You recognize what lock say around the apple no falling far from the tree? Well, that was definitely the instance with Dennis Quaid, that forged his very own path in Hollywood ~ his older brother, Randy Quaid, had found success as an actor (which is pretty easy to do when your very first film is 1971 Oscar juggernaut "The Last snapshot Show"). Today, Randy has actually slowed down acting to address a myriad of legitimate issues, but his younger brother"s star keeps shining.

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Like his brother, Quaid began acting in his early 20s, yet it take it him a little bit longer to arrive, settling because that TV movies and also "Baretta" guest appearances before breaking v in the 1979 Oscar-winning teenager drama "Breaking Away." through his all-American an excellent looks and easy charm, Quaid was a born movie star, together he would certainly prove time and also again end the next 4 decades.

Despite his an extensive career, Quaid has actually yet to earn a single Oscar nomination. Not that the hasn"t come close, most famously with his acclaimed occupational in Todd Haynes" 2002 drama "Far native Heaven," for which the received golden Globe and also SAG Awards bids, and also victories at the elevation Spirits, Chicago, and brand-new York Film movie critics Circle Awards. That won an additional Indie soul prize in 1987 as finest Actor because that "The large Easy," as well together a death Ensemble award because that Steven Soderbergh"s 2000 film "Traffic." His uncanny portrayal of invoice Clinton in 2010"s HBO movie "The one-of-a-kind Relationship" brought him additional gold Globe, Emmy and SAG bids.


After every these year in the business, how plenty of of Dennis Quaid"s films can be taken into consideration classics? and also how numerous of those standards have friend seen? Here"s a look back at Quaid"s 16 best film, ranked in order native worst come best.


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Buena Vista Pictures
If you think you"re having actually a poor day, talk to Professor Dexter Cornell (Quaid), due to the fact that he"s got you beat. Together "D.O.A." opens, the staggers into a police terminal to report a murder. The victim: him!

Let"s back up a bit: Someone has actually injected him v a radioactive poison that will certainly kill the in 24 hours. That enlists the student (Meg Ryan) he invested the vault night with to help track down his murderer prior to it"s too late. The only problem, is anyone is a suspect. 


Was that the distraught student (Robert Knepper) who committed self-destruction the work before? Or was it his estranged wife (Jane Kaczmarek)? It could even be the secret widow (Charlotte Rampling) with ties come the dead student.

A remake of a 1949 Edmund O"Brien thriller, D.O.A. Is an unabashed love letter to movie noir, and Quaid to be the perfect everyman because that this old fashioned endeavor. Ryan was his perfect match, placing a sweet-faced twisted on the femme fatale. This to be the 2nd film the 2 made together, and it to be on this collection that they fell in love, gaining married in 1991 (and then divorced in 2001).


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TriStar Pictures
Quaid rejoined with "Breaking Away" manager Peter Yates because that this crackerjack legit thriller that"s together pulpy as they come. It"s a cross between John Grisham and Agatha Christie, with a little social awareness thrown in for great measure.


The premise: Cher dram Kathleen Riley, a publicly defender representing a homeless, deaf, mute Vietnam veteran (Liam Neeson) accused of killing a Justice department clerk. Quaid is Eddie Sanger, a Capitol Hill lobbyist serving on the jury. Eddie and Kathleen team as much as investigate the murder, and eventually they loss in love. Your partnership — i beg your pardon is unethical, come say the the very least — uncovers a large D.C. Conspiracy that runs deeper 보다 the killing of one innocent paper clerk.

The ending doesn"t quite stick the landing (as i get it Ebert mentioned in his lukewarm review), but everything leading up to it is entertaining as hell. There"s a genuine chemistry between Quaid and Cher that is riveting, also when the script by Oscar-winner Eric Roth ("Forrest Gump") takes some wild not correct turns.


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20th Century Fox
Having dramatized the early days that the room race in "The ideal Stuff," the seems only fitting that Quaid would certainly next shot his hand in ~ the space wars. Unfortunately, "Enemy Mine" was no "Star Wars," failing to recoup that is massive spending plan at the box office. It"s due to the fact that gained a cult following, however, that enjoys it because that being a uniquely interpersonal sci-fi flick.


Set in the late 21st century, it comes to a galactic fight between humans and also a race of reptilian aliens known as Dracs. Pilot Willis E. Davidge (Quaid) is a rabid anti-Dracser that gets stranded top top a remote world after a spacecraft dogfight with the extraterrestrial Jeriba Shigan (Louis Gossett Jr., in heavy makeup). Together the years pass, the two find out to collection their differences aside and work with each other to survive.

Credit to manager Wolfgang Petersen for trying to do an antiwar drama in the guise that a sci-fi blockbuster. Much more credit to Quaid and also Gossett Jr for carrying the weight of the drama on their shoulders (and in which method doing it with a straight face).


