followed up the success of Jaws two years later with his next
film, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which received an
academy nomination for best director. Not every Spielberg film has
received acclaim however, as proven by the disastrous failure of the
film 1941, his first attempt at comedy (released in 1979).
This disappointment did not discourage him however, and he next
teamed up with a friend of his named George Lucas. Together,
Spielberg and Lucas adapted an action adventure picture based on
serials they both loved as kids called Raiders of the Lost
Arc. The film earned Spielberg another best director Oscar
year later (1982), Spielberg’s next film E.T The Extra
Terrestrial became the biggest domestic moneymaker of all time.
E.T. was in fact the first movie to be produced by Amblin
Entertainment, a production company formed by Spielberg in 1982
carrying the name of his first big break in the business. Amblin was
only a production studio, and worked together with many other
studios such as Universal Pictures, Columbia Pictures and Warner
Brothers. With the Amblin name and logo prevalent, many films became
immediate successes and American icons, including such films as Twister,
E.T., Back to the future, Gremlins, Jurassic Park, Schindlers List
and Saving Private Ryan.
big challenge was presented to Spielberg in 1985. After receiving
much criticism that he couldn’t make a picture with adult content,
he directed the movie The Color Purple.
Although Spielberg himself did not receive an Oscar
nomination, the film received 11.
Over the next few years, Spielberg directed and produced a number of
movies that received little recognition, making it appear as if his
career was folding. In 1993, Spielberg proved himself as one of
Hollywood’s elite, as Jurassic Park and Schindlers List
encapsulated the interest of every type of movie-goer and critic,
satisfying the needs of commerce and art alike.
Jurassic Park grossed $100 million in the first 9 days
of release (passing up E.T.’s box office record) and
Schindlers List granted him his first Oscar for Best Director
and Best Picture.
Using his tremendous success as a springboard, DreamWorks SKG was
formed in 1994. The first new movie studio to form in Hollywood in
over 75 years, DreamWorks joined the forces of Spielberg, Jeffery
Katzenberg (formerly with Disney) and David Geffen (of Geffen
Records) along with the backing of numerous outside partners and
investors. DreamWorks promised to be a major force in all forms of
entertainment from movies to music, television and video games.
Amistad was the first film directed by Spielberg under the new
DreamWorks label. Unfortunately, the blockbuster movie Titanic
was released at the same time making it seem as if Amistad
was a big failure, although it didn’t do especially bad at the box
office. More recently, movies such as Deep Impact and
Saving Private Ryan have proven DreamWorks a force to be
reckoned with, along with the overwhelming success of American
Beauty, up for 8 Oscars this year.
credits much of his success and happiness to his wife and
the years, Spielberg has been recognized not only by the Academy
Awards, but various other nominations including Golden Globe and
Directors Guild awards. He is also the recipient of the Lifetime
Achievement Award from the American Film Institute and the
prestigious Irving G. Thasberg Award from the Academy of Motion
Picture Arts and Sciences.
Spielberg credits much of his success and happiness to his wife and
children. He met actress Cate Capshaw at auditions for “Indiana
Jones and the Temple of Doom” in which she was cast as the leading
role, and the couple married seven years later. The couple has a
total of 7 children (2 adopted and 2 from previous marriages).
a major American icon, Spielberg has written, acted in, directed and
or produced many award-winning, top grossing movies of all time,
along with some of the most remembered and loved.
Roger Ebert (Sun-Times film critic) has stated “If
Spielberg never directed another film, his place in movie history
would be secure. No other director has been more successful at the
box office and few have placed more titles on various lists of great
films. No director or producer has ever put together a more popular
body of work. That’s why the movies we’re seeing are made in his
Spielberg treads a whole new path
others are trying to figure out how they can follow in his
footsteps, Spielberg treads a whole new path. Yes indeed, Mr.
Spielberg may have paused for a week or two to recuperate after his
surgery, but his finale’ is nowhere in site. He returned to
DreamWorks on February 14th 2000 to start up on his next