Steven Allan Spielberg (; born December 18, 1946) is an American film director, producer, and screenwriter. He began his career in the New Hollywood era, and is one of the most commercially successful directors in history. Spielberg is the recipient of various accolades, including two Academy Awards for Best Director, a Kennedy Center honor, and a Cecil B. DeMille Award. Spielberg was born in
Cincinnati Cincinnati ( ) is a major city in the U.S. state of Ohio Ohio is a U.S. state, state in the Midwestern United States, Midwestern region of the United States. Of the List of states and territories of the United States, fifty states, it i ...

Ohio Ohio is a U.S. state, state in the Midwestern United States, Midwestern region of the United States. Of the List of states and territories of the United States, fifty states, it is the List of U.S. states and territories by area, 34th-largest ...
, and grew up in
Phoenix, Arizona Phoenix ( ; nv, Hoozdo; es, Fénix or ) is the List of capitals in the United States, capital and List of cities and towns in Arizona#List of cities and towns, most populous city in Arizona, with 1,680,992 people (). It is also the List of U ...
. He later moved to California and studied film in college. After directing television episodes and several minor films for
Universal Studios Universal Pictures (legally Universal City Studios LLC, also known as Universal Studios, and formerly named Universal Film Manufacturing Company and Universal-International Pictures Inc.) is an American film production Filmmaking (or, in any co ...
, he became a household name for directing 1975's summer blockbuster '' Jaws''. He then directed box office hits '' Close Encounters of the Third Kind'' (1977), '' E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial'' (1982), and the adventure films in the '' Indiana Jones'' series. Spielberg later explored drama in '' The Color Purple'' (1985), and '' Empire of the Sun'' (1987)''.'' After a brief hiatus, he directed back to back box office hits with the acclaimed
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action film '' Jurassic Park'' and the holocaust drama ''Schindler's List'' (both 1993). In 1998, he directed the World War II epic ''Saving Private Ryan,'' which was both a critical and commercial success. Spielberg continued in the 2000s with science fiction, including ''A.I. Artificial Intelligence'' (2001), ''Minority Report (film), Minority Report'' (2002) and ''War of the Worlds (2005 film), War of the Worlds'' (2005). He has since directed several fantasy adventure films such as ''The Adventures of Tintin (film), The Adventures of Tintin'' (2011), ''The BFG (2016 film), The BFG'' (2016), and ''Ready Player One (film), Ready Player One'' (2018), as well as historical dramas like ''War Horse (film), War Horse'' (2011), ''Lincoln (film), Lincoln'' (2012), ''Bridge of Spies (film), Bridge of Spies'' (2015) and ''The Post (film), The Post'' (2017). In addition to filmmaking, he co-founded Amblin Entertainment and DreamWorks Pictures, DreamWorks, and has served as a producer for many television series and films. Spielberg is also known for his long time collaboration with composer John Williams, with whom he has worked for all but five of his feature films. Some of his works are among the List of highest-grossing films, highest-grossing films of all time, and seven have been inducted into the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant".

Early life and background

Steven Allan Spielberg was born on December 18, 1946 in Cincinnati, Ohio. His mother, Leah (''née'' Posner, later Adler; January 12, 1920 – February 21, 2017), was a restaurateur and concert pianist, and his father, Arnold Spielberg (February 6, 1917 – August 25, 2020), was an electrical engineer involved in the development of computers. His family were Orthodox Judaism, Orthodox Jewish. Spielberg's paternal grandparents were History of the Jews in Ukraine, Jews from Ukraine, who settled in Cincinnati in the 1900s; his grandmother was from Sudylkiv, and his grandfather was from Kamianets-Podilskyi. Spielberg has three younger sisters: Anne Spielberg, Anne, Sue and Nancy. In 1952, his family moved to Haddon Township, New Jersey after his father was hired by RCA. Spielberg attended Hebrew school from 1953 to 1957, in classes taught by Rabbi Albert L. Lewis. In early 1957, the family moved to Phoenix, Arizona. Spielberg had a Bar and bat mitzvah, bar mitzvah ceremony when he was thirteen. His family was involved in the synagogue and had many Jewish friends. Of the the Holocaust, Holocaust, he said that his parents "talked about it all the time, and so it was always on my mind." His father had lost between sixteen and twenty relatives in the Holocaust. Spielberg found it difficult accepting his heritage; he said: "It isn't something I enjoy admitting [...] but when I was seven, eight, nine years old, God forgive me, I was embarrassed because we were Orthodox Jews. I was embarrassed by the outward perception of my parents' Jewish practices. I was never really ashamed to be Jewish, but I was uneasy at times." Spielberg also suffered from Antisemitism, anti-Semitism: "In high school, I got smacked and kicked around. Two bloody noses. It was horrible." He grew away from Judaism during adolescence, after his family had moved to various neighborhoods and found themselves to be the only Jews. At age 12, he made his first home movie: a train wreck involving his toy Lionel Corporation, Lionel trains. In 1958, he became a Scouts BSA, Boy Scout and fulfilled a requirement for the photography Merit badge (Boy Scouts of America), merit badge by making a nine-minute, 8 mm video format, 8 mm film titled ''The Last Gunfight''. He eventually attained the rank of Eagle Scout (Boy Scouts of America), Eagle Scout. Spielberg used his father's movie camera to make amateur features, and began taking the camera along on every Scout trip. At age 13, Spielberg made a 40-minute war film, titled ''Escape to Nowhere'', with a cast of school classmates. The film won first prize in a statewide competition. Throughout his early teens, and after entering high school, Spielberg made about fifteen to twenty 8 mm "adventure" films. In Phoenix, Spielberg watched films at the local theatre every Saturday. Some of the films he cited as early influences include ''Godzilla, King of the Monsters!, King of the Monsters'' (1956), ''Captains Courageous (1937 film), Captains Courageous'' (1937), ''Pinocchio (1940 film), Pinocchio'' (1940), and ''Lawrence of Arabia (film), Lawrence of Arabia'' (1962), which he cited as "the film that set me on my journey". He attended Arcadia High School (Phoenix, Arizona), Arcadia High School in 1961 for three years. He wrote and directed his first independent film in 1963, a 140-minute science fiction adventure called ''Firelight (1964 film), Firelight'', which would later inspire ''Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Close Encounters of The Third Kind''. The film was mainly funded by his father, which had a budget of under $600, and was shown in a local theatre for one evening. In the summer of 1964, he worked as an unpaid assistant at Universal Studios' editorial department. His family later moved to Saratoga, California where he attended Saratoga High School (California), Saratoga High School, graduating in 1965. A year later, his parents divorced. Spielberg moved to Los Angeles to stay with his father, while his three sisters and mother remained in Saratoga. He was not interested in academics; he aspired to be only a filmmaker. He applied to the University of Southern California's film school but was turned down because of his mediocre grades. He then applied and enrolled at California State University, Long Beach, where he became a brother of Theta Chi Fraternity. In 1968, Universal gave Spielberg the opportunity to write and direct a short film for theatrical release, the 26-minute, 35 mm movie film, 35 mm ''Amblin'''. Studio vice-president Sidney Sheinberg was impressed by the award-winning film, and offered Spielberg a seven-year directing contract. A year later, he dropped out of college to begin directing television productions for Universal. It made him the youngest director to be signed to a long-term plan with a major Hollywood studio. Spielberg returned to Long Beach in 2002 to complete his Bachelor of Arts in Film and Electronic Media.


