Tony Scott
 

 

Suggested Films:

 

True Romance (1993)
Spy Game (2001)
The Gathering Storm (2002)
Man on Fire (2004)



Tony Scott (born July 21, 1944) is an English film producer/director and is the brother of director Ridley Scott.

Tony Scott's first foray into filmmaking was not from behind the camera, but rather in front of it. At the age of sixteen, he appeared in Boy and Bicycle, a short film marking the directorial debut of his then-twenty-three-year-old brother Ridley. He followed in his older brother's footsteps, studying at West Hartlepool College of Art and Sunderland Art School, the latter for a fine arts degree. He subsequently graduated from the Royal College of Art, fully intending to become a painter. It was only the success of his older brother's fledging television commercial production outfit, Ridley Scott Associates (RSA), that turned his attentions towards film. So over the nearly twenty years he would persist in making TV commercials.

In 1982, Tony Scott got his break and MGM employed him to begin production on ‘The Hunger’ with David Bowie and Catherine Deneuve as chic Manhattan socialite vampires, desperately searching for a medical cure to arrest Bowie's rapid aging.
The picture failed to find an audience, received harsh reviews by critics and was ignored at the box-office (though the film later became a cult favourite). Finding himself largely unemployable in Hollywood for the next two and a half years, Scott returned to commercials and music videos.

In 1985, producers Don Simpson and Jerry Bruckheimer signed Scott to direct Top Gun. Both of them were among the few admirers of The Hunger during its initial release. Scott, though reluctant at first, agreed on directing Top Gun, one of the highest-grossing films of 1986, taking in more than US$176 million, and making a star of its young lead, Tom Cruise.

Following Top Gun's success, Scott found himself on Hollywood's A list of action directors. Reteaming with Simpson and Bruckheimer in 1987, Scott directed Eddie Murphy in the highly anticipated sequel Beverly Hills Cop II. A critical failure, the picture nevertheless became one of the year's highest grossers. In 1990, Scott returned to the Simpson-Bruckheimer fold to helm the big-budget film Days of Thunder.

In 1992, through a meeting arranged by a former employee, Scott was introduced to Quentin Tarantino, a long time fan of Scott. Tarantino offered him samples of his work to read, among them the screenplays for Reservoir Dogs and True Romance.
Scott ended up directing True Romance, and it was this film that helped change the perception of Scott as a serious film director. Although reaction to the film was initially lukewarm, it quickly developed a strong cult following (not unlike ‘The Hunger’

Scott's next film returned him back into the Simpson-Bruckheimer fold for a big-budget thriller, but unlike their previous collaborations, this one showed a renewed interest in strong characterizations. 'Crimson Tide' (1995), a submarine thriller starring Gene Hackman and Denzel Washington, was a box-office hit and enjoyed worldwide success. One particulary memorable quote,

Hackman: 'I need a good man to fill his spot. Your name was at the top of the list.
Washington: Well, that's good to know, sir.
Hackman: Well, it was a short list...'

At about the same time Tony partnered with his brother Ridley in the production company Scott Free, together purchasing London's Shepperton Studios.

1998 also saw Scott back in the director's chair at the helm of "Enemy of the State," a political thriller that reunited him with Bruckheimer and Hackman. The film enjoyed brisk box office and terrific reviews – a vast improvement from the reception Scott had suffered in the wake of his unpopular, critically blasted 1996 stalker flick "The Fan."

In 2001 he directed the film ‘Spy Game’ which the rest of the world seems to think is farily average but this particular reviewer absolutely loves. It’s pacy with good dialogue, excellent characterisation and a brilliant score from Harry Gregson Williams. It should also be noted that he gives a number of key roles to British actors such as David Hemmings and the beautiful Catherine McCormack.

By the new millennium, Scott took a break from directing and embarked on a stint producing – he delivered a superb HBO historical drama called ‘The Gathering Storm’ (2002) which details the prelude to the 2nd World War. Stellar performances by Albert Finney and Ronnie Barker saw wide critical acclaim. Finally I will mention ‘Man on Fire’ (2004) – this time he reteamed with Denzel Washington in a classic, violent revenge movie set in Mexico. Brian Helgeland ensured that the screenplay would be excellent and both Washington and Walken are excellent as the retired special forces ops.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

                          

                                            

david puttnam, british film, british director, british movie