Blog — Don Simpson

Don Simpson: From Anchorage to Bel-Air

Don Simpson

Independent article by David Thomson on the life and times of Hollywood’s most ambitious film producer Don Simpson Where do we begin? How would Don Simpson have begun? Try this: we are in Anchorage, Alaska, and it is 1953, the early days of the Eisenhower administration. We are in a bathroom. We will need a genius on decor, someone who can get the resemblance between a very neat and tidy prison cell and a bathroom from lower-middle-class Anchorage, Alaska, in the early years of the Eisenhower administration. Are you with me? There is this little boy, eight years old, with...

Read more →


Don Simpson: From bad boy to worse

Don Simpson

Entertainment Weekly article by Rebecca Ascher-Walsh on the outlandish rise and rise and spectacular fall of Hollywood’s most maniacal film producer Don Simpson As he strode into a Santa Monica restaurant last spring, Don Simpson was the picture of a rightful heir returning to Hollywood’s throne. Wearing a navy blue blazer, tan from a vacation in Hawaii, his ever-roller-coastering weight dropping toward a still-stocky low, the producer scarcely took a breath while he talked about his future and brushed off rumors about his past. Jerry Bruckheimer, his partner of 12 years, sat quietly beside him. For the first time in...

Read more →


Don Simpson: Movie partnership made in hell

Don Simpson

New York Times article by Eric Pace on Hollywood’s most deranged producer Don Simpson and his partnership with super producer Jerry Bruckheimer Don Simpson and his longtime partner, Jerry Bruckheimer, formed a production company in 1983 and became known as the archetypal Hollywood producers of the 1980′s, when they were associated with a succession of Paramount Pictures hits. In 1985 and 1988, they were named Producers of the Year by the National Association of Theater Owners. Around Hollywood, before their partnership broke up in recent months, the partners were referred to simply as Don and Jerry. They started out together...

Read more →


Don Simpson: Keep it simple, stupid

Don Simpson

New York Times article by Bernard Weinraub on Hollywood’s most notorious producer Don Simpson and his role in creating the high concept blockbuster model that came to dominate the film industry On Friday night, Jake Bloom, a Hollywood lawyer with numerous clients in the movie industry, phoned Michael Eisner, chairman of the Walt Disney Company. He was calling to inform him of the death of Don Simpson, one of Hollywood’s most prominent producers and a one-time colleague of Mr. Eisner’s. The Disney chairman quietly told Mr. Bloom, “I’ve been waiting for this call for 20 years.” Mr. Eisner’s words mirrored...

Read more →


Don Simpson: It’s all about the money

Don Simpson

Memo by Don Simpson on money in the film business The pursuit of making money is the only reason to make movies. We have no obligation to make history. We have no obligation to make art. We have no obligation to make a statement. Our obligation is to make money. And in order to make money, we must always make entertaining movies. A powerful idea is the heart of any successful movie. The creative premise is what first attracts people to the product. A good idea is one that seems imaginative, original. Seems in some way new and unique. The...

Read more →