Steven Spielberg is known all over the world for his innovative ideas not only in scripts but also in making style. From Jaws in 1975, through Jurassic Park and the latest hit Ready Player One in 2018, he has showed what he is capable of. One of the most influential film makers in the history, the Hollywood giant also has some favorite movies that influenced his making this dream-like career. Let’s see which one are the favourite movies of Spielberg that nourished him to create a ‘Spielbergian Era.’
1. Captains Courageous (1937)
Director: Victor Fleming
The adventure drama by director Victor Fleming is one of Spielberg’s personal favourites and we can see its influence all over his works. Captains Courageous was adapted from the 1897 novel of Rudyard Kipling and tells the story of a school boys takes a journey with his father on a ship through transatlantic. The movie is an emotional drama on one side, but a visual feat for its adventurous and thrilling sequences. Yes, that is what almost all Spielberg films about, emotions and adventure.
2. Pinocchio (1940)
Directors: Ben Sharpsteen and Hamilton Luske
Again, an adaptation of the famous novel Pinocchio is a fantasy story of a marionette, who wishes to become a human. Spielberg has later made a film named ‘A.I; Artificial Intelligence’ in 2001, in which a robot child with artificial intelligence yearns to become a real human in order to pursue love.
3. How Green Was My Valley (1941)
Director: John Ford
Spielberg has once said in an interview with AFI,
“I try to rent a John Ford film… before I start every movie, simply because he inspires me…. He’s like a classic painter, he celebrates the frame, not just what’s inside it.”
It’s clear from these words that how much Spielberg admire Ford and the influence can be seen all over his films where the camera paints the world. ‘War Horse’ directed by Spielberg in 2011 shows huge similarity to the style of ‘How Green Was My Valley.’
4. The Day Earth Should Still (1951)
Director: Robert Wise
Spielberg’s love for aliens is very visible through his films like ‘E.T The Extra-Terrestrial.’ In this 1951 movie, aliens arrive the earth with an important mission which determined the future of the life here. Spielberg has later gone on to direct many movies where aliens are the central characters and their love and war with humans.
5. Secret of the Incas (1954)
Director: Jerry Hopper
Again, Spielberg’s master touch on adventure movies has a lot to do with this 1954 films about treasure hunting. Spielberg and George Lucas were biggest fan of the movie which inspired them in creating the franchise Indiana Jones starring Harrison Ford.
6. Lawrence of Arabia (1962)
Director: David Lean
This classic by David Lean is considered one of the greatest films in the history if cinema. Spielberg remembers ‘Lawrence of Arabia’ as “the film that set me on my journey”. The movie has strong influence over the director’s movies like Empire of the Sun, Schindler’s List and Bridge of Spies.
7. The Birds (1963)
Director: Alfred Hitchcock
This mysterious film is still considered a textbook of story telling and film making. The movie might have been in Spielberg’s head for quite a long time hen we watch his films Jaws and Jurassic Park, which share their thrilling moments with the Hitchcockian way of making.
8. Play Time (1967)
Director: Jacques Tati
The comedy movie ‘Play Time’ has direct influences on Spielberg’s 2004 film ‘The Terminal,’ starring Tom Hanks.
9. 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968)
Director: Stanley Kubrick
The all-time classic by Stanley Kubrick has attracted many directors even in modern cinema like Christopher Nolan. For Spielberg it’s an ongoing experience to watch the movie, who stated,
“I’m still living off the adrenalin that… I experienced watching that film for the first time.”
10. The French Connection (1971)
Director: William Friedkin
The edge of the seat thrilling experience in Spielberg movies is are highly influenced by this cop-thriller released in 1971. He even studied the entire film for making his critically acclaimed ‘The Munich’ in 2005.
11. The Searchers (1956)
Director: John Ford
The 1956 film is another favourite of Spielberg by John Ford. The movie has influenced another Hollywood giant Martin Scorsese too and considered to be one of the greatest in the history.