Quaid, Russell, Paxton, or Pullman?

In my ongoing quest to see all the movies, I watched the science fiction classic Enemy Mine Wednesday night. Certainly it prompted many deep thoughts about war, humanity, compassion, and brotherhood, and while any of those might make for an enlightening post, I'm instead going to focus on something more shallow. I tried to think of other films I've seen starring Dennis Quaid, and while I found at least six, after looking online, I kept thinking of other “generic brown-haired white guy” actors like Bill Paxton. Sometimes, stars resemble other stars and people make mistakes. Watching the original trailer for Enemy Mine, I noticed that the announcer credited Louis Gossett, Jr. when the screen flashed a shot of Bumper Robinson. In their defense, the much younger actor, known to me from his role on Night Court and other sitcoms, was heavily made up as an alien from the same race as Gossett's character.

I've also heard that people can't always distinguish Bill Paxton from Bill Pullman. Thanks to watching Spaceballs to the point of memorization in my youth, I never had much trouble keeping track of Pullman. Paxton is a different story, and I find Kurt Russell's resume escapes me from time to time as well.

With four actors of not unremarkable talent blurring together, there's only one logical course of action available to me: a quiz. I'm going to describe various movie scenarios. After each one, can you guess whether I'm describing Quaid, Russell, Paxton or Pullman? No prizes will be awarded, but bonus points to anyone who can name the films as well. Be warned: I'm going to be vague with some of these...

1) A brave firefighter miraculously makes contact with his son across an impossible gap.
Quaid, Russell, Paxton or Pullman?

2) An American college professor working in Japan steps out of his apartment for some air after a horrific discovery.
Quaid, Russell, Paxton or Pullman?

3) In an historically significant science fiction adventure, an army colonel takes on alien forces after venturing into unknown territory.
Quaid, Russell, Paxton or Pullman?

4) In an historically significant science fiction adventure, a marine private takes on aliens after venturing into unknown territory.
Quaid, Russell, Paxton or Pullman?

5) In an historically significant science fiction adventure, a fighter pilot befriends an alien after crashing in unknown territory.
Quaid, Russell, Paxton or Pullman?

6) A truck driver drives down the wrong alley, forcing him to pit stubbornness and swagger against martial arts and magic.
Quaid, Russell, Paxton or Pullman?

7) On a tropical island paradise, this musical entertainer is one of many potential victims for a serial killer.
Quaid, Russell, Paxton or Pullman?

8) He's the love interest for a girl whose best friend has an excess of body hair.
Quaid, Russell, Paxton or Pullman?

9) His best friend has an excess of body hair.
Quaid, Russell, Paxton or Pullman?

10) His best friend is a dragon with a familiar Scottish accent.
Quaid, Russell, Paxton or Pullman?

11) He has to compete with his comatose brother for the affections of the beautiful leading lady.
Quaid, Russell, Paxton or Pullman?

12) Can he cope with a new boss half his age when, amid layoffs and other disruptions, his boss pursues his daughter?
Quaid, Russell, Paxton or Pullman?

13) Can Steven Seagal help him retake a hijacked airplane? Steven who?
Quaid, Russell, Paxton or Pullman?

14) A used car salesman seduces women by telling them he's a spy. What could go wrong?
Quaid, Russell, Paxton or Pullman?

15) Superior alien forces are no match for this United States president. They also fare poorly against Macintosh laptops and, apparently, spears.
Quaid, Russell, Paxton or Pullman?

* * * * *

There, maybe Randy won't be the only Quaid I remember from now on...


Blogger TheWriteJerry said...

great quiz! I actually got nearly all of them right. But then again, I would never mistake Snake Plissken for anyone else and Paxton's performances in Aliens and True Lies has cemented him clearly in my mind.

You should follow this up with a "Which Baldwin" quiz.

11/02/2006 1:49 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Love your sight...but in my opinion, Dennis Quaid is in a league above the rest. However, I love the career choice that Pill Paxton has made with BIG LOVE.

11/02/2006 2:51 AM  
Blogger Darrell said...

Good post. I confuse Paxton and Pullman all the time. I confuse their names, but I can always picture in my head the correct one I'm trying to talk about. I never confuse the other two with any of the others in your list, but for some reason I often confuse Kurt Russell with Jeff Bridges. They're nothing alike, but I make that mistake all the time.

I'm looking forward to seeing Kurt Russell and about a billion other actors in Grindhouse, the Rodriguez/Tarantino ultra-insane tribute to over-the-top horror/action b-movies from the 70's.

I agree with Anoymous that Quaid is the best actor of the four, and like Jerry, Paxton is a clear face in my mind due to Aliens and True Lies (and also Frailty and, best of all, Sam Raimi's amazing A Simple Plan. I can't believe that film wasn't on the list! If you haven't seen it, go to Wal-Mart and spend the $4.88 they're asking for it. It's worth three times that.)

11/02/2006 8:38 AM  
Blogger MCF said...

A Simple Plan was one of the films that started cementing Paxton in my brain, actually. Love that film; it's like Raimi's Fargo.

I thought I had Jeff Bridges in this list until you mentioned him and I realized I was thinking of Kurt Russell. I do that all the time too; there may have to be a sequel to this quiz...

11/02/2006 10:27 AM  
Blogger SwanShadow said...

As a Kurt Russell fan from his Disney days (one of the more printable of my childhood nicknames was "The Computer Who Wore Tennis Shoes"), I'd never confuse him with any of these other fellows.

I used to mix up the Paxton/Pullman duo all the time, but since I've become a fan of Paxton's HBO series Big Love, the distinction is now more clear.

11/02/2006 2:03 PM  
Blogger Kev said...

I knew about half of those - mostly the Kurt Russel ones or the SF ones... although I'm ashamed to admit I didn't get the Alien reference.

11/02/2006 8:37 PM  
Blogger Janet said...

Great game. I never confused Paxton or Pullman, though I know a lot of people have. I always had to take a pause when distinguishing between Quaid and Russell though, even as a child. Russell though decidedly has the better head of hair by a mile.

11/03/2006 5:58 PM  

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