Earliest Spielberg Films Revealed at Last
by Chuck Davis
Steven Spielberg’s first theatrical movie was 1974′s The Sugarland Express, although plenty of people credit the 1971 made-for-TV Duel as his true feature debut. But what about the movies he directed when he was 14?
The wonderful website Open Culture has unearthed a couple of these, plus some footage of Spielberg and his dad talking about the films. The first one is a war movie with young Steve, as he billed himself then, enlisting the aid of his school buddies to act the roles of the battling armies. It contains some of the most creative death scenes you’ll ever see: nobody dies as dramatically as a high school thespian.
The second is sort of a precursor to Close Encounters of the Third Kind, with a rather eerie visitation from outer space. The footage unfortunately leaves us hanging: what happens to that poor child reaching out in the final scene? Well, one thing is for sure: the director had a decent future ahead of him.