*
Orion Pictures
If you"re spring for specific biopic of rock "n" role legend Jerry Lee Lewis, look elsewhere. "Great Balls the Fire" omits or glosses end the an ext controversial aspects of the singer"s past, romanticizing a life the was fill with bad decisions. However it"s precious seeing because that Quaid, who without doubt took the duty in a play because that Oscar glory.


Directed through Quaid"s "The huge Easy" helmer Jim McBride, it follows the beforehand years that Lewis"s career, charting his meteoric rise to fame together a absent pianist. He come crashing back down to Earth, however, when he marries his 13-year-old cousin, Myra Gale Brown (Winona Ryder). As he attempts to choose up the pieces of his shattered life, he clashes v his cousin, Pentecostal minister Jimmy Swaggert (yes, that Jimmy Swaggert), played by Alec Baldwin.

Quaid makes up because that the film"s narrative shortcomings v his performance, which catches the goofy arrogance and dynamic stage existence that do Lewis a star. It"s too poor the script wasn"t an ext concerned with informing the true story the its facility subject, since the actor depicting him was more than qualified of pulling the off.


*
New line Cinema
The less you think around the plot that "Frequency," the better. Sure, all the moment travel reasonable doesn"t stand approximately scrutiny, but as roger Ebert claimed in his three-and-a-half star review, "the main idea," that a father and son could communicate across different timelines regardless of the father gift dead, "is solid and carries united state along."


In 1969, firefighter open minded Sullivan (Quaid) die in a warehouse inferno. In 1999, his police officer son, man (Jim Caviezel), discovers the can communicate with his dead dad by means of a ham radio. This come in handy together the two shot not just to save the elder Sullivan"s life, yet catch a serial killer known as the "Nightingale."

So yeah, this movie is more than a little ridiculous. But you"d need a love of rock to not be relocated by Quaid chatting v his boy from past the grave. It"s that dynamic the keeps us engaged, even when the plot holes start popping up, together they practically always do once a movie starts messing v time.


A sort of "Fantastic Voyage" through an "80s twist, Joe Dante"s "Innerspace" was an absolute phenomenon when it hit theaters in 1987, pairing with "Three Amigos!" to make Martin short a household name, and also making Quaid and also Ryan 2 of the hottest gibbs in Hollywood.


A freewheeling crowd-pleaser, "Innerspace" tho holds up, since of the way it manages to weave together number of genres and also special impacts without turn wildly out of control. That"s many thanks in big part come the performances at the center, which save the story grounded also as it endangers to go off the rails.

Quaid theatre Lt. Tuck Pendelton, a check pilot who indicators up for a unique experiment: He"ll be put inside a submersible capsule, shrunken to microscopic size, and injected right into a lab rabbit for clinical study. Yet things walk horribly wrong as soon as he"s instead injected right into hypochondriac keep clerk Jack Putter (Short). It"s approximately Jack to get Tuck the end of his body and ago to typical size before it"s also late.


Meg Ryan theatre Tuck"s estranged girlfriend, Lydia Maxwell, a reporter who records Jack"s eye while Tuck is quiet in his body. Likewise of unique note: the film won an Academy Award for its impressive special effects, making the the just Joe Dante movie to win an Oscar of any kind of kind.


The legend of Jesse James has been dramatized in an ext movies 보다 Batman"s origin story, with seemingly every generation gaining their opportunity to saddle up for a brand-new retelling. "The long Riders" is Walter Hill"s cracked at it, and also the twisted he want was to cast real-life brothers to play the brother in the film. Therefore of course, he had to gain the Quaids, that were red-hot at the time. Yet he didn"t prevent there.


Stacey Keach and also James Keach space the James brothers, Frank and Jesse, who type a corridor of financial institution robbers in the post-Civil war west. They enlist the Youngers — Cole (David Carradine), Jim (Keith Carradine), and Bob (Robert Carradine) — and also the Millers — Ed (Dennis Quaid) and also Clell (Randy Quaid) — to sign up with their rowdy group, who exploits lure the attentions the the Pinkerton Detective Agency. The recruitment the the Ford brothers — Charley (Christopher Guest) and also Robert (Nicholas Guest) — spells their doom.

Inspired spreading aside, this is a pretty straight-forward western, made with meticulous skill by Hill. It"s likewise a great early function for Quaid, who sows the early seeds of devastation for the gang when he death a financial institution clerk during a robbery.


Coming turn off "Far native Heaven," Dennis Quaid"s career was all of sudden hotter than it had been in over a decade. That was determined to strike when the iron to be hot.

Quaid was almost everywhere movie display screens in 2004, showing up in "The Alamo," "The day After Tomorrow," the "Flight the the Phoenix" remake and also "In an excellent Company." part worked, some didn"t, however "Company" is generally thought about the best of the bunch (although "Day after Tomorrow" has some significant entertainment value), v the actor settling comfortably right into the cinematic dad-phase of his career.


