Three years later, the family moved to Phoenix, Arizona. I was embarrassed by the outward perception of my parents' Jewish practices. I was never really ashamed to be Jewish, but I was uneasy at times. He said yes, and I got an idea to do a Western. I made it and got my merit badge. That was how it all started. He attained the rank of Eagle Scout.
His parents divorced while he was still in school,  and soon after he graduated Spielberg moved to Los Angeles , staying initially with his father. His long-term goal was to become a film director. His three sisters and mother remained in Saratoga. In Los Angeles, he applied to the University of Southern California 's film school, but was turned down because of his "C" grade average. Studio vice president Sidney Sheinberg was impressed by the film, which had won a number of awards, and offered Spielberg a seven-year directing contract.
It made him the youngest director ever to be signed for a long-term deal with a major Hollywood studio. It was immediately obvious to me, and probably everyone else, that here was a young genius.
I thought maybe more experience was important, but then I thought of all of those experienced directors who didn't have Steven's intuitive inspiration and who just kept repeating the same old routine performances.
That was called "experience. Hollywood doesn't always recognize talent, but Steven's was not going to be overlooked. I told him so in a note I wrote him. I wrote to Rod Serling, too. I was so grateful that he had approved Steven as the director. I told him he had been totally right. The episode is unusual in his body of work, in that the camerawork is more highly stylized than his later, more "mature" films.
After this, and an episode of Marcus Welby, M. This futuristic science fiction episode impressed Universal Studios and they signed him to a short contract. He did another segment on Night Gallery and did some work for shows such as Owen Marshall: Counselor at Law and The Psychiatrist, before landing the first series episode of Columbo previous episodes were actually TV films.
Based on the strength of his work, Universal signed Spielberg to do four TV films. The first was a Richard Matheson adaptation called Duel.
The film is about a psychotic Peterbilt tanker truck driver who chases the terrified driver Dennis Weaver of a small Plymouth Valiant and tries to run him off the road. Special praise of this film by the influential British critic Dilys Powell was highly significant to Spielberg's career. Another TV film Something Evil was made and released to capitalize on the popularity of The Exorcist , then a major best-selling book which had not yet been released as a film.
He fulfilled his contract by directing the TV film-length pilot of a show called Savage, starring Martin Landau. Spielberg's debut full-length feature film was The Sugarland Express , about a married couple who are chased by police as the couple tries to regain custody of their baby. Spielberg's cinematography for the police chase was praised by reviewers, and The Hollywood Reporter stated that "a major new director is on the horizon. Studio producers Richard D. Zanuck and David Brown offered Spielberg the director's chair for Jaws , a thriller-horror film based on the Peter Benchley novel about an enormous killer shark.
Spielberg has often referred to the gruelling shoot as his professional crucible. Despite the film's ultimate, enormous success, it was nearly shut down due to delays and budget over-runs.
But Spielberg persevered and finished the film. It also set the domestic record for box office gross, leading to what the press described as "Jawsmania. One of the rare films both written and directed by Spielberg, Close Encounters was a critical and box office hit, giving Spielberg his first Best Director nomination from the Academy as well as earning six other Academy Awards nominations.
This second blockbuster helped to secure Spielberg's rise. The Special Edition in For this, Spielberg fixed some of the flaws he thought impeded the original version of the film and also, at the behest of Columbia, and as a condition of Spielberg revising the film, shot additional footage showing the audience the interior of the mothership seen at the end of the film a decision Spielberg would later regret as he felt the interior of the mothership should have remained a mystery.
Nevertheless, the re-release was a moderate success, while the DVD release of the film restored the original ending. The film was considered an homage to the cliffhanger serials of the Golden Age of Hollywood. It became the biggest film at the box office in , and the recipient of numerous Oscar nominations including Best Director Spielberg's second nomination and Best Picture the second Spielberg film to be nominated for Best Picture. Raiders is still considered a landmark example of the action-adventure genre.
It was the story of a young boy and the alien he befriends, who was accidentally left behind by his companions and is attempting to return home. Poltergeist for which he also co-wrote the screenplay , a big-screen adaptation of The Twilight Zone for which he directed the segment "Kick The Can" ,  and The Goonies Spielberg, executive producer, also wrote the story on which the screenplay was based. Teaming up once again with Lucas and Ford, the film was plagued with uncertainty for the material and script.
This film and the Spielberg-produced Gremlins led to the creation of the PG rating due to the high level of violence in films targeted at younger audiences. Nonetheless, the film was still a huge blockbuster hit in It was on this project that Spielberg also met his future wife, actress Kate Capshaw.
