Dennis Quaid - The Right Stuff

Audible Presents The Right Stuff – Narrated By Dennis Quaid!

Dennis Quaid is an actor that I have longed admired. While in fact one of my favorite roles of his is 1987’s Innerspace. The often overlooked science fiction comedy by the legendary Joe Dante. It was 1984’s Dreamscape where I first was introduced to Dennis Quaid proper!

[Via] Scream Factory TV

In all honesty I had seen Dennis Quaid before thanks to catching 1979’s Breaking Away at our local drive-in. I of course just didn’t realize it was him at the time. The same is true for when docudrama of Tom Wolfe’s The Right Stuff hit home video.
Dennis Quaid - The Right Stuff Poster

Now I’ve certainly been a nut for space exploration ever since I was a little kid – thanks to Star Trek and of course Star Wars. But with 1983’s The Right Stuff I began to see how truly incredible the space race truly was. The men who would become heroes, who would of course prove they had the right stuff.

In the film, Dennis Quaid portrayed Gordon Cooper. Who would pilot the final Mercury spaceflight in 1963. Furthermore he was the first “American to sleep in space” during said 34-hour mission. As well as sitting in the command chair for the Gemini 5 in 1965.
Dennis Quaid - Gordon Cooper - NASA

In fact Dennis Quaid’s favorite of the Mercury Seven was indeed Gordon Cooper!

[Via] The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

So imagine my delight when Audible contacted us here at the Retroist Vault this afternoon. To let us know they were releasing The Right Stuff tomorrow, featuring narration by Dennis Quaid.

Dennis Quaid - The Right Stuff - Audible
Here is the press release:
“Audible Inc., the world’s largest producer and provider of audiobooks and other spoken-word entertainment, today announced the release of Tom Wolfe’s best-selling adventure story The Right Stuff, performed by dramatic and comedic actor Dennis Quaid, who also starred in the 1983 epic film adaptation. The Audible book, available for the first time in digital audio, can now be downloaded exclusively from Audible at

The Right Stuff is a breathtaking space epic that explores the minds and courageous spirits of the first American astronauts to conquer space. In the National Book Award for Nonfiction winner, Wolfe channels the inner life of the astronauts with almost uncanny, empathetic powers that have generated critical acclaim since the book’s 1979 release.

“Recording The Right Stuff for Audible – my very first audiobook recording – was both a familiar and entirely new thing for me,” said Quaid. “I enjoyed revisiting the story after my role in the film, but reading it aloud by myself in a studio without the aid of costumes, props, or other actors to play off of was different than anything I had ever done before. It was a fun and challenging experience, and I think listeners will enjoy my interpretation.”

“Dennis Quaid’s indelible performance as Gordon Cooper in the film was an early landmark in a storied career, and his nuanced interpretation of each character in the Audible edition of The Right Stuff is just as rewarding,” said Audible EVP and Publisher Beth Anderson. “Whether you’ve been a fan of the book for decades or an Audible connoisseur looking for your next great listen, this is title is an absolute must-have for your library.”

With a 30-day membership trial at Audible, new listeners can enjoy any one audiobook, including this performance of The Right Stuff, free.”

So hop on over to Audible to pre-order your copy today!

While you are waiting for The Right Stuff to be released. Why not watch one of the best moments from Dennis Quaid from the 1983 film?

[Via] CSHM

Fast Food Fridays

Burger King Commercial Featuring…Meg Ryan? (1982)

I had a powerful craving to eat at Burger King today and I’ll tell you something, the girl that took my order was in no way as cheery and polite as Meg Ryan in this commercial from back in 1982!

Things apparently took an upswing in Meg’s life after the “Aren’t You Hungry?” sweepstakes because 5 years later she was starring with Martin Short and Dennis Quaid in the Joe Dante classic Innerspace!

Thanks to Crommy 5 for uploading this commercial over on YouTube.

“Innerspace” Memories

Recently, I made a reference to the movie “Innerspace” in a conversation with one of my co-workers, and she had no idea what I was talking about. I couldn’t believe it. How could anyone escape the 1980s without having seen “Innerspace” at least a dozen times? It seemed to be a Saturday afternoon staple on all the local TV stations where I grew up. Also, it’s an excellent sci-fi/comedy — a difficult balance to strike — directed by the inimitable Joe Dante (“Gremlins”).


I remember seeing “Innerspace” in the theater during its original release. I must’ve been about 7 or 8. It was one of those movie-going experiences in my youth that’s been crystallized in my mind. I sometimes forget about what I saw last weekend, but I can still remember going into the auditorium to see “Innerspace” and loving it to pieces as a kid.

The film stars Dennis Quaid as cocky fighter pilot, Tuck Pendleton. Tuck’s volunteered for a top secret project in which he and a submersible pod will be shrunken down to microscopic size and injected in a laboratory rabbit. But during the experiment, an industrial spy named Mr. Igoe (Vernon Wells) tries to steal the hypodermic needle that contains the minutuized pod with Tuck inside. The lead scientist, however, flees Igoe and, before dying of a gunshot wound, injects a hypocondriac grocery store clerk named Jack Putter (Martin Short) with 50ccs of Tuck Pendleton.

What follows is the most unusual buddy movie ever made. While Tuck goes on the adventure of a lifetime within Jack’s circulatory system, Jack’s relentlessly pursued by well-dressed megalomaniac Victor Scrimshaw (Kevin McCarthy). Scrimshaw wants to steal the miniturizition tech from Jack’s body and sell it on the black market as a new type of weapon. Jack, meanwhile, needs to recover a microchip from Scrimshaw that can restore Tuck to normal size. The only person who can help Jack on this caper is Tuck’s estranged girlfriend, a newspaper reporter named Lydia (Meg Ryan).

I should also mention Robert Picardo’s turn as self-styled ladies’ man and weapons dealer, The Cowboy. Picardo always brings his A-game as a character actor, but this role has to be my personal favorite of his. And the scene where Tuck literally rearranges Jack’s face to make him look like The Cowboy is probably the funniest scene in the movie and Joe Dante at his most madcap.

The sci-fi action is first-rate as well. Late in the film, Scrimshaw shrinks Igoe down and injects him in Jack to find Tuck. The battle between Tuck and Igoe in Jack’s stomach has some great practical effects work and a great punchline: “You just digested the bad guy.”

“Innerspace” is an overlooked gem of the 1980s. If you haven’t seen it in awhile, it holds up quite well. And if you’ve never seen it, well, get on that. Getting puzzled looks from people when I make “Innerspace” references is something I hope to make a thing of the past.