The Five Best Randy Quaid Movies of His Career

Randy Quaid

There are some actors that are at their best when they’re serious, or when they’re being silly, and then there are some that can turn the corner, flip a 180, and surprise you by doing something you didn’t expect. Randy Quaid is one of those since for a good part of his career he’s been flipping back and forth between being the funny guy and the serious guy in quite a few movies. At times he’s even been the underrated guy that no one thinks too much about until he comes back and reminds them why he’s so great. As a supporting actor he’s actually a great deal better since as a lead he tends to come off as a bit too much and kind of over the top. It’s when he’s there to back up the main actors, whether they really need it or not, that he shines the brightest and delivers a truly inspired performance.

Here are the five best movies of his career.

5. Purgatory

A few of these picks might not make a lot of sense to people and that’s okay, because ‘best’ is usually a subjective term. This movie in particular had a good story to it, a good plot, and had a stellar cast of characters that were able to turn in a decent performance. As TV movies go it wasn’t all that well-received but the idea that the legends of the old west went to a place that was based in part on Dante Alighieri’s Divine Comedy was rather interesting. Considering how much went on in the old west you’d have expected to see someone like Wyatt Earp and a few others there as well, but the figures they focused on were still very interesting.

4. The Ice Harvest

When it comes to dark comedies this one is extremely underrated since it does have a great cast that turn in what some might call a weak performance but in truth is something that wasn’t meant to be a blockbuster. When a lawyer and a local porn king rob a mobster that basically runs the town in a big way they eventually end up having quite a few trust issues thanks to a third party that only one of them knows about in relation to their heist. Quaid plays the main mobster that doesn’t show up until later but is still entirely convincing since when it comes to being the bad guy he’s no slouch as this movie shows.

3. Kingpin

Gross-out comedies are a dime a dozen some would say and they’d be right. It doesn’t take a lot to gross some people out and make them laugh at the same time, but Kingpin goes all the way for a good portion of the movie when it comes to what was seen as necessary. Randy as a nice, decent Amish guy that gets corrupted by Roy Munson is more funny than it is believable since for the sake of the movie it was something that managed to be hilarious, but also so far out of bounds that it was easily offensive to a number of people. But the whole point of the movie, as many might have missed thanks to the gross gags and laughs, was the redemption of a man that had fallen so low.

2. Independence Day

Admit it, when this movie came out a lot of us were pumped since it not only provided a good bit of entertainment, it pulled humanity together in a way that a lot of us would wish for but know might never happen even if we’re invaded by an alien force that wants to wipe us out. Randy’s character was seen as one of the craziest people in the movie but at the same time he was actually someone that people should have been listening to if only because he was right. His death scene was kind of an emotional one but also probably one of the best scenes in the movie since he managed to do the most good out of anyone.

1. National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation

This list couldn’t have culminated with anyone but Cousin Eddie since when it comes to the Vacation movies he’s one of the most popular characters on screen. He’s loud, he’s crude, he’s crass, but as someone on Facebook pointed out a while ago he was also one of the only people at the table to stand to attention when the pledge of allegiance was being recited. That, and the fact that he was so utterly clueless as to how others felt about him was what helped to make Eddie one of the best characters in this movie since he didn’t really think about things before saying or doing them, he just did it and kind of went with whatever flow he was following.

He’s one of the best supporting actors around, ’nuff said.

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