Steven Spielberg is an American Filmmaker. Spielberg has been a director, producer, and screenwriter for multiple films, and he has occasionally taken part on screen and as a voice actor. Spielberg is the winner of numerous Academy Awards, Golden Globes, and BAFTA Awards. He is considered one of the most influential and successful filmmakers in the history of cinema. His techniques, especially those of his early career, were taken as the secret formula for a blockbuster hit. His name and popularity precede him, as what Einstein is to the science world, Spielberg is to the film world. Spielberg was most popular during the ‘80’s and ‘90’s. He is most notable for such films as E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Jurassic Park, and Schindler’s List. Many of his films have held the spot, for some duration of time, as the highest-grossing film ever made. Some of which were only later to be outranked by another of his films.
We’ve compiled this list of what we think Spielberg’s top ten greatest movies were. Did your favorite not make the list? Tell us in the comments below!
Photo Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons
[ new page = 10: Amistad ]
Starting off at number 10 is 1997’s Amistad. The film is based on the real life events of the Spanish ship La Amistad, and it’s slave cargo. The legal battle over ownership of the slaves was a Supreme Court case in 1841. The film starts with the mutiny on the ship, the Mende slaves killing the Spaniards. Through the film we watch as the slaves progress from savage murders to real people, who acted justly. While the film is historically accurate in all senses, it is a moving piece hat illuminates the issues of the institution of slavery.
[ new page = 9: Jaws ]
At number 9 comes the 1975 thriller, Jaws. The film is listed as one of the greatest films of all time, and was the highest grossing film of all time and the most successful, until the later release of Star Wars. The film is most notable for its sound and editing. With it’s minimalistic approach to actual shark sightings, due mostly to production problems with the mechanical sharks, the film had many afraid of the water for years to come.
[ new page = 8: War of the Worlds ]
2005’s War of the Worlds comes in at the number 8 slot. The film is inspired from H.G. Wells’ novel of the same name. The film starred Tom Cruise, and was one of Cruise’s highest grossing movies. Most notable for it’s special effects, the film has been debated and interrupted for it’s possible anti-war themes, though both Spielberg and writers deny the theme, instead trying to portray the confusion and need to face fears.
[ new page = 7: Saving Private Ryan ]
At number 7 is Spielberg’s 1998 war film, Saving Private Ryan. The film is one of the most commercially successful war films, notable for it’s realistic portrayals of war. The film won Spielberg an Academy Award for Best Director.
[ new page = 6: Jurassic Park ]
At number 6 we have Jurassic Park. The 1993 science fiction film is the first installment of the franchise. The film used groundbreaking computer animation as well as new forms of digital surround sound for exhibition purposes. This film also won the top spot as the highest-grossing film of all time, lasting for four years until being outranked by James Cameron’s Titanic. Considered one of the greatest science fiction films ever made, the film’s visual effects techniques and animatronics were highly praised by those in the film industry.
[ new page = 5: E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial]
At number 5 comes 1982’s E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. The film is often referred to as an endless tale of friendship, which seems fitting, as the film was inspired by Spielberg’s own imaginary childhood friend. The film replaced Star Wars as the highest-grossing film of all time, and remained the record holder for ten years, until Spielberg’s Jurassic Park beats it.
[ new page = 4: Poltergeist]
Coming in fourth place is 1982’s Poltergeist. The film has been highly influential, especially in the horror and supernatural genres. The film was well received at the time, and still holds a large following of avid fans. The film was nominated for three Academy Awards, including one for Best Visual Effects.
[ new page = 3: Raiders of the Lost Ark]
At number 3 is 1981’s Raiders of the Lost Ark. The film (as well as the Indiana Jones franchise) has a large following. George Lucas, known most famously for Star Wars, was also involved as executive producer among other contributions. The film is considered one of the best action-adventure films of all time, as well as on the list of 100 greatest films ever. The end scene was highly inspired by Orson Welles Citizen Kane. Spielberg was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director, and won 5 other Academy Awards, as well as multiple BAFTA Awards, and a Golden Globe for Best Director.
[ new page = 2: A.I. Artificial Intelligence]
At number 2 comes 2001’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence. The film was originally a project of Stanley Kubrick. For many reasons the film never really took off, a large factor being that Kubrick wanted to wait until better CGI techniques were found, as he didn’t they would be able to make a realistic child, and he didn’t think a child actor could capture the complicated character of protagonist David. The film was given to Spielberg to direct, but did not really take off until Kubrick’s death in 1999. The film was well received by critics, and holds large influences from Kubrick, and is an innovative, imaginative, and heartbreaking film.
[ new page = 1: Schindler’s List ]
At number one is the 1993 epic historical drama, Schindler’s List. The film is based off the novel Schindler’s Ark, both of which are based off the events of real life Oskar Schindler, who saved over a thousand Jewish people during the holocaust by employing them. The film is considered one of the greatest of all time, and is the winner of numerous Academy Awards and Golden Globes. The film took the Academy Award for Best Picture that year. The film is acclaimed not only by critics and audiences, but also by the Jewish community and scholars. The movie holds an appealing sense of humanitarianism, despite it’s tragic topic.