How many Oscars has Steven Spielberg won and for which movies?
Steven Spielberg will have the chance to pick up another academy award in Monday’s ceremony. His adaptation of the 1957 musical West Side Story has been nominated.
Few would argue that Steven Spielberg is one of the greatest film directors of all-time - he is certainly one of the most commercially successful. He has directed and produced some of the most well-known films of the last 50 years - blockbusters such as Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T., four of the Indiana Jones series, The Color Purple, Hook, Jurassic Park and Schindler's List among others.
Spielberg starting out
He wrote, produced and directed his first feature-length film, Firelight, a crudely-made science-fiction tale, on a budget of just $500 in 1964. A breakthrough wouldn’t come for another four years - Universal offered him work as a television director on a new series Eyes. Artistically and aesthetically, it didn’t set the world alight but at least it gave Spielberg, then barely in his 20s, the chance to continue learning his trade and make any mistakes he needed to make early on.
Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water...
Spielberg gained international recognition with Jaws, a thriller surrounding a great white shark which terrorises beachgoers, swimmers and fishermen on Amity Island and their attempts to hunt it down. It was a box office smash in the summer of 1975, recouping production costs in just over one week. It won three Oscars - Best Film Editing, Best Original Dramatic Score, and Best Sound and was also nominated for the Best Picture but Spielberg was not among the five nominees for the Best Director.
Spielberg made his first appearance among the candidates for the Best Director award two years later for his science fiction thriller Close Encounters of the Third Kind which became a box office smash in the United States and abroad, grossing $340,800,479. But he missed out as Woody Allen took the award for Annie Hall, with Close Encounters picking up just one accolade - Vilmos Zsigmond collecting the Best Cinematography prize.
First Oscars, 1993
In the early 80s, he was back among the Best Director nominees for Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) and E.T. (1982). Again he missed out and would have to wait another decade for his first statuette. Spielberg was finally recognised by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS) in 1993 for Schindler's List - a three-hour epic based on the true story of Oskar Schindler, who is attributed with saving the lives of over 1,000 German Jews during the Second World War. The film, which has since grossed $322,197,132 worldwide, also won the Oscar for the Best Picture.
Five years later, Spielberg picked up his third Oscar - his second in the Best Director category for Saving Private Ryan - another war movie, this time focusing on the Normandy landings. In the following years he featured among the nominees for the Best Director twice: Munich (2006) and Lincoln (2013) and six times for the Best Picture: Munich (2006), Letters from Iwo Jima, (2007), War Horse (2012), Bridge of Spies (2016) and The Post (2018).
With a total of eight nominations for the Academy Best Director Award during his career, few filmmakers come close to Steven Spielberg - only William Wyler, with 12 and Martin Scorsese with nine have had more. The 75-year-old has the chance to pick up another academy award, his fourth or perhaps even a fifth, in Monday’s ceremony as his adaptation of West Side Story has been nominated for the Best Director and Best Picture awards.
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