Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Spielberg directs this sequel to the 1981 hit Raiders of the Lost Ark. This time the hero is searching for a magical stone and finds a evil plotting cult. He must stop them. Harrison Ford, Kate Capshaw, Jonathan Ke Quan co-star. I wanted to paint a dark picture of an inner sanctum. I didn’t rely on magazine pictures […]


De Palma directs this neo-noir about sexual tension, jealousy and, eventually, violence, between a boss and her protégé in an advertising agency. Rachel McAdams, Noomi Rapace, and Karoline Herfurth star. This is a relationship picture, and the girls came in to rehearse, and we sort of watched what they did and how they played with […]

Mission to Mars

De Palma directs a science fiction adventure film about crew of astronauts on a rescue mission after the disastrous failure of a manned trip to mars. Tim Robbins, Gary Sinise, and Don Cheadle star. Well I had to come up with a whole other way of doing things because of the weightlessness. And the whole thing […]


De Palma directs this film based on a true story about American soldiers raping and murdering a young Iraqi girl during the occupation. The film is made using a pastiche approach, incorporating news reports and Youtube footage liberally. Patrick Carroll, Rob Devaney, and Izzy Diaz star. I guess I’ve always been controversial.

The Black Dahlia

De Palma directs this film based on a novel by James Ellroy, which is loosely structured around the facts of the real life Black Dahlia murder case. When a woman is found cut in half, two cops try to solve the mystery. Josh Hartnett, Aaron Eckhart, and Scarlett Johansson star. I tried to stay very […]

Minority Report

Spielberg directs a science fiction film thriller starring Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell, and Samantha Morton. The film is set in a futuristic world were special psychics called “precogs” inform police about crimes before they are ever committed. I went to Scott Frank for the screenplay. He wrote Get Shorty and Out of Sight. I gave him […]

Catch Me If You Can

Spielberg directs the true story about a likable young con man, and the FBI agent who attempts to track him down. Leonardo DiCaprio plays the con man, and Tom Hanks plays the agent. I committed to directing Catch Me If You Can not because of the divorce component, but principally because Frank Abagnale did things that were […]

The Terminal

Spielberg directs this drama about a man from a foreign country trapped in an airline terminal for a very, very long time. During his time there he meets new friends, deals with tragedy, and falls in love. Tom Hanks, Catherine Zeta-Jones, and Chi McBride star. It was going to be a tremendous performance opportunity for […]

A.I. Artificial Intelligence

Spielberg directs this science fiction film based on a screenplay by Stanley Kubrick. A young boy who is actually a robot lives in a futuristic society where machines have become essentially sentient. Haley Joel Osment, Jude Law, and Frances O’Connor star. I would speculate that Stanley [Kubrick] would have made and told much the same story […]

Saving Private Ryan

Spielberg directs this World War II drama starring Tom Hanks. Noted for its realistic battle scenes, the film follows a group of soldiers after the Normandy landing, searching for a missing paratrooper. When people see World War II movies, they expect to be entertained. If they see a Vietnam movie, they expect to be shocked. […]


Spielberg directs this historical drama based on a true story about a successful mutiny that occurs on a slave ship leaving from Cuba. The men and women onboard the ship are captured on the United States, off the New England coast, and held as escaped slaves. A large portion of the movie plays out as […]

The Lost World: Jurassic Park

Spielberg directs this sequel to the 1993 hit. A group of researchers are dispatched to another island where a second group of dinosaurs have been left to flourish undisturbed since the events of the first film. Jeff Goldblum, Julianne Moore, and Pete Postlethwaite star. …with Lost World, I hadn’t directed for three years so I wanted […]

Schindler’s List

Spielberg directs this historical drama based on a true story about a businessman in Nazi Germany who becomes aware of the horrors being perpetrated on the Jews in his workforce, and does what he can to save their lives. The film is noted for its use of black and white photography. Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, […]

Licensing deal

CBS and Amazon announce an exclusive licensing deal for the upcoming science fiction series. Amazon will be given exclusive rights to air the episodes online via their Prime service. Episodes will be available for streaming on the service four days after they premiere on Television. CBS: Our partnership with Amazon for ‘Under the Dome’ helped […]

Doctor Who inspiration

Spielberg’s Co-Producer on Extant, Mickey Fisher, tells The Daily Telegraph in an interview that the classic British Science fiction series Doctor Who was a big inspiration for him while he was writing the Extant pilot. Because I’m a big Doctor Who fan, I had a Post-it note on the corner of my monitor that said, ‘WWSMD; […]

Premier, solid ratings

In the Extant premier, Berry plays an astronaut who comes back home from a voyage in space and finds her circumstances altered due to an unexpected pregnancy. The episode gets 9.4 million viewers, which is enough to help CBS win the ratings race for the night. It is also the largest number for any scripted […]


