Tuesday, July 08, 2014

Overlooked Movies: The Big Easy

There were several movies that I thought would propel Dennis Quaid to stardom.  None of them did, which shows how much I know.  Anyway, this is one of them.

The Big Easy set in New Orleans, as you'd expect from the title.  Quaid plays a cop who likes his job, is good at it, and doesn't see anything wrong with taking a little graft now and then.  Ellen Barkin is an assistant DA who's looking into things.  Quaid is working on a mob murder and is suspicious that there might be some connections to the police department.  He and Barkin are such natural adversaries that naturally it's only a short time before they're in the sack, which complicates both their jobs.  And then Internal Affairs is shocked -- shocked! -- to discover that Quaid is on the take.  Even more complications ensue.

Quaid is really charming in this one, whether his Cajun accent is overdone or not.  Barkin is equally charming in her own way.   How could they not fall for one another?  Ned Beatty and John Goodman are just two of the fine character actors.  The city of New Orleans also stars in the movie, which gives you a glimpse of things pre-Katrina.  There's a lot of good zydeco music, too.  And then there's that explosion scene in the trailer posted above.  This movie's from 1986.  How many have you seen with that scene since then?  I doubt that this was the first one.   Don't let that stop you.  If you haven't seen The Big Easy, give it a try.  It's worth a look. 

10 comments:

Anonymous said...

I totally agree with you on this one. How can you go wrong with that combination? You can't.


Jeff

Bill Crider said...

I'm glad to know someone else likes it. I especially enjoy Quaid and Barkin's performances.

Deb said...

I, too, thought this movie--along with "Inner Space--would really break Dennis Quaid out in a big way. Never happened. It's weird how an actor who seems to have the whole package--talent, looks, charm--just doesn't make it past the B/C list. Sam Elliott and Tim Matheson also fit that bill. Still can't believe Sam Elliott never made it to the upper echelons.

Bill Crider said...

I can't, either, Deb.

I'm planning to do Inner Space next week.

Anonymous said...

Jackie LOVES Sam Elliott.

Don't forget, Dennis also played The Killer two years later in GREAT BALLS OF FIRE.


Jeff

Bill Crider said...

And another good performance, too, I think, though some don't agree.

Deb said...

How else can you play Jerry Lee Lewis but over-the-top. It's not as if the guy was subdued in any way. But Alec Baldwin as JLL's cousin Jimmy Swaggart really takes the cake for over-the-top hambone acting in that one.

Bill Crider said...

I agree, and yet . . . I liked it.

Naomi Johnson said...

Quaid has a gift for delivering lines that make them, for me anyway, unforgettable:

"If I can't have you, can I have my gator?"

"Well, don't thank Jesus. Thank Jerry Lee Lewis."

"All of you can kiss my rebel dick."

"Okay, pal, here's how I spell relief."

Bill Crider said...

No wonder I like that movie.