Essay About Steven Spielberg Imdb

One of the most influential personalities in the history of cinema, Steven Spielberg is Hollywood's best known director and one of the wealthiest filmmakers in the world. He has an extraordinary number of commercially successful and critically acclaimed credits to his name, either as a director, producer or writer since launching the summer blockbuster with Jaws (1975), and he has done more to define popular film-making since the mid-1970s than anyone else.

Steven Allan Spielberg was born in 1946 in Cincinnati, Ohio, to Leah Frances (Posner), a concert pianist and restaurateur, and Arnold Spielberg, an electrical engineer who worked in computer development. His parents were both born to Russian Jewish immigrant families. Steven spent his younger years in Haddon Township, New Jersey, Phoenix, Arizona, and later Saratoga, California. He went to California State University Long Beach, but dropped out to pursue his entertainment career. He gained notoriety as an uncredited assistant editor on the classic western Wagon Train (1957). Among his early directing efforts were Battle Squad (1961), which combined World War II footage with footage of an airplane on the ground that he makes you believe is moving. He also directed Escape to Nowhere (1961), which featured children as World War Two soldiers, including his sister Anne Spielberg, and The Last Gun (1959), a western. All of these were short films. The next couple of years, Spielberg directed a couple of movies that would portend his future career in movies. In 1964, he directed Firelight (1964), a movie about aliens invading a small town. In 1967, he directed Slipstream (1967), which was unfinished. However, in 1968, he directed Amblin' (1968), which featured the desert prominently, and not the first of his movies in which the desert would feature so prominently. Amblin' also became the name of his production company, which turned out such classics as E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982). Spielberg had a unique and classic early directing project, Duel (1971), with Dennis Weaver. In the early 1970s, Spielberg was working on TV, directing among others such series as Rod Serling's Night Gallery (1969), Marcus Welby, M.D. (1969) and Columbo: Murder by the Book (1971). All of his work in television and short films, as well as his directing projects, were just a hint of the wellspring of talent that would dazzle audiences all over the world.

Spielberg's first major directorial effort was The Sugarland Express (1974), with Goldie Hawn, a film that marked him as a rising star. It was his next effort, however, that made him an international superstar among directors: Jaws (1975). This classic shark attack tale started the tradition of the summer blockbuster or, at least, he was credited with starting the tradition. His next film was the classic Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), a unique and original UFO story that remains a classic. In 1978, Spielberg produced his first film, the forgettable I Wanna Hold Your Hand (1978), and followed that effort with Used Cars (1980), a critically acclaimed, but mostly forgotten, Kurt Russell\\Jack Warden comedy about devious used-car dealers. Spielberg hit gold yet one more time with Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), with Harrison Ford taking the part of Indiana Jones. Spielberg produced and directed two films in 1982. The first was Poltergeist (1982), but the highest-grossing movie of all time up to that point was the alien story E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982). Spielberg also helped pioneer the practice of product placement. The concept, while not uncommon, was still relatively low-key when Spielberg raised the practice to almost an art form with his famous (or infamous) placement of Reese's Pieces in "E.T." Spielberg was also one of the pioneers of the big-grossing special-effects movies, like "E.T." and "Close Encounters", where a very strong emphasis on special effects was placed for the first time on such a huge scale. In 1984, Spielberg followed up "Raiders" with Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), which was a commercial success but did not receive the critical acclaim of its predecessor. As a producer, Spielberg took on many projects in the 1980s, such as The Goonies (1985), and was the brains behind the little monsters in Gremlins (1984). He also produced the cartoon An American Tail (1986), a quaint little animated classic. His biggest effort as producer in 1985, however, was the blockbuster Back to the Future (1985), which made Michael J. Fox an instant superstar. As director, Spielberg took on the book The Color Purple (1985), with Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey, with great success. In the latter half of the 1980s, he also directed Empire of the Sun (1987), a mixed success for the occasionally erratic Spielberg. Success would not escape him for long, though.

