Today, Hollywood may not have lost a man who won awards, but certainly a man of the people. Tony Scott’s films rarely received much praise from critics, but they usually found huge audiences and the director became a role model to younger filmmakers trying to make an impact in the action genre. Scott won hearts with swift editing, pounding music and a knack for picking a good cast. Later in his career, his frequent collaborations with Denzel Washington in Crimson Tide, Man on Fire, Deja Vu, The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3 and Unstoppable always served those films well, even when the material wasn’t topnotch. As a filmmaker, Tony Scott actually improved with time, learning how to let his visual flourishes serve the stories better.
This eye for talent also became a strength in the partnership with brother Ridley as producers. Their Scott Free company worked on productions as varied as The Good Wife, Cyrus, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and two TV movies about Churchill.
Tony Scott’s death is a shock. The now classic clip above is from True Romance (1993), a verbal showdown between Christopher Walken and Dennis Hopper, directed, lit and edited in the threatening, edge-of-your-seat fashion that we came to expect from Scott. May he rest in peace.