1969–1974: Entering film and television

Spielberg's first professional job came when he was hired to direct one of the segments for the 1969 pilot episode of ''Night Gallery (film), Night Gallery'', written by Rod Serling and starring Joan Crawford. Crawford was "speechless, and then horrified" at the thought of a young and inexperienced newcomer directing her. Spielberg attempted to impress his colleagues with fancy camerawork, but executives ordered him to shoot it quickly. His contributions were not well received, thus Spielberg took a short break from the studio. However, Crawford said of the director: In the early 1970s, Spielberg unsuccessfully tried to raise finance for his own low-budget films. He turned to writing screenplays with other writers, and then directing television episodes. These included the series: ''Marcus Welby, M.D.'', ''The Name of the Game (TV series), The Name of the Game'' ("L.A. 2017"), ''Columbo, Owen Marshall, Counselor at Law'' and ''The Psychiatrist (TV series), The Psychiatrist.'' Although unsatisfied with this work, Spielberg used the opportunity to experiment with his techniques and learn about filmmaking. The director earned good reviews and impressed producers; he was earning a steady income and relocated to Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles, Laurel Canyon, Los Angeles.' Based on the strength of his work, Universal signed Spielberg to do four television films. The first was ''Duel (1971 film), Duel'' (1971), adapted from Richard Matheson's short story of the same title. It is about a psychotic Tank truck, tanker truck driver who chases a terrified salesman (Dennis Weaver) down a highway. Impressed with the film, executives decided to promote the film on television. Reviews were mainly positive, and Universal asked Spielberg to shoot more scenes so that ''Duel'' could be released to international markets.' Several films followed soon after: ''Something Evil'' (1972), and ''Savage (1973 TV film), Savage'' (1973). Both features gained mixed reviews.' In 1974, Spielberg made his debut in a theatrical film, ''The Sugarland Express'', about a married couple on the run, desperate to regain custody of their baby from foster parents. Based on a true story,' the film would mark the first of many collaborations with composer John Williams; the director was impressed with his previous soundtracks. The film opened to four hundred theatres in the U.S. to positive reviews,' and ''The Hollywood Reporter'' wrote that "a major new director is on the horizon." Although the film was honored for Best Screenplay at the 1974 Cannes Film Festival, it was not commercial success.' Spielberg blamed Universal's inconsistent marketing for its poor box office results.'

1975–1983: Film breakthrough

Producers Richard D. Zanuck and David Brown (producer), David Brown took a chance with Spielberg, and gave him the opportunity to direct '' Jaws'' (1975), a horror-thriller based on the Peter Benchley novel Jaws (novel), of the same title. In the film, a great white shark attacks beachgoers at a summer resort town, prompting police chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) to hunt it with the help of a Marine biology, marine biologist (Richard Dreyfuss). Filming proved to be challenging; Spielberg almost drowned and escaped being crushed from boats. The filming schedule overran by a hundred days, and Universal also threatened to cancel production. Against expectations, the film was a critical success; ''Jaws'' won three Academy Awards, in Academy Award for Best Film Editing, Best Film Editing, Academy Award for Best Original Score, Best Original Dramatic Score, and Academy Award for Best Sound Mixing, Best Sound, and grossed more than $470 million worldwide. It also set the domestic box office record, leading to what the press described as "Jawsmania", and making Spielberg a household name. After watching the unconventional, off-center camera techniques of ''Jaws'', Alfred Hitchcock praised "young Spielberg", for thinking outside of the visual dynamics of the theater, saying "He's the first one of us who doesn't see the proscenium arch". After the success of ''Jaws'', the director turned down an offer to make its sequel, ''Jaws 2.'' Spielberg and Richard Dreyfuss re-convened to work on a film about Unidentified flying object, UFOs: '' Close Encounters of the Third Kind'' (1977). During filming, Spielberg used 70 mm film, 65 mm film for the best picture quality, and a new live-action recording system so that the recordings could be duplicated later. One of the rare films both written and directed by himself, ''Close Encounters'' was very popular with film-goers,' and Spielberg received his first Academy Award for Best Director, Best Director nomination from the Academy Awards. It also earned six more nominations, winning Academy Award for Best Cinematography, Best Cinematography, and Academy Award for Best Sound Editing, Best Sound Effects Editing. A ''Special Edition'' version of the film, featuring both shortened and newly added scenes, was released theatrically in 1980.' His next film was 1979's big-budget action-comedy ''1941 (film), 1941'', about Californians preparing for a Japanese invasion after the attack on Attack on Pearl Harbor, Pearl Harbor. Spielberg was conscious about doing comedy as he had no prior experience in it, however, he was keen on tackling a lighthearted genre. Universal and Columbia agreed to co-finance the film. Upon release, it grossed over $92.4 million worldwide, but most critics including the studio heads disliked the film. Writing for the ''Los Angeles Times'', Charles Champlin described 1941 as "the most conspicuous waste since the last major oil spill, which it somewhat resembles".' Another critic wrote "''1941'' isn't simply a silly slur against any particular race, sex, or generation—it makes war against all humanity."' Next, Spielberg collaborated with ''Star Wars'' creator George Lucas on an action adventure, ''Raiders of the Lost Ark'' (1981), the first film in the '' Indiana Jones'' franchise. The title character was played by Harrison Ford (whom Lucas had previously cast in his ''Star Wars'' films as Han Solo). Ford was Spielberg's first choice for the role. Filmed in North Africa, the shoot was difficult but Spielberg said that the experience helped him with his business acumen. The film was a success at the box office,' and won five Academy Awards; Spielberg received his second nomination for Best Director, and Best Picture. ''Raiders of the Lost Ark'' was considered by Spielberg and Lucas as a homage to the serials of the Golden Age of Hollywood, 1930s and 1940s.' Spielberg started to co-produce films, including 1982's ''Poltergeist (1982 film), Poltergeist'', and directed the segment "Kick The Can" in ''Twilight Zone: The Movie, The Twilight Zone.'' In a previous segment, Vic Morrow and two child actors were killed in a stunt helicopter crash. Spielberg was not directing or present during the incident, and was cleared of any wrongdoing by the National Transportation Safety Board. A year later, Spielberg returned to science fiction with '' E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial'' (1982). It is the story of a young boy (Henry Thomas) and the alien he befriends, who was accidentally left behind by his companions and is attempting to return home. Spielberg shot the film mostly in sequence to keep the children spontaneous towards the climax. ''E.T.'' premiered at the 1982 Cannes Film Festival to an ecstatic reaction; producer Kathleen Kennedy (producer), Kathleen Kennedy recalled, "You couldn't hear the end of the movie because people were on their feet stomping and yelling [...] It was one of the most amazing experiences." A special screening was organized for Ronald Reagan, President Reagan and his wife Nancy, who were emotional by the end of the film. ''E.T.'' grossed $700 million worldwide, and spawned a range of merchandise which would eventually earn up to $1 billion. The film was nominated for nine Academy Awards, winning Best Sound Effects, Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, Best Special Effects, and Academy Award for Best Original Score, Best Music. His next directorial feature was the ''Raiders of the Lost Ark'' prequel, ''Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom'' (1984). Working once again with George Lucas and Harrison Ford, the film was shot in the United States, Sri Lanka and China. This film and ''Gremlins'' led to the creation of the Motion Picture Association film rating system, PG-13 rating because some of the material was not suitable for children under 13. ''Temple of Doom'' was rated PG-13 by the Motion Picture Association, MPAA; some scenes depicted children working in the mines. The director later said that he was unhappy with the ''Temple of Doom'' because it did not have his "personal touches and love". Nonetheless, the film was a blockbuster hit, and won an Academy Award for Best Special Effects. It was on this project that Spielberg also met his future wife, actress Kate Capshaw, who played Willie Scott in the film.

