ET | 6 PM CT | 5 PM MT | 4 PM PT
RFD-TV is once again partnering with TalkShopLive for a special featuring Hollywood actor and musician Dennis Quaid, who will be talking about his new Gospel record, “Fallen.”