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by Jay A. Fernandez
August 20, 2012 11:31 AM
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Watch: Early Ridley Scott Film "Boy and Bicycle" From 1962 Starring 16-Year-Old Tony Scott

This should add a little poignancy to today's shocking news that veteran action director Tony Scott ("Top Gun," "True Romance") has jumped to his death from a San Pedro bridge. TheSpace.org has made available a film held in the British Film Institute archives that Scott's older brother Ridley (the director of "Blade Runner" and "Gladiator") made some 50 years ealier, when Tony was just 16 years old.

Titled "Boy and Bicycle," the 1962 work shot on a 16mm Bolex received post-production funding from the BFI, and it shows Tony on a day spent playing hookie from school.

Check out the film.

UPDATE: See the film via YouTube below:

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2 Comments

  • Ron Norman | August 20, 2012 8:33 PMReply

    What a stunning film. The power of black and white, poetry, vision, and passion for cinema. It retrospect, it is so moving. Knowing nothing, it is still moving. As a filmmaker, I feel the Scotts, childhood, and their creativity in my heart and spirit. As a mentor to some film students, I will show the film to touch their own spirits, giving them support and hope. Thank you deeply to the Scotts.

  • B. Rosson Davis | August 20, 2012 6:23 PMReply

    The Day Tony Scott Died -- 19 August 2012 by B. Rosson Davis

    ("Boy and Bicycle" tie-in follows) Upon reading of Tony Scott’s death today, I felt an immediate loss-- of one of the best “action film” director-producers in the business. He was not in the shadow of his older, more illustrious brother, Sir Ridley Scott, and, he relished being a partner with Ridley in their Scott Free Productions, where Tony was always pushing the envelope in his grand-scale action driven films, fast-paced editing style, cliff-hanger movies that grab you from the first shot. He lived for action. He died in action.

    One of my favorite Tony Scott films is “Revenge”; his casting was provocative and perfect: Stowe, Costner, and Quinn are indelible. Tony really stuck his neck out with this picture, not letting up on the passionate, hedonistic-sexy story line, nor the violent and vicious revenge savagely wielded by Anthony Quinn’s character, Tibby, in this brilliantly-shot-in-Mexico drama-thriller. "Revenge" still looks fresh today, the story, pacing, and filmmaking style never dated, the theme of man’s capacity for hate, malice and revenge as appropriate as it ever was in 1990. Tony recognized early on the audience’s hunger for more explicit sex and violence in films, yet, he never exploited these two human drives, the sex and violence always fit the story and the characters, was never gratuitous, never over-the-top. He possessed a masterful understanding for showing the real darkness and maliciousness in human character.

    Tony Scott’s career-long (and life-long) relationship with his “brother-in-cinema”, Ridley, will always reflect their bond of brotherhood, yet Tony’s style was certainly his own. It is ironic and prophetic that in Tony’s first film experience, he’s the actor in brother Ridley’s first film, (a short titled “Boy and Bicycle”, shot in England in 1965)-- we see Tony’s character, a truant school-boy, riding his bike through the edge of town, past wharf-houses, abandoned storage sheds, the gulls squalling overhead, the waves lapping the shore line. He is totally alone as he rides to the quay. Half-way across an inlet bridge, Tony stops, sets his bicycle down, then muses he’s “the only one in the world who knows where he is at this moment.” His voice-over monologue continues, musing on death: “…everyone dies”… He even mentions “uncompromising positions in death”, and, how “some just “drop off”— or, “they said about his unexpected death: He kept control til’ the dying end.”

    How prophetic. How ironic. “Boy and Bicycle”— Equally ironic is the fact that I saw this black and white short film for the first time the day after Tony jumped from a bridge, taking his own life. He was alone on that bridge, overlooking water, gulls railing above him, when he abandoned his vehicle. Is there a mysterious thread here? A boy on his own, musing on death, on a bridge, in the middle of it, abandoning his bike… But, this time, he (Tony, 2012) decides to jump, ending his life, his way, right there, in that uncompromising position. Tony Scott chose action, jumping into death. Perhaps, this was his final control, final action—over his life, over his own death. He will be missed. B.A.R.D.