Written and directed by Paul Weitz, the centers top top a middle-aged declaring executive (Quaid) who suddenly finds himself v a new boss (Topher Grace) who"s fifty percent his age after his magazine is bought by a major corporation. Points get even weirder as soon as he discovers the the new guy is date his daughter (Scarlett Johansson). Talk around a mid-life crisis!

Originally title "Synergy," the film touches upon worries of this firm greed and downsizing that were hot-button worries of the day in a bright, clear way, v the ruthlessness softened many thanks to the residential storyline. Quaid is convincing as ever as both a father who just wants the ideal for his daughter, and a career agency man start to question what the was every about.


Everybody loves a great underdog story, and audiences lapped increase this feel-good sports movie around an unlikely major leaguer. It tells the true story of Jim Morris (Quaid), a Texas high college teacher who gave up his dreams of becoming a skilled baseball player after a shoulder injury.


He scratches the itch by coaching the school"s team, i beg your pardon is mediocre at best. As it transforms out, Jimmy still has actually his fastball, and his team makes him an market he can"t refuse: If they success the state championship, he has to shot out for the majors again. Jimmy agrees, regardless of being 35 years old (Quaid was in reality 48 once the film was released). His wife (Rachel Griffiths) support him no issue what, while his father (Brian Cox) is forever disapproving.

Directed by man Lee Hancock, "The Rookie" is a lived-in, beautifully-shot film, as tried and true together a worn-out catcher"s mitt. Although girlfriend know exactly where it"s going (it"s a Disney sporting activities film follow me the currently of "Miracle" and also "Invincible"), you can"t help but it is in charmed by it, thanks in big part come Quaid"s endearing performance. He likewise looks prefer he"s acquired a pretty median fastball.


Although Meryl Streep and also Shirley MacLaine room the main attraction in this Mike Nichols Hollywood satire, Quaid quiet manages come shine together the love interest. That"s no tiny feat when you"re exhilaration opposite Meryl friggin" Streep.


A thinly veiled tell-all about Carrie Fisher"s battles with addiction, that stars Streep as a down-on-her-luck actress forced to move earlier in v her mom (MacLaine act a Debbie Reynolds impersonation) after her recent stint in rehab. She"s additionally trying to gain her career ago on track through a new movie, and quickly drops in love v the film"s producer (Quaid).

But things turn sour once she realizes her brand-new boyfriend is sleeping with the young ingenue (Annette Bening) certification opposite her. This leads to a hilarious scene whereby Streep, quiet in costume together a police officer, confronts Quaid at his home. It"s also heartbreaking, since it"s just an additional instance of someone taking her for granted, and Quaid is able come play both political parties of the coin with experienced skill.


The rare remake the stands up together the original (and in many ways boosts upon it), "The parental Trap" was among Quaid"s more quickly forays into family members entertainment, and also he"s a natural fit.

The an initial film command by Nancy Meyers, it"s an update of the 1961 Disney classic about a pair of identical twins separated in ~ birth and also reunited for mischief. Lindsay Lohan theatre the twins, Annie and also Hallie, that were each increased by among their organic parents — one American winery owner (Quaid) and a brothers wedding gown designer (Natasha Richardson). When they satisfy for the an initial time in ~ summer camp, lock devise a arrangement to acquire their mom and dad earlier together.


There"s a great amount of pathos included to the hijinks that elevates this over the usual kids movie, and that"s early in big part to Quaid"s performance. He"s genuinely likable as a an excellent guy who"s doomed come marry the wrong mrs (Elaine Hendrix) uneven his daughters can save the day. This gift a Nancy Meyers movie, you deserve to expect things to occupational out in the finish — and in part beautiful kitchens, in ~ that.


Although he"s simply one piece of the puzzle, Quaid tho manages to stand the end in the huge ensemble of "Traffic." Steven Soderbergh"s epos docudrama still packs a punch more than twenty years later, many thanks to its visceral filmmaking and also deeply-realized performances.


Adapted native the British limited series "Traffik," it examines the war on drugs with multiple perspectives: A recently appointed us drug czar (Michael Douglas) handling his teenage daughter"s (Erika Christensen) cracked addiction; a mexico police officer (Benicio Del Toro) trying to navigate the thorny relationships between cops and also the cartel; a pair that DEA agents (Don Cheadle and also Luis Guzman) protecting an informant (Miguel Ferrer); and a wealthy housewife (Catherine Zeta-Jones) bespeak a struggle on that informant before he can testify versus her kingpin husband. Quaid theatre Zeta-Jones"s lawyer, whose commitment is — of food — not to it is in trusted.

