How Steven Spielberg became a Legend and Created Masterpieces
How Steven Spielberg became a Legend and Created Masterpieces

How Steven Spielberg became a Legend and Created Masterpieces

Trista - March 10, 2019

How Steven Spielberg became a Legend and Created Masterpieces
A movie poster for Hook. Mzstatic.

15. Hook Reinvented Fairy Tales

Loosely based on James Barrie’s Peter Pan, Hook told the story of middle-aged Peter Banning who returns to Neverland to save his children. He realizes that he is a grown-up version of Peter Pan and recovers his own imagination, which he uses to defeat Captain Hook, who is holding his children hostage. The $70-million-film grossed $300 million and remains popular with both children and adults.

How Steven Spielberg became a Legend and Created Masterpieces
A movie poster for Jurassic Park. Tellwut.

14. Jurassic Park Reinvented Cinema

In 1993, Spielberg took the cinematic world by storm when he adapted Michael Crichton’s thriller about dinosaurs in the modern world to the big screen. The film earned close to one billion dollars at the box office, setting yet another record for the highest-grossing film. It was the first in a franchise of both movies and other entertainment forms and, with George Lucas providing the special effects, set a new standard for Hollywood thrillers.

How Steven Spielberg became a Legend and Created Masterpieces
A 1993 movie poster for Schindler’s List. onlinevideo.at.ua/ Psy317chiearn.

13. Schindler’s List Was Deeply Personal for Spielberg

Spielberg was Jewish, and as he came to reconcile with his father, he also began to appreciate his Jewish identity. He wanted to tell a story about the Holocaust, and he chose the novel about a factory owner who hired Jews to save their lives because it was unlike any other Holocaust story. He shot the film in black and white because he had only seen footage from the Holocaust in black and white; he didn’t know how to experience such a traumatic experience in color.

How Steven Spielberg became a Legend and Created Masterpieces
Steven Spielberg founded the Shoah Foundation. Here is pictured with George Lucas and Lucas’ wife, Mellody, along with Harrison Ford. Jewish Journal.

12. He Donated the Profits From Schindler’s List

Spielberg set up the Shoah Foundation (Shoah is the Hebrew word for the Holocaust) to enable Holocaust survivors to tell their stories so that they will be preserved for future generations. He intended for both Schindler’s List and the Shoah Foundation to combat ignorance surrounding denials that the Holocaust ever happened.

How Steven Spielberg became a Legend and Created Masterpieces
The little girl in red from Schindler’s List. Tumblr.

11. Schindler’s List Ranked Eighth Best American Film Ever

In 2007, the American Film Institute honored the 1994 film when it listed the 100 greatest American movies of all time. The film won Spielberg an Academy Award for Best Director and also won Best Picture. For Spielberg, though, the film wasn’t about success but about coming to terms with his people’s history and making the world aware of the horrors of the Holocaust.

How Steven Spielberg became a Legend and Created Masterpieces
A movie poster for Saving Private Ryan. Fanart.tv.

10. Steven Spielberg Stayed With the World War II Theme for Saving Private Ryan

The heroism amidst rampant, unmitigated destruction of World War II had inspired Spielberg since he was a teenager. The opening scene of Saving Private Ryan revealed how important those themes were to him, as it featured the amphibious boats landing on the shores of Normandy during the D-Day invasion. The film didn’t even attempt to hide any of the horrors of war.

How Steven Spielberg became a Legend and Created Masterpieces
A movie poster for Band of Brothers. edutech.nodak.edu.

9. He Delved Even More Into Soldiers’ Lives With Band of Brothers

Band of Brothers was a 10-part television series that Spielberg co-produced with Tom Hanks, the star of Saving Private Ryan. His style of depicting war in the rawest, gruesome way changed how other directors shot war movies. Though he didn’t direct Enemy at the Gates: The Battle for Stalingrad or Black Hawk Down, both of the movies took inspiration from his features that involved World War II.

How Steven Spielberg became a Legend and Created Masterpieces
A movie poster for War of the Worlds starring Tom Cruise. TMDB.org.

8. Spielberg Returned to His First Love, Science Fiction

The early 2000s saw the release of AI: Artificial Intelligence and Minority Report, both futuristic dramas about the limits, or lack thereof, of intelligence and how society should grapple with the new morality that this phenomenon posed. Shortly after that, War of the Worlds featured alien visitors who, unlike those in Close Encounters of the Third Kind, were not friendly but were ultimately destroyed by the microorganisms that have killed so many on earth: bacteria.

