Ridley Scott is celebrating his 40th year as a film director in 2017, and it has been quite a year for the 80-year-old director. Early in the year, he had the box office smash “Alien: Covenant.” And now for late December, he has encountered one of the most incredible challenges bringing his latest film “All the Money in the World” to screens. The film is the story of the kidnapping of billionaire oil executive J. Paul Getty’s grandson in the 1970s. The film stars Michelle Williams as the mother of the kidnapped teen and Christopher Plummer as Getty. Both actors were recently nominated for Golden Globes for their performances based on a rough cut of the film shown to Globe voters.
Getting to this point and even having the film released at all this year has been an almost unprecedented struggle for Scott. The film was originally shot with Kevin Spacey as the elderly Getty. When Spacey was accused of sexual misconduct with a minor and other allegations (which led to his removal from the television series “House of Cards”) Scott chose to erase Spacey from the film and re-shoot all of his scenes using Plummer (who Scott says was his first choice for the role but studio executives wanted the more bankable Spacey in the part). Scott accomplished the re-shoots and final editing in under a month.
Lesser directors may have crumbled under such pressure and postponed the film’s release a year or so, but Scott has long been one of film’s great craftsmen. Not only have his films been visually thrilling they have also provided excellent acting opportunities for actors and many members of his casts have been Oscar nominated. Russell Crowe in fact won the Oscar for Best Actor for “Gladiator.” Scott himself though has never won an Oscar. On the occasion of the last-second release of “All the Money in the World” and its possible last minute entrance into the Oscar race, tour our photo gallery of Scott’s Top 15 greatest movies during his career.
– Original text and gallery published in December 2017.