1984–1990: From producing to directing

In 1984, Spielberg, Frank Marshall, and Kathleen Kennedy founded production company Amblin Entertainment. Between 1984 and 1990, Spielberg served as either producer or executive producer on nineteen feature films; these include:''The Goonies,'' ''The Money Pit'', ''Joe Versus the Volcano,'' ''Batteries Not Included, *batteries not included, Back to the Future, Cape Fear (1991 film), Cape Fear, and Who Framed Roger Rabbit. In some films, such as ''Harry and the Hendersons'' and ''Young Sherlock Holmes'', the title "Steven Spielberg Presents" would be shown in the opening credits. Much of Spielberg's producing work was aimed at children and teens, including cartoons such as ''Tiny Toon Adventures'', ''Animaniacs'', ''Pinky and the Brain'', and ''Freakazoid!,'' and ''Family Dog (TV series), Family Dog.'' Spielberg also produced the Don Bluth animations, ''An American Tail'' and ''The Land Before Time (film), The Land Before Time.'' Beginning in 1985, NBC offered Spielberg a two-year contract on a television series, ''Amazing Stories (1985 TV series), Amazing Stories;'' the show was marketed as a blend of ''The Twilight Zone (1959 TV series), The Twilight Zone'' and ''Alfred Hitchcock Presents''. NBC gave the director complete creative control, and a budget of $1 million for each episode. After two seasons and disappointing ratings, the show was not renewed. Although Spielberg's involvement as a producer would vary widely from project to project, director Robert Zemeckis said that Spielberg would always "respect the filmmaker's vision". Over the years, Spielberg's record as a producer brought mixed critical and commercial performance. In 1992, Spielberg began to scale back producing, saying "Producing has been the least fulfilling aspect of what I've done in the last decade." In 1994, he found success for producing the successful medical drama ''ER (TV series), ER''. In the early 1980s, Spielberg befriended WarnerMedia CEO Steve Ross (businessman), Steve Ross, which eventually resulted in the director making films for Warner Bros. In 1985, Spielberg directed '' The Color Purple,'' an adaptation of Alice Walker's Pulitzer Prize-winning The Color Purple, novel of the same title, about a generation of empowered African-American women during depression-era America. It was the director's first film on a serious topic; he expressed reservations about tackling the project: "It's the risk of being judged-and accused of not having the sensibility to do character studies." Starring Whoopi Goldberg and Oprah Winfrey, the film was a box office hit and critics started to take Spielberg's foray into the dramatic genre seriously. Roger Ebert rated it as the best film of the year. The film also received eleven Academy Award nominations, and Spielberg won Directors Guild of America Award, Best Director from the Directors Guild of America, Director's Guild of America. As China underwent economic reform and opened up to the American film industry, Spielberg managed to shoot the first American film in Shanghai since the 1930s. '' Empire of the Sun'' (1987), an adaptation of J. G. Ballard's autobiographical novel of the Empire of the Sun, same title, starred John Malkovich and a young Christian Bale. The film tells the story of Jamie Graham (Bale), a young boy who goes from living in a wealthy British family in Shanghai, to becoming a prisoner of war in a Japanese internment camp during World War II. Critical consensus was mixed at the time of release; criticism ranged from the "overwrought" plot, to Spielberg's downplaying of "disease and starvation". However, critic Andrew Sarris called it the best film of the year and later included it among the best of the decade. The film was nominated for six Academy Awards, but was a commercial disappointment at the box office. The ''The New York Times, New York Times'' thought it was overlooked by audiences; Spielberg recalled that ''Empire of the Sun'' was one of his most enjoyable films to make. After those two serious films, Spielberg intended to direct the comedy ''Rain Man'', but instead directed the third ''Indiana Jones'' film to meet his contractual obligations: ''Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade'' (1989). Producer George Lucas, and Harrison Ford returned for the film. Spielberg cast Sean Connery in a supporting role as Henry Jones, Sr., Henry Jones, Sr. As a result of the mixed reaction to 1984's ''Temple of Doom'', the director toned down the darkness and violence in the third installment. ''Last Crusade'' gained mostly respectful reviews and was a box office success, earning $474 million; it was his biggest hit since 1982's ''E.T.'' Biographer Joseph McBride (writer), Joseph McBride wrote that it was a comeback for Spielberg, and the director acknowledged the amount he has learned from making all three ''Indiana Jones'' films.' Also in 1989, he reunited with Richard Dreyfuss in the romantic drama ''Always (1989 film), Always'', about a daredevil pilot who extinguishes forest fires. It is a modern remake of one of Spielberg's childhood favorite films, 1943's ''A Guy Named Joe''. The story was personal to him, and he said "As a child I was very frustrated, and maybe I saw my own parents [in ''A Guy Named Joe]''. I was also short of girlfriends. And it stuck with me."' Spielberg had discussed the film with Dreyfuss back in 1975, with up to twelve drafts being written before filming commenced. ''Always'' was not commercially successful and received mixed reviews. Janet Maslin of the ''New York Times'' wrote, "''Always'' is filled with big, sentimental moments, it lacks the intimacy to make any of this very moving."