The late 1980s found Spielberg's projects at the center of pop-culture yet again. In 1988, he produced the landmark animation/live-action film Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988). The next year proved to be another big one for Spielberg, as he produced and directed Always (1989) as well as Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), and Back to the Future Part II (1989). All three of the films were box-office and critical successes. Also, in 1989, he produced the little known comedy-drama Dad (1989), with Jack Lemmon and Ted Danson, which got mostly mixed results. Spielberg has also had an affinity for animation and has been a strong voice in animation in the 1990s. Aside from producing the landmark "Who Framed Roger Rabbit", he produced the animated series Tiny Toon Adventures (1990), Animaniacs (1993), Pinky and the Brain (1995), Freakazoid! (1995), Pinky, Elmyra & the Brain (1998), Family Dog (1993) and Toonsylvania (1998). Spielberg also produced other cartoons such as The Land Before Time (1988), We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story (1993), Casper (1995) (the live action version) as well as the live-action version of The Flintstones (1994), where he was credited as "Steven Spielrock". Spielberg also produced many Roger Rabbit short cartoons, and many Pinky and the Brain, Animaniacs and Tiny Toons specials. Spielberg was very active in the early 1990s, as he directed Hook (1991) and produced such films as the cute fantasy Joe Versus the Volcano (1990) and An American Tail: Fievel Goes West (1991). He also produced the unusual comedy thriller Arachnophobia (1990), Back to the Future Part III (1990) and Gremlins 2: The New Batch (1990). While these movies were big successes in their own right, they did not quite bring in the kind of box office or critical acclaim as previous efforts. In 1993, Spielberg directed Jurassic Park (1993), which for a short time held the record as the highest grossing movie of all time, but did not have the universal appeal of his previous efforts. Big box-office spectacles were not his only concern, though. He produced and directed Schindler's List (1993), a stirring film about the Holocaust. He won best director at the Oscars, and also got Best Picture. In the mid-90s, he helped found the production company DreamWorks, which was responsible for many box-office successes.

As a producer, he was very active in the late 90s, responsible for such films as The Mask of Zorro (1998), Men in Black (1997) and Deep Impact (1998). However, it was on the directing front that Spielberg was in top form. He directed and produced the epic Amistad (1997), a spectacular film that was shorted at the Oscars and in release due to the fact that its release date was moved around so much in late 1997. The next year, however, produced what many believe was one of the best films of his career: Saving Private Ryan (1998), a film about World War Two that is spectacular in almost every respect. It was stiffed at the Oscars, losing best picture to Shakespeare in Love (1998).

Spielberg produced a series of films, including Evolution (2001), The Haunting (1999) and Shrek (2001). he also produced two sequels to Jurassic Park (1993), which were financially but not particularly critical successes. In 2001, he produced a mini-series about World War Two that definitely *was* a financial and critical success: Band of Brothers (2001), a tale of an infantry company from its parachuting into France during the invasion to the Battle of the Bulge. Also in that year, Spielberg was back in the director's chair for A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001), a movie with a message and a huge budget. It did reasonably at the box office and garnered varied reviews from critics.

Spielberg has been extremely active in films there are many other things he has done as well. He produced the short-lived TV series SeaQuest 2032 (1993), an anthology series entitled Amazing Stories (1985), created the video-game series "Medal of Honor" set during World War Two, and was a starting producer of ER (1994). Spielberg, if you haven't noticed, has a great interest in World War Two. He and Tom Hanks collaborated on Shooting War (2000), a documentary about World War II combat photographers, and he produced a documentary about the Holocaust called Eyes of the Holocaust (2000). With all of this to Spielberg's credit, it's no wonder that he's looked at as one of the greatest ever figures in entertainment.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Scott msa0510@mail.ecu.edu

