Remembering Tony Scott
By Sophie Vickers on August 24, 2012 in Film
Way back in the sixties, two young brothers from North Shields worked together for the first time. On the streets of Hartlepool and Seaton Carew, they created the short black and white film “boy and bicycle” which showed the youngest of the boys cycling along the landscapes of the North East where they were born and raised. The man behind the camera was Ridley Scott, the boy on the bike was his younger brother Tony.
Forty-seven years later, the youngest of the brothers, Tony Scott, tragically jumped to his death from an LA bridge. But in those years that passed, the two men grew into two of the most successful and influential film directors the region has ever produced. The Scott family have played an important part in film history in the North East. Their great Uncle Dixon founded Newcastle’s Tyneside cinema in 1937, and Ridley and Tony went on to direct some of the most iconic films ever made.
Tony was probably the lesser known of the brothers, which seems odd because they both had an impressive string of hits under their belts. While Ridley worked on critically lauded films such as Gladiator and Alien, Tony directed some of the most successful action films ever made, which were notoriously loud, over the top and full of drama.
He was the man behind cult classic Top Gun, which helped launch the career of Tom Cruise, and is surely up there with the Breakfast Club and Back to the Future as one of the pinnacle films of the eighties. He also worked with everyone from Denzel Washington to Keira Knightley, and worked alongside the one and only Quentin Tarantino on the brilliant nineties thriller True Romance. His other credits include Days of Thunder, Enemy of the State and, most recently, Unstoppable from 2010.
Yet despite both being in the business, there was never any visible rivalry between the Scott brothers. Though they both found solo success in their own right, they worked together a lot, and ran their business Scott Free Productions as a partnership.
Tony’s loud, brassy style may not have been to everyone’s taste, but you just had to look on Twitter on the day of his death to see what a huge impact he’s had on the industry. Stars including Ron Howard, Samuel L Jackson, Edgar Wright and Susan Sarandon all praised him for his amazing contributions to the industry, as well as being a sweet, genuinely nice man, and a good friend to many of them.
It’s sad that we’ll never get to see him, and his trademark red baseball cap, in the director’s chair again, and Hollywood will be a lot duller – and quieter – without him.
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