Scott Has New 'Kingdom'

Ridley Scott, 60 Minutes II, Jan. 30, 2001
CBS
On both sides the Atlantic, British director Sir Ridley Scott is known for blockbuster films.

And now the man who put Russell Crowe on the big screen as a Roman warrior in "Gladiator" is making Orlando Bloom famous as a Crusades-era white knight in the epic "Kingdom of Heaven," which opened May 6.

Even before it hit theaters, the movie caused a stir because of its hot-button topic – the Middle Age battles between Christians and Muslims for control of Jerusalem. Some say the movie is anti-Muslim; others call it anti-Christian. And while Scott has denied it, there have been numerous reports that he recieved threats while filming last year in Morocco.

On Sunday Morning CNN correspondent and CBS News contributor Christiane Amanpour reports on "Kingdom of Heaven," and its director.

Although he had been making movies, commercials and TV dramas in Britain since the early 1960s, Scott did not make a name for himself until the 1979 release of "Alien," a science fiction thriller starring Sigourney Weaver and Tom Skerritt. Following that up with 1982's sci-fi masterpiece "Blade Runner" solidified Scott's reputation as a director of both critical and box-office successes.

The 67-year-old Scott is best known for bringing the epic "Gladiator" to the big screen. It won five Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Actor honors for Crowe. It also earned Scott one of his three Best Director nominations.

The other nominations were for "Black Hawk Down" in 2001 and 1991's "Thelma & Louise."

Scott's "Hannibal," the sequel to Jonathan Demme's "Silence of the Lambs" set box-office records but failed to impress critics. Scott's brother Tony also is a director ("Top Gun") and the two have worked with many of the same actors.

Scott, a native of Northumber, England, was knighted by Queen Elizabeth in 2003.