With the tragic news of Tony Scott’s apparent suicide coming to us early on Monday morning, film lovers and journalists the world over have begun to pore over the late filmmaker’s three-decade back-catalogue of work, assessing those films which have stood the test of time, and those which best delivered the visceral thrills that Scott became known for, and always yearned to provide.
Here are our Top 10 films from one of the pre-eminent aesthetes of the action genre.
10. The Hunger (1983)
A controversial choice perhaps, but a relevant one, given it was his feature debut. The Hunger performed so poorly both in terms of box office – grossing $5.9m against a $10m budget – and by way of critical reception that Scott reportedly doubted that he would find more work in Hollywood. The tale, about a love triangle between a doctor (Susan Sarandon) and a vampiric couple (David Bowie and Catherine Deneuve) was criticised – as so many of Scott’s subsequent films were – for being light on plot and focusing more on aesthetics and mood. However, in recent years it has under-gone a re-evaluation of sorts, and has developed a large cult following.
It’s a profoundly strange film for sure, and one that we all might look kinder upon with nostalgia for the 1980s, but it’s also packed with genuinely good work from the three leads, and keen-eyed viewers might catch a sneaky cameo from Willem Dafoe. As of 2009, a remake was planned, so check it out before they, ahem, butcher it.