Steven Spielberg Poster


Jump to: Overview (3)  | Mini Bio (1)  | Family (4)  | Trade Mark (21)  | Trivia (172)  | Personal Quotes (112)  | Salary (5)

Overview (3)

Born in Cincinnati, Ohio, USA
Birth NameSteven Allan Spielberg
Height 5' 7¾" (1.72 m)

Mini Bio (1)

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 Indiana Jones and the 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: World War II Combat Cameramen (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

Family (4)

Spouse Kate Capshaw (12 October 1991 - present)  (5 children)
Amy Irving (27 November 1985 - 2 February 1989)  (divorced)  (1 child)
Children Sasha Spielberg
Max Spielberg
Sawyer Spielberg
Destry Allyn Spielberg
Mikaela George Spielberg (adopted child)
Theo Spielberg (adopted child)
Jessica Capshaw (stepchild)
Parents Leah Frances (Posner)
Arnold Spielberg
Relatives Anne Spielberg (sibling)
Nancy Spielberg (sibling)
Sue Spielberg (sibling)

Trade Mark (21)

He uses powerful flashlights in dark scenes (Jurassic Park (1993); The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997) and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)). The outline of the beam is often made visible through dust, mist, or fog.
He frequently uses music by John Williams.
He often shows shooting stars (Jaws (1975)).
He often shows performers staring, usually at something off-camera.
He often uses images of the sun (Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), The Color Purple (1985), Empire of the Sun (1987), Saving Private Ryan (1998)).
His films often show children in some sort of danger.
His consistent references to World War II.
His frequent references to Disney (films, music, or theme parks)
He frequently uses a piano as an element in key scenes (Schindler's List (1993), Saving Private Ryan (1998), Minority Report (2002)).
Important images, or characters, are often seen through the rear-view mirror of a car (Duel (1971), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Jurassic Park (1993), Schindler's List (1993), A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)).
The protagonists in his films often come from families with divorced parents, with fathers portrayed as reluctant, absent or irresponsible, most notably in E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982) (Elliot's mother is divorced and father is absent) and Catch Me If You Can (2002) (Frank Abagnale's mother and father split early in the film). This reflects Spielberg's own experience as a youth with his parents breaking up.
A common theme in many of his films is ordinary people who discover something extraordinary - people, places, artifacts, creatures, etc. (Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)).
Since Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), all of his movies have featured visual effects (even those that were undetected) by Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), the F/X house created by his friend George Lucas. The only exception has been The Terminal (2004), which had F/X work by Digital Imageworks.
He is credited for starting the summer blockbuster tradition with 1975's first $100 million megahit, Jaws (1975).
His films are almost always edited by Michael Kahn.
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 is an ardent champion of the "cutting-in-camera" philosophy
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 frequently casts British actors
Beard, glasses and (often when directing) baseball cap.

Trivia (172)

