Yesterday, the cinema world lost a great when director Tony Scott took his own life. Upon review of his career, one is able to grasp what a powerhouse Scott was. In addition to directing Top Gun, Beverly Hills Cop 2, and Crimson Tide among many others, he was also brother to Alien director Ridley Scott. As part of taking in the magnatude of his film career, here are also his contributions to the automotive world, via his movies:
Through films like The Last Boy Scout, Enemy of the State, and especially in Beverly Hills Cop 2, Scott used the car chase to futher the excitement of the many action movies that he directed. Seeing as many of these movies were from the 1980′s, we can forever look back on Malaise Era cars being destroyed. For that, we are eternally grateful.
Days of Thunder:
I called it “Top Gun meets NASCAR” well before I even knew it was the same director. I am not the biggest NASCAR fan, but I can always watch “Days of Thunder.” The chase scene between two rental cars on the way to meet with the NASCAR disciplinary board is a classic.
Apparently “Days of Thunder” was hastily put together, and the script was not even finished when shooting began. It got so tight that many lines were made up on the spot and cue cards were placed on the dash for Cruise to read. The result is a NASCAR-meets-Top-Gun masterpiece.
Sidenote: I went to F1 Boston, (the competitive karting venue) a few years back, and you required to watch a safety video before going out onto the track. This particular safety video was cut in with clips from “D0T” which is kind of genius.
Beat the Devil:
You may not know that title, but if you are on this site, you must know the series: BMW films. Scott directed easily the strangest of the BMW mini-film series. In his interpretation of an elaborate advertising campaign, an aging James Brown hires the “Driver” (played by Clive Owen in all of the BMW films) to take him to the devil, to renegotiate the terms of a deal he made for fame and fortune. The prince of darkness, delightfully, turns out to be Gary Oldman, who agrees to a new deal, if the Driver can beat Satan’s wheelman (played by Danny Trejo…these BMW films were stacked!). The short film is the over-the-top, jump-cut party that Scott would later employ in Man on Fire and Unstoppable.
As early as 2011, there was news that Tony Scott and his brother Ridley would come together on a series called The Drivers about Le Mans in the 50′s and 60′s. The series was to be based on the Wallace A. Wyss book, “Shelby: The Man, The Cars, the Legend” and was said to have the feel of Mad Men meets racing. Following the passing of Tony, it is unclear whether Ridley will forge ahead with the project. If not, than the promise of a truly great auto enthusiast project has died with an accomplished director and producer.