Starring Whoopi Goldberg and future talk-show superstar Oprah Winfrey , the film was a box office smash and critics hailed Spielberg's successful foray into the dramatic genre.
Roger Ebert proclaimed it the best film of the year and later entered it into his Great Films archive. The film received eleven Academy Award nominations, including two for Goldberg and Winfrey. However, Spielberg did not get a Best Director nomination.
In , as China began opening to Western capital investment, Spielberg shot the first American film in Shanghai since the s, an adaptation of J. The film garnered much praise from critics and was nominated for several Oscars, but did not yield substantial box office revenues.
Reviewer Andrew Sarris called it the best film of the year and later included it among the best films of the decade. After two forays into more serious dramatic films, Spielberg then directed the third Indiana Jones film, 's Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Once again teaming up with Lucas and Ford, Spielberg also cast actor Sean Connery in a supporting role as Indy's father. The film earned generally positive reviews and was another box office success, becoming the highest-grossing film worldwide that year; its total box office receipts even topped those of Tim Burton's much-anticipated film Batman , which had been the bigger hit domestically.
Also in , he re-united with actor Richard Dreyfuss for the romantic comedy-drama Always , about a daredevil pilot who extinguishes forest fires. Spielberg's first romantic film, Always was only a moderate success and had mixed reviews.
In , Spielberg returned to the adventure genre with the film version of Michael Crichton 's novel Jurassic Park , about a theme park with genetically engineered dinosaurs. This would be the third time that one of Spielberg's films became the highest-grossing film ever. Spielberg's next film, Schindler's List , was based on the true story of Oskar Schindler , a man who risked his life to save 1, Jews from the Holocaust.
With the film a huge success at the box office, Spielberg used the profits to set up the Shoah Foundation , a non-profit organization that archives filmed testimony of Holocaust survivors.
In , the American Film Institute listed it among the 10 Greatest American Films ever Made 9 which moved up to 8 when the list was remade in In , Spielberg took a hiatus from directing to spend more time with his family and build his new studio, DreamWorks ,  with partners Jeffrey Katzenberg and David Geffen.
Spielberg in His next film, Amistad , was based on a true story like Schindler's List , specifically about an African slave rebellion. Despite decent reviews from critics, it did not do well at the box office.
Miller Tom Hanks sent to bring home a paratrooper whose three older brothers were killed in the same twenty-four hours, June 5—6, of the Normandy landing.
Spielberg won his second Academy Award for his direction. The film's graphic, realistic depiction of combat violence influenced later war films such as Black Hawk Down and Enemy at the Gates.
The film was also the first major hit for DreamWorks, which co-produced the film with Paramount Pictures as such, it was Spielberg's first release from the latter that was not part of the Indiana Jones series. The series won a number of awards at the Golden Globes and the Emmys. Artificial Intelligence which Kubrick was unable to begin during his lifetime.
A futuristic film about a humanoid android longing for love, A. Spielberg and actor Tom Cruise collaborated for the first time for the futuristic neo-noir Minority Report , based upon the science fiction short story written by Philip K. Dick about a Washington D. Roger Ebert , who named it the best film of , praised its breathtaking vision of the future as well as for the way Spielberg blended CGI with live-action. The film is known for John Williams ' score and its unique title sequence.
It was a hit both commercially  and critically. It received mixed reviews but performed relatively well at the box office. In , Empire magazine ranked Spielberg number one on a list of the greatest film directors of all time. Also in , Spielberg directed a modern adaptation of War of the Worlds a co-production of Paramount and DreamWorks , based on the H. Wells book of the same name Spielberg had been a huge fan of the book and the original film.
Spielberg's film Munich , about the events following the Munich Massacre of Israeli athletes at the Olympic Games, was his second film essaying Jewish relations in the world the first being Schindler's List. The film is based on Vengeance , a book by Canadian journalist George Jonas. It was previously adapted into the made-for-TV film Sword of Gideon. The film received strong critical praise, but underperformed at the U.
In June , Steven Spielberg announced he would direct a scientifically accurate film about "a group of explorers who travel through a worm hole and into another dimension",  from a treatment by Kip Thorne and producer Lynda Obst. The screenwriter suggested the addition of a "time element" to the treatment's basic idea, which was welcomed by Obst and Thorne.
The Adventures of Tintin: The Secret of the Unicorn , was not released until October , due to the complexity of the computer animation involved. The world premiere took place on October 22, in Brussels , Belgium.