I can’t begin to count the number of times I’ve had the Ridley vs. Tony argument with people. It’s something that I’ve felt strongly about for years. Learning of Tony Scott’s death just a few minutes ago… I don’t know what to say other than how terribly sad I am. He was one of a handful of people who could get me excited about a movie and could get my butt into a theater. And True Romance, which he helped make happen, is one of my All Time Classics.
Here’s my response to a letter I got from a friend several years ago who loved Gladiator.
I finally admitted to myself a few years ago that, with the exception of Blade Runner, I don’t like any Ridley Scott films but actually love a lot of Tony Scott movies. This important issue is now on my unofficial list of questions to ask people to see if they’re worth my time. Here’s the whole of my logic: you want to hear about some movies I don’t like? Thelma & Louise; GI Jane; White Squall; Matchstick Men (even Sam Rockwell couldn’t save it for me); Black Rain; Legend (the horror!); Kingdom of Heaven and yes, Gladiator.
You wanna hear about some awesome movies that I would watch at almost any moment? True Fucking Romance (for me any debate really ends here, but I’ll continue); Top Gun; The Last Boy Scout; Enemy of the State; Crimson Tide; The Hunger and I’ll throw in The Hire from the series which was also fantastic.
Do you have some sort of defense for Sir Ridley? Besides the afore-mentioned Blade Runner, what else has the man given us that warrants mentioning? You and I both know that Cameron’s Aliens was better than the Alien, but I’ll allow it. (Since I included The Hire, I’ll put Apple’s “1984” ad in Ridley’s column.)
At this exact moment in time, the worst part about Tony Scott’s death is that he did it to himself. I feel like he didn’t know how many people loved and appreciated his work. I feel like if he could have heard me go toe-to-toe with people he might not have done it. We’ll have to see what the police investigation reveals, if anything, but the result will be the same: no more Tony Scott movies and that’s the most tragic part of all.