After the major box office success of Jaws, Spielberg had initially wanted to do a smaller-scale story about a man obsessed with an alien encounter, but, opting to go with special effects, the project became enormously complicated—cinematographer Vilmos Zsigmond was fired and rehired twice—but ultimately resulted in another groundbreaking success. Richard Dreyfuss witnesses a UFO on an abandoned road and, against the wishes of wife Teri Garr, goes searching for answers. Also featuring Francois Truffaut as a French UFO specialist who leads the effort to communicate with the aliens. Nominated for eight Oscars—the only winner? Zsigmond for Best Cinematography! —American Film Institute
Undoubtedly one of the most influential film personalities in the history of film, Steven Spielberg is perhaps Hollywood’s best known director and one of the wealthiest filmmakers in the world. Spielberg has countless big-grossing, critically acclaimed credits to his name, as producer, director and writer. He was born in Cincinnati, Ohio in 1946. He went to California State University Long Beach, but dropped out to pursue his entertainment career. He gained notoriety as an uncredited assistant editor on the classic western “Wagon Train” (1957). Among his early directing efforts were Battle Squad (1961), which combined World War II footage with footage of an airplane on the ground that he makes you believe is moving. He also directed Escape to Nowhere (1961), which featured children as World War Two soldiers, including his sister Anne Spielberg, and The Last Gun (1959), a western. All of these were short films. The next couple of years, Spielberg directed a couple of movies that would… read more
Undoubtably, the best part of this film is François Truffaut and the special effects. Spielberg's dull dialogue leaves a lot to be desired.
The new Film Quarterly and a round of papers from Boston.
He upheld “the tradition of orchestral film music at a time when synthesizers and pop-song montages threatened to put it out of business.”
Steven Spielberg has made huge popcorn blockbusters that gross more money at the box office (i.e. “Jaws,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark,” or “Jurassic Park”) and are more exciting on a visceral level. As… read review
Ever look up into the sky and wonder if mankind is alone in the universe? I do and so has Steven Spielberg. Not only did he wonder about life among the stars, he made a fabulous movie about humans… read review
A real spark of genius and perhaps Steven Spielberg’s grandest alien movie. It’s very complex and realistic, it’s not the average killer aliens approach. I love that it deals more with the possibility… read review