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 a supporter of the Democratic Party. In 1996, he donated $100,000 to the Party. He also favored Hillary Clinton to Donald Trump in the 2016 Presidential Election.
He is among the richest individuals in Hollywood.
In 1998, he received the Germany's Cross of Merit with star for his sensible representation of Germany's history in Schindler's List (1993).
On 31 October 1997, he was chosen by Entertainment Weekly as the most powerful person in entertainment in 1997.
On 23 September 1997, he was involved in road accident and treated for an injured shoulder.
In 1995, he was given the American Film Institute Life Achievement Award.
There are seven children in the Capshaw-Spielberg family: Theo Spielberg, who was adopted by Kate Capshaw before their marriage and later adopted by Spielberg, born in 1988, Sasha Spielberg, born on 14 May 1990, Sawyer Spielberg, born on 10 March 1992, their adopted daughter Mikaela George Spielberg, born on 28 February 1996, and Destry Allen Spielberg, born on 1 December 1996. Kate Capshaw's daughter Jessica Capshaw, born in 1976, is from her previous marriage. Steven Spielberg's son Max Spielberg, born in 1985, is from his previous marriage to Amy Irving.
Amy Irving gave birth to his son Max Spielberg on 13 June 1985.
He claims Richard Dreyfuss is his alter-ego.
He attended California State University-Long Beach after being turned down by USC Cinema school twice.
He attended Arcadia High School in Phoenix.
In 1995, awarded second annual John Huston Award for Artists Rights by the Artists Rights Foundation.
He was the co-founder (with Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen) of DreamWorks SKG.
He has one of the original Rosebud sleds from Citizen Kane (1941) in his house.
He is the godfather of Drew Barrymore and Gwyneth Paltrow.
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 born to Arnold Spielberg, a computer engineer, and Leah Adler, née Posner, a restaurateur and concert pianist.
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).
He sits on USC School of Cinema-Television's Board of Councilors.
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.
Gwyneth Paltrow calls him Uncle Morty.
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.
In December 2000. he was awarded the honor of Knight of the Order of the British Empire (KBE) in New Years Honours 2001 by Queen Elizabeth II for his contribution to the British film industry. As a non-Commonwealth citizen, he will not be able to use the title.
He states that the work of David Lean has had a profound effect on his career.
He spent five months developing the script for Rain Man (1988) with Ron Bass, but had to commit to his handshake deal to direct Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989). Spielberg gave all of his notes to Barry Levinson.
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 personally offered the American Beauty (1999) script to Sam Mendes, who ended up winning the Academy Award for Best Director on the film, which was Mendes's debut feature.
He flew Will Smith to his Hamptons home via helicopter to offer him the part in Men in Black (1997).
He often casts new actors based on their performances in other works. He rarely requires auditions for major roles.
He was asked to approve use of the theme music from Jaws (1975) for Swingers (1996). When he saw a cut of the film, he saw Vince Vaughn, whom he chose to play Nick Van Owen in The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997).
He is an Eagle Scout and was on an advisory board for the Boy Scouts of America. He left this position because he did not agree with the fact that the Boy Scouts of America discriminated against homosexuals.
He was directing a childbirth scene when he received a call that Amy Irving was giving birth to their son Max Spielberg.
According to the 2001 issue of Forbes' "400 Richest People In America," Spielberg's fortune is $2.1 billion.
He was born at 6:16 PM EST.
He was irked when footage from his movie Duel (1971) was used as stock footage in an episode of The Incredible Hulk (1977). But since Universal Studios owned the rights to both the The Incredible Hulk series and the film of Duel, taking legal action was not possible. However, he subsequently updated his contracts to include a clause that would protect his future material from being used as stock footage.
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.
He received honorary doctor of humane letters degree from Yale University (27 May 2002).
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.
He owns the rights to the Stephen King novel "The Talisman". As of 2002, the book has not been made into a film. He is now producing this film for release in 2007.
His father served in World War II in South East Asian Front.
Michael Kahn has edited all of Spielberg's theatrical features since Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), their first collaboration. Kahn did not, however, edit E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) because he was editing Poltergeist (1982). E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) was edited by Carol Littleton.
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.
He ranked #1 in Premiere's 2003 annual Hollywood Power List. It is the third time he received the top ranking (the others being in 1994 & 1995). He had ranked #6 in 2002.
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 2003, he was set to produce a mini-series for HBO that would set out to debunk the legend of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. The mini-series, written by David Leland, would focus on the historical reality of life in 500 A.D., when Arthur was thought to be King and will have no round table, Merlin, Lancelot, Excalibur, or knights. Camelot itself will be shown to have been a simple Roman fort and Arthur, named Artos in the film, will be portrayed as a humble blacksmith whose forging skills win him the English throne. It was expected to air sometime in 2004.
The first film he directed that was not scored by John Williams was The Color Purple (1985), which was scored by Quincy Jones.
He was voted the 11th Greatest Director of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
In 1983, he lost the Best Picture Oscar to Gandhi (1982), directed by Richard Attenborough. He later went on to direct six cast members, as well as Attenborough, in his later movies: Amrish Puri in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984); Roshan Seth in Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984); Richard Attenborough in Jurassic Park (1993); Ben Kingsley in Schindler's List (1993), Nigel Hawthorne in Amistad (1997), Martin Sheen in Catch Me If You Can (2002), and Daniel Day-Lewis in Lincoln (2012).
He has worked with four actors from the Hannibal Lecter film series, in reverse order to the order in which the Lecter films came out. The first one he worked with was Ralph Fiennes in Schindler's List (1993), who went on to play Francis Dollarhyde in Red Dragon (2002). His next film was The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997), with Julianne Moore, who played Clarice Starling in the third Lecter film, Hannibal (2001). After this, he made Amistad (1997), with Anthony Hopkins, who began playing Hannibal Lecter in the second film, The Silence of the Lambs (1991). After this he made Saving Private Ryan (1998), which featured Dennis Farina, who played Jack Crawford in the original Lecter film, Manhunter (1986).
When asked what are the films he's made he would like to be remembered for, he said E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) and Schindler's List (1993).
Although close friend, George Lucas, has vowed to only shoot future movies digitally, Spielberg has been the most vocal film-maker of the opposing view: to continue shooting all of his movies on film. Other directors siding with Spielberg include Martin Scorsese and Oliver Stone.
According to his interview on the series Inside the Actors Studio (1994), his favorite curse word is "Rats!"
To date, has never provided a director's commentary on any of his film's DVDs.
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.
He described One Froggy Evening (1955) as "the most perfect cartoon ever made".
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.
When he used product placement in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), he used Reese's Pieces only because M & M's parent company didn't want their product associated with aliens and UFOs.
He directed 14 actors in Oscar-nominated performances: Liam Neeson; Ralph Fiennes; Anthony Hopkins; Tom Hanks; Melinda Dillon; Whoopi Goldberg; Oprah Winfrey; Margaret Avery; Christopher Walken; Daniel Day-Lewis; Tommy Lee Jones; Sally Field, Mark Rylance, Meryl Streep, Ariana DeBose. Day-Lewis, Rylance, and DeBose won the award for their performances in Spielberg movies.
He wrote a letter to Polish writer/director Mira Hamermesh in appreciation of one of her films.