1991–1998: Critical and commercial success

After a brief setback in which the director felt "artistically stalled", he returned in 1991 with ''Hook (film), Hook'', about a middle-aged Peter Pan, played by Robin Williams, who returns to Neverland. During filming, Williams, co-stars Dustin Hoffman and Julia Roberts clashed on set due to their personalities; Spielberg told the ''60 Minutes'' program that he would never work with Roberts again. Nominated for five Academy Awards, the studio enjoyed the film but most critics did not, calling it "bloated". Writing for ''The Washington Post'', Hal Hinson described the film as "too industrially organized", and thought it was mundane. At the box office, it earned over $300 million worldwide from a $70 million budget. In 1993, Spielberg served as an executive producer for the NBC science fiction series ''seaQuest DSV;'' the show was not a hit. In 1993, Spielberg returned to the adventure genre with '' Jurassic Park'', based on the 1990 Jurassic Park (novel), novel of the same title by Michael Crichton, and a screenplay by the latter and David Koepp. ''Jurassic Park'' is set on a fictional island near Costa Rica, where a team of genetic scientists have created a Animal theme park, wildlife park of De-extinction, de-extinct dinosaurs. In a departure from his usual order of planning, Spielberg and the designers storyboarded certain sequences from the novel early on. The film also used computer-generated imagery provided by Industrial Light & Magic; ''Jurassic Park'' was completed on time and became the highest-grossing film at the time, and won three Academy Awards. The film's dominance during its theatrical run, as well as Spielberg's $250 million salary, caused the director to be self-conscious of his own success. Also in 1993, Spielberg directed ''Schindler's List'', about Oskar Schindler, a man who risked his life to save 1,100 Jews from the Holocaust. Based on ''Schindler's Ark'' by Australian novelist Thomas Keneally, Spielberg waited ten years to make the film as he did not feel "mature" enough. He wanted to embrace his heritage, and after the birth of his son, Max, he said that "it greatly affected me [...] A spirit began to ignite in me, and I became a Jewish dad". Filming commenced on March 1, 1993 in Poland, while Spielberg was still editing ''Jurassic Park'' in the evenings. To make filming "bearable", the director brought his wife and children with him. While ''Schindler's List'' was praised by most critics, some reviewers, including filmmaker Claude Lanzmann, criticized the film for its weak representation of the Holocaust. Imre Kertész, a Hungarian author and Nazi concentration camps, concentration camp survivor, called ''Schindler's List'' kitsch, saying "I regard as kitsch any representation of the Holocaust that is incapable of understanding or unwilling to understand the organic connection between our own deformed mode of life and the very possibility of the Holocaust." Against expectations, the film was a commercial success, and Spielberg used his percentage of profits to start the USC Shoah Foundation, Shoah Foundation, a non-profit organization that archives Testimony, testimonies of Holocaust survivors. ''Schindler's List'' won seven Academy Awards, including Best Picture, and Spielberg's first as Best Director. It also won seven British Academy Film Awards, BAFTAs, and three Golden Globe Awards, Golden Globes. According to the American Film Institute, ''Schindler's List'' is one of the AFI's 100 Years...100 Movies, 100 best American films ever made.In 1994, Spielberg took a break from directing to spend more time with his family, and setup his new film studio, DreamWorks Pictures, DreamWorks, with Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen. More creative control and distribution improvements were the main reasons why Spielberg wanted his own studio; he and his partners compared themselves to the founders of United Artists back in 1919. Investors included Microsoft founders Paul Allen and Bill Gates. After founding DreamWorks, Spielberg continued to operate Amblin Entertainment and direct films for other studios. Besides film, the director helped design a ''Jurassic Park''-themed attraction at Universal Orlando in Florida. The workload of filmmaking and operating a studio raised questions about his commitments, but Spielberg maintained that "this is all fitting nicely into my life and I'm still home by six and I'm still home on the weekends." After his break, he returned to directing with a sequel to ''Jurassic Park:'' ''The Lost World: Jurassic Park.'' A loose adaptation of Michael Crichton's novel, ''The Lost World (Crichton novel), The Lost World,'' the plot follows mathematician Ian Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum) and his researchers who study dinosaurs at a Jurassic Park island, and are confronted by another team with a different agenda. This time, Spielberg wanted the onscreen creatures to be more realistic than in the first film; he used 3D storyboards, computer imagery and robotic puppets. Budgeted at $73 million, ''The Lost World: Jurassic Park'' opened in May 1997 and was one of the highest grossing 1997 in film, films of the year. The ''The Village Voice, Village Voice'' critic opined that ''The Lost World'' was "better crafted but less fun" that the first film, while ''The Guardian'' wrote "It looks like a director on autopilot [...] The special effects brook no argument." His 1997 feature, ''Amistad (film), Amistad'', his first released under DreamWorks, was based on the true story of the events in 1839 aboard the slave ship ''La Amistad''. Producer Debbie Allen, who had read the book ''Amistad I'' in 1978, thought Spielberg would be perfect to direct. Spielberg was hesitant taking on the project, afraid that it will be compared to ''Schindler's List'', but he said, "I've never planned my career [...] In the end I do what I think I gotta do." Starring Morgan Freeman, Anthony Hopkins, Djimon Hounsou and Matthew McConaughey, the director used Allen's ten years worth of research to reenact the difficult historical scenes. The film struggled to find an audience, and underperformed at the box office; Spielberg admitted that "[''Amistad''] became too much of a history lesson." The director's 1998 release was World War II epic ''Saving Private Ryan'', about a group of U.S. soldiers led by Captain Miller (Tom Hanks) sent to bring home a paratrooper whose three older brothers were killed in the same twenty-four hours of the Normandy landings, Normandy landing. Filming took place in England, and United States Marine Corps, U.S. Marine Dale Dye was hired to train the actors and keep them in character during the combat scenes. Halfway through filming, Spielberg reminded the cast that they were making a tribute to thank "your grandparents and my dad, who fought in [the war]". Upon release, critics praised the direction and its realistic portrayal of war. The film grossed a successful $481 million worldwide, and Spielberg won a second Academy Award for Best Director. In August 1999, Spielberg and Hanks were awarded the Army Distinguished Public Service Medal, Distinguished Public Service Medal from United States Secretary of Defense, Secretary of Defense William Cohen, William S. Cohen.

1999–2007: Further directorial work

In 2001, Spielberg and Tom Hanks produced Band of Brothers (TV miniseries), ''Band of Brothers'', a miniseries based on Stephen Ambrose's book Band of Brothers (book), of the same title. The ten-part HBO series follows E Company, 506th Infantry Regiment (United States), Easy Company of the 101st Airborne Division's 506th Parachute Infantry Regiment. The series won a Golden Globe for Golden Globe Award for Best Miniseries or Television Film, Best Miniseries. Also in that year, Spielberg returned to film with ''A.I. Artificial Intelligence'', a loose adaptation of the 1969 short story "Supertoys Last All Summer Long" by Brian Aldiss. Filmmaker Stanley Kubrick had first asked Spielberg to direct the feature in 1979. Spielberg tried to make it in the style that Kubrick would have done, with mixed results according to some reviewers. The plot revolves around an android (robot), android called David (Haley Joel Osment) who wants to be a real boy. Critics thought Spielberg directed with "sentimentality", and Roger Ebert wrote, "Here is one of the most ambitious films of recent years [...] but it miscalculates in asking us to invest our emotions in a character, a machine." The film won five Saturn Awards, and grossed $236 million worldwide.Spielberg and Tom Cruise collaborated for the futuristic neo-noir ''Minority Report (film), Minority Report'' (2002), based on The Minority Report, the short story by Philip K. Dick, about a group of investigators who try to prevent crimes before they are committed. The film received critical acclaim. Roger Ebert named ''Minority Report'' as the best film of 2002, and praised its vision of the future. Homewer, critic Todd McCarthy thought there was not enough action. The film earned over $358 million worldwide. The director's next 2002 feature, ''Catch Me If You Can'' is about the adventures of a young con artist (played by Leonardo DiCaprio). Christopher Walken and Tom Hanks also star. It is set in the 1960s; Spielberg said, "I have always loves movies about sensational rogues-they break the law, but you just have to love them for the moxie." At the 75th Academy Awards, Walken and John Williams were nominated for Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actor and Academy Award for Best Original Score, Best Original Score, respectively. The film was a critical and commercial success. The director worked with Tom Hanks again, along with Catherine Zeta-Jones and Stanley Tucci in 2004's ''The Terminal'', a lighthearted comedy about an Eastern European man stranded in an airport. Although ''The Terminal'' was praised for its production design, the film received mixed reviews but it was a commercial success. In 2005, Spielberg directed a modern adaptation of ''War of the Worlds (2005 film), War of the Worlds,'' a co-production of Paramount and DreamWorks, based on H. G. Wells, H. G. Wells' book of the same title; Spielberg had been a fan of the book and the 1953 film. Starring Tom Cruise and Dakota Fanning, the film follows an American dock worker who is forced to look after his children, from whom he lives separately, as he struggles to protect and reunite them with their mother when extraterrestrials invade Earth. The director used storyboards to help the actors react to computer imagery that they could not see, and used natural lighting and camerawork to avoid an "over stylized" science fiction picture. Upon release, the film was box office hit, grossing over $600 million worldwide. Spielberg's ''Munich (2005 film), Munich'' (2005), is about eleven Israeli athletes who were kidnapped and murdered in the 1972 Munich Massacre, Munich massacre. The film is based on ''Vengeance (Jonas book), Vengeance'', a book by Canadian journalist George Jonas. It was previously adapted for the screen in the 1986 television film ''Sword of Gideon''. Spielberg, who personally remembers the incident, sought advice from former President Bill Clinton, among others, before making the film because he did not want to cause further problems in the Middle East. Although the film garnered mostly positive reviews, some critics perceived it as anti-Semitic; it is one of Spielberg's most controversial films to date. ''Munich'' received five Academy Awards nominations: Best Picture, Best Film Editing, Academy Award for Best Original Score, Best Score, Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Director for Spielberg. It was his sixth Best Director nomination, and fifth Best Picture nomination. In the mid-2000s, Spielberg scaled down his directing career and became selective about film projects to undertake. In December 2005, Spielberg and his partners sold DreamWorks to media conglomerate Viacom (2005–2019), Viacom (now known as ViacomCBS). The sale was finalized in February 2006. In June 2006, Spielberg planned to make ''Interstellar (film), Interstellar'', but abandoned the project, which was eventually directed by Christopher Nolan. During this time, Spielberg remained active as a producer; he produced 2005's ''Memoirs of a Geisha (film), Memoirs of a Geisha'', an adaptation of the novel by Arthur Golden. Spielberg and Robert Zemeckis co-produced ''Monster House (film), Monster House'' (2006), marking their eighth collaboration. He also worked with Clint Eastwood for the first time, co-producing 2006's ''Flags of Our Fathers (film), Flags of Our Fathers,'' and ''Letters from Iwo Jima,'' with Robert Lorenz. Spielberg served as executive producer for 2007's ''Disturbia (film), Disturbia,'' and the ''Transformers (film), Transformers'' film series. In that same year, Spielberg and Mark Burnett (executive producer), Mark Burnett co-produced ''On the Lot,'' a reality and competition show about filmmaking.

