Select films from the director's careerJaws (1975)
Spielberg almost pulled out of the movie because he wanted to make the now-forgotten "Lucky Lady" (1975) instead.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
Spielberg persuaded Columbia to give him $2 million to shoot additional scenes for a "special edition," and later said he regretted showing the inside of the spaceship.
Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981)
Spielberg's first professional association with his longtime friend George Lucas was marked by a casting twist: Harrison Ford stepped in when Tom Selleck was unable to break his television contract.
E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)
One studio passed over this film when research showed it would only appeal to kids. It then became one of the biggest hits in history, earning a terrific return on its modest $10
The Color Purple (1985)
A huge hit for Spielberg, the movie made Whoopi Goldberg a star and earned a whopping 11 Oscar nominations -- only to lose out in every category.
Empire of the Sun (1987)
The historical drama was based on J.G. Ballard's autobiographical novel about coming of age in Shanghai during the Japanese occupation in the 1940s. A 13-year-old Christian Bale plays the lead.
A dissatisfying variant on the "Peter Pan" story, this drama almost got lost in a legal tussle when its backers neglected to buy the rights to the J.M. Barrie play.
Schindler's List (1993)
Martin Scorsese was initially attached to direct this Holocaust drama, but persuaded Spielberg to do it instead. Even then, Spielberg was so wary of its boxoffice appeal, he kept the budget around $20 million. The movie won him his first directing Oscar as well as an Oscar for best picture.
Jurassic Park (1993)
This adaptation of Michael Crichton's novel stunned with its special effects and showed Spielberg at his best.
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Just when critics were beginning to question Spielberg's originality, he floored them with this World War II drama and an opening sequence that might be the most powerful depiction of war on film. The movie won him his second directing Oscar, but lost out for best picture to "Shakespeare in Love."
A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001)
"A.I." took on added importance in Spielberg's mind after the 1999 death of Stanley Kubrick, with whom he had worked on the futuristic project. In retrospect, it seems more driven by Kubrick's intellect than Spielberg's emotional style of filmmaking.
The Terminal (2004)
Spielberg's third outing with one of his closest friends, Tom Hanks, disappointed at the boxoffice but has a charm that might live on. It was inspired by the true story of an Iranian man who lived at Paris' Charles de Gaulle airport for 18 years after his refugee papers were stolen.
This film proved one of the most controversial in Spielberg's career and drew much criticism from Israel for its conflicted portrayal of the assassins who tracked down the terrorists who disrupted the 1972 Olympics.
Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008)
The film reteamed Spielberg with producer George Lucas and star Harrison Ford, 27 years after collaborating on the first Indiana Jones film. It grossed more than $783 million worldwide.