He graduated from Saratoga High School in Saratoga, California.
He ranked #2 on Premiere's 2005 Power 50 List, behind only Peter Jackson. Had the same ranking in 2004, behind Pixar bosses John Lasseter and Steve Jobs.
He ranked #1 in Empire (UK) magazine's "The Greatest directors ever!" (2005).
He has been Honorary Member of the Society of Operating Cameramen (SOC) since 1995 and received the Governors Award "for his contributions in the advancement of the use of the motion picture camera".
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.
Aside from producing The Goonies (1985), he also directed at least one scene in the movie.
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.
In December 2005, he, Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen sold DreamWorks SKG to Paramount Pictures Corporation for $1.6 billion.
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.
He has an estimated fortune of $2.8 billion ($2,800,000,000), according to the "Los Angeles Business Journal". The size of his fortune him the 14th richest person in the Los Angeles area and likely the wealthiest producer-director in the world (with only his friend George Lucas coming close).
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 is the most represented filmmaker on the American Film Institute's 100 Most Inspiring Movies of All Time, with five films on the list and three in the top ten. They are: Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) at #58; The Color Purple (1985) at #51; Saving Private Ryan (1998) at #10; E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) at #6 and Schindler's List (1993) at #3.
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 ranked #4 on Premiere's 2006 "Power 50" list. Had ranked #2 in 2005.
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.
In 1996, he purchased Clark Gable's Oscar (which he won for It Happened One Night (1934)) to protect it from further commercial exploitation and gave it back to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, commenting that he could think of "no better sanctuary for Gable's only Oscar than the Motion Picture Academy".
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.
On 19 July 2001 he purchased Bette Davis' Oscar statuette, which she won for Jezebel (1938), at a Christie's auction and returned it to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
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).
Both live-action adaptations of "The Incredible Hulk" have references to his films. The first used stock footage from Duel (1971). In the 2003 film by Ang Lee (Hulk (2003)), the impact of the Hulk hitting the ground causes ripples to form in nearby bodies of water, just as the Tyrannosaur does in Jurassic Park (1993).
Though he frequently works with Tom Hanks, Hanks was not involved in Lincoln (2012), Spielberg's biopic about Abraham Lincoln, even though he is descended from the family of Lincoln's mother, Nancy Hanks.
Although a known supporter of tighter gun controls in the U.S., he owns one of the largest gun collections on the East Coast. He shoots, but only privately. He is also an excellent shot with a shotgun. Actor Shia LaBeouf once said about his shooting, "He's an Olympic shot. The hand-eye co-ordination of that man is unlike anything I've ever seen. If he weren't a great director, he could be one of our greatest snipers".
He was awarded Kennedy Center Honors in 2006, with Dolly Parton, Smokey Robinson, Zubin Mehta, and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
According to Teri Garr, Spielberg told her on a set that one of his favorite movies is Viva Las Vegas (1964), starring Elvis Presley.
He is of Hungarian descent, which explains his surname, coming from the Austrian city where his ancestors lived.
He considered directing Memoirs of a Geisha (2005).
He, George Lucas and Francis Ford Coppola presented Martin Scorsese with his first ever award for Best Director, for The Departed (2006).
He is a huge fan of the actors Steve Martin, Bill Murray and Robin Williams. He is also proud to admit they are good friends of his.
He was offered the opportunity to direct California Split (1974), but job went to Robert Altman.
He was originally set to direct Cape Fear (1991). He later recommended Martin Scorsese for the job and personally called the director, letting him know that this was a commercial film that had potential to be a hit, which would exercise more power for Scorcese to make his films.
On September 6, 1997, he attended the funeral of Princess Diana with friends Richard Attenborough, Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman and Tom Hanks.
He went to the same college, California State University, Long Beach, as Frank Miranda.
He was originally in talks to direct The Mask of Zorro (1998) but later only produced it.
Burt Reynolds film "White Lightning" (1973) was originally slated to be Spielberg's first theatrical feature and he spent months on pre-production.
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 2007, he ranked #2 on EW's The 50 Smartest People in Hollywood.
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.
In 2007, Forbes estimated his earnings for the year 2006 to be $110 million.
He is a fan of video games and says that their development is intriguing to him.
His dog Elmer starred in several of his films including Jaws (1975) and Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977).
He owns homes in Pacific Palisades, California; New York City; East Hampton, New York; and Naples, Florida.
In February 2008, he pulled out of his role as advisor to the 2008 Beijing Olympics, reacting to the Chinese government's inaction over the genocide in Darfur.
He is a fan of the works of Carl Barks, and cites them as a big inspiration on his storytelling.
He turned down the opportunity to direct Deep Impact (1998) and The Mask of Zorro (1998) to work on Saving Private Ryan (1998).
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.
In the 5th edition of 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die (edited by Steven Jay Schneider), 8 of Spielberg's films are listed: Jaws (1975), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), The Color Purple (1985), Jurassic Park (1993), Schindler's List (1993) and Saving Private Ryan (1998).
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 worked with both father and son Brolin actors. He worked with James Brolin in Catch Me If You Can (2002), and Josh Brolin in The Goonies (1985) and Into the West (2005).
He is one of 10 directors to win the Golden Globe, Director's Guild, BAFTA, and Oscar for the same movie, winning for Schindler's List (1993). The other directors to achieve this are Mike Nichols for The Graduate (1967), Milos Forman for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975), Richard Attenborough for Gandhi (1982), Oliver Stone for Platoon (1986), Ang Lee for Brokeback Mountain (2005), Danny Boyle for Slumdog Millionaire (2008), Alfonso Cuarón for Gravity (2013) and Roma (2018), Alejandro G. Iñárritu for The Revenant (2015), and Guillermo del Toro for The Shape of Water (2017).
He directed six of the American Film Institute's 100 Most Heart-Pounding Movies: Jaws (1975) at #2, Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) at #10, Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) at #31, Jurassic Park (1993) at #35, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) at #44 and Saving Private Ryan (1998) at #45.
He lives in Los Angeles, Malibu, California and East Hampton, New York.
His publicist is Marvin J. Levy.
In 1985, Spielberg purchased a Pacific Palisades hilltop estate from singer Bobby Vinton, a palatial residence that, over the years, had been home to producer David O. Selznick, Douglas Fairbanks Jr., spouses Cary Grant and Barbara Hutton, etc.
He is the ex son-in-law of Jules Irving.
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].
In Belgium, (22 October 2011) he was honored as Commander in the Order of the Crown by outgoing Finance Minister Didier Reynders at the Hotel Amigo in Brussels ahead of the world premiere of Spielberg's new film - "The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn.".
His favorite indoor relaxation pursuits are watching golf on TV and playing his computer game "Assassin's Creed".
He has made two films that, between them, feature four former U.S. Presidents. He has hired a British actor to play the President each time: Nigel Hawthorne as Martin Van Buren and Anthony Hopkins as John Quincy Adams in Amistad (1997), and Daniel Day-Lewis as Lincoln and Jared Harris as Ulysses S. Grant in Lincoln (2012).
He confessed to host James Lipton that he has a phobia about "furniture with feet" (Inside the Actors Studio: Episode #5.9 (1999)).
He attended the first AFI "Life Achievement Award" as a guest of his The Sugarland Express (1974) and Jaws (1975) producer Richard D. Zanuck where Spielberg's lifelong hero John Ford was the honored recipient (Los Angeles / March 31 1973).