How Steven Spielberg became a Legend and Created Masterpieces
A movie poster for Munich. Andreasmoser.

7. Steven Spielberg’s Films Drew Heavily on His Jewish Heritage

Spielberg’s film Munich, which was released in 2005, told the story of the Israeli athletes who were assassinated by Palestinian nationalists at the 1972 Olympics. The story portrays the tragedy by saying both the Palestinian and Israeli sides of the conflict in the Holy Lands, which ultimately led to the massacre. Spielberg felt that his Jewish faith obligated him to tell both the Palestinian and Israeli narratives because there are tragedies and victims on both sides.

How Steven Spielberg became a Legend and Created Masterpieces
Steven Spielberg at Cannes in 2016. Blogspot.

6. His Film Career Changed Hollywood

Steven Spielberg single-handedly invented the blockbuster. He also set and continually re-set the standards for cinematography and screenwriting so that now, high-quality special effects, dynamic characters, action-packed plots, and moving soundtracks are part and parcel of any successful film. His films were gritty and raw, and ultimately, told stories that emanated from his own experiences so that the world can relate to them.

How Steven Spielberg became a Legend and Created Masterpieces
A movie poster for The BFG. New DVD Release Dates.

5. Later Films Continue to Be Successful

Spielberg is now in his seventies, but his film career is still in full swing. In the past few years, he has produced hits like War Horse, Lincoln, Bridge of Spies, and The BFG. They tell compelling stories that, while setting in times and places that people today may not be able to relate to, showcase characters whose everyday experiences of being human to enable them to connect with their worlds in powerful ways.

How Steven Spielberg became a Legend and Created Masterpieces
Steven Spielberg with his first wife, Amy Irving. Static.cinemarx.ro.

4. Spielberg Has Been Married Twice

Spielberg’s first wife was Amy Irving, in 1976. When they dated, Amy declined to act in any of his films because she didn’t want her professional career to be built on her being Steven’s girlfriend. They married in 1985 and later divorced; having gone through his parents’ divorce, Spielberg was horrified at what he was putting their son, Max, through. He later married Kate Capshaw, whom he met on the set of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom.

How Steven Spielberg became a Legend and Created Masterpieces
Steven Spielberg with his wife and some of their kids in 2013 at the Nickelodeon Kids’ Choice Awards. Funyarn.

3. Steven Spielberg Has Seven Children

Max is Spielberg’s son through his first marriage, to Amy Irving. He has a stepdaughter, Jessica Capshaw, from Kate’s previous marriage. She had also adopted a son named Theo, whom Spielberg also adopted. With Kate, he had Sasha, Sawyer, Mikaela, and Destry. When he isn’t working hard on the set producing another blockbuster, he can be found at home, enjoying time with his children.

How Steven Spielberg became a Legend and Created Masterpieces
Steven Spielberg with his second and current wife, Kate Capshaw. NY Daily News.

2. Spielberg Rediscovered His Jewish Identity Through Kate Capshaw

Though he grew up in a Jewish family and his parents and grandparents often spoke of life in Russia and the Holocaust, Spielberg distanced himself from the Jewish faith because he felt shunned continuously by it. Kate Capshaw was a convert to Judaism, and through his relationship with her, he rediscovered his own Jewish identity. In addition to his relationship with Kate, the production of Schindler’s List was a turning point for him spiritually.

How Steven Spielberg became a Legend and Created Masterpieces
The boy scout cinematography badge. Troop721.org.

1. Steven Spielberg Promotes Cinematography in Boy Scouts

Since one of Spielberg’s earliest experiences with cinematography came from his participation in boy scouts, he helped develop a merit badge for scouts who pursue the art. When the badge was launched at the Boy Scout Jamboree in 1989, he personally counseled some of the scouts on what they would have to do to attain the badge.

 

Where did we find this stuff? Here are our sources:

“Steven Spielberg.” Wikipedia.

“Lawrence of Arabia: The film that inspired Spielberg,” by Dan Stephens. September 16, 2010.

“Spielberg”. Documentary by HBO.

“Steven Spielberg.” Internet Movie Database.

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