It’s been a time of mixed fortunes for Jerry Bruckheimer, the Hollywood super-producer (“Beverly Hills Cop,” “Top Gun,” “Black Hawk Down”) whose surname is as distinctive a cinematic brand as that of any auteur. Not long after his overly expensive western “The Lone Ranger” took a beating (undeservedly so, in my opinion) from critics and ticket-buyers alike, it was announced that he and Walt Disney Pictures would be ending their once-lucrative deal. As Greg noted when reporting the news last week, it wasn’t his first such flop — is there still room for studio mega-producers in this day and age?
Better news, however, comes from the American Cinematheque, who announced today that Bruckheimer will be the 27th recipient of their annual American Cinematheque Award, which is handed to “an extraordinary artist in the entertainment industry who is fully engaged in his or her work and is committed to making a significant contribution to the art of the motion pictures.” The award will be presented on December 12 in Los Angeles.
Not only is Bruckheimer the first winner of the award since Rob Reiner in 1994 to be known principally for work behind the camera — but he’s the first producer ever to take the award at all. “Jerry’s monumental accomplishments as producer of many of the most popular and iconic movies of all time, including 19 films that have grossed more than $100 million domestically, made him the obvious choice as the American Cinematheque’s first producer honoree,” says Cinemathque head Rick Niciti. “His work ethnic is matched only by his determination to stay behind the scenes so the American Cinematheque is particularly thrilled to have Jerry accept the respect and congratulations that he deserves from the motion picture industry.”
This might comes as some consolation days after Bruckheimer lost what had become his near-annual Emmy for Best Reality Competition Program for “The Amazing Race.” He has nine Emmys on his mantel overall, and four Producers’ Guild of America awards. He is still awaiting any kind of recognition from AMPAS, unsurprisingly enough.
Previous winners of the American Cinematheque Award are: Eddie Murphy, Bettle Midler, Robin Williams, Steven Spielberg, Ron Howard, Martin Scorsese, Sean Connery, Michael Douglas, Rob Reiner, Mel Gibson, Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Arnold Schwarzenneger, Jodie Foster, Bruce Willis, Nicolas Cage, Denzel Washinton, Nicole KIdman, Steve Martin, Al Pacino, George Clooney, Julia Roberts, Samuel L. Jacobs, Matches, Robert Downey Jr, and Ben Stiller.