He often shows shooting stars (Jaws (1975)).
His consistent references to World War II.
He is credited for starting the summer blockbuster tradition with 1975's first $100 million megahit, Jaws (1975).
He is known on-set for being able to work and come up with ideas very quickly (the best example of this would be the filming of "Saving Private Ryan", where Spielberg came up with angles and shot ideas on the spot, due to the fact that the film was largely un-storyboarded). Perhaps this is a habit he picked up after the filming of "Jaws", which was, very famously, a torturously slow shoot due to technical problems.
He frequently uses (and helped re-popularize) the "dolly zoom" in-camera effect used to signify/evoke an impactful moment or realization, famously employed in "Jaws" upon Chief Brody witnessing the shark attack from his beach chair.
He is a member of Theta Chi Fraternity (Zeta Epsilon Chapter, Long Beach State University). One of his fraternity brothers was Roger Ernest.
He is among the richest individuals in Hollywood.
On 31 October 1997, he was chosen by Entertainment Weekly as the most powerful person in entertainment in 1997.
In 1995, he was given the American Film Institute Life Achievement Award.
He attended California State University-Long Beach after being turned down by USC Cinema school twice.
In 1995, awarded second annual John Huston Award for Artists Rights by the Artists Rights Foundation.
He has one of the original Rosebud sleds from Citizen Kane (1941) in his house.
In September 1999, he was named Best Director of the 20th Century in an Entertainment Weekly on-line poll, substantially beating out runners-up Alfred Hitchcock and Stanley Kubrick.
He received the Distinguished Public Service Award, the U. S. Navy's highest civilian honor, on Veterans Day 1999 for his work on the movie Saving Private Ryan (1998).
When he was a child, he sneaked onto the lot of Universal Studios during a tour and befriended an editor who showed him a few things about filmmaking.
During filming of their episode of Night Gallery (1969), Spielberg gave Joan Crawford the gift of a single red rose in a Pepsi bottle. During an on-set conversation with Detroit Free Press reporter Shirley Eder, Crawford pointed out Spielberg and said, "Go interview that kid, because he's going to be the biggest director of all time!" Crawford and Spielberg remained good friends until her death in 1977.
He states that the work of David Lean has had a profound effect on his career.
He almost directed Big (1988) with Tom Hanks starring, but didn't want to steal the thunder of his sister, Anne Spielberg, who co-wrote the script.
He was directing a childbirth scene when he received a call that Amy Irving was giving birth to their son Max Spielberg.
He was born at 6:16 PM EST.
On May 31, 2002, graduated from California State University Long Beach with a bachelor's degree in film and electronic arts. He had dropped out of college in 1968 to concentrate on his career, but during the 2000s fulfilled his remaining graduation requirements via independent projects, which required correspondence courses and several term papers. For Spielberg, the school waived its requirement that all senior film majors must submit a completed 12-minute short film, accepting Schindler's List (1993) in its place. He donned cap and gown and marched in the commencement ceremony with his fellow graduates.
When Spielberg received his undergraduate degree (about 35 years after he had first entered college), the orchestra played the theme from the "Indiana Jones" series of films as he walked up to and across the stage.
His father served in World War II in South East Asian Front.
According to the 2002 edition of Forbes' "400 Richest People in America," his fortune is estimated at $2.2 billion, a $100 million improvement over the 2001 estimate.
In Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), the humans and aliens use music and computers to communicate. Spielberg's father was a computer scientist and his mother was a musician. This fact was only recently pointed out to him on Inside the Actors Studio (1994) by host James Lipton and he was unsurprisingly delighted when he realised the connection.
In the 2004 edition of Forbes' "400 Richest People in America", his net worth is estimated at $2.6 billion, his highest showing yet. The only filmmaker ahead of him is his good friend George Lucas, whose worth is estimated at $3 billion.
His longtime friend George Lucas originally wanted him to direct the third entry of the original Star Wars trilogy, Star Wars: Episode VI - Return of the Jedi (1983) and Spielberg was eager to do so, but Lucas was unsuccessful in getting him the job because of his dispute with the Director's Guild at the time.
He graduated from Saratoga High School in Saratoga, California.
He ranked #1 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Greatest directors ever!" (2005).
He has always been very protective of his name. If his company is working on a film and he feels it is not up to his standards, he will remove his name as a producer.
In the 2005 edition of Forbes' "400 Richest People in America", his net worth is estimated at $2.7 billion, a $100 million improvement over 2004 (due mostly to his share of the DreamWorks Animation public stock offering). He, and good friend George Lucas (net worth: $3.5 billion) are the only filmmakers on the list.
He once screened Lawrence of Arabia (1962) with director David Lean, who gave Spielberg a "live director's commentary", as Spielberg put it. Spielberg said that it was one of the best moments of his life, learning from a true master. Consequently, Spielberg stated that it helped him make better pictures and that commentary directly influenced every movie he has made since.
His iconic character "E.T." from E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) is ranked #26 on Premiere Magazine's 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time.
He ranked #6 in the Power Rankings and #1 in the Money Rankings on Forbes' 2006 Celebrity 100 List, with earnings of $332 million. Most of those earnings were from the 2005 sale of DreamWorks to Paramount Pictures.
He was interviewed in "Directors Close Up: Interviews with Directors Nominated for Best Film by the Directors Guild of America", ed. by Jeremy Kagan, Scarecrow Press, 2006.
On 14 December 2002 he bought Bette Davis' Oscar, which she won for Dangerous (1935), at a Sotheby's auction in New York to return it to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. The statuette was among the memorabilia sold by the Planet Hollywood restaurant chain, which has emerged from bankruptcy protection.
Early in his career, while working for Universal Studios, he was asked to give a tour to a special guest who had just sold the film rights to one of his books to the studio. That guest was Michael Crichton, who later worked with Spielberg on Jurassic Park (1993).
Though he frequently works with Tom Hanks, Hanks is not, as of 2006, involved in Spielberg's biopic about Abraham Lincoln, even though he is descended from the family of Lincoln's mother, Nancy Hanks.
He is of Hungarian descent, which explains his surname, coming from the Austrian city where his ancestors lived.
He was originally in talks to direct The Mask of Zorro (1998) but later only produced it.
The British pop star Robbie Williams mentions him (along with Kevin Spacey and Cameron Diaz) in the lyrics of his song "I Will Talk and Hollywood Will Listen", which is the opening track from his 2001 album "Swing When You're Winning".
In the early 1990s, he was often linked in the British media to making a possible movie version of the long-running BBC science-fiction television series Doctor Who (1963), which had been canceled as an ongoing series in 1989.
He is a fan of video games and says that their development is intriguing to him.
He owns homes in Pacific Palisades, California; New York City; East Hampton, New York; and Naples, Florida.
He is a fan of the works of Carl Barks, and cites them as a big inspiration on his storytelling.
He served on the Board for the Institute for the Study of Women in Men in Society for USC. He hosted events for the intellectual society at his screening room and offices on the Universal lot in the late 1980s.
When Spielberg accepted the Cecil B. DeMille award at the 66th Annual Golden Globe Awards he expressed his gratitude to DeMille for helping him come to love filmmaking in the first place, describing his earliest childhood memory of going to see DeMille's The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) with his father. "I think my fate was probably sealed that day in 1952", he said, recalling how the train wreck scene in that film inspired first a keen interest in electric train sets and eventually his passion for film.
He will receive the 2012 David O. Selznick Achievement Award in Motion Pictures from the Producers Guild Of America (PGA) on January 21, 2012 in Los Angeles [September 21, 2011].
His favorite indoor relaxation pursuits are watching golf on TV and playing his computer game "Assassin's Creed".
His father Arnold Spielberg was an innovator who worked on the first computer that was ever sold commercially back in 1950.
A lifelong fan of the 007 movies, Spielberg has never directed a feature in the successful franchise, though he did the next best thing directing his share of notable 007 series alumni such as:
  • Sean Connery: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) (Dr. No (1962) (original + 6))
  • Robert Shaw: Jaws (1975) (From Russia with Love (1963))
  • Burt Kwouk: Empire of the Sun (1987) (Goldfinger (1964), Casino Royale (1967), You Only Live Twice (1967))
  • Bruce Glover: The Psychiatrist: Par for the Course (1971) (Diamonds Are Forever (1971))
  • Christopher Lee: 1941 (1979) (The Man with the Golden Gun (1974))
  • Frank McRae: 1941 (1979) (Licence to Kill (1989))
  • Michael Lonsdale: Munich (2005) (Moonraker (1979))
  • Julian Glover: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) (For Your Eyes Only (1981))
  • John Rhys-Davies: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) (The Living Daylights (1987))
  • Alison Doody: Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989) (A View to a Kill (1985))
  • Christopher Walken: Catch Me If You Can (2002) (A View to a Kill (1985))
  • David Harbour: War of the Worlds (2005) (Quantum of Solace (2008))
  • Daniel Craig: Munich (2005), The Adventures of Tintin (2011) (Casino Royale (2006), Quantum of Solace (2008), Skyfall (2012)),etc.
  • Ralph Fiennes:Schindler's List (1993) (Skyfall (2012)), etc.
  • Toby Stephens, who played the villain in Die Another Day (2002), and played Bond himself on BBC Radio, is the son of Sir Robert Stephens (Empire of the Sun (1987)) and Dame Maggie Smith (Hook (1991)).

