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It won Oscars in two categories (Cinematography, Vilmos Zsigmond, and a Special Achievement Award for Sound Effects Editing, Frank E. This second blockbuster helped to secure Spielberg's rise.His next film, 1941, a big-budgeted World War II farce, was not nearly as successful and though it grossed over .4 million worldwide (and did make a small profit for co-producing studios Columbia and Universal) it was seen as a disappointment, mainly with the critics.The archaeologist and adventurer hero Indiana Jones was played by Harrison Ford (whom Lucas had previously cast in his Star Wars films as Han Solo).The film was considered an homage to the cliffhanger serials of the Golden Age of Hollywood.Another TV film (Something Evil) was made and released to capitalize on the popularity of The Exorcist, then a major best-selling book which had not yet been released as a film.He fulfilled his contract by directing the TV film-length pilot of a show called Savage, starring Martin Landau.
One of the rare films both written and directed by Spielberg, Close Encounters was a critical and box office hit, giving Spielberg his first Best Director nomination from the Academy as well as earning six other Academy Awards nominations.
Nevertheless, the re-release was a moderate success, while the 2001 DVD release of the film restored the original ending.
Next, Spielberg teamed with Star Wars creator and friend George Lucas on an action adventure film, Raiders of the Lost Ark, the first of the Indiana Jones films.
I was never really ashamed to be Jewish, but I was uneasy at times." Years later, Spielberg recalled to a magazine interviewer, "My dad's still-camera was broken, so I asked the scoutmaster if I could tell a story with my father's movie camera. That motivated him to make 15 more amateur 8mm films.
In 1963, at age sixteen, Spielberg wrote and directed his first independent film, a 140-minute science fiction adventure called Firelight, which would later inspire Close Encounters.