Old School Americana & Nostalgia


A Clint Eastwood Film Caused Martin Scorsese to Turn Down a Huge 80s Hit

A Clint Eastwood Film Caused Martin Scorsese to Turn Down a Huge 80s Hit

Martin Scorsese has a pretty good track record when it comes to picking movie projects, but he took a big miss when passing over a 1980s smash hit.

Why would Scorsese miss on such a good, funny movie? It appears that the director thought Beverly Hill Cop was too much like a Clint Eastwood movie. That just simply caused Scorsese to take a hard pass on it.

Let’s look at the premise of Beverly Hills Cop, which starred Eddie Murphy. Axel Foley, played by Murphy, comes to Los Angeles from Detroit to solve the murder of his best friend. From Scorsese’s viewpoint, that movie compared too closely to Coogan’s Bluff, a 1968 movie starring Eastwood. In that movie, Coogan (Eastwood) traveled to New York to nab a fugitive wanted for murder.

OK, so those are the main storylines in the movies. Yet both movies are pretty different in how they present themselves. Beverly Hills Cop took on a bit of a mainstream movie look — leading into sequels and a popular franchise. Coogan’s Bluff was a movie that used solid visuals and Western themes to make their points.

Martin Scorsese Chooses To Make ‘After Hours’

Scorsese ended up making After Hours. While the movie might have been well received by Scorsese followers, it did not come anywhere near Beverly Hills Cop at the box office. Murphy’s movie scored $15 million at the box office.

What’s interesting to note here is that Scorsese usually has a good eye for his projects. When it came to the Murphy movie, it didn’t have a lot to compare with the Eastwood movie.

For Martin Scorsese, he would go on to have more impactful movies in his career. They included Goodfellas, The Last Temptation of Christ, and others. These days, Scorsese is taking a look at his own life while still working on movies. In a recent GQ Magazine interview, he shared a little more about his thoughts regarding his love for movies.

“Watching films came out of a necessity from the illness of asthma,” Scorsese said. “And it came out of a loneliness, which I still have, which had to do with my father and my mother. And they couldn’t do anything with me. So they took me to the movies.”

Director Deals With Personal Loneliness

Scorsese speaks of loneliness as if it’s a close friend. Well, his personal life has its rhythm to it. Helen Morris, his wife, is dealing with Parkinson’s disease. It’s been around her for several years. And it’s been something Scorsese has to face every single day.

“There’s a lot invested in my personal life at home,” Scorsese told GQ. “And there are only a few people who understand that and are gracious enough to be part of it. And so where we used to have dinner parties and things, that’s all becoming much, much less. (And) so I’m pretty much alone. … invariably if I’m meeting with people, it’s business.”

His latest movie is titled Killers of the Flower Moon. It stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert DeNiro, and Lily Gladstone. Now 80 years old, Scorsese has quite a scorecard of movies to his name. He’s staying focused on his current movie project. But that doesn’t mean he’s stopped looking, planning, dreaming of other movies.

Even when he passes on a movie like Beverly Hills Cop, Martin Scorsese will find a movie and make it into his project. Raging Bull, The Wolf of Wall Street, Taxi Driver, and others have his imprint upon them. At times, it appears that Scorsese will dive head-first into the content itself. Then, he’ll find a way to make it all work out. But he’s not giving up his world of filmmaking at all.