Steven Spielberg is born in Cincinnati, Ohio, to Arnold Spielberg, an electrical engineer involved in early computers, and Leah Adler, a concert pianist and restaurateur. His family later moves to New Jersey and Arizona.
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 so I knew of his work on the Twilight Zone and some of his really great episodes of that.
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
To me, the real villain’s Hawn; she’s the heavy for me—I mean, I intended it to be that way. But everybody has a different interpretation of who their villains are and who their heroes are.
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 how to tell the story without the shark. So I just went back to Alfred Hitchcock: ‘What would Hitchcock do in a situation like this?’ … It’s what we don’t see which is truly frightening.
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 aspects, stars Richard Dreyfuss and Teri Garr.
I really found my faith when I heard that the Government was opposed to the film. If NASA took the time to write me a 20-page letter, then I knew there must be something happening. I had wanted cooperation from them, but when they read the script they got very angry and felt that it was a film that would be dangerous. I felt they mainly wrote the letter because JAWS convinced so many people around the world that there were sharks in toilets and bathtubs, not just in the oceans and rivers. They were afraid the same kind of epidemic would happen with UFOs.
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.
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 Ford. On Collaborator George Lucas:
I would trust George with any movie I ever direct to edit in any way he sees fit. He knows the secret of what an editor can do to a movie, how he can enhance the film.
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 towards one another. It’s about compassion and love. They share so much of what they know about their own environments with each other and they come to have a great understanding for each other’s problems. Elliott understands that E.T. is lonely and has to get home to survive, and that he must save E.T.’s life.
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 as I used to, looking at National Geographic pages or in a photography magazine to show the cameraman what I liked. I relied more on what it would look like if an entire set had only low wattage light bulbs recessed in nooks and crannies.
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 Shug Avery and Celie that were very finely detailed in Alice’s book, that I didn’t feel we could get a [PG-13] rating… And I was shy about it.
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.
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 of special effects and doesn’t promise a huge physical climax. I just thought that the Grail that everybody seeks could be a metaphor for a son seeking reconciliation with a father and a father seeking reconciliation with a son. It also gave me a chance to suggest Sean Connery. Who else but Bond could have been worthy enough to play Indiana Jones’ dad?
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. It was the basis for a new story.
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 of the Peter Pan story. And not allowing Robin to be funny was a mistake.
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 outage, releasing the dinosaurs from their cages. Sam Neill, Laura Dern, and Jeff Goldblum star.
Here’s what was scary: We were creating the title characters of a film. These were the stars of the picture, these dinosaurs. And if that didn’t work, nothing about Jurassic Park could have worked. So that was daunting, because I was using Universal’s money to basically make an experimental dinosaur picture.
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, and Ben Kingsley star.
On Oksar Schindler: He changed from a great Gatsby to a great rescuer, and it fascinated me. He was like an agent, like a Michael Ovitz, on top of the mountain pulling strings in every fiefdom down below.
Spielberg wins the Academy Award for Best Directing in the World War II biographical drama Schindler’s List. Clint Eastwood presents the award.
Let me just start by saying that this never could have happened, this never could have gotten started without a survivor named Poldek Pfefferberg who Oskar Schindler saved from Auschwitz, from Belsen. He’s the man who talked Thomas Keneally into writing the book. I owe him such a debt. All of us owe him such a debt. He has carried the story of Oskar Schindler to all of us. A man of complete obscurity who makes us wish and hope for Oskar Schindlers in all of our lives.
Producers Steven Spielberg, Gerald R. Molen and Branko Lustig win the Academy Award for Best Picture of 1993 for Schindler’s List. Harrison Ford presents the award. Lustig:
My number was 83317. I am a Holocaust survivor. It’s a long way from Auschwitz to this stage.
Spielberg wins his second Academy Award for Best Achievement in Directing for his World War II drama Saving Private Ryan. Kevin Costner presents the award.
Let me just turn my eyes to Mr. Hanks who from the very, very beginning said to me, this is going to be something extraordinary. We weren’t really talking about the film, we were talking about the experience of making “Saving Private Ryan,” and he was right.
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 to do something I felt secure making. I didn’t want to make a serious picture like Schindler’s List.
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 a courtroom drama, showing the trial that occurred after their capture. Djimon Hounsou, Matthew McConaughey, and Anthony Hopkins star. About showing the film to his children
They walked out of Amistad. I lost my whole family. All my young kids, you know. I wouldn’t ever show them the middle passage and I didn’t let them see the very beginning and they were bored by the legal stuff. They left.
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. But World War II has become fun: They want a big action-adventure. But it wasn’t an adventure. It was a war.
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 I told because I based my screenplay on a 90-page treatment [concept] Stanley had prepared from all of his own ideas.
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 the original short story by Philip K. Dick and he said he didn’t know anything about science fiction. I said, ‘Let me worry about the sci fi element. Just write a terrific detective yarn’.
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 most astonishing scams I had ever heard. And I’m a big fan of scams.
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 Tom [Hanks], and I wanted to be in on that, around that … I wanted to be in his zone
Spielberg praises the actor he directed in the lead role of Peter Pan in Hook for his intense comedic performances:
Robin was a lightning storm of comic genius and our laughter was the thunder that sustained him. He was a pal and I can’t believe he’s gone.
Spielberg joins in and takes the challenge given to him by Oprah Winfrey. Before the water is dumped on him he challenges J.J. Abrams, George Lucas and Jeffrey Katzenberg.
After a fourteen year absence, Spielberg returns to Warner Bros. He is pegged to direct Ready Player One.
We are thrilled to welcome Steven back to Warner Bros. We had an historic series of collaborations in the 1980s and 1990s and have wanted to bring him back for years.
Spielberg sells his Malibu mansion for $26 million. The house is sold in an off-market deal and not in the multiple listing service. The house features seven bedrooms and ten bathrooms, formal living and dining rooms, a massage room and a home theater. Outside the house are a swimming pool and spa, and a two-bedroom guesthouse. Spielberg bought the property in two separate transactions in 1989 and 2000, paying a total of $6.575 million. When Spielberg and his family were not at home, he rented the property during the summer for $125,000 a month.
Universal Pictures announces the sequel to Jurassic World, to be released June 22, 2018. Trevorrow and Derek Connolly, the co-writers of Jurassic World, will write the sequel, although Trevorrow will not direct. No director has been announced. Spielberg returns as executive director and Marshall will resume his role as producer. Pratt and Howard are confirmed to star.
The trailer is released for Spielberg’s Bridge of Spies, based on the story of a United States U-2 spy plane that was shot down over a Soviet airspace.