Thursday Movie Picks: Favorite Films by Steven Spielberg

This week's theme from Wandering Through The Shelves is about picking our favorites from legendary filmmaker Steven Spielberg. That's easy for me and this post took all about three seconds to write.

1) Jurassic Park

This is the first live action movie I recall seeing in theaters. I loved dinosaurs and even though every single sequel of this film has been garbage, the original still holds up. 

2) E.T

While I wasn't alive when E.T was made, it was a staple at my house on VHS. I tried to get my own son to watch this and was a bit gutted when he didn't care for it. 

3) The Color Purple

This was another one that I watched all the time on VHS. I've mentioned this film countless times on my blog and how much I still cry over it. 

Comments

  1. I have Jurassic Park on my list too!

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  2. Good choices though none of them are favorites of mine. I resisted going to Jurassic Park because I don't care for Laura Dern but was induced to one evening and was glad I did. It's quite the thrill ride. I agree the follow ups are disappointments.

    E.T. is a charmer but I can't remember the last time I watched it or felt the urge to. Still it's a sweet gentle film.

    The Color Purple has some good things in it, the photography and performances chief among them, but I didn't love it. But then I didn't like the book either.

    A terrific theme but I’ve used all of my favorites (Raiders, Saving Pvt. Ryan, Catch Me If You Can, Lincoln, Bridge of Spies and The Post) of his theatrical releases before so I turned to a handful of his early TV films that I admired.

    Duel (1971)-Suspense film of salesman Dennis Weaver driving through the desert and unconsciously offending a psychotic truck driver who then doggedly pursues him with the object of killing him. While it sounds simple Spielberg makes it incredibly taut. His first solo film directing effort was an enormous hit making his reputation.

    Something Evil (1972)-Married couple Paul and Marjorie Worden (Darren McGavin and Sandy Dennis) move into what seems to be a bucolic Pennsylvania farm house with their kids and at first all is good. But suddenly disturbing events begin to transpire and Marjorie suspects what had only been hinted at by the locals before-the house is possessed by the Devil! Good acting and Spielberg’s firm hand make it a cut above. A precursor of his later Poltergeist.

    Savage (1973)-Martin Landau plays Paul Savage, a renowned TV investigative reporter with his own weekly show (think a 70’s Anderson Cooper) covering the proposed nomination of a candidate to the Supreme Court. When the news is announced Savage is contacted by Lee Raynolds, a young woman in possession of damaging evidence she’s willing to sell. Savage goes to the network boss (a very young Dabney Coleman) for the cash but then word arrives that Lee is dead, a supposed suicide. But is that really so? Looking for answers leads Savage into a labyrinth of lies and deceit. A decent story enhanced by Spielberg’s directorial touches and aided by a strong cast including Barbara Bain (Landau’s wife at the time), Will Geer (Grandpa Walton) and Pat Harrington. This was Spielberg’s final TV gig before moving into features.

    Bonus:
    Eyes (1969)-Claudia Menlo (Joan Crawford) a fabulously rich but mercenary woman (she tells her doctor "My single abiding interest is MYSELF"!) who has been blind since birth blackmails a surgeon (Barry Sullivan-who also appears in Savage) to transplant the eyes of a desperate man she has bought so she can see for twelve hours. The surgery is a success but an unexpected hitch pitches her back into darkness. The second segment of the pilot for the TV show Night Gallery was Spielberg’s first professional directorial job and he aces it with an assured hand helped by Crawford’s accomplished performance.

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    1. I like the direction you took this, I haven't seen any of this TV work to be honest.

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  3. We match on Jurassic Park! I've never actually seen The Color Purple but it sounds like I really ought to.

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  4. Jurassic Park is one of my favorite films of all time! So great to see it on your list, Brittani. I didn't realize The Color Purple was directed by Spielberg. I'll have to check it out now.

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  5. I too picked Jurassic Park as it's one of my favs. I didn't know The Color Purple was directed by Spielberg either but I remember liking it.

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    1. It's very good and felt kind of out of his element a bit. At least I've never seen another film of his that was like it.

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  6. I got Jurassic Park on my list too! It was such an imaginative film! I really need to watch the Color Purple someday.

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    1. It's amazing how well the CGI STILL holds up in that movie. Doesn't look dated at all.

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  7. The Color Purple is the one film of your picks that I haven't seen. E.T. remains my all-time favorite film by Spielberg as I went with different choices.

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  8. I love seeing Jurassic Park on so many lists. It's such a classic film!

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  9. Hey, we match with Jurassic Park. And I think I picked two movies that literally nobody else picked... Everything else has repeat mentions except The Color Purple (I haven't seen it) and I'm like.. is this cool or did I just pick two bad apples? :D

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    1. AI just didn't work for me. YOu should see The Color Purple though! It's so good.

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  10. I thought I responded here. Jurassic Park hold up well and is quite scary whereas the newer ones are just for the effects and suffer as a result. I saw E.T. 4 times, 3 times too many...hahahaa. It’s a nice movie but I saw it once and was glad but then my friend wanted to see it so I went with her. When my cousins visited I was told to go with them to see this movie. Finally my mom wanted to see what all the hoopla was about so I went with her and my friend who wanted to see it again. My favourite moment was when ET almost dies and the scientists revive him because my mom started to laugh out loud. I thought the woman in front of us was going to smack my mom. I asked why she laughed and momjust said , “how would they know where his heart is and if the machine would help, totallly unrealistic and I found it funny.” My mom....I still shake my head. the Color Purple is an excellent film and should have won Oscars.

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    1. omg I love your mom's reaction. Logic in an alien movie? We don't know her. 😂

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  11. E.T. - I think I saw it when I was a kid, but didn't think much either...It's only as an adult that I love it...so hey your son might like it when he's older.

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