Steven Spielberg -- December 18, 2014

Happy 68th Birthday to Steven Spielberg! One of the most successful, influential, and prolific director/producers in Hollywood history, Spielberg dropped out of college to begin working in the film industry. He's done okay for himself without that degree.

Here is just a partial list of his incomparable filmography:

Duel

The Sugarland Express

Jaws

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Raiders of the Lost Ark

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

Twilight Zone: The Movie

The Color Purple

Hook

Jurassic Park

Schindler’s List

Amistad

Saving Private Ryan

Catch Me If You Can

The Adventures of Tintin

War Horse

Lincoln

Pretty impressive list! Not to mention the episodes of Marcus Welby, M.D., Night Gallery, and Columbo he directed. 

Pretty impressive list! Not to mention the episodes of Marcus Welby, M.D., Night Gallery, and Columbo he directed. 

TODAY’S TRIVIA QUESTION

How many actors have been directed to Oscar-nominated performances by Spielberg?

a) 0

b) 5

c) 12

d) 14

Answer below!

CLIPS OF THE DAY

Ready to bawl? Check out Henry Thomas’s role-winning audition for E.T. Listen for Spielberg’s direction at the beginning and his immediate approval at the end. 

Okay, now you need a laugh, so check out these bloopers from Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, and Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade.

Who can forget the scene from Close Encounters of the Third Kind featuring John Williams’ out-of-this-world composition? Do you hear the nod to Jaws

DID YOU KNOW…

Spielberg declined a salary for directing 1993’s multi-Oscar-winning Schindler’s List, saying that it would be “blood money.” He also insisted that all his royalties and residuals from the film go to the Shoah Foundation, an organization founded by Spielberg, which records first-person accounts of survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust and other genocides. 

DID YOU ALSO KNOW…

We can blame Spielberg for the now commonplace practice of product placement in films. He was denied permission to use M&Ms in 1982’s E.T The Extra-Terrestrial and used Reese’s Pieces instead, whose sales skyrocketed a reported 65% upon release of the film. 

QUOTE OF THE DAY

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. ~Steven Spielberg

TRIVIA ANSWER

c) Spielberg directed 12 actors to Oscar nominations:

Melinda Dillon—Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Whoopi Goldberg—The Color Purple

Oprah Winfrey—The Color Purple

Margaret Avery—The Color Purple

Liam Neeson—Schindler’s List

Ralph Fiennes-- Schindler’s List

Anthony Hopkins—Amistad

Tom Hanks—Saving Private Ryan

Christopher Walken—Catch Me If You Can

Tommy Lee Jones—Lincoln

Sally Field—Lincoln 

Daniel Day-Lewis—Lincoln

Day-Lewis is the only one to walk away with the coveted statue.