Dennis Quaid came into his own as one of the astronauts in 1983's The Right Stuff, and has since been one of America's hardest-working, most consistent actors, appearing in everything from Innerspace and Wyatt Earp to Far from Heaven and Traffic. (And lest we forget his gallant, if doomed, effort to hold together Movie 43.) This week he plays dad to Zac Efron's rebellious son in Ramin Bahrani's At Any Price, and with the film opening in limited release, we had a chance to sit down with Quaid recently and talk about his favorite movies.
I think my favorite movie is Lawrence of Arabia. To me, it's just about a perfect film; in the performances and what it means to me. I saw it as a boy -- and I just can't stop watching it, every time it comes on. All David Lean's movies, really. I love Doctor Zhivago, too.
Five Easy Pieces is a film that hit me as a young man. Most of my favorite movies, I think, come from the '70s, in that period where I really wanted to become an actor. Jack Nicholson's performance in that... it's a film that would never be done by a major studio today.
There's Bonnie and Clyde. That's a film that kind of started the new wave in the '70s. That was incredible. I saw that when I was in about the eighth grade, I think. Those characters, and also the history of Bonnie and Clyde, you know... it was something new. I remember, in fact, Bonnie and Clyde came out in either late Spring or early Summer, and then it was pulled. I think it flopped when it came out, and then they brought it back out in the Fall. I mean, I loved it when I first saw it; then they brought it back out in the Fall and it was a huge success.
Scarecrow (Jerry Schatzberg, 1973; 71% Tomatometer)
There's another movie back then called Scarecrow, with Gene Hackman and Al Pacino. They play two hobos that are going across America to open up a car wash. Both performances are just amazing.
I'm gonna say The Godfather -- the first one. That's another movie that's just about a perfect film, you know, from a great filmmaker in his prime.
At Any Price opens in limited release this week.