He lost the Best Director Oscar to Ang Lee both in 2006 and 2013.
In January 2003, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
The film The Goonies (1985) was based on his group of childhood friends, which he referred to as the "goon squad.".
He presented the Oscar for Best Director at the 57th Academy Awards in 1985. The winner was Milos Forman for Amadeus (1984). During the presentation, Spielberg paid tribute to his friend François Truffaut who had recently died.
He has several career parallels to Oliver Stone. Both frequently direct historical dramas, many times about U.S. Presidents. For Spielberg, they were John Quincy Adams and Abraham Lincoln. For Stone, they were John F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon and George W. Bush. Both have cast Anthony Hopkins as one of those Presidents, and in both cases, Hopkins was nominated for an Oscar. Hopkins (as Nixon) and Daniel Day-Lewis are also one of a pair of actors to be nominated for playing that same President. (The others were Frank Langella and Raymond Massey). They both frequently use John Williams to score their films. They have also used several of the same cast members: Wayne Knight, David Paymer, Bob Hoskins, Tommy Lee Jones, Hal Holbrook, James Spader, Colin Farrell, Martin Sheen, Tom Cruise, Kevin Costner, Elizabeth Banks, John Candy, Shia LaBeouf, Richard Dreyfuss and Bruce McGill. Stone also cast Josh Brolin and Colin Hanks in W. (2008), while Spielberg used both of their fathers in Catch Me If You Can (2002). Toby Jones appeared in The Adventures of Tintin (2011) and W. (2008). Spielberg also cast Kiefer Sutherland on an episode of Amazing Stories, while Donald Sutherland appeared in JFK (1991).
The first major star he worked with was Joan Crawford, who appeared in the segment of the pilot episode for Rod Serling's Night Gallery (1969) which he directed. Crawford was initially skeptical about working with the then-inexperienced director, but her fears were soon allayed when she met with him and watched him at work. He, meanwhile, was surprised to find that Crawford was not demanding and made none of the outlandish requests which stars of her caliber were usually known to make. On the contrary, she was happy to give him advice about various aspects of film making which she had learned throughout her years in motion pictures, and gave him a lot of much needed encouragement. They quickly developed a strong working relationship, and as a result of her kindness became close friends, remaining so until her death.
He was a big fan of Twin Peaks (1990) and he was set to direct the first episode of the second season of the show before David Lynch decided to direct the episode himself.
After having a great working relationship with Spielberg on Gremlins (1984), Spielberg produced the next two films Chris Columbus scripted, The Goonies (1985), based on an idea Spielberg had, and Young Sherlock Holmes (1985), which was Columbus's idea, which altogether was two years working on those three films. Spielberg then wanted Columbus to script Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), a big step for Columbus as a writer. He accepted and went to meet Spielberg and George Lucas, two men he was very intimidated by, even though he had worked with Spielberg three times, and they were two of his cinematic heroes. Columbus acted as Spielberg and Lucas's secretary on The Last Crusade for five days taking down all their ideas. Lucas dictated the screenplay to Columbus making him fearful of changing any of it, and that went against what Columbus had learned at film school. To him, the script seemed lifeless and without energy and there was nothing of Columbus in it. Columbus assumed Spielberg hired him for that last reason and when Columbus turned in the draft, he was fired from the picture for all the above flaws in the script. It was a defining moment in Columbus's career, to never again ignore his base instincts on a movie, or to be intimidated by the people he worked with.
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Cast