Dreyfuss stars as an oceanographer brought in to consult when a shark starts killing swimmers on the beaches of a New England tourist town. Roy Scheider, and Robert Shaw also star in this Steven Spielberg directed horror film, which will eventually become famous for all the difficulties that occurred during the production. We started the […]


Spielberg directs directs this film about Peter Pan as an adult. When his children are kidnapped by the vengeful Captain Hook, Pan must return to Nevernever land and try to save them. Robin Williams and Dustin Hoffman star as Pan and Hook. I think it’s a film I failed on. I should have told more […]

Jurrasic Park

Spielberg directs this science fiction adventure based on a novel by Michael Chrichton. A billionaire finds a way to clone dinosaurs and creates a special park designed for the public to see the creatures. Things go disastrously wrong when he brings in a group of experts to preview the park and there is a power […]


Spielberg directs this film about an aerial firefighter who dies and comes back as a ghost, watching while his wife deals with the grief of losing him. The film stars Richard Dreyfuss, Holly Hunter, and Brad Johnson. I think the film owes a great inspiration to…A Guy Named Joe. But it’s not really a remake. […]

Empire of the Sun

Spielberg directs this historical film based on a J.G. Ballard novel. It details the experience of a young boy trying to survive on his own in Shanghai after the 1941 Japanese invasion. Christian Bale, John Malkovich, and Miranda Richardson star. From the moment I read J. G. Ballard’s novel I secretly wanted to direct myself.

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

Spielberg directs the third adventure film in the Indiana Jones series. This time Jones is accompanied by his father—also an accomplished adventurer—as he searches for the fabled holy grail, which supposedly has the power to make people immortal. Harrison Ford and Sean Connery star. The dad thing was my idea. The Grail doesn’t offer a lot […]

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

Spielberg directs this film about a little boy who finds an Alien in his garden shed. He befriends the creature and tries to help it find its way back home. The film stars Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore, and Peter Coyote. It’s a contemporary science-fiction fantasy. It’s about human values. It’s about the understanding people have […]

The Color Purple

Spielberg directs this film based on the novel by Alice Walker. The story details the trials and tribulations of an African American woman from Georgia trying to make it in the difficult world of the early 1900s. It stars Whoopi Goldberg, Danny Glover, and Oprah Winfrey. There were certain things in the [lesbian] relationship between […]


Spielberg directs this comedy about the hysteria that breaks out in California shortly after the Pearl Harbor attack as residents fear an imminent Japanese invasion of the US mainland. Saturday Night Live vets Jhon Belushi and Dan Aykroyd star. [The Film] wanted to be bigger than the war, bigger than history.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Spielberg directs this big budget science fiction film. After an encounter with a UFO, an engineer becomes psychically connected to a race of extraterrestrials who are about to visit earth. The film, which is notable for having a positive view of the potential of people encountering an alien race, rather than playing on the fearful […]

Raiders of the Lost Ark

Spielberg directs high energy film that brings to mind the classic adventure serials of the 1920s. An archeologist is tasked with finding the mysterious Ark of the Covenant. Unfortunately, the Nazis are also looking for it, hoping to use its mystical powers as a weapon. The film was co-written by George Lucas and stars Harrison […]

Rich and Strange

Hitchcock directs this film about a newly married couple who receive a large inheritance. They use the money to travel abroad, but things keep going awry as they gradually learn that there is much more to life than wealth.  The film, which is also known as East of Shanghai, stars Henry Kendall, Joan Barry, and […]


Spielberg directs this horror film about a massive shark killing residents of a small New England beach community. Eventually three men leave in a boat, attempting to find the fish and destroy it before the local tourist economy is ruined.  Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss star. I had no choice but to figure out […]

The Sugarland Express

Spielberg directs this film about a woman who breaks her husband out of prison. The two of them then retrieve their child and run for it. When things eventually go sour, they are forced to take a police officer hostage. The film, which is Spielberg’s first theatrical production, stars Goldie Hawn, Ben Johnson, Michael Sacks […]

Jamaica Inn

Hitchcock directs this movie about a young woman who discovers that there are criminal using her uncle’s inn as part of a scheme to wreck ships for profit. Maureen O’Hara, Robert Newton, and Charles Laughton star. On actor Charles Laughton: When we started the picture, he asked me to show him only in close shots […]

Number Seventeen

Hitchcock directs this action packed crime film about a group of thieves who steal a diamond necklace and then meet up afterward. Meanwhile, a clever detective is pursuing them relentlessly. The film stars Leon M. Lion, Anne Grey, and John Stuart. Hitchcock’s wife and collaborator, Alma Reville: As the climax of a thriller was invariably a […]


Spielberg directs this edge-of-your-seat TV movie about a man terrorized by a crazed truck driver while driving to work. The film is based on a script written by novelist Richard Matheson, and stars Dennis Weaver. I was intimately familiar with the work of Richard Matheson because I was a complete, obsessive-compulsive Twilight Zone follower, and […]

The Lady Vanishes

Hitchcock directs this mystery film which also has touches of surrealism. A young woman traveling by train makes the acquaintance of a nice older lady who then vanishes without a trace. As the mystery deepens, and the other passengers continue to doubt her story, the young woman begins to question her own grasp of reality. […]

The Skin Game

Hitchcock directs this film about two families with very different outlooks on the world, feuding over a piece of land. Things turn truly nasty when one family tries to swindle the other. The film, based on a stage play by John Galsworthy, stars Edmund Gwenn, Jill Esmond, and C.V. France .


