As you've undoubtedly heard, director Tony Scott, youngest brother of Ridley, died Sunday after throwing himself off a bridge at the age of 68 just two years after his latest huge hit (Unstoppable). The internet was awash with morbid rumors about why (an inoperable brain cancer diagnosis chief among them) but when it comes to private struggles of the soul, you never can expect to know so we stick to the facts. Facts: A lot of people saw and liked his movies; His feature career as a director spanned from 1971's Loving Memory (not the type of movie you'd associate with his filmmaking persona) through 2010's Unstoppable (exactly the type of you'd associate with his filmmaking persona).
Somewhere along the line I decided I wasn't interested in him as a filmmaker but not every filmmaker is for ever moviegoer (nor should they be). My disinterest was partially spurred on by a me-imposed sibling rivalry with his older brother Ridley Scott -- rather silly since Ridley and Tony worked together often and no love was ever lost. But Ridley already had two indisputable classics under his belt (Alien and Blade Runner) by the time Tony Scott was making his Hollywood debut so the die was cast. If Tony had continued making movies like The Hunger chances are I would never have tuned him out but his bread and butter... in fact his entire diet... was the kinetic multiplex-ready A list male-driven shoot em up. Not enough actresses! But looking back through his filmography brought back more memories than I expected.
How many Tony Scott pictures have you seen?
The Hunger is the Scott films I've seen the most often, a favorite of my best friend's and thus in regular rotation on VHS for the first decade of its life. Bonus Points: Deneuve & Sarandon making sexploitative vampire love long before True Blood repopularized vampires as sex gods....er, devils. It was also impossible to live through the 1980s without absorbing Top Gun into your very pores (my oldest brother loved it).
I had totally forgotten that Madeleine Stowe starred in Revenge (1990) before she starred in "Revenge" (the first season of her resurrected awesomeness just hit DVD). Days of Thunder that same year tricked me into thinking that I hated Nicole Kidman. It took me 11 years to fully know the facts: Kidman is the real deal.
I always forget that he made True Romance but that was a very memorable movie, possibly his best. Of particular note were Patricia Arquette's best performance as the hooker "Alabama" and Brad Pitt's hilarious stoner cameo. I still get shivers recalling that brutal bloody bathroom scene - very hard to shake.
After Crimson Tide, I am surprised to realize that I saw not a single one of his last eight features - many of them big hits -- so chances are you have me beat.
I loved "The Hire" series and Posterized works best in sets of threes so I included this short film. Remember that brief weird blip in Keira Knightley's career where she thought she was going to be an action star (see also: King Arthur)
Tony Scott closed out his career with a Denzel Washington triple. I wish I'd seen Unstoppable at the time which I heard so many good things about. Tony & Denzel made five features together all told, so Denzel was the unquestionable face of the director's filmography with Gene Hackman and Tom Cruise as supporting players.
True Stats: Tony Scott never earned an Oscar nomination of any kind. His films amassed 10 nominations and 1 win (Top Gun's best original song "Take My Breath Away"), proving most popular in the sound categories. His films were popular at the box office though, with Top Gun being his biggest hit with over $700 million globally if you adjust for inflation.