His father Arnold Spielberg was an innovator who worked on the first computer that was ever sold commercially back in 1950.
He claims his family name "Spielberg" has Austrian origins meaning "Play Mountain" when translated into English.
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:
He formed The Amblin Production Company in 1969. After 10 years of being self employed, Kathleen Kennedy while working on the film 1941 (1979) was hired in 1979, followed by Frank Marshall while working on Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) in 1980. Renamed his company "Amblin Entertainment" in 1984.
He is at his most productive and creative when working on more than one project at a time, be it as producer and/or director: E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) + Poltergeist (1982) / Schindler's List (1993) + Jurassic Park (1993) / War Horse (2011) + The Adventures of Tintin (2011), etc.
Steven Spielberg was the first living person to have a playable Lego mini-figure modelled after him. It was sold with several sets as part of the Lego Studios product range in the early 2000s.
He lost the Best Director Oscar to Ang Lee both in 2006 and 2013.
A lifelong fan of the 007 movies, he named Honor Blackman as his favorite Bond girl.
In January 2003, he received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame.
He struggled with dyslexia his whole life but was not diagnosed until very recently (approx. 2007).
The film The Goonies (1985) was based on his group of childhood friends, which he referred to as the "goon squad.".
He was the president of the jury at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival.
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 and his wife Kate Capshaw are very close friends with Michelle Pfeiffer and her husband David E. Kelley. They often vacation together and went to the White House Correspondents' Dinner together.
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).
He was at one point considering directing a Harry Potter film. Although he never directed one of the films, he has directed several cast members in his films: Richard Harris's son, Jared Harris, appeared in Lincoln (2012).
He has worked with several actors from the Star Wars films.
When promoting A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001), which he wrote, he was asked why he had not written a film in the 19 years since Poltergeist (1982). He replied that the gap was not that long because he actually does rewrites on many of the scripts that he directs.
For an AFI poll, Spielberg designated Lawrence of Arabia (1962) as his favourite film.
Five films he directed set the North American opening weekend record, more than any other director: Jaws (1975), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), Jurassic Park (1993), and The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997). Additionally, two sequels to his films he declined to direct also set the opening weekend record: Jaws 2 (1978) and Jurassic World (2015).
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 is best friends with George Lucas and Oprah Winfrey. He was also best friends with Robin Williams until he passed away.
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.
According to friend and veteran film editor Michael Kahn, Spielberg will not watch a cut of his film without temp music (temporary score).
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.
Gremlins (1984), the Back to the Future trilogy and Young Sherlock Holmes (1985) were all produced by Spielberg and all have eccentric inventors who create madcap inventions with pet dogs, Barney, Einstein and Uncas.
In Young Sherlock Holmes (1985) and The Goonies (1985), Holmes and Data have much gadgetry on their person, like James Bond, and Spielberg and screenwriter Chris Columbus are huge Bond fans. Also, in the novelization for Holmes, it uses the words "a view to kill", and the Bond film A View to a Kill (1985) was made the same year.
In Young Sherlock Holmes (1985), that film mentions bats, snakes, spiders and rats; these would appear in all the Indiana Jones films, Arachnophobia (1990) and The Goonies (1985), films either produced or directed by Spielberg.
In the novelization for Young Sherlock Holmes (1985), there is the line "sixth sense"; Frank Marshall produced this and The Sixth Sense (1999) and Spielberg later directed Haley Joel Osment, the star of the latter film in A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001).
As of 2022, he has directed 12 films that were nominated for the Academy Award for Best Picture: Jaws (1975), Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), The Color Purple (1985), Schindler's List (1993), Saving Private Ryan (1998), Munich (2005), War Horse (2011), Lincoln (2012), Bridge of Spies (2015), The Post (2017), and West Side Story (2021). He also produced the last nine of these, as well as Letters from Iwo Jima (2006), and was nominated for Best Picture each time. These 10 nominations for Best Picture is the record. Of these, Schindler's List (1993) is the only one to have won the award.
Spielberg had directed Columbo: Murder by the Book (1971), the very first episode of that famous series (not counting two pilot films). In the 3rd season episode Mind Over Mayhem (1974), screenwriters Steven Bochco and Dean Hargrove named the boy genius character Steve Spelberg. That episode was in production (airing in February) while Spielberg's breakthrough theatrical film The Sugarland Express (1974) was generating industry buzz prior to its April release.
Both detectives Eddie Valiant in Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) and Holmes in Young Sherlock Holmes (1985) use magnifying glasses, and both were Spielberg productions.
He is friends with Tom Cruise, Harrison Ford, and Kirk Douglas.
Chris Columbus sold scripts to Spielberg that became Gremlins (1984) and The Goonies (1985) but his career didn't fully take off until he directed Home Alone (1990) and Mrs. Doubtfire (1993) which then led to the even greater success of the first two Harry Potter films.
He founded the Shoah foundation with the profits from Schindler's List (1993).
George Lucas and Steven Spielberg are responsible for six of the ten highest-grossing films of the 1980s.
He became close friends with Robin Williams while making Hook (1991).
After seeing their music video for "Alright", he proposed to the band Supergrass that they work together on a television show in the style of The Monkees (1966). The group turned him down, preferring to work on their second album "In It for the Money".
In 2018, he donated half a million dollars to (and attended) the March For Our Lives protest in favor of gun control in the United States.
Both of his wives were born in the same year. His first wife, Amy Irving, was born in September 1953, and his second wife, Kate Capshaw, was born in November 1953.
He has directed seven films that have been selected for the National Film Registry by the Library of Congress as being "culturally, historically or aesthetically" significant: Jaws (1975), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Jurassic Park (1993), Schindler's List (1993) and Saving Private Ryan (1998). He has also executive produced four films that are in the registry: The Goonies (1985), Back to the Future (1985), Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) and Shrek (2001) (uncredited).
Remake (2003) is one of his favorite films.
Friends with Sally Fields.
His last name translates to "game mountain" in German.
Founded Amblin Partners in 2015 with Reliance, Entertainment One and Participant Media as partners.
Spielberg and his Amblin production company produced their first five films I Wanna Hold Your Hand (1978), Used Cars (1980), Continental Divide (1981), Poltergeist (1982) and Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983) before getting his own production logo with Gremlins (1984) and Fandango (1985) before getting his own animated logo with The Goonies (1985). Likewise, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), the first film Spielberg produced and directed were produced by his Amblin production company before his production logo starting to appear in Spielberg-directed movies like The Color Purple (1985) (save for Schindler's List (1993), Amistad (1997), Minority Report (2002) and The Post (2017), which are all produced by Amblin, though only the print logo appears in publicity for "Schindler's List" and "Minority Report").
His Amblin production company signed a deal with Universal Pictures in 1975 following their success with Jaws (1975).
While watching a rough cut of Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977), unlike director George Lucas and other colleagues, he was the only one who believed that this film would be really successful. He called it "the biggest movie of all time" and correctly predicted that it would make millions of dollars.
He had to drop out of directing Rainman as he was already contracted to direct the 3rd Indiana Jones film.

