Ridley Scott

A Critical Filmography

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About the Book

Ridley Scott, the director of such seminal films as Blade Runner, Alien and Thelma & Louise, is one of the most important directors of the last fifty years. Unlike many directors, Scott has been remarkably transparent about his craft, offering the audience glimpses into his creative process. This book explores Scott’s oeuvre in depth, devoting a chapter to his 22 primary works, from his first effort, Boy and Bicycle (1962), through Robin Hood (2010). Topics discussed include the critical reception of the films, and the ways in which Scott’s works function as cinematic mediators of issues such as religion, women’s rights and history.

About the Author(s)

The late William B. Parrill was an emeritus professor of English and communication at Southeastern Louisiana University. He was a founding editor of the journal Louisiana Literature and wrote extensively on films and contemporary literature.

Bibliographic Details

William B. Parrill
Format: softcover (7 x 10)
Pages: 189
Bibliographic Info: 23 photos, filmography, bibliography, index
Copyright Date: 2011
pISBN: 978-0-7864-5866-0
eISBN: 978-0-7864-8593-2
Imprint: McFarland

Table of Contents

Preface      1
Introduction      3

1. Boy and Bicycle (1962): Playing Hooky      25
2. Adam Adamant Lives! (1966): The League of Uncharitable Ladies      28
3. The Duellists (1977): En Garde!      30
4. Alien (1979): Ripley on Call      36
5. Blade Runner (1982): At the Thanhauser Gate      43
6. Legend (1985): I Only Wanted to Touch One. Where’s the Harm in That?      58
7. Someone to Watch Over Me (1987): Is It Love, Mike?      63
8. Black Rain (1989): One Big Gray Area      68
9. Thelma & Louise (1991): On the Road: One Insult Too Far      74
10. 1492: Conquest of Paradise (1992): I Think We Have Returned to Eden      85
11. White Squall (1996): A Meterological Phenomenon of the Imagination      91
12. G. I. Jane (1997): Wild Thing      94
13. Gladiator (2000): There Was Once a Dream That Was Rome      100
14. Black Hawk Down (2001): Bird Down in the City      108
15. Hannibal (2001): Hannibal the Cannibal      116
16. Matchstick Men (2003): Mean Street Men in Bright Colors      125
17. All the Invisible Children (2005): “Jonathan”: The Rediscovery of Life Through Childhood      129
18. Kingdom of Heaven (2005): Jerusalem: The Center of the World for Forgiveness      131
19. A Good Year (2006): Postcards from Provence      138
20. American Gangster (2007): Cops Kill Cops They Can’t Trust      142
21. Body of Lies (2008): Closing Time      150
22. Robin Hood (2010): The Outlaw Returns to History      154

Filmography      161
Bibliography      165
Index      173

Book Reviews & Awards

  • “Fascinating, thought-provoking work…highly recommended”—ARBA
  • “During his career, he has been able to exercise greater control over the content of his films than almost any other director…a master of the entire filmmaking process, including organizing and planning”—Reference & Research Book News
  • “Provides a very neat, brief look into some of the most iconic films of the last two decades. Parnell has gone the extra mile than most film fans though and there are some fascinating insights into each film”—Filmwerk.