Five Favorite Films with Jerry Bruckheimer

Chatting with the blockbuster producer of this week's Confessions of a Shopaholic.

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Jerry Bruckheimer

Super producer Jerry Bruckheimer has earned a spot amongst Hollywood's elite players by producing some of the most successful and bombastic films of the last three decades, from Beverly Hills Cop to Armageddon, to Black Hawk Down and all three Pirates of the Caribbean movies. (They don't call him "Mr. Blockbuster" for nothing.) So what's Bruckheimer doing producing this week's estrogen-powered Confessions of a Shopaholic, starring a radiant Isla Fisher alongside the fab fashion mise-en-scenes of Sex and the City designer Patricia Fields?

He's taking people (in this case, the chick lit crowd) on a journey. In our discussion below, RT chats with Bruckheimer about his Five Favorite Films, many of which were directed by a sort of blockbuster magician of another generation, the celebrated British filmmaker David Lean. All five of his favorites, however, share certain elements that Bruckheimer strives for in his own career -- a fortuitous combination of great writing, great visual style, and great casting. (They also share a lot in common with the picks of last week's Five Favorite Films subject, Djimon Hounsou, to which Bruckheimer quips, "Really? He's a smart man.")

Below, Jerry Bruckheimer reminisces on working with Paul Schrader and the late artistic director Ferdinando Scarfiotti, with whom he worked on Cat People and American Gigolo, and compares the plight of Shopaholic's indebted heroine to America's current economic crisis. Intriguingly, Bruckheimer also argues that there is no glass ceiling in Hollywood for female filmmakers today (although Confessions of a Shopaholic is helmed by male director P.J. Hogan). Read on for all this and more with Jerry Bruckheimer.

The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957, 95% Tomatometer), Lawrence of Arabia (1962, 98% Tomatometer), Dr. Zhivago (1965, 84% Tomatometer)
The Bridge on the River KwaiI'm a big fan of David Lean. Bridge on the River Kwai, Lawrence of Arabia, and Dr. Zhivago take up three of my favorites. This can go for all three of Lean's films, because they're all very similar. They all have very strong characters, very developed characters. He has a unique visual style; it's very important for the way the movie looks. There are stories about how he'd sit in the desert for half a day, just waiting for the clouds to be right before he'd start filming. You can imagine what a producer would be doing during this. [Smiles] So I love films that have strong visual styles, and all of those films have very unique styles.

The Godfather (1972, 100% Tomatometer)
GodfatherThe Godfather is another big favorite of mine. It's a great characterization. Fantastic casting, in every film. I can generalize on all of these favorite films, because they all have the same elements to them. Very strong directors; very strong writers. Robert Bolt wrote most of David Lean's movies. You have a fantastic screenwriter working at your hand, penning these wonderful characters.

Raging Bull (1980, 98% Tomatometer)
Raging BullAnother masterful director [Martin Scorsese]. Paul Schrader was one of the writers on that, another great writer and director. Casting, again; De Niro is amazing.

Next: Bruckheimer on Paul Schrader, making films to "empower women," and how he pulls each project together