Personal Quotes (112)

I think that the Internet is going to effect the most profound change on the entertainment industries combined. And we're all gonna be tuning into the most popular Internet show in the world, which will be coming from some place in Des Moines. We're all gonna lose our jobs. We're all gonna be on the Internet trying to find an audience.
Once a month the sky falls on my head, I come to and I see another movie I want to make.
[on winning the Best Director Oscar for Saving Private Ryan (1998)]: Am I allowed to say I really wanted this?
Before I go off and direct a movie I always look at 4 films. They tend to be: Seven Samurai (1954), Lawrence of Arabia (1962), It's a Wonderful Life (1946) and The Searchers (1956).
[on friend Joan Crawford]: She is five feet four, but she looks six feet on the screen. In a two-shot with anyone, even Gable, (Clark Gable), your eyes fix on her. She is imperious, yet with a childlike sparkle. She is haughty, yet tender. She has no great range as an actress, yet within the range she can perform better than any of her contemporaries.
I have made almost as many films in England as I have in America. I will come back to England again and again.
I would love to see the British film industry get back on its feet again.
I don't drink coffee. I've never had a cup of coffee in my entire life. That's something you probably don't know about me. I've hated the taste since I was a kid.
I dream for a living.
I'd rather direct than produce. Any day. And twice on Sunday.
Poltergeist (1982) is the darker side of my nature, it's me when I was scaring my younger sisters half to death. In Poltergeist, I wanted to terrify and I also wanted to amuse - I tried to mix the laughs and screams together.
With Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977), George (George Lucas) put the butter back into the popcorn.
I always like to think of the audience when I am directing. Because I am the audience.
The older I get, the more I look at movies as a moving miracle. Audiences are harder to please if you're just giving them special effects, but they're easy to please if it's a good story. The audience is also the toughest critic - a good story that exists in your world may not be the first choice for an audience. So I just do the best I can.
[When asked about being conflicted whether to make more artistic films, or more commercial films]: All the time, but when you have a story that is very commercial and simple, you have to find the art. You have to take the other elements of the film and make them as good as possible, and doing that will uplift the film.
Godzilla (Godzilla: King of the Monsters! (1956)) was the most masterful of all dinosaur movies because it made you believe it was really happening.
I don't work weekends. Weekends are for my kids. And I have dinner at home every night when I'm not physically directing a movie - I get home by six. I put the kids to bed and tell them stories and take them to school the next morning. I work basically from 9.30 to 5.30 and I'm strict about that.
I think every film I make that puts characters in jeopardy is me purging my own fears, sadly only to re-engage with them shortly after the release of the picture. I'll never make enough films to purge them all.
I'm as guilty as anyone, because I helped to herald the digital era with Jurassic Park (1993). But the danger is that it can be abused to the point where nothing is eye-popping any more. The difference between making Jaws (1975) 31 years ago and War of the Worlds (2005) is that today, anything I can imagine, I can realize on film. Then, when my mechanical shark was being repaired and I had to shoot something, I had to make the water scary. I relied on the audience's imagination, aided by where I put the camera. Today, it would be a digital shark. It would cost a hell of a lot more, but never break down. As a result, I probably would have used it four times as much, which would have made the film four times less scary. Jaws is scary because of what you don't see, not because of what you do. We need to bring the audience back into partnership with storytelling.
Being a movie-maker means you get to live many, many lifetimes. It's the same reason audiences go to movies, I think. When my daughter Sasha (Sasha Spielberg) was 5 years old, we would be watching something on TV and she'd point to a character on screen and say, "Daddy, that's me." Ten minutes later a new character would come on screen and she'd say, "No, Daddy. That's me." Throughout the movie she would pick different people to become. I think that's what we all do. We just don't say it as sweetly.
After a scary movie about the world almost ending, we can walk into the sunlight and say, "Wow, everything's still here. I'm OK!" We like to tease ourselves. Human beings have a need to get close to the edge and, when filmmakers or writers can take them to the edge, it feels like a dream where you're falling, but you wake up just before you hit the ground.
What I'm saying is that I believe in showmanship.
Times have changed. It's like when the first 747 landed at Los Angeles international airport: everybody thought flying through the sky was the most greatest marvel they had ever seen - floating through the air, seemingly in slow motion. Today we never even look at 747s. They're a dime a dozen and it's that way with the blockbuster. If there was one blockbuster every three years, it meant a lot more than when you have a blockbuster every three weeks. It's the job of each of these studios to market these movies as the must-see movie of the year, so they go after blockbuster status by creating a grand illusion. Sometimes they've got a real engine behind that grand illusion, meaning the movie is damned good and the audience will say they got their money's worth. Other times, the audience comes on the promise of seeing something they've never ever seen before and it becomes just another sci-fi action yarn and they feel disappointed.
I've learned that we can do just about anything under the sun with computers. So the question becomes, should we? Or, should we remind ourselves, as filmmakers, to be careful and remember that there is nothing more important than how a story is told? If storytelling becomes a byproduct of the digital revolution, then the medium itself is corrupted. On the other hand, if digital tools are simply a way to enhance a conventional story, then in that case, they can make telling that story easier. It's easier and more practical to show 20,000 soldiers in the Crimean War using computers, obviously. So, that's fine. But now, we have technology that can replace actors, or an entire performance in an already existing movie. We could cut out Humphrey Bogart and replace him with Vin Diesel, if somebody wanted. Who would want to? Well, there might be people who would. That's why we have to be careful. Movies reflect our cultural heritage from the period in time in which they were made. Therefore, altering them can destroy that historical perspective. That's disrespectful of history, which is a big issue for me. The situation is like walking a tightrope - we have to move forward, but we have to be careful.
I had dinner with the founder of Yahoo! about seven years ago in Japan. I had my son, who is now sixteen, he was much younger then. I took him to a tea house. We had Geishas, they were serving us tea and I had a little soki and we were talking. And he kept sitting across from me and he kept saying "Yahoo! You have to know what Yahoo!"... and he was going crazy over this thing called Yahoo! And I thought he was actually out of his brain. You know, because he kept talking about Yahoo! and I thought he was trying to say "Yahoo!" And he was, but I had no idea what he was building. And he was so thrilled with what was happening in his world. And this was way beyond my world at that time. And how I look back. I thought: God if I could have been a little bit nicer to that guy, he might have called me up and offered me a chance to invest early. (2002).
During an interview with Roger Ebert regarding his film Munich (2005) and the response from Jewish critics that claim it depicts Israeli and Palestinian causes as morally equivalent: Frankly, I think that's a stupid charge. The people who attack the movie based on 'moral equivalence' are some of the same people who say diplomacy itself is an exercise in 'moral equivalence' and that war is the only answer. That the only way to fight terrorism is to dehumanize the terrorists by asking no questions about who they are and where they come from. What I believe is, every act of terrorism requires a strong response, but we must also pay attention to the causes. That's why we have brains and the power to think passionately. Understanding does not require approval. Understanding is not the same as inaction. Understanding is a very muscular act. If I'm endorsing understanding and being attacked for that, then I am almost flattered.
I feel like I've been engaged to the British Empire since 1980 and tonight you have given me the ring knighthood.
What kept us going was the thought that David Lean, at 54, had done this every day for a year. David Lean was our criterion for survival - on filming Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) in Tunisia.
As long as there's been Transformers, I've been one of the biggest fans. And I always thought that somewhere in this genius concept, there was a movie.
I'll probably never win an Oscar, but I'll sure have a lot of fun! I really believe that movies are the great escape!
Duel (1971) was almost a once-in-a-lifetime story. You don't get stories like that all the time.
All those horrible, traumatic years I spent as a kid became what I draw from creatively today.
The person I enjoy working for more than anyone else is George Lucas. He's the best boss I ever had because he's the most talented boss I ever had.
If I weren't a director, I would want to be a film composer.
I interpret my dreams one way and make a movie out of them and people see my movies and make them part of their dreams.
At E3 games convention about partnership with EA: I am a gamer myself, and I really wanted to create a video game that I could play with my kids.
{On his behavior following the premiere of a new film] My ritual is total blackout. No radio, no television, no internet, no newspapers. I just want to hear one number, which is the Monday-morning number.
The most expensive habit in the world is celluloid, not heroin, and I need a fix every two years.
Disney is the birthplace of imagination and has always been as close to the worldwide audience as any company ever has.
[Receiving the Cecil B. DeMille award at the 66th Annual Golden Globe Awards] Whenever I try to tell a risky story, whether it's about sharks or dinosaurs, or about aliens or about history, I'll always be thinking, "Am I going to get away with this?" When I don't have that worry, I won't make that movie.
[on seeing The Godfather (1972) for the first time] I felt that I should quit, that there was no reason to continue directing because I would never reach that level of confidence.
[on Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)] Harrison became Indiana Jones in a millisecond. He came on set, he donned the hat and everything came with it; his laconic sense of humour, his willingness to take a punch...and get hurt by that punch. All the things that Harrison, George, Larry Kasdan and I originally created. He brought all this back to life as if no time had elapsed since the third movie. My favourite memories from the shoot are my deepening respect for Harrison, not only as an actor but as a dear friend. We've gone off and made other movies which mean our paths have not crossed all that often. I'm not the most social guy in the world and neither is Harrison, so we didn't spend much time together, but we actually became great buddies on this movie, more even than on the first three. It's the best thing that came out of this experience for me.
[on James Cameron] He gets a lot of points for being a techno-brat, but he is a very emotional storyteller.
I think most of my movies are personal movies. I think the most personal movie I've made is Schindler's List (1993). I think the second-most personal movie I have ever made is E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982). I also find The Color Purple (1985) to be a personal film for me. So I've made a number of personal films. But I haven't made a movie yet that is actually a mirror neuron of my factual life and I don't think I ever will. My sister wrote a script about our lives and that might come around again some day, but I've always stayed away from anything that is too biographical.
The one ingredient I bring to all of my films is the ability to listen to anybody who has a good idea on the production. I'm very collaborative with actors, with my writers, with my editor, my cinematographer, with Johnny Williams who does all of my scores. And I just think from a very young age my parents taught me probably the most valuable lesson of my life - sometimes it's better not to talk, but to listen.
I never know what I'm in for. Most of my presumptions about a production are usually wrong. For instance, with Schindler's List (1993) I was pretty certain that whatever came my way in Poland I could tolerate, and just put my camera between myself and the subject, and protect myself by creating my own aesthetic distance. And immediately, on the first day of shooting, that broke down. I didn't have that as a safety net and immediately I realized that that this was about to become the most personal professional experience of my life. It was a devastatingly insightful experience, but it's something I still haven't gotten over. I think back on the production of Schindler's List with very sad memories, because of the subject matter, not because of the working experience. The working experience was nearly perfect because everybody held on to each other in that production. We formed a circle. It was very therapeutic, and for a lot of people, it changed their lives. A lot of the actors, a lot of the crew, it changed their lives. It changed my life, for sure. But other productions I've gone into with a blythe spirit, thinking, This film's a pushover. It's often when I take that attitude, the movie turns around and runs over me as if it were a tank. So I've tried my best to stop second-guessing what the working experience is going to be like. Because I'm usually wrong.
My movies are all different. I've tried to make every movie as if it was made by a different director, because I'm very conscious of not wanting to impose a consistent style on subject matter that is not necessarily suited to that style. So I try to re-invent my own eye every time I tackle a new subject. But it's hard, because everybody has style. You can't help it. It just comes off you like pollen. I mean, if you're a bee, you're a bee, but at the same time I try very hard to work a little out of the box every time I make a choice. And I had to go back to a box that I had helped invent in the 1980s to accomplish the task of bringing Indiana Jones back to life in the 21st century. We went right back to the blazing Technicolor style of the first three installments. For Munich (2005), I certainly tried to bring an early-70s Hollywood style, a cinéma-vérité style, with zoom-lenses, and a lot of the tools that were used to make movies in the 70s, one of my favorites being The Day of the Jackal (1973), the Fred Zinnemann film. But I didn't want to update Indiana Jones to the 1950s beyond hair, makeup, costumes and cars. I wanted it to look very similar to the first three pictures.
I've never used John Williams to tell people how to feel. I use John Williams to enhance my vision and my thoughts emotionally from scene to scene. He'll signal when the shark is coming, which are the most famous single notes next to Beethoven's Fifth. In telling a story, I will use every tool in my arsenal. I will do anything in my power to communicate the best story as I know how.
[on Janusz Kaminski] I was watching television and saw his name on a TV movie, Wildflower (1991), that was beautifully photographed, so I called up the head of my TV department and asked him to consider hiring him to do a pilot we produced about the Civil War, Class of '61 (1993). The director agreed to use Janusz and he was great. I think Janusz has brought a lighting style to my movies that I'd never had before. Even Allen Daviau who had done three pictures with me, who I think is the greatest lighting cameraman in town. But Janusz brought more daring, dangerous light into my films. I set the camera. I do all the blocking. I choose the lenses. I compose everything. But Janusz, basically, is my lighting guy. And he's a master painter with light; he's made tremendous contributions to my work through his art.
[on if the soldier's journey is the ultimate hero's journey] - For one thing, I don't think that anybody in any war thinks of themselves as a hero. The minute anybody presumes that they are heroes, they get their boots taken away from them and buried in the sand. That's not going to happen.

