Steven Spielberg is the most overrated film director in history. In the public imagination, he is the greatest filmmaker of all time. Only Alfred Hitchcock even approaches his level of fame, and Hitchcock also got there by appearing on-screen far more often than most film directors, not only with his famed cameos but with his popular series Alfred Hitchcock Presents. Purely as a filmmaker, Spielberg’s reputation with the public is clearly unmatched.
However, there is a reason for that reputation. His early career was a laundry list of fantastic commercial successes, and some of them were artistic triumphs as well. It included such successes as Close Encounters of the Third Kind (USA 1977), Raiders of the Lost Ark (USA 1981), and E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (USA 1982). And of course, it began with Jaws. Continue reading