2008–2015: Return to film

The director returned to the '' Indiana Jones'' series in 2008 with the fourth installment titled ''Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.'' Released nineteen years after ''Last Crusade'', the film is set in 1957, pitting Indiana Jones (Harrison Ford) against KGB, Soviet agents led by Irina Spalko (Cate Blanchett), searching for a telepathic crystal skull. Principal photography was complete in October 2007, and the film was released on May 22, 2008. This was his first film not released by DreamWorks since 1997. The film received generally favorable reviews from critics, but some fans were disappointed by the introduction of alien life which was uncharacteristic of the previous films. Writing for ''The Age'', Tom Ryan praised Spielberg and George Lucas for their realistic 1950s setting—"The energy on display is impressive". It was a box office success, grossing $790 million worldwide. In early 2009, Spielberg shot the first film in a planned trilogy of motion capture films based on ''The Adventures of Tintin'', written by Belgian artist Hergé.''The Adventures of Tintin (film), The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn'', was co-produced by Peter Jackson, and released in 2011; it was entirely computer animated. It premiered on October 22 in Brussels, Belgium. The film was released in North American theaters on December 21, in Digital 3D and IMAX 3D, IMAX. It received generally positive reviews from critics, and grossed over $373 million worldwide. ''The Adventures of Tintin'' won Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film, Best Animated Feature at the 69th Golden Globe Awards. It was the first non-Pixar film to win the award since the category was introduced. Spielberg followed up with ''War Horse (film), War Horse'', shot in England in the summer of 2010. It was released four days after ''The Adventures of Tintin'', on December 25, 2011. The film is based on the novel War Horse (novel), of the same title by Michael Morpurgo, published in 1982, and follows the long friendship between a British boy and his horse Joey before and during World War I. Distributed by Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures, Walt Disney Studios, with whom DreamWorks made a distribution deal in 2009, ''War Horse'' was the first of four consecutive Spielberg films released by Disney. ''War Horse'' had an acclaimed response from critics, and was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture. In his review for ''Salon (website), Salon'' magazine, Andrew O'Hehir wrote, "at this point in his career Spielberg is pursuing personal goals, and everything that's terrific and overly flat and tooth-rottingly sweet about ''War Horse'' reflects that." Spielberg returned to the World War II theme, co-producing the 2010 miniseries ''The Pacific (miniseries), The Pacific,'' with Tom Hanks and Gary Goetzman. The miniseries is centered on the battles in the Pacific War, Pacific Theater. The following year, Spielberg co-created ''Falling Skies'', a science fiction series on the TNT (U.S. TV network), TNT network, with Robert Rodat. Spielberg also produced the 2011 Fox Broadcasting Company, Fox series ''Terra Nova (TV series), Terra Nova''. ''Terra Nova'' begins in the year 2149 when all life on the planet Earth is threatened with extinction resulting in scientists opening a door that allows people to travel back 85 million years to prehistoric times. In that same year, he produced J. J. Abrams' thriller, ''Super 8 (2011 film), Super 8''. Spielberg directed the historical drama ''Lincoln (film), Lincoln'' (2012), starring Daniel Day-Lewis as President Abraham Lincoln, and Sally Field as Mary Todd Lincoln. Based on Doris Kearns Goodwin's book ''Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln'', the film describes the final four months of Lincoln's life. Written by Tony Kushner, the film was shot in Richmond, Virginia, in late 2011, and was released in the U.S. in November 2012. ''Lincoln'' was acclaimed, it earned more than $250 million worldwide, and was nominated for twelve Academy Awards, including Best Picture and Best Director. It won Academy Award for Best Production Design, Best Production Design, and Day-Lewis won Academy Award for Best Actor, Best Actor for his portrayal of Lincoln. The critic from ''The Irish Times'' complimented the direction: "Against the odds, Spielberg makes something genuinely exciting of the backstage wheedling." It was announced on May 2, 2013 that Spielberg would direct ''American Sniper,'' but he left the project before production began. Instead, he directed 2015's ''Bridge of Spies (film), Bridge of Spies'', a Cold War thriller based on the 1960 U-2 incident, and focusing on James B. Donovan's negotiations with the Soviets for the release of pilot Gary Powers after his aircraft was shot down over Soviet territory. The screenplay was by the Coen brothers, and the film starred Tom Hanks as Donovan, as well as Mark Rylance, Amy Ryan, and Alan Alda. It was filmed in the fall of 2014 in New York City, Berlin and Wrocław, Wroclaw, and was released on October 16. ''Bridge of Spies'' was popular with critics, and was nominated for six Academy Awards, including Best Picture; Rylance won Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actor, becoming the second actor to win for a performance directed by Spielberg. Spielberg had planned to shoot a $200 million adaptation of Daniel H. Wilson's novel ''Robopocalypse'', adapted for the screen by Drew Goddard. Like ''Lincoln'', it was to be released by Disney in the U.S. and Fox Film Corporation, Fox overseas. Spielberg postponed production indefinitely in January 2013. In March 2018, it was announced that the film will be directed by Michael Bay.


In 2016, the director made ''The BFG (2016 film), The BFG,'' an adaptation of Roald Dahl's The BFG, children's book, starring newcomer Ruby Barnhill, and Rylance as the titular Big Friendly Giant. DreamWorks bought the rights in 2010, and John Madden (director), John Madden had intended to direct. The film was the last to be written by ''E.T.'' screenwriter Melissa Mathison before her death. It was co-produced and released by Walt Disney Pictures, marking the first Disney-branded film to be directed by Spielberg. ''The BFG'' premiered as an out-of-competition entry at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, and received a wide release in the U.S. on July 1, 2016. ''The BFG'' welcomed fair reviews; Michael Phillips of ''Chicago Tribune'' compared certain scenes to the works of earlier filmmakers, while ''Toronto Sun''s Liz Braun thought that there were "moments of wonder and delight [...] but not nearly enough". A year later, Spielberg directed ''The Post (film), The Post'', an account of ''The Washington Posts printing of the Pentagon Papers. Starring Tom Hanks and Meryl Streep, production began in New York on May 30, 2017. Spielberg stated his attraction to the project: "When I read the first draft of the script, this wasn't something that could wait three years or two years—this was a story I felt we needed to tell today." The film received a wide release on January 12, 2018. ''The Post'' gained positive reception; the critic from the ''Associated Press'' thought "Spielberg infuses every scene with tension and life and the grandeur of the ordinary that he’s always been so good at conveying." In 2017, Spielberg and other filmmakers were featured in the Netflix documentary series ''Five Came Back (TV series), Five Came Back'', which discussed the contributions of directors Frank Capra, John Ford, John Huston, George Stevens and William Wyler, about their war-related works. Spielberg also served as an executive producer. Spielberg directed 2018's science fiction Ready Player One (film), ''Ready Player One'', adapted from the novel Ready Player One, of the same title by Ernest Cline. It stars Tye Sheridan, Olivia Cooke, Ben Mendelsohn, Lena Waithe, T.J. Miller, Simon Pegg, and Mark Rylance. The plot takes place in 2045 when much of humanity uses virtual reality to escape the real world. ''Ready Player One'' began production in July 2016, and was to be released by Warner Bros. on December 15, 2017, but was moved to March 2018 to avoid competition with ''Star Wars: The Last Jedi''. It premiered at the 2018 South by Southwest film festival. Several critics enjoyed the action scenes, but thought the film was too long and overused the 1980s nostalgia. Spielberg is directing ''West Side Story (2020 film), West Side Story'', a film adaptation of the West Side Story, musical of the same name. Writer Tony Kushner stated in July 2017 that he was adapting the show's book for Spielberg, although the score would remain unchanged, as would the late 1950s setting. The film is set for a December 2021 release. Spielberg was set to film an adaptation of David Kertzer's ''The Kidnapping of Edgardo Mortara'' in early 2017, for release at the end of that year, but production has been postponed. It was first announced in 2014, with Tony Kushner adapting the book for the screen. Mark Rylance, in his fourth collaboration with Spielberg, was announced to star in the role of Pope Pius IX. Spielberg saw more than 2,000 kids to play the role of Edgardo Mortara.