In the re-creation of combat situations, and this is coming from a director who's never been in one, being mindful of what these veterans have actually gone through, you find that the biggest concern is that you don't look at war as a geopolitical endeavor. You look at war as something that is putting your best friend in jeopardy. You are responsible for the person in front of you and the person behind you, and the person to the left of you and the person to the right of you. Those are the small pods that will inadvertently create a hero, but that is someone else's observation, not the observation of those kids in the foxholes.
There's no other way to learn about it, except through documentaries. I encourage documentarians to continue telling stories about World War II. I think documentaries are the greatest way to educate an entire generation that doesn't often look back to learn anything about the history that provided a safe haven for so many of us today. Documentaries are the first line of education, and the second line of education is dramatization, such as "The Pacific."
[on working on The Pacific (2010), Band of Brothers (2001) and Saving Private Ryan (1998)] - What moved us to tell these stories, based on these survivors and veterans, was to see what happens to the human soul throughout this particular engagement. These islands were stepping stones to the mainland of Japan. We weren't trained by the drill instructors stateside. We were trained by the enemy, in how to fight the enemy. They trained us how to fight like them.

I don't want to compare one war to the other, in terms of savagery, but there's a level when nature and humanity conspire against the individual. To see what happens to those individuals, throughout the entire course of events, leading up to the dropping of the two atomic bombs, is something that was very, very hard for the actors, the writers and all of us to put on the screen, but we felt we had to try.
In Saving Private Ryan (1998) I had a sense that I was establishing a template, based on the experiences communicated to me by the veterans who fought that morning on Dog Green, Omaha Beach, and their experiences, and the very few surviving photographs of the great war correspondent, Robert Capa. I combined those photographs to try to find a 24-frame-per-second equivalent for how I can show that kind of terror and chaos without making a movie that looked elegant and beautiful and in full living color, very much like war movies had been made in the past.

