Tony Scott’s name is synonymous with breathtaking action movies right from the days of Top Gun to Unstoppable. His sudden death earlier this week, comes as a big shock to the entire film fraternity. Postnoon pays a tribute.
Born in North Shields, a coastal town in North East England on June 21, 1944, Tony Scott was the youngest of three sons born to Elizabeth and Colonel Francis Percy Scott. Tony’s first tryst with cinema occurred at the age of 16 when he played a role in his elder brother, Ridley Scott’s first short film Boy and Bicycle. Later, he graduated from the Royal College of Art with a major in painting;
however, Ridley Scott convinced him to take up films as a profession. Tony Scott loved cars and he directed several commercials for Ridley Scott Associates (RSA). In 1983, MGM roped in Tony Scott to direct a vampire film The Hunger. Although the film was a commercial failure, Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson approached Tony Scott to direct Top Gun and the rest is history. The film was a smash hit and it launched the career of Scott who went on to direct several commercially successful films. For most part of his career, he stuck to action and thriller films and worked with some of the top actors in Hollywood like Tom Cruise, Gene Hackman, Val Kilmer, Will Smith and Denzel Washington. In recent years, he co-produced TV shows like Numb3rs, The Good Wife. A week before his death, he was reportedly scouting for locations for Top Gun 2.
Top Gun (1986)
Top Gun did wonders to Tony Scott’s career in Hollywood and Tom Cruise became a superstar. The film had a major cultural impact in US and the phenomenal success of the film even influenced thousands of youngsters to consider a career in Navy. The film, written by Jim Cash and Jack Epps Jr., narrates the story of a US Naval Aviator, Maverick Mitchell’s life on a Navy Vessel. The aviator glasses and bomber jacket worn by Tom Cruise were so popular that the sales of these products went up by 40% after the film’s release.
Beverly Hills Cop II (1987)
Tony Scott took upon the onus directing of Beverly Hills Cop II from Martin Brest and he did surprise quite a lot of people with his ingenuity at handling an action comedy. Just a year before, he had directed Top Gun and in Beverly Hills Cop II, he teamed up with Eddie Murphy, who plays Axel Foley, a police detective who reunites with two more detectives to track down a gang of robbers. The film was a box-office success and it collected close to $300 million. One of the songs in the film, Shakedown was nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe Award.
Crimson Tide (1995)
Tony Scott found the perfect match for his tenacity to narrate edge of the set thrillers in Denzel Washington. In Crimson Tide, Denzel Washington plays an executive officer who’s at loggerheads with the commanding officer (Gene Hackman) of the nuclear missile submarine when it comes to launching a pre-emptive missile strike on Russian ultranationalists. It was a perfect example of Tony Scott’s mastery over creating characters who will go to any length to underline their point. Watch the film to believe what a combination of great casting and astounding direction can achieve.
True Romance (1993)
You cannot separate Tony Scott and adrenaline rush, even when he chooses to make a romantic film. True Romance, starring Christian Slater, Patricia Arquette, Val Kilmer, Gary Oldman, Brad Pitt and Dennis Hooper, was based on a script written by Quentin Tarantino. The life of a comic book store clerk Clarence Worley (Slater) turns upside down after he meets Alabama Whitman (Patricia) at a movie theatre. He falls in love with her, but soon they end up being chased by cops and gangsters. Although the film was a box-office failure, it won rave reviews from critics.
Enemy Of The State (1998)
There’s something irresistible about films where the protagonists are on the run after being wrongly framed in a case. Tony Scott raises the stakes in Will Smith, Gene Hackman starrer Enemy of the State which is a spy thriller about a group of NSA agents who try to cover up the murder of a congressman. Will Smith plays a lawyer who accidentally gets hold of a disc which has footage of a murder. As chaos engulfs his normal life, the film turns into an explosive thriller, to say the least.
Days of Thunder (1990)
Dubbed as ‘Top Gun on Wheels’, Days of Thunder is about a young racer (Cole Trickle), who gets a chance to compete in NASCAR Series; however, his high temper and attitude often land him in trouble on the track. Tony Scott and Tom Cruise had teamed up for the first time since Top Gun and it was one of the most anticipated films of the year. The film was a box office success; however, critics panned the film’s over the top special effects and convoluted plot. With Tom Cruise behind the wheels, would you really care about the film’s plot?
Man of Fire (2004)
Denzel Washington stars as a former marine and CIA operative, who’s hired by a rich businessman in Mexico City to protect his nine year old daughter Pita (Dakota Fanning). The two get along pretty well after a point; however, all hell breaks lose when Pita is kidnapped in broad daylight. True to the film’s title, Denzel Washington goes on a rampage against the gang which kidnaps the young girl. Tony Scott fills the film with plenty of stylish action choreography and plenty of thrills.
About the Author (Author Profile)
Hemanth writes primarily about Telugu cinema, although he finds inspiration from the works of filmmakers like Woody Allen. Apart from writing, he spends most of his time on Twitter discussing about cinema, travel and life in Hyderabad.