The results are a terrible mosaic detailing the true price of the American drug war. Quaid mutual the SAG compensation for finest Ensemble for the film, which likewise won Oscars for finest Director, ideal Supporting actor (Del Toro), Best adjusted Screenplay and Best Film modifying (the only prize it lost, oddly enough, was finest Picture).


Quaid"s big breakthrough came v this Oscar-winning crowd pleaser that roger Ebert referred to as "a movie come embrace." audience did indeed embrace this coming-of-age drama, transforming its cast of newcomers right into overnight stars.


Directed by Peter Yates, the centers top top a group of functioning class youngsters from Bloomington, Indiana, struggling through life ~ high school. The college children derogatorily describe them as "cutters," derived from the stonecutters who worked in the regional quarries. Dave (Dennis Christopher) dreams of authorized the Italian bicycling team, much to the consternation the his dad (Paul Dooley). He creates a team through his friends, Mike (Quaid), Moocher (Jackie Earle Haley), and also Cyril (Daniel Stern), to compete in the small 500 in ~ Indiana University, whereby they display up those snooty out-of-towners.

It to be clear native the beginning Quaid had actually the makings of a significant star, bright through also in this tiny role. "Breaking Away" to be a significant commercial success, win the Oscar for Steve Tesich"s initial screenplay and earning four extr nominations, including Best picture and ideal Director.


Although that failed come launch at the box office, Philip Kaufman"s epos astronaut drama has only get an impressive in reputation because it to be released in 1983. That was also a major turning suggest for Quaid, that rode the an essential plaudits because that his performance to progressively bigger roles.


Adapted indigenous Tom Wolfe"s bestselling nonfiction book, it"s a three-and-a-half hour recounting that the early days the America"s an are program. As the Russians start a satellite into orbit, the united state races to launch a human. Lock quickly type the Mercury 7, a team of renegade military pilots who became the country"s first astronauts: Scott Carpenter (Charles Frank), Gordon Cooper (Quaid), john Glenn (Ed Harris), Gus Grissom (Fred Ward), Wally Schirra (Lance Henriksen), Alan Shepard (Scott Glenn), and Deke Slayton (Scott Paulson).

Despite battle in theaters, the film did knife eight Oscar nominations, including ideal Picture, and also won 4 technical trophies (for film editing, score, sound mixing, and sound editing). Quaid, meanwhile, ongoing to prove he had the appropriate stuff together a movie star. He"s undeniably charming together Cooper, whose daredevil antics store his mam Trudy (Pamela Reed) awake at night.


Jim McBride"s sexy, sweaty neo-noir plays to Quaid"s strengths as a leading male while also including surprising new shades come his persona. That"s because the character he plays here is so rich and complex: A cop trying to excuse his own corruption, no hope trying to do the right thing as soon as it counts.


"The huge Easy" stars Quaid together Remy McSwain, a brand-new Orleans homicide detective investigate the killing of a local mob boss, which simply might"ve been lugged out by his fellow police officers. Yet Remy has his own difficulties with unscrupulous behavior, i m sorry are referred to as out through state ar attorney anne Osborne (Ellen Barkin). Despite he tries come excuse the as component of working within the system, he to know she"s right. As the 2 dive deeper and deeper right into the muck of the investigation, they fall deeper and also deeper in love.

The chemistry in between Quaid and Barkin is for this reason palpable you deserve to slice it through a knife. There"s additionally a how amazing amount the tenderness in their partnership that provides it even steamier. Quaid winner the Independent soul Award as best Actor for the film, which additionally earned bids for Best picture and best Director native the organization (but wherein the hell was that Oscar nomination?!).


"Far native Heaven" brought Quaid closer to awards glory than he"d ever before come prior to or since, and also it"s little wonder why. It"s a career-best performance from an actor who is too frequently taken for granted. By asking him to play right into the vulnerability lurking in ~ his i was sure persona, writer-director Todd Haynes taps into his talent in a way that lights up the screen.


A faithful recreation that Douglas Sirk melodramas favor "All That Heaven Allows," the centers top top Cathy Whitaker (Julianne Moore), a 1950s suburban housewife whose life is upended when she sees her husband frank (Quaid) kissing one more man. Together Frank tries to cure self of his "problems," she find herself fallout’s in love through their black gardener, Raymond (Dennis Haysbert). Cathy"s narrow worldview is progressively opened up, also as the neighbors whisper behind she back. Yet, societal norms keep these three from living their true lives.

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Quaid is damaging as a male desperate to hide his true self at the danger of gift shunned. One Academy award nomination seemed particular after ideal Supporting gibbs victories at the live independence Spirits, Chicago movie Critics, and brand-new York Film critics Circle, to add nominations in ~ the gold Globes and also SAG Awards. Yet Oscar voters overlooked him, and it"s truly a shame: His power is so good, friend could"ve nearly seen the winning the gold for it.