Magazine article Variety

Ten Must-See Scott Movies

Magazine article Variety

Ten Must-See Scott Movies

Article excerpt

"The Duellists" (1977): Having worked on thousands of commercials before this dazzling film debut, for which he was honored at Cannes, Scott revealed a rich visual style that appeared fully formed out of the gate in this tale set during the Napoleonic Wars. "Think of ?Barry Lyndon' as if paced by Howard Hawks. That'll give you some idea of the voluptuous fury of this wry, volatile romantic adventure," wrote Michael Sragow his 2012 reappraisal of the film in the New Yorker.

"Allen" (1979): With a stylistic assist from the artistic fantasist H.R. Giger, who designed the monster of the title, Scott combined sci-fi elements with horror of the most disturbing nature. Ads for the movie state, ominously, "In space, no one can hear you scream," and the paranoia created by the film's seemingly indestructible alien force, which has reverberated in countless subsequent movies and video games, cannot be overstated. The film spawned three sequels and a prequel, and planted the seeds for one of cinema's most kick-ass female heroes: Sigourney Weaver's commander Ripley.

"Blade Runner" (1982): Adapting the Philip K. Dick novel "Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?" Scott again combines genres, mixing sci fi with film noir to create an indelible dystopian vision of Los Angeles where a group of rogue replicants, visually indistinguishable from the humans they're designed to serve, are being hunted down by the bounty hunter of the title, played by Harrison Ford. Although the film initially received mixed reviews and underperformed at the box office, it has since gained stature as one of the best sci-fi films ever made.

"Thelma & Louise" (1991): During a current year distinguished by a mother lode of female-driven motion pictures, it's appropriate to look back at this highly entertaining road picture as a kind of modern feminist manifesto. It takes two working-class women - one a waitress and the other a housewife - and gives them a mythic stature in the way they push back against a cruelly chauvinistic world. Callie Khouri won an Oscar for her original screenplay while the film's two engaging leads, Geena Davis and Susan Sarandon, as well as Scott, also earned nominations from the Academy.

"Gladiator" (2000): The Academy annointed best picture, about a betrayed Roman general who exacts his revenge in the gladiator arena, is red meat for swordsand-sandals aficionados, and marks a high point for lead player Russell Crowe and the beginning of a fruitful relationship between Scott and costume designer Janty Yates, who also claimed an Oscar for her magnificent work. …

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