For the late Sixties Hollywood Britpack—Ridley Scott, Alan Parker, Hugh Hudson, Adrian Lyne, David Puttnam—commercials production was the school where they learned the film-making art.
Tony, Ridley’s younger brother by 7 years, was no exception.
Initially, having graduated from the Royal College of Art, he hankered after the austere, attic-lit life of the painter.
But materialism—and maybe common sense—got the better of him. In 1967, Ridley Sr. lured him into joining his nascent production company RSA (Ridley Scott Associates) with the promise of a Ferrari. It is invidious making a selection from the hundreds of high-grade TV commercials that followed during what the younger Scott later described as a generation of “girls, jeans, rock and roll—a wild period in advertising;… a blast.”
But here, all the same, are a few milestones: First, what we might now refer to as Barclays’s finest hour, with Anthony Hopkins in the starring role of Bob Diamond. A classic, even 12 years later:
Then the Viggen jet fighter ad for Saab, which allegedly put Tony in the frame for making Top Gun, his best-known film:
And finally, finally—his last ad, made for BBDO and Mountain Dew, and featuring Dallas Mavericks owner Mark Cuban:
It’s all in that last line, isn’t it? “But I’m Mark Cuban!” Scott’s sudden death last Sunday remains a mystery. His wife has discounted all rumours that he was suffering from “inoperable brain cancer.”
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