Credited cast:
Steven Spielberg ...

Himself

Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
John Belushi ...

Capt. Wild Bill Kelso - in "1941". (archive footage)

Lucille Benson ...

Snakerama Lady in 'Duel' / Gas Mama in '1941' (archive footage)

Amy Douglass ...

Old Woman in 'Duel' / Implantee in 'Close Encounters Of Third Kind' (archive footage)

Gene Dynarski ...

Man in Cafe in "Duel". (archive footage)

Federico Fellini ...

Himself (archive footage)

Eddie Firestone ...

Cafe Owner in "Duel". (archive footage)

Lou Frizzell ...

Bus Driver in "Duel". (archive footage)

Goldie Hawn ...

Lou Jean (archive footage)

Alexander Lockwood ...

Old Man in 'Duel' / Implantee in 'Close Encounters Of Third Kind'. (archive footage)

Carey Loftin ...

Truck Driver in "Duel". (archive footage)

William Schallert ...

Dr. Arthur Bramson in "The Incredible Shrinking Man". (archive footage)

Roy Scheider ...

Chief Martin Brody in "Jaws". (archive footage)

Sid Sheinberg ...

Himself (archive footage)

Randy Stuart ...

Louise Carey in "The Incredible Shrinking Man" (archive footage)

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

17 August 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Duel - keskustelu Steven Spielbergin kanssa See more »


Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Studios Home VideoSee more »

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1

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Did You Know?

Trivia

Released in 2004 but copyrighted by Universal Studios Home Video Inc. in 2001. See more »


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References Frankenstein (1931) See more »

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