Prospective projects

In May 2009, Spielberg bought the rights to the life story of Martin Luther King, Jr., with the intention of being involved as both the producer and director. However, the purchase was made from the King estate, led by son Dexter King, Dexter, while the two other surviving children, the Bernice Albertine King, Reverend Bernice and Martin Luther King III, Martin III, immediately threatened to sue, not having given their approvals to the project. As of 2015, Spielberg is attached to direct an adaptation of American photojournalist Lynsey Addario's memoir ''It's What I Do,'' with Jennifer Lawrence in the lead role. In April 2018, it was announced that Spielberg would direct a film adaptation of the ''Blackhawk (DC Comics), Blackhawk'' comic book series. Warner Bros. will distribute the film, with David Koepp writing the script. In January 2013, HBO confirmed that it was developing a third World War II Masters of the Air, miniseries based on the book ''Masters of the Air'' by Donald L. Miller with Spielberg and Tom Hanks. ''NME'' reported in March 2017 that production was progressing under the working title ''Donald L. Miller#Masters of the Air, The Mighty Eighth''. In March 2013, Spielberg announced that he was developing a miniseries based on the life of Napoleon. In May 2016, it was announced that Cary Fukunaga is in talks to direct the miniseries for HBO, from a script by David Leland based on extensive research materials accumulated by Stanley Kubrick over the years. Spielberg will executive produce ''Cortes'', a historical miniseries written by Steven Zaillian about the Spanish conquest of the Aztec empire, and Hernán Cortés's relationship with Aztec ruler Moctezuma II, Montezuma. The script is based on an earlier one from 1965 by Oscar-winner Dalton Trumbo. Javier Bardem will play the lead role of explorer Hernán Cortés. Spielberg was previously attached to direct the project as a feature film. Spielberg had planned to direct the fifth installment of the Indiana Jones (franchise), ''Indiana Jones'' series. The film is set to star Harrison Ford and will be produced by Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall (producer), Frank Marshall. In 2016, it was announced that it would be written by David Koepp, with a release by Disney on July 19, 2019. After a change of filming and release dates, it was postponed again when Jonathan Kasdan was announced as the film's new writer. Soon after, a new release date of July 9, 2021 was announced. In May 2019, Dan Fogelman was hired to write a new script, and that Kasdan's story, focused on the Nazi gold train, would not be used. In February 2020, it was reported that Spielberg will not direct, but will remain as a producer.

Other ventures

The director has been an avid gamer since 1974; in 2005, Spielberg collaborated with Electronic Arts (EA) on several games including one for the Wii called ''Boom Blox,'' and its sequel ''Boom Blox Bash Party''). He is also the creator of EA's ''Medal of Honor (video game series), Medal of Honor'' series. In 1996, Spielberg helped create and design of LucasArts' adventure game ''The Dig (video game), The Dig''. He also collaborated with software publishers Knowledge Adventure on the game ''Steven Spielberg's Director's Chair'', which was released in 1996; Spielberg appears in the game to direct the player. Spielberg played many of LucasArts adventure games, including the first ''Monkey Island'' games. He owns a Wii, a PlayStation 3, a PlayStation Portable, PSP, and an Xbox 360, and enjoys playing first-person shooters such as the ''Medal of Honor (video game series), Medal of Honor'' series and ''Call of Duty 4: Modern Warfare''. He dislikes the use of cutscenes in games, and thinks that natural storytelling is a challenge for game developers.



Spielberg has cited Frank Capra's It's a Wonderful Life, ''It's A Wonderful Life'' (1946) as an influence on "family, community and suburbia". He enjoyed the work of Alfred Hitchcock, David Lean, John Ford, Stanley Kubrick and John Frankenheimer. In college, he was inspired by foreign films directed by Ingmar Bergman, Jacques Tati and François Truffaut. Truffaut was one of his favorite directors. Spencer Tracy has also influenced the characters of Spielberg's films, as did ''The Twilight Zone (1959 TV series), The Twilight Zone'' series.

Method and themes

Spielberg often uses storyboards to visualize the sequences, with the exceptions being in ''E.T.'' and ''The Color Purple''. After the experience of filming ''Jaws'', the director learned to leave special effect scenes until last, and exclude the media from filming locations. Spielberg prefers to shoot quickly, with large amounts of coverage (from Single-camera setup, single-shot to Multiple-camera setup, multi-shot setups), so that he will have many options in the editing room. From the beginning of his career, Spielberg's shooting style consisted of extreme high and low camera angles, long takes, and Hand-held camera, handheld cameras. The director also favors the use of wide-angle lens for creating depth, and by the time he was making ''Minority Report'', Spielberg was more confident with elaborate camera movements. In an interview with ''The Tech (newspaper), The Tech'' in 2015, Spielberg described how he chooses the film projects he would work on:
[Sometimes], a story speaks to me, even if it doesn't speak to any of my collaborators or any of my partners, who look at me and scratch their heads and say, 'Gee, are you sure you wanna get into that trench for a year and a half?' I love people challenging me that way because it's a real test about my own convictions and [whether] I can be the standing man of my own life and take a stand on a subject that may not be popular, but that I would be proud to add to the body of my work. That's pretty much the litmus test that gets me to say, 'Yeah, I'll direct that one.'
Spielberg's films contain many similar themes throughout his work. One of his most pertinent themes revolves around "ordinary people in extraordinary circumstances." The ordinary people often have limitations, but they succeed in becoming a "hero". A consistent theme in his family-friendly work is a childlike sense of wonder and faith, and "the goodness in humanity will prevail." He has also explored the importance of childhood, loss of innocence, and the need for parental figures. In exploring the parent-child relationship, there is usually a flawed or irresponsible father figure. This theme personally resonates with the director's childhood. Exploring extraterrestrial life is another aspect to his work. Spielberg described himself as like an "alien" during childhood, and this interest came from his father, a science fiction fan.

Notable Collaborators

Janusz Kamiński has served as a cinematographer on 19 of Spielberg's films. As Spielberg's career evolved from action to drama films, he and Kamiński adopted more handheld camerawork, as evidenced in ''Schindler's List'' and ''Amistad''. Michael Kahn (film editor), Michael Khan has edited all of Spielberg's films, except for one, since the 1970s. The director has also worked consistently with production designer Rick Carter, and writer David Koepp. Producer Kathleen Kennedy (producer), Kathleen Kennedy is one of the director's longest serving collaborators. Spielberg also displays loyalty to his actors, casting them repeatedly including: Harrison Ford, Mark Rylance, Richard Dreyfuss, and Tom Hanks. ''The Sugarland Express'' was the beginning of a long-time collaboration between Spielberg and composer John Williams. Williams would return to compose all but five of Spielberg's feature films (the exceptions are ''Twilight Zone: The Movie'', ''The Color Purple'', ''Bridge of Spies'', ''Ready Player One'' and ''West Side Story''). Williams won three of his five Academy Awards for his work on Spielberg's films (''Jaws, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial,'' and ''Schindler's List''). While making ''Schindler's List'', the director approached Williams about composing the score. After seeing a rough, unedited cut, Williams was impressed, and said that composing would be too challenging. He said to Spielberg, "You need a better composer than I am for this film." Spielberg responded, "I know. But they're all dead!" In 2016, Spielberg presented Williams with the 44th AFI Life Achievement Award, the first to be awarded to a composer.

