March 30, 2005
On Easter Sunday, the Hallmark channel aired both versions of The Parent Trap back-to-back. Caught the tail end of the original, and upon seeing Dennis Quaid’s name in the opening credits of the remake, I said to my mother, “Bet you that within a half hour after Dennis Quaid appears, his shirt comes off.”
Why? She asks.
Because his shirt always comes off, and damn if it ain’t a fine, fine thing.
I drifted back in time...
1979, Breaking Away, a young man’s body as perfectly chiseled as Michelangelo’s “David,” glistening wet from a quarry swim, wearing nothing but a pair of sneakers and teeny, tiny cut-off blue jean shorts… the bodily splendor of Dennis Quaid introduced and forever seared into my brain (I made my mother take me to see it twice, and between that and Matt Dillon’s tighty whiteys in Little Darlings, my puberty was cranked up to 11). I was one of the few people who willingly paid to see 1981’s The Night The Lights Went Out in Georgia, because previews revealed Quaid ran around mostly naked for a chunk of the movie…
Mr. Quaid’s rollercoaster career is one of Hollywood’s favorite hard luck underdog stories, and the trials of his personal life show on his weathered face. But even ever-busy with repeatedly falling on and off the wagon, he obviously finds time for at least 100 sit-ups and push ups daily. At 51, the man’s torso is still a remarkable piece of erotica.
Pamela Anderson has nothing on Dennis Quaid’s topless stats. Surely it’s written into his contracts that the shirt must come off. It’s the only way to explain ab-fab, but arbitrary, plot contrivances in so many of his movies. For example, in Suspect, he gets cut while saving Cher from a blade-wielding lunatic. Rather than the arm or the face, the slash is just under Quaid’s breastbone so that his sweater comes off so Cher can rub peroxide all over the valleys of his chest, blow the wound dry and gently, slowly apply a bandage that ends in a kiss.
Sadly enough, The Parent Trap denied us Quaid’s chest (must be a Disney morality thing, says my mother). It seems to be one of the very few that do.
Today, brief conversation between a group of men and women revealed that all of us could easily recall which scenes in which of his movies featured The Quaid Pecs. And none of us ever commented on how gratuitous, exploitive, or sexist that is. We judged his acting in various films, but never his talent, morals or dignity despite constantly flashing his tits. Double standards? Sure, but I’m not touching anything that would discourage the practice!
Quaid’s resume lists 48 movie releases.
We only know of 4 movies where he keeps his shirt on:
The Parent Trap
The Day After Tomorrow (“Well, it was awfully cold”)
The Right Stuff
If you know of any others, please, fill me in.
Posted by tobyweiss.com at 9:28 PM