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8 Commercials Directed by Martin Scorsese

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Although Oscar-winning director Martin Scorsese is best known for his gritty crime dramas and two- to four-hour-long films, he also occasionally dabbles in making short-form commercials. Here are eight ad spots he has directed over the years. 

1. Dolce & Gabbana

In 2013, Martin Scorsese directed Matthew McConaughey and Scarlett Johansson in Dolce & Gabbana’s commercial for their fragrance The One. The black-and-white ad campaign was titled “Street of Dreams” and followed the pair driving through New York City and reminiscing about love, their desires, and the changing city. It was described as "a celebration of passion, of beauty, and of being unique." 

“My enjoyment is shooting in New York in Manhattan,” said the director while making the commercial. “I just find it real natural to find the frames. It’s also a part of who I am and where I’m from. I’m from downtown New York, downtown Manhattan, so shooting in the streets, for me, is very special, it’s a very freeing experience.” 

2. Apple

Scorsese paid homage to his 1976 film Taxi Driver in a 2012 Apple commercial for the iPhone 4S and its voice assistant feature Siri. The TV spot showed the busy director trying to re-organize his daily schedule while heading downtown in a New York City cab. If you look closely, the taxi’s number, “3S96,” is the same one that Robert De Niro’s Travis Bickle drives in Taxi Driver. 

3. Bleu de Chanel

Scorsese directed “THE FILM” for the men’s cologne line Bleu de Chanel in 2010. It starred French actor and model Gaspard Ulliel as a young hot-shot director who remembers his favorite muse and his early days as a struggling filmmaker, when she reappears in his life during a fast-paced press conference. The ad features a number of Scorsese signatures, including its kinetic energy, quick editing, and music from the Rolling Stones—in this case, their 1965 deep cut “She Said Yeah.” Scorsese also paid homage to Michelangelo Antonioni’s 1966 film Blow-Up in the way some of the various modeling scenes were shot. 

4. Tribeca Film Festival

The Tribeca Film Festival and American Express reached out to Scorsese to produce an ad spot for the film festival in 2004. The commercial featured festival co-founder Robert De Niro walking through the streets of New York reflecting on his life and the city that he calls home.

5. American Express

In 2007, Scorsese directed a star-studded commercial for American Express’ The Members Project program. The TV spot featured Alicia Keys, Ellen DeGeneres, Shaun White, Andre Agassi, and Sheryl Crow, along with Scorsese playing himself, directing the whole thing. 

BONUS: Scorsese also appeared in a few TV spots for American Express that he didn’t direct, most notably 2006's “One Hour Photo” from veteran commercial director Jim Jenkins and Academy Award-winning cinematographer Emmanuel Lubezki.  

6. & 7. Armani

Scorsese directed two 30-second commercials for Giorgio Armani in 1986. The first was for the Emporio Armani clothing line and featured a young couple sitting on a bed as the woman teaches the man Italian by pointing to her facial features to help him understand. Academy Award-winning cinematographer Néstor Almendros filmed the scene in black and white.

The second spot, for Armani Cologne, has a man accidently spill a bottle of cologne as he sneaks out of an apartment to avoid an angry confrontation with his girlfriend. This time German cinematographer and longtime Scorsese collaborator Michael Ballhaus filmed the commercial. 

8. City of Dreams Casino in Manila

In 2015, Martin Scorsese directed two of his frequent leading men—Robert De Niro and Leonardo DiCaprio—in a pair of commercials for City of Dreams Casino in Manila, Philippines and Studio City Casino in Macau, China. The ad campaign was called “The Audition” and showed De Niro and DiCaprio battling over the lead role in Scorsese’s new film, while Brad Pitt also threw his name in the ring. The two commercials are relatively similar, except Scorsese is welcoming the rival actors to its respective casinos. According to ABC News, each actor took home $13 million to appear in the commercials, while its budget circled the $70 million mark. 

Bonus: AT&T

In 2008, Martin Scorsese appeared as himself in AT&T’s “Be Sensible” public service announcement campaign to urge theatergoers to silence their phones while watching the movie. In the PSA, Scorsese, unhappy with a son’s phone call to his father, interrupts to give direction to the child and his mother on how to properly address this phone conversation.

Originally, Scorsese was expected to direct the commercial, but he ultimately decided to just act in it. Commercial director Jim Jenkins took the reins and praised Scorsese for his humor in the role. “Obviously he’s a natural actor,” Jenkins said in an interview with Creativity Online. “But he was nervous. He just wanted it to be funny. He said, ‘I can’t know if it’s funny. Just make it funny.'”

Shout! Factory
Original GLOW Wrestling Series Hits Twitch
Shout! Factory
Shout! Factory

When it premiered in June 2017, GLOW was a bit of a sleeper offering for Netflix. With the amount of original programming ordered by the streaming service, a show based on an obscure women’s pro wrestling league from the 1980s seemed destined to get lost in the shuffle.

Instead, the series was a critical and commercial success. Ahead of its second season, which drops on June 29, you'll have a chance to see the mat work of the original women who inspired it.

Shout! Factory has announced they will be live-streaming clips from the first four seasons of GLOW (Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling), which first premiered in 1986, beginning at 9 p.m. ET on June 28. The stream, which will be available on and Twitch, will feature original footage framed by new interviews with personalities including Godiva, host Johnny C, and Hollywood. The show will air live from the Santino Brothers Wrestling Academy in Los Angeles.

Godiva, who was portrayed by Dawn Maestas, inspired the character Rhonda (a.k.a. Brittanica) on the Netflix series; Hollywood was the alter ego of Jeanne Basone, who inspired the character Cherry in the fictionalized version of the league. Basone later posed for Playboy and takes bookings for one-on-one wrestling matches with fans.

Shout! Factory's site also features a full-length compilation of footage, Brawlin’ Beauties: GLOW, hosted by onetime WWE interviewer “Mean” Gene Okerlund.

Universal Studios
Everything That’s Leaving Netflix in July
Universal Studios
Universal Studios

Here’s some news you won’t be cheering about: Bring It On is leaving Netflix on July 1st—as are the four of its sequels that are currently part of the company’s streaming library (FYI: there are a total of six Bring It On films altogether—yes, six). The Lethal Weapon franchise will bid farewell, too, as will a handful of classic films like Breakfast at Tiffany’s. To make way for July’s slate of new titles, here’s everything that’s leaving Netflix in July.



Along Came Polly

An Honest Liar


Before Midnight

Bring It On

Bring It On Again

Bring It On: All or Nothing

Bring It On: Fight to the Finish

Bring It On: In It to Win It


Extremely Loud and Incredibly Close

Lethal Weapon

Lethal Weapon 2

Lethal Weapon 3

Lethal Weapon 4

Little Women

Michael Clayton

Midnight in Paris

Mixed Signals

More Than a Game


Piglet’s Big Movie

Rugrats Go Wild

Scary Movie

Scream 3

Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines

The Art of War

Tropic Thunder

V for Vendetta


Breakfast at Tiffany’s


Alpha & Omega: Journey to Bear Kingdom

Real Husbands of Hollywood: Seasons 1-5


Ratchet and Clank



Alice Through the Looking Glass


Wild Hogs



Lockup: State Prisons: Collection 1

Small Is Beautiful: A Tiny House Documentary





The Den


A Cinderella Story

Hurricane of Fun: The Making of Wet Hot

Swing State 


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