Tony Scott: A man of action films, pure and simple

 

David Germain
Monday 20 August 2012 15:29
Comments
The 68-year-old, originally from North Shields, was best known for Hollywood blockbusters Top Gun, Days Of Thunder and Beverley Hills Cop II. He was the younger brother of film-maker Ridley Scott.
The 68-year-old, originally from North Shields, was best known for Hollywood blockbusters Top Gun, Days Of Thunder and Beverley Hills Cop II. He was the younger brother of film-maker Ridley Scott.

No one ever mistook Tony Scott for a great dramatist. He was a director critics loved to hate for his slick barrage of images at the expense of story. The filmmaker did not dazzle the imagination with visions of lost or alien worlds, like brother Ridley Scott.

Tony Scott was as populist as they come in Hollywood, a man of action films, pure and simple. From Tom Cruise as a daring fly boy in 1986's "Top Gun" to Denzel Washington mutinying against an unstable captain in 1995's "Crimson Tide" or trying to slow a runaway train in 2010's "Unstoppable," director Scott mastered sky, sea and earth in the name of movie adrenaline.

The 68-year-old Scott died Sunday after jumping from a Los Angeles County bridge, authorities said. His death was being investigated as a suicide, Los Angeles County Coroner's Lieutenant Joe Bale said.

It was a puzzling end for a filmmaker who had maintained a busy pace, with a sequel to "Top Gun," his biggest hit, in the works.

"I can confirm that Tony Scott has passed away. The family asks that their privacy is respected at this time," Scott's spokesman, Simon Halls, said in a statement.

The younger brother of Ridley Scott, whose Roman epic "Gladiator" won best-picture at the Academy Awards for 2000, Tony Scott was partners with his sibling in a production company, collaborating on film, TV and advertising projects.

But despite blockbuster success on some of his own movies, Tony Scott always was overshadowed by his brother, a three-time directing nominee at the Oscars whose films include "Alien," ''Blade Runner," ''Thelma and Louise" and this summer's "Prometheus."

Tony Scott never was in the running for an Oscar, and critics often slammed his movies for his hyper-kinetic style and an emphasis on style over substance.

Still, he was the first of the Scott brothers to enjoy blockbuster success with "Top Gun," the top-grossing film of 1986 at $176 million. Scott teamed with Cruise again four years later on the hit "Days of Thunder," and he made five films with Washington, including "Man on Fire," ''Deja Vu" and "The Taking of Pelham 123."

Other Scott films include "True Romance," written by Quentin Tarantino, "The Fan," with Robert De Niro, and "Enemy of the State," starring Will Smith.

While Ridley Scott had an auspicious start to his film career with 1977's acclaimed period drama "The Duellists" and 1979's "Alien," Tony Scott bombed with his debut, 1983's supernatural romance "The Hunger," with David Bowie and Catherine Deneuve.

He vaulted into Hollywood's top ranks the next time out, with "Top Gun," followed a year later by "Beverly Hills Cop II," both with producer Jerry Bruckheimer.

The two brothers ran Scott Free Productions and were working jointly on a film called "Killing Lincoln," based on the best seller by Bill O'Reilly. Along with countless commercials, their company produced the CBS dramas "NUMB3RS" and "The Good Wife" as well as a 2011 documentary about the Battle of Gettysburg for the History Channel.

Tony Scott said he gained perspective by mixing things up between film, TV and commercials.

"I like changing the pace of my life, changing my discipline," he said in a 2007 interview. "It gives me ideas for how to see the world differently."

AP

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies

Comments

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in