Ridley Scott

"Detractors consider him a stylish hack, someone capable of dressing up feces. But supporters contend that it is this same talent for rendering the everyday extraordinary that lends him truly awesome storytelling power. Never a shy filmmaker, Scott's cinema reveals characters and situations that are never what they appear at first glance." - Garrett Chaffin-Quiray (501 Movie Directors, 2007)

Ridley Scott

Director / Producer
  • (1937- ) Born November 30, South Shields, County Durham, England
Top 250 Directors

Key Production Countries: USA, UK
Key Genres: Historical Epic, Epic, Crime Drama, Science Fiction, Drama, Crime, Thriller, Comedy Drama
Key Collaborators: Pietro Scalia (Editor), Hans Zimmer (Composer), Arthur Max (Production Designer), John Mathieson (Cinematographer), Russell Crowe (Leading Actor), Norris Spencer (Production Designer), Sigourney Weaver (Leading Actress), Harvey Keitel (Leading Actor), William Monahan (Screenwriter), Steven Zaillian (Screenwriter), Adrian Biddle (Cinematographer), Terry Rawlings (Editor)

"Directors tend to emphasize different issues in their interpretations of scripts. For a director such as Ridley Scott, masculinity and its habitual need to prove itself is a presence even in his films about women (Thelma and Louise and GI Jane). The value that prevails in a Scott film is the positive value of masculinity." - Ken Dancyger (The Director's Idea: The Path to Great Directing, 2006)
"Though Scott has forged a style that is recognizably his own, his approach to filmmaking has a precedent in German Expressionist filmmaking. The Expressionists were among the first to use the elements of mise-en-scène (set design, lighting, props, costuming) to suggest traits of character or enhance meaning. Similarly, Scott's techniques are stunning yet highly artificial, a trait often criticized by American reviewers, who too often value plot and character over visual style, and realism over symbolism." - Susan Doll (International Dictionary of Films and Filmmakers, 1991)
"Although the films Ridley Scott chooses to make suggest a director of considerable ambition, he is unlikely to be taken very seriously until he overcomes an inability to tell a story clearly or to create credible, vivid characters. Too concerned with the look of things, his work is often predictable, even incoherent." - Geoff Andrew (The Film Handbook, 1989)
"Often derided by critics for his tendency to emphasise style over substance, particularly in the use of inexplicable, though atmospheric, light sources (a quality he shares with his brother Tony), Scott has created a vision of the past, present and, most dramatically, the future, that has influenced a whole generation of film-makers." - Ian Haydn Smith (Contemporary North American Film Directors, 2002)
"Scott is a decorator, a borrower, and a synthesist; like a great machine he contains all striking images and can deliver and fuse them, so long as the product is impersonal… He is a as blithe and versatile as Michael Curtiz, who always made hokum look as good as quality. Scott can find his imagery in 1800 or 1492, in the Dark Ages or the darker future of twenty-first century L.A." - David Thomson (The New Biographical Dictionary of Film, 2002)
"If his decorative pictorial style can produce breathtaking images, on a bad day Ridley Scott is also capable of virtually a parody of the over-designed advertising aesthetic, such as the blossom-strewn fantasy Legend (1985), which at times resembles a commercial for toilet paper." - Ronald Bergan (Film - Eyewitness Companions, 2006)
"The often spectacular visual composition of his work has earned him the nickname 'The Rembrandt of Light'. He owns Shepparton film studios with his younger brother, the director Tony Scott, and despite a career lull during the mid-1990s, is one of the most successful British directors in Hollywood." - Chambers Film Factfinder, 2006
"From his starting point in British television commercials, Scott has risen to become one of the most trusted names on the Hollywood director's circuit." - Mario Reading (The Movie Companion, 2006)
"People say I pay too much attention to the look of a movie but for God's sake, I'm not producing a Radio 4 Play for Today, I'm making a movie that people are going to look at." - Ridley Scott
TSPDT Guide
Highly Recommended
Blade Runner (1982) ✖︎
Recommended
The Duellists (1977), Alien (1979) , Thelma & Louise (1991) , Gladiator (2000)
Worth a Look
Someone to Watch Over Me (1987), Matchstick Men (2003), American Gangster (2007)
Approach with Caution
Boy and Bicycle (1965), Legend (1985), Black Hawk Down (2001), Kingdom of Heaven (2005), Body of Lies (2008)
Not Recommended
1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992), Hannibal (2001)
Acclaimed Films / IMDB Filmography
1,000 Greatest Films 21st Century's Most Acclaimed Films ✖︎ 1,000 Noir Films
Ridley Scott / Favourite Films
Citizen Kane (1941) Orson Welles, Lawrence of Arabia (1962) David Lean, Seven Samurai (1954) Akira Kurosawa.
Source: BBC: Calling the Shots (2006)
Amazon Products
Films / Books
    Blade Runner
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