It wasn't that I was trying to break the mold of the old war movie approach, visually, but I was simply trying to validate all of this testimony that had been communicated to us, based on the young men that lived and survived that battle. I didn't know it was going to establish a look for war movies, but it was certainly what I thought was right for that particular story.
I committed to directing Catch Me If You Can (2002) principally because Frank Abagnale Jr. did things that were the most astonishing scams I had ever heard. And I'm a big fan of scams. I loved The Flim-Flam Man (1967). I loved Scarecrow (1973) with Gene Hackman. I loved Elmer Gantry (1960) - which I think is a bit of a scam movie. The Sting (1973) and Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid (1969) were kind of scams. You know, some of those villains, you have to sympathize with them.
I've had darkness in all the films, in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Jaws (1975). There are moments in Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) that are brutally dark. I just don't think people have stopped to study. They may not have stopped to think when they assume that I suddenly developed a dark side because of Schindler's List (1993). When critics carp about my dark side, I always wonder, "Well, did they really look in the shadows?"
I'm very relaxed about Oscars. I'll admit to you that I wasn't relaxed before I won for Schindler's List (1993). I was pretty much worried about it and almost wanted to get one behind me to get the anxiety out of my gut every time December reared its ugly head. So after I won for Schindler's and Saving Private Ryan (1998), I have no expectations of ever winning again. Whatever happens, happens.
[on Akira Kurosawa] Kurosawa is the pictorial Shakespeare of our time.
I had a lot to prove when I made Indiana Jones and the Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) because I had done three movies in a row that had gone wildly over budget and schedule, 1941 (1979), Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) and Jaws (1975). I was ready to turn over a new leaf and Raiders was my chance to make a movie responsibly - under schedule and under budget. Fortunately George Lucas gave me a lot of support and help with preparation. I wasn't dreaming of big box office or making a classic; all I was focused on was making a film the audience would like and doing it in a way that was fiscally responsible. I think we were all surprised by the worldwide success of Raiders. I remember hearing people quote lines from the film or seeing kids pretend to be the characters, and realizing that the film had gone beyond box office success and had entered popular culture. That was one of the happy aftershocks of making that movie. More than anything, we want our films to be watchable and Raiders is a movie I can watch with my kids and completely detach myself from the fact that I directed it. I sit back and enjoy it. For a kid who grew up dreaming of making memorable images, it's a thrill to know Raiders is one of those films where people just have to see the silhouette of the main character, and they immediately think, "Indiana Jones!"
[on his friend and frequent collaborator Michael Crichton] Michael's talent out scaled even his own dinosaurs of 'Jurassic Park.' He was the greatest at blending science with big theatrical concepts, which is what gave credibility to dinosaurs again walking the earth. In the early days, Michael had just sold 'The Andromeda Strain' to Robert Wise at Universal and I had recently signed on as a contract TV director there. My first assignment was to show Michael Crichton around the Universal lot. We became friends and professionally 'Jurassic Park,' 'ER,' and 'Twister' followed. Michael was a gentle soul who reserved his flamboyant side for his novels. There is no one in the wings that will ever take his place.
[About Munich (2005)] I am not attacking Israel with this film. In no way, shape or form am I doing that. I'm simply asking why the world feels that the only acceptable response to violence is counter-violence. I'm not answering that question. Just asking it.
When I did War Horse (2011), I was struck by the reality of being out in the fresh air, seeing the sky changing and light moving, and seeing the performances in real time. But being corralled in a digital world with no way out on Tintin became so thrilling to me, I was completely enveloped and enraptured.
Daniel Day-Lewis would have always been counted as one of the greatest of actors, were he from the silent era, the golden age of film or even some time in cinema's distant future.
When you listen, you learn, You absorb like a sponge - and your life becomes so much better than when you are just trying to be listened to all the time.
I tried twice to get Cubby Broccoli to hire me to direct a Bond film. The first time I met him in person was after I'd done Duel (1971). I told him I wanted to do a Bond picture more than anything else in the world and he said, "We only hire British, experienced directors." So I failed in both categories.
[on Schindler's List (1993)] Robin (Williams) would call me every week to cheer me up. And I'd tell him what scenes we'd shot.
Carlo Rambaldi was E.T.'s Geppetto.
John has given movies a musical language that can be spoken and understood in every country on this planet. John Williams is the most common language through which people of all ages communicate and remember to each other why they love movies. I am the only person who can say that I've collaborated with John for exactly half of his life. Without question, he has been the single most significant contributor to my success as a filmmaker. This nation's greatest composer and our national treasure is also one of the greatest friends I have ever had in my entire life.
There are parts of Hook (1991) I love. I'm really proud of my work right up through Peter being hauled off in the parachute out the window, heading for Neverland. I'm a little less proud of the Neverland sequences, because I'm uncomfortable with that highly stylized world that today, of course, I would probably have done with live-action character work inside a completely digital set. But we didn't have the technology to do it then, and my imagination only went as far as building physical sets and trying to paint trees blue and red.
[About the criticism he received for The Color Purple (1985)] Most of the criticism came from directors that felt that we had overlooked them, and that it should have been a black director telling a black story. That was the main criticism. The other criticism was that I had softened the book. I have always copped to that. I made the movie I wanted to make from Alice Walker's book. Alice was on the set a lot of the time and could have always stepped forward to say, "You know, this is too Disney. This is not the way I envisioned the scene going down." She was very supportive during filmmaking, and so I felt that we were doing a good job adapting her novel. There were certain things in the [lesbian] relationship between Shug Avery and Celie that were finely detailed in Alice's book, that I didn't feel could get a [PG-13] rating. And I was shy about it. In that sense, perhaps I was the wrong director to acquit some of the more sexually honest encounters between Shug and Celie, because I did soften those. I basically took something that was extremely erotic and very intentional, and I reduced it to a simple kiss. I got a lot of criticism for that.
[on film] My favorite and preferred step between imagination and image is a strip of photochemistry that can be held, twisted, folded, looked at with the naked eye, or projected on to a surface for others to see. It has a scent and it is imperfect. If you get too close to the moving image, it's like impressionist art. And if you stand back, it can be utterly photo-realistic. You can watch the grain, which I like to think of as the visible, erratic molecules of a new creative language. After all, this "stuff" of dreams is mankind's most original medium, and dates back to 1895. Today, its years are numbered, but I will remain loyal to this analogue art-form until the last lab closes.
[on Daniel Day-Lewis, preparing to portray Abraham Lincoln] Daniel did something first that made me sad. He wanted to wait a year. And it was a masterstroke because he had a year to do research. He had a year to find the character in his own private process. He had a year to discover how Lincoln sounded, and he found the voice. He had Lincoln so embedded in his psyche, in his soul, in his mind, that I would come to work in the morning and Lincoln would sit behind his desk, and we could begin.
[on filming Lincoln (2012)] All during the picture I called Daniel Day-Lewis Mr. President, but that was my idea. I also wore a suit every day which I don't usually do when I'm directing. Everybody was dressed up in their period wardrobe. I did not wear 19th century wardrobe. I wore pretty good clothes from this era. I just wanted to blend in. We knew we were in the 21st century at all times. But once you stepped onto the stages of the White House, everybody really felt that they were making a contribution to remembering this critical moment in our shared history.
I don't plan my career. I don't think I'll go dark, dark, dark, then light, then dark. I react spontaneously to what falls into my arms, to what is right at the time. I've never made a conscious choice, except maybe for the Indiana Jones sequels and The Lost World: Jurassic Park (1997). They're the only times I've said, "Okay, I need to make these pictures for the public because they're craving it." Also, with Lost World, I hadn't directed for three years so I wanted to do something I felt secure making. I didn't want to make a serious picture like Schindler's List (1993).
It boggles my mind how much I feel is left on my plate. There are things on the other side of the supper table stewing in pots that I'm not really even aware of. I would retire if I didn't feel that way. [2009]
[on A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)] A.I. is a Kubrick concept, a Kubrick approach, a Kubrick philosophy, generalled by Kubrick and charged by me.
[on beginning film production at the age of eleven] It cost me about fifty dollars to make the movie, and I would charge a quarter a ticket, and at the end of the summer I might have fifty-five dollars. That's kind of the way Hollywood works today. Small margins.
[Interview on "Inside the Actors Studio" 14 March 1999] I think "cutting-in-the-camera" is the greatest lesson that any director can learn about filmmaking, because when you don't got it, you don't got it, and there's no way to go back and get it...
I said to George there's only one person that can play Indy's father and that's James Bond, and the original James Bond and the greatest James Bond, Sean Connery.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) made so much money and rescued Columbia from bankruptcy. It was the most money I ever made, but it was a meagre success story. Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) was a phenomenon and I was the happy beneficiary of a couple of points from that movie which I am still seeing money on today.
The world would be a poorer place without Doctor Who (1963).
I think that science fiction is the child of every soul with an imagination. There's no predicting what the next generation of imaginative writers and directors be giving all of us. Sci-fi, in a way, is the greatest exercise. It's like turning your brain into a muscle. It just exercises every single aspect of your brain. It sometimes forces filmmakers to think, on the one hand, as a quantum physicist and, on the other hand, as a capricious idealist. It's fun. It's like when actors say they would rather play the villain than the hero because the villain has more character. Science fiction is the character of every genre. I actually have a dream sci-fi project that I'm not ready to talk about yet. But it's in the early, early, early planning stages and I'm very excited about it. It will be an original screenplay. I'm not going to write it. I wrote the story and somebody else will write the screenplay. [2001]