Personal life

Spielberg met actress Amy Irving in 1976 when she auditioned for ''Close Encounters of the Third Kind''. After meeting her, Spielberg told his co-producer Julia Phillips, "I met a real heartbreaker last night." Although she was too young for the role, she and Spielberg began dating and she eventually moved into what she described as his "bachelor funky" house. They broke up in 1979. In 1984, they renewed their romance and married in November 1985. Their son, Max, was born on June 13 of that year. In 1989, the couple divorced; they agreed to live near each other to share custody of their son. Their divorce settlement is one of the List of most expensive divorces, most expensive in history. Spielberg met actress Kate Capshaw when he cast her in ''Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom''. They married on October 12, 1991; Capshaw Conversion to Judaism, converted to Judaism before their marriage. Spielberg said he rediscovered "the honor of being a Jew" when they married. He said, "Kate is Protestant and she insisted on converting to Judaism. She spent a year studying, did the "mikveh," the whole thing. She chose to do a full conversion ''before'' we were married in 1991, and she married me after becoming a Jew. I think that, more than anything else, brought me back to Judaism." He credits her for the family's level of observance; "This Goy, shiksa goddess has made me a better Jew than my own parents", he said. He and his family live in Pacific Palisades, California, and East Hampton (village), New York, East Hampton, New York. He has seven children: Jessica Capshaw (born August 9, 1976), Max Samuel Spielberg (born June 13, 1985), Sasha Spielberg, Sasha Rebecca Spielberg (born May 14, 1990), Sawyer Avery Spielberg (born March 10, 1992), and Destry Allyn Spielberg (born December 1, 1996). He has two adopted children: Theo Spielberg (born August 21, 1988), and Mikaela George (born February 28, 1996). In 1997, a man named Jonathan Norman stalked and attempted to enter Spielberg's home; Norman was jailed for 25 years. In 2001, Spielberg was stalked by Conspiracy theory, conspiracy theorist and former social worker Diana Napolis. She accused him, and actress Jennifer Love Hewitt, of installing a Brainwashing, mind-control device in her brain, and being part of a satanic ritual abuse, satanic cult. Napolis was involuntary commitment, committed to a mental institution, and plead guilty to stalking. She was released on probation with a condition that she have no contact with either Spielberg or Hewitt. In 2013, Spielberg purchased the mega-yacht ''The'' ''Seven Seas'' for US$182 million. He has put it up for sale and has made it available for Yacht charter, charter. At US$1.2 million per month, it is one of the most expensive charters on the market. He has ordered a new yacht at a reported US$250 million. He was diagnosed as dyslexia, dyslexic at age 60.

Political views

Spielberg has usually supported Democratic Party (United States), U.S. Democratic Party candidates. He has donated over $800,000 to the Democratic party and its nominees. He has been a close friend of former President Bill Clinton and worked with the President for the USA Millennium celebrations. He directed an 18-minute film for the project, scored by John Williams and entitled ''The American Journey''. It was shown at America's Millennium Gala on December 31, 1999, in the National Mall at the Reflecting Pool at the base of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. Spielberg endorsed Hillary Clinton in the 2016 United States presidential election, 2016 presidential election; he donated $1 million to Priorities USA Action. Spielberg resigned as a member of the national advisory board of the Boy Scouts of America in 2001 because he disagreed with the organization's Boy Scouts of America membership controversies#Position on homosexuality, anti-homosexuality stance. In 2007, the Arab League voted to boycott Spielberg's movies after he donated $1 million for relief efforts in Israel during the 2006 Lebanon War. On February 20, 2007, Spielberg, Jeffrey Katzenberg, and David Geffen invited Democrats to a fundraiser for Barack Obama. In February 2008, Spielberg resigned as advisor to the 2008 Summer Olympics in response to the Chinese government's inaction over the War in Darfur. Spielberg said in a statement, "I find that my conscience will not allow me to continue business as usual [...] Sudan's government bears the bulk of the responsibility for these on-going crimes, but the international community, and particularly China, should be doing more." The International Olympic Committee (IOC) respected Spielberg's decision but IOC president Jacques Rogge expressed disappointment: "[Spielberg] certainly would have brought a lot to the opening ceremony in terms of creativity." Chinese state media called the director's comments "unfair". In September 2008, Spielberg and his wife offered their support to same-sex marriage by issuing a statement following their donation of $100,000 to the "No on California Proposition 8 (2008), Proposition 8" campaign fund, a figure equal to the amount of money Brad Pitt donated to the same campaign less than a week prior. In 2018, Spielberg and his wife Kate donated $500,000 to the March for Our Lives student demonstration in favor of gun control in the United States.


A notable figure of the New Hollywood era, Spielberg is one of the most commercially successful film directors in history. In 1996, ''Life (magazine), Life'' magazine named Spielberg the most influential person of his generation. In 2003, ''Premiere (magazine), Premiere'' magazine ranked him first place in the list of 100 Most Powerful People in Movies''.'' In 2005, ''Empire (magazine), Empire'' magazine ranked him number one on a list of the greatest film directors of all time. In 2013, ''Time (magazine), Time'' magazine listed him as one of the Time 100: The Most Important People of the Century, 100 Most Important People of the Century. According to ''Forbes'' magazine of Most Influential Celebrities of 2014, Spielberg was ranked at first place. As of 2020, ''Forbes'' estimates his net worth at $3.7 billion. His work is admired by other directors including Robert Aldrich, Ingmar Bergman, Werner Herzog, Stanley Kubrick, David Lean, Sidney Lumet, Roman Polanski, Martin Scorsese, François Truffaut, and David Lynch. Spielberg's films have also influenced directors J. J. Abrams, Paul Thomas Anderson, Neill Blomkamp, Guillermo del Toro, Roland Emmerich, Peter Jackson, Kal Ng, Robert Rodriguez, John Sayles, Ridley Scott, John Singleton, Kevin Smith, and Gareth Edwards (director), Gareth Edwards. Film critic Tom Shone said of Spielberg, "If you have to point to any one director of the last twenty-five years in whose work the medium of film was most fully itself – where we found out what it does best when left to its own devices, it has to be that guy." Jess Cagle, former editor of ''Entertainment Weekly'', called Spielberg "...arguably (well, who would argue?) the greatest filmmaker in history." Stephen Rowley writing for ''Senses of Cinema,'' discussed Spielberg's strengths as a filmmaker, saying "there is a welcome complexity of tone and approach in these later films that defies the lazy stereotypes often bandied about his films", and that "Spielberg continues to take risks, with his body of work continuing to grow more impressive and ambitious", concluding that he has only received "limited, begrudging recognition" from critics. Spielberg's critics have argued that his films are overly sentimental and tritely moralistic. In ''Easy Riders, Raging Bulls'', Peter Biskind wrote that the director is "infantilizing the audience, reconstituting the spectator as child, then overwhelming him and her with sound and spectacle, obliterating irony, aesthetic self-consciousness, and critical reflection." Critic Ray Carney and actor Crispin Glover claimed that Spielberg's films lack depth and do not take risks. Critic Pauline Kael, who enjoyed Spielberg's films in the 1970s, expressed disappointment in his later work, stating that "he's become, I think, a very bad director.... And I'm a little ashamed for him, because I loved his early work.... [H]e turned to virtuous movies. And he's become so uninteresting now.... I think that he had it in him to become more of a fluid, far-out director. But, instead, he's become a melodramatist." Filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard opined that Spielberg was partly responsible for the lack of artistic merit in mainstream cinema, and accused Spielberg of using ''Schindler's List'' to profit from a tragedy. In defense of Spielberg, critic Roger Ebert said "Has Godard or any other director living or dead done more than Spielberg, with his Holocaust Project, to honor and preserve the memories of the survivors?" Seven of his films have been inducted into the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant": ''Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T., Jurassic Park, Schindler's List,'' and ''Saving Private Ryan''.