Hitchcock directs this movie about a bombing plot in London and an undercover detective’s efforts to thwart it. This follow-up to Hitchcock’s Secret Agent is actually loosely based on the classic Joseph Conrad novel with the same title, though the two films have completely different stories. Sylvia Sidney, Oskar Homolka, Desmond Tester star. Aside from […]

Secret Agent

Hitchcock directs this espionage film about a group of spies sent to assassinate an enemy agent. As they pursue their goal, they soon find themselves dealing with a crisis of conscience. The film is based on a novel by Somerset Maugham. John Gielgud, Madeleine Carroll, and Robert Young star.

The 39 Steps

Hitchcock directs this fast paced espionage thriller about a man falsely accused of murdering a female spy. Before dying, the woman gives him tantalizing clues about an enemy spy ring, and now he must unravel the mystery in order to prove his own innocence. Stars Robert Donat, Madeleine Carroll, and Lucie Mannheim.

The Man Who Knew Too Much

Hitchcock directs this tense thriller about a couple on vacation who witness the murder of a spy. Right before the man dies he gives the couple crucial information about an assassination plot, but before they can report anything their child is kidnapped in an attempt to force their silence. The film stars Leslie Banks, Edna […]


Hitchcock directs this whodunit about an actress accused of a murdering one of her co-stars. She was found at the crime scene in a daze and has no memory of what actually happened. The film, which stars stars Herbert Marshall, Norah Baring, and Phyllis Konstam, was co-written by Hitchcock’s wife Alma Reville.

Juno and the Paycock

Hitchcock directs this film set during the Irish Revolution. It’s about a family who inherit a fortune and then begin living indulgently as they lose a proper sense of moral perspective. The film, which stars Sara Allgood, Edward Chapman, and Barry Fitzgerald is based on a screenplay by Sean O’Casey.


Hitchcock directs this film about a woman who kills an attempted rapist in self-defense, and tries to cover it up instead of reporting the incident. It is Hitchcock’s first sound film, but a silent version was filmed simultaneously with the same cast. The movie stars Anny Ondra, John Longden, and Sara Allgood.

The Manxman

Hitchcock directs this romantic melodrama about a love triangle. A fisherman and a young lawyer both fall madly in love with the same woman. She becomes engaged to the fisherman but when he goes away to seek wealth and prosperity overseas, she and the lawyer are inexorably drawn together. The film, based on a novel […]


Hitchcock directs this comedy about a young woman who runs away with her boyfriend in an attempt to elope, but various coincidences and difficulties keep them from succeeding. Meanwhile, her angry father plots a scheme for teaching her a lesson. The film, starring Betty Balfour, Jean Bradin, and Ferdinand von Alten, is co-written by Hitchcock […]

Easy Virtue

Hitchcock directs this film about a woman falsely accused of adultery and divorced. Later when she remarries a man of wealth and property, she finds it necessary to keep her past a secret. The film, which focuses on the prejudices of the English Aristocracy, stars Isabel Jeans, Franklin Dyall, and Eric Bransby Williams.

Hitchcock, Reville marry

At the age of 26, director Hitchcock marries Alma Reville, an editor who also worked as an assistant director on several British films, including Hitchock’s own The Lodger. The marriage ceremony is held at Brompton Oratory, a Roman Catholic church in South Kensington, London. Had the beautiful Ms. Reville not accepted a lifetime contract without […]

The Farmer’s Wife

Hitchcock directs this romantic comedy about a widowed farmer searching for a new wife with the help of his loyal maid. They interview candidates from around the town one at a time, and all the women seem to be unsuitable in one way or another until the farmer eventually begins to wonder if he’ll ever […]

The Lodger

Hitchcock directs this silent thriller about a suspicious lodger who moves in with a family while a serial murderer is terrorizing the London streets. The film is based on novel of the same name by Marie Belloc Lowndes, which was inspired by the real life Jack the Ripper murders. It stars Ivor Novello, June Tripp, […]

The Pleasure Garden

Hitchcock directs a silent melodrama based on a novel by Oliver Sandys about the romantic trials and tribulations of two chorus girls working at a music hall called The Pleasure Garden. The film stars Carmelita Geraghty, Patsy Brand, Miles Mander, and Jon Stuart. Melodramatic. But there were several interesting scenes in it.