[laughingly, to composer John Williams who first played the theme for Jaws (1975) on the piano] Well, that isn't going to do it.
[on discovering his calling in life] I think it was 'A Tale of Two Cities'. It was required reading. How do you require a child of let's say twelve years-old to read 'A Tale of Two Cities'? What I did was just make little stick figures in the dog-eared sections of the book, one frame at a time, in different positions. And it was like a flip-book. I just did flip-books and saw these images come to life. That was the first time I was able to create an image that moved.
I've often wondered what gets me to direct and what gets me to produce. I've never been able to answer the question adequately even for myself. When something gets a stranglehold on me and compels me to direct it, I don't question why. I don't look a gift horse in the mouth. I just know what it feels like to be overwhelmed with a desire to make a movie. And I also know as a businessman what it means to be overwhelmed with a desire to produce a good story. But there's a great difference between production and direction for me. Once I'm producing something, I never think, "Gee, I wonder what it would have been like if I had directed it." I may often question choices I make as a producer. But I've never questioned the choices I make as a director. Whether in success or in failure, I'm proud of every single movie I've ever directed.
I get that same queasy, nervous, thrilling feeling every time I go to work. That's never worn off since I was 12 years-old with my dad's 8-millimeter movie camera. The thrill hasn't changed at all. In fact, as I've gotten older, it's actually increased, because now I appreciate the collaboration. When I was a kid, there was no collaboration, it's you with a camera bossing your friends around. But as an adult, filmmaking is all about appreciating the talents of the people you surround yourself with and knowing you could never have made any of these films by yourself. My job was constantly to keep a movie family going. I'm blessed with the same thing that John Ford and Howard Hawks and Alfred Hitchcock were blessed with, a mini-industry very similar to the one from the golden era of Hollywood, where it was the same people making movies with you each and every time. And it makes life so much more enjoyable when you get to go home to your family and go to work with your other family.
[on awarding the Palme d'Or to Blue Is the Warmest Colour (2013) at the 2013 Cannes Film Festival] The film was a great love story that made all of us privileged, not embarrassed to be flies on the wall, but privileged to have been invited to see this story of deep love and deep heartbreak evolve from the beginning in a wonderful way where time stood still, because the director didn't put any constraints on the narrative - he let the scenes play as long as scenes play in real life. We were absolutely spellbound by the brilliance of the performances and especially the way the director observed his players - the way he just let the characters breathe. The spaces were as important as what they said - what they weren't saying - and we just felt that it was a profound love story and whether or not it plays in the United States was not a criterion for any of our choices. We didn't think about how it was going to play; we just were really happy that somebody had the courage to tell the story the way they told it.
[on Richard Attenborough] Dickie Attenborough was passionate about everything in his life - family, friends, country and career. He made a gift to the world with his emotional epic Gandhi (1982) and he was the perfect ringmaster to bring the dinosaurs back to life as John Hammond in Jurassic Park (1993). He was a dear friend and I am standing in an endless line of those who completely adored him.
I could never have been an accountant. I got a D in math. [2015]
[on Back to the Future (1985)] I just think the movie is so rich in story, and so rich in occurrence that I really liked it. And it was all in the script too.
[After watching Showgirls (1995)] Sometimes I hate this town.
[on Kodak's new Super 8 camera and film in general] When I watch the news, I expect and want it to look like live television. However, I don't want that in my movies. I want our century-plus medium to keep its filmic look and I like seeing very fine, swimming grain up there on the screen. To me, it's just more alive and it imbues an image with mystery, so it's never literal. I love movies that aren't literally up in my face with images so clear there is nothing left to our imaginations. Had I shot it on a digital camera, the Omaha Beach landings in Saving Private Ryan (1998) would have crossed the line for those that found them almost unbearable. Paintings done on a computer and paintings done on canvas require an artist to make us feel something. To be the curser or the brush, that is the question and certainly both can produce remarkable results. But doesn't the same hold true for the cinematic arts? Digital or celluloid? Vive la difference! Shouldn't both be made available for an artist to choose? [2016]
[on Super 8mm] For me, 8mm was the beginning of everything. (...) When I think of 8mm, I think of the movies. [2016]
[on directing] I just love it. This is something that I'll be doing for the rest of my life. [2016]
[on John Ford] I try to watch a John Ford film before I start work on any movie simply because he inspires me, and I'm very sensitive to the way he paints his pictures, and the way he blocks people, and frames the action while giving the illusion that there's things happening outside of the camera when there's not. He celebrates the frame, not just what happens inside of it. He's like a classic painter. So I have to watch The Searchers (1956). I have to. Almost every time. I never tire of it. It has so many superlatives.
[on 1941 (1979)] I really didn't know what I was doing on this movie. I think one of the reasons it came out so chaotic is I really didn't have a vision for 1941. If Bob Zemeckis was the director, I'm convinced he would have done a much better job because that was really the kind of film the author should have stepped forward and directed. I think what killed the comedy was the amount of destruction, and the sheer noise level. I often describe 1941 as having your head stuck in a pinball machine while somebody is hitting tilt over and over again. Before 1941 I had experienced three great previews on The Sugarland Express (1974), Jaws (1975) and Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977). So I found this theatre in Texas called the Medallion that was my good luck theatre, so naturally I wanted to do the 1941 preview there. But that preview was not like the first three previews. I actually looked over the entire audience midway through the film and at least 20 per cent of the audience had their hands over their ears. I knew we were in big trouble at that point. At the end of the preview, Sid Sheinberg came over to me and said, "There is a movie somewhere in this mess. We should go off and find it." The rest of the executives didn't even want to talk to me. It was a very unhappy experience. We would have been better off with $10 million less, because we went from one plot to seven sub-plots. But, at the time, I wanted it - the bigness, the power, hundreds of people at my beck and call, millions of dollars at my disposal, and everybody saying "Yes...yes...yes!" 1941 was my "Little General" Period. I don't dislike the movie at all. I'm not embarrassed by it - I just think that it wasn't funny enough.
[on his childhood] Being a Jew meant that I was not normal. I was not like everybody else. I just wanted to be accepted. Not for who I was. I wanted to be accepted for who everybody else was.
[on Lawrence of Arabia (1962)] The first time I saw it I couldn't take it all in. I left the theatre stunned and speechless. It was a miracle that film.
I think it's very important for actors to lie in interviews. Because it does get you parts, you know. But just don't lie about you can swim when you can't, because that wouldn't be smart.
You shouldn't dream your film, you should make it!
[on the type of video games he plays] I don't play online games. World of Warcraft (2004), I've played that, but I mainly play action games.
I turned down Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone (2001) and Spider-Man (2002), two movies that I knew would be phenomenally successful, because I had already made movies like that before and they offered no challenge to me. I don't need my ego to be reminded.
I want to be the Cecil B. DeMille of science fiction.
I think one of the worst things that happened to me was, you know, my voluntary fallout with my father. And then the greatest thing that happened to me was when I saw the light, and realized I needed to love him in a way that he could love me back.
My dad took me to my first movie. It was The Greatest Show on Earth (1952) in 1952, a movie of such scale it was actually a traumatic experience.
I simply adore The Simpsons (1989). I go to bed in a Simpsons T-shirt.
[on Audrey Hepburn's passing] Audrey gave more than she ever got. The whole world is going to miss her.
College students helped stop the Vietnam War, maybe high school students can do something about gun control.
[on Empire of the Sun (1987)] One of the things I responded to in the book was the fact that it made selections of what a child grabs on to with his eyes compared to what an adult would see. Kids in their imaginations just create these amazing real-time scenarios that are triggered by what they choose to look at. The book was filled with visual references. And that's what I really responded to, being able to tell this story through the eyes of a child, and to show the child losing all that. It's about the death of childhood. The story is probably quintessentially more about the death of childhood than anything I've made before or since. I did identify with Jim as a disenfranchised kid, having to fend for himself. To pick up skills that he never dreamed of having, of having to ingratiate himself in order to survive. Bang, like that, he's got to figure out who he is - a rich, entitled boy who goes from riches to rags in this lost world. That so intrigued me. That's why I made the movie.
[on Harvey Weinstein] This is a watershed moment, and extolling the virtues of women coming forward through tremendous personal sacrifice, using tremendous amounts of courage to speak about what has happened to them yesterday or 40 years ago, it doesn't matter.
[on the possibility of an E.T. sequel] I'm never going to make 'ET II' - 'ET' is a closed story. It had a beginning, middle and a definite ending, and we had nowhere to take it except to go home with him. Nor did I want to bring him back to Earth for a second time.
Storytelling is the most important aspect of anything I've ever done. It's how the story is told. That's all I've focused on. If something doesn't tell a story or if it's confusing, I either don't shoot it or I cut it out.
I think that The Color Purple (1985) is one of the best movies I've ever made. Alice Walker's book was almost impossible to adapt, so I made the movie to be much more emotional. Of course, Walker's intellectual readership saw the film and felt I'd grossly softened her book. They were right. But I'm proud that I got it to the screen.

Salary (5)

Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) $1,500,000 + % of gross
Jurassic Park (1993) $250,000,000 (gross and profit participations)
Schindler's List (1993) $0 (Asked not to be paid.)
Jurassic Park III (2001) $72,000,000
War Horse (2011) $20,000,000

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