Waking up this morning, I like many was devastated by the news that one of the greatest Hollywood directors of all time had passed away in an apparent suicide. Tony Scott has been responsible for some of my all-time favourite movies and I thought the only way to pay tribute to him was to write this post and pay reference to some of my favourites.
Tony Scott is the younger brother of fellow Director Ridley Scott and was born in North Shields, Northumberland in 1944 and grew up in West Hartlepool and Stockton-On-Tees. He started his career making TV commercials for Ridley Scott Associates (his brother’s TV Production company) until eventually taking his his first movie for MGM in 1982 called The Hunger which starred David Bowie and Catherine Deneuve. It also featured Willem Dafoe but in a very small role.
This was to be the start of something great for cinema-going audiences across the globe.
In 1985, Tony’s his big break with a movie you may have heard of called Top Gun. Producers Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson spotted his word on The Hunger and liked the look of a TV commercial he did for Saab which featured one of their cars racing a fighter jet. This sold the two (legendary) Producers on Scott’s calibre for their big budget airborne Naval movie.
Top Gun was made in 1985 and released in 1986. It made the lead actor (Tom Cruise) into a global mega-star which continues to this day. Top Gun was also the highest grossing movie that year bringing in $176m. This was to be the beginning of a great movie-making career for Scott and just the start of his word with Bruckheimer and Simpson of which he eventually made six movies with including Top Gun, Days of Thunder, Beverly Hills Cop II, Crimson Tide, Enemy of the State and Deja Vu.
Bruckheimer / Simpson Continues
The year after Top Gun was released, Bruckheimer and Simpson attached Scott to direct the sequel to their Eddie Murphy movie, Beverly Hills Cop II. This second movie in the franchise is by far my favourite and I think it’s just the way in which Scott directed it. It features Murphy in his hay-day and Scott absolutely gets the best out of his lead character alongside all the rest of the cast including Playboy founder Hugh Hefner which makes for a very funny scene. That said, my favourite scene in this movie has to be Murphy explaining to a foreman on a building site why a house that they’re renovating has to be made with no right-angles.
“Living in a house with no angles is like living in a doughnut!!”