Awards and recognition

Spielberg has won three Academy Awards. He received seven nominations for Best Director, and won twice (for ''Schindler's List'' and ''Saving Private Ryan''). His third was in Best Picture, for ''Schindler's List.'' In 1987, he was awarded the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award for his work as a creative producer. Drawing from his own experiences in Scouting, Spielberg helped the Boy Scouts of America develop a merit badge in cinematography to promote filmmaking as a marketable skill; the badge was launched at the 1989 National Scout jamboree (Boy Scouts of America), National Scout Jamboree. In 1989, Spielberg was presented with the Distinguished Eagle Scout Award. Spielberg received the AFI Life Achievement Award in 1995. In 1998, he was awarded the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany. The award was presented to him by President Roman Herzog in recognition of ''Schindler's List,'' and work on the USC Shoah Foundation, Shoa-Foundation. Spielberg was awarded the Department of Defense Medal for Distinguished Public Service, Medal for Distinguished Public Service in 1999, in recognition for ''Saving Private Ryan''. For the same film, he also received an award for Outstanding Directorial Achievement in Motion Pictures by the Directors Guild of America. The next year, he received the Directors Guild of America Award, Lifetime Achievement Award from the Directors Guild of America. Spielberg was given a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame in 2003, located on 6801 Hollywood Boulevard. On July 15, 2006, Spielberg was awarded the Chicago International Film Festival#Grand Prize: Gold Hugo, Gold Hugo Lifetime Achievement Award at the Summer Gala of the Chicago International Film Festival, and was awarded a Kennedy Center honor on December 3. The tribute to Spielberg featured a biographical short film narrated by Liam Neeson, and a performance of the finale to Leonard Bernstein's ''Candide'', conducted by John Williams. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame, Science Fiction Hall of Fame inducted Spielberg in 2005, the first year it considered non-literary contributors.. Press release March 24, 2005. Science Fiction Museum (''sfhomeworld.org''). Archived March 26, 2005. Retrieved March 22, 2013."Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame"
. Mid American Science Fiction and Fantasy Conventions, Inc. Retrieved April 7, 2013. This was the official website of the hall of fame to 2004.
He was a recipient of the Visual Effects Society Lifetime Achievement Award in February 2008; it is awarded for "significant and lasting contributions to the art and science of the visual effects industry." In 2009, Spielberg was awarded the Cecil B. DeMille Award by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association for "outstanding contributions to the world of entertainment". In 2001, he was appointed as an List of honorary British knights and dames, honorary Knight Commander of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) by Elizabeth II, Queen Elizabeth II for services to the British film industry. In 2004, he was awarded France's highest civil honor, the Legion of Honour, Légion d'Honneur by President Jacques Chirac. In June 2008, Spielberg received Arizona State University's Hugh Downs Award for Communication Excellence. In October 2009, Spielberg received the Philadelphia Liberty Medal; the prize was presented by former U.S. President Bill Clinton. In October 2011, he was made a Commander of the Order of the Crown (Belgium), Order of the Belgian Crown, one of Belgium's highest honors. On November 19, 2013, Spielberg was honored by the National Archives and Records Administration with a Records of Achievement Award. Spielberg was given two facsimiles of the 13th Amendment to the United States Constitution, 13th Amendment; the first which passed in 1861 but was not ratified, and the second signed by Abraham Lincoln in 1865 to abolish slavery. The amendment and the process of passing it were the subject of his film ''Lincoln''. On November 24, 2015, Spielberg was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom from President of the United States, President Barack Obama in a ceremony at the White House. In July 2016, Spielberg was awarded a gold Blue Peter badge by the BBC children's television programme ''Blue Peter''. Spielberg has honorary degrees from University of Southern California, 1994; Brown University, 1999; Yale University, 2002; Boston University, 2009; Harvard University, 2016.

Awards received by Spielberg's films


Prolific in film since the 1960s, Spielberg has directed 33 feature films, and co-produced many works. Directed features Producing credit Acting and cameos Spielberg had numerous Cameo appearance, cameo roles, including in ''The Blues Brothers (film), The Blues Brothers'', ''Gremlins'', ''Vanilla Sky'', ''Double Dare (film), Double Dare'', and ''Austin Powers in Goldmember.'' Spielberg voiced himself in the 2011 film ''Paul (film), Paul'', and in one episode of ''Tiny Toon Adventures'' titled ''Buster and Babs Go Hawaiian''.

See also

*CinemaScore#List of A+ films, Directors with two films rated A+ by CinemaScore *Steven Spielberg's unrealized projects



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Further reading

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External links

* * * * * * * {{DEFAULTSORT:Spielberg, Steven Steven Spielberg, 1946 births Living people 20th-century American businesspeople 20th-century American male actors 20th-century American male writers 20th-century American screenwriters 21st-century American businesspeople 21st-century American male actors 21st-century American male writers 21st-century American screenwriters Action film directors AFI Life Achievement Award recipients Akira Kurosawa Award winners American billionaires American film editors American film producers American film studio executives American film production company founders American humanitarians American male film actors American male screenwriters American people of Russian-Jewish descent American people of Ukrainian-Jewish descent American philanthropists American television directors BAFTA fellows Best Directing Academy Award winners Best Director BAFTA Award winners Best Director Golden Globe winners Businesspeople from Arizona Businesspeople from Cincinnati Businesspeople from Los Angeles Businesspeople from New Jersey Businesspeople from New York (state) California Democrats California State University, Long Beach alumni Cecil B. DeMille Award Golden Globe winners César Honorary Award recipients Chevaliers of the Légion d'honneur Commanders of the Order of the Crown (Belgium) David di Donatello Career Award winners David di Donatello winners Daytime Emmy Award winners Directors Guild of America Award winners Dyslexic writers Fantasy film directors Film directors from Arizona Film directors from Los Angeles Film directors from New Jersey Film directors from New York (state) Film directors from Ohio Film theorists Filmmakers who won the Best Film BAFTA Award Golden Globe Award-winning producers Honorary Knights Commander of the Order of the British Empire Inkpot Award winners International Emmy Founders Award winners Jewish American art collectors Jewish American male actors Jewish American philanthropists Jewish American writers Jewish film people Jews and Judaism in Cincinnati Kennedy Center honorees Knights Commander of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany Male actors from Arizona Male actors from Cincinnati Male actors from Los Angeles Male actors from New Jersey Male actors from New York (state) National Humanities Medal recipients People from East Hampton (town), New York People from Haddon Township, New Jersey People from Saratoga, California Philanthropists from California Philanthropists from New York (state) Presidential Medal of Freedom recipients Primetime Emmy Award winners Producers who won the Best Picture Academy Award Recipients of the Irving G. Thalberg Memorial Award Science fiction fans Science fiction film directors Science Fiction Hall of Fame inductees Screenwriters from Arizona Screenwriters from California Screenwriters from New Jersey Screenwriters from New York (state) Screenwriters from Ohio Special effects people Television producers from California Television producers from New York (state) Writers from Cincinnati Writers from Los Angeles Writers from New Jersey Writers from New York (state) Writers from Scottsdale, Arizona