Magazine article American Cinematographer

Steven Spielberg

Magazine article American Cinematographer

Steven Spielberg

Article excerpt

Steven Spielberg by Joseph McBride Simon & Schuster, 528 pps., hardback, $30

Joseph McBride has already penned major biographies on such late, great moviemakers as Frank Capra, Orson Welles, Howard Hawks and John Ford, but now he has tackled the more formidable task of reporting on a working producer-director currently at his creative peak. The Box Office reviewer and ex- Variety correspondent delivers the goods in this intelligent biography.

Spielberg's evolving artistry is traced in its full arc, beginning with early 8mm home-movie efforts (1957-65) during his childhood in Arizona. McBride then details the budding auteur's semipro films (culminating with 1968's Amblin', which served as his entree to the Hollywood industry), his experience as a TV director (1967-87), and his phenomenal career as a mainstream moviemaker. (Incidentally, most of Spielberg's television work was of remarkable quality, most notably Columbo: Murder by the Block and the TV feature Duel, written by Richard Matheson.)

The astonishing popularity of Jaws (1975), the biggest money-maker of its time, catapulted Spielberg into the Hollywood spotlight. …

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