Happy birthday Ridley Scott!

Ridley Scott in 2015 (Photo NASA/Bill Ingalls)
Ridley Scott in 2015 (Photo NASA/Bill Ingalls)

Ridley Scott was born on November 30, 1937 in South Shields, England.

After following for years his father, a British Army Officer, Ridley Scott studied at the West Hartlepool College of Art and later at the Royal College of Art. After graduating, he began working at the BBC as a set designer and later as a director in important TV shows such as “Out of the Unknown”, “Z Cars” and “Adam Adamant Lives!”.

In 1964, Ridley Scott married Felicity Heywood and the two of them had their sons Jake (1965) and Luke (1968), who also became directors. Their marriage lasted until 1975.

In 1968, together with his younger brother, Tony, Ridley Scott founded Ridley Scott Associates (RSA), a production company that among other things created commercials for major brands in various sectors such as Chanel and Apple which are part of the history of British television.

In 1977, Ridley Scott’s career took another turn with the release of his first feature film, “The Duellists”, which immediately gave him success with the special prize at the Cannes Film Festival Jury and the David di Donatello.

Nel 1979 Ridley Scott married Sandy Watson and the two of them had their daughter Jordan. Their marriage lasted until 1989.

Ridley Scott intended to continue on the same genre of movies but was offered the direction of “Alien”. As a kid he had read H.G. Wells and in those years science fiction movies were gaining new achievements, so he accepted and the movie was released in 1979. Initially it received mixed criticism but gained considerable public success, also thanks to the contribution to the creation of the Xenomorph by artists such as H.R. Giger and Carlo Rambaldi. Over the years it’s become a cult movie in the field of science fiction, so much that it had a number of sequels in the following decades.

Ridley Scott’s success in science fiction further increased with the release of “Blade Runner” in 1982, an adaptation of Philip K. Dick’s novel “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?” with a very different development of the story. Initially in the USA it was unsuccessful while things went better in other nations but over the years its fame has made it an absolute masterpiece, also among the best movies with Harrison Ford. Rutger Hauer‘s final monologue has become well-known beyond the field of cinema. In 1992 came the Director’s Cut and in 2007 the Final Cut, with different editings.

In the following years, Ridley Scott directed other movies of various genres but with mixed results. In 1985 he released “Legend” in different editings in various countries and later a much longer Director’s Cut. After that experience, the filmmaker took a break to return with “Someone to Watch Over Me” (1987), “Black Rain” (1989) and above all “Thelma & Louise” (1991).

Ridley Scott’s activity got more and more divided between directing and producing. In particular, after the 1990s, quite poor in success, he increasingly produced movies, telefilms and even TV shows then directed by others.

Success as director returned to Ridley Scott with “Gladiator” (2000), winner of various Oscars, Golden Globes and many other international awards. However, the results were still mixed in the following years, beginning with that obtained with “Hannibal” in 2001, a box office success but not with critics. In the following years his most successful movie was probably “American Gangster” (2007).

In recent years, Ridley Scott returned to the Alien saga directing “Prometheus”, released in 2012, but received a lot of negative criticism. He obtained better results with “The Counselor” (2013), dedicated to his brother Tony, who committed suicide during the movie’s production, and with “The Martian” (2015).

A few months ago, “Alien: Covenant” was released and Ridley Scott still has several projects under way. Although he’s no longer a boy, he keeps on developing them as a director and even more as a producer. On several occasions his results weren’t up to his reputation but some of his movies have already made the history of cinema.

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