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What If Spielberg Made Films In Another Era?

Could he have made it in a different era of Hollywood?
Could he have made it in a different era of Hollywood?
Photo by Jamie McCarthy

We all know Steven Spielberg is the one who established the blockbuster era in 1975 with the release of the film JAWS, along with the release of George Lucas’ Star Wars in 1977. Yet what if Spielberg had been a silent film director in The Roaring Twenties? Maybe directing Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, or Harold Lloyd in one of the vintage comedies each of them are so well known for? Possibly even the 1925 version of The Phantom of The Opera with Lon Chaney or a romantic film with Rudolph Valentino.

Or maybe he would have been more suited for filming the Universal Monster era of the 1930’s and 1940’s. It would have been interesting to see him direct the likes of Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, or Lon Chaney Jr. Another genre from the 1940’s leading into the 1950’s that would have made sense would Film Noir. Could he made a go of directing Humphrey Bogart as Sam Spade or take into a very dark and expressionistic world the way Alfred Hitchcock. Maybe even give us a noir like masterpiece the way Orson Welles did with Citizen Kane. Of course, he could have helmed splashy musicals such The Wizard of Oz or Singin’ In The Rain also.

Although he most likely would We all know Steven Spielberg is the one who established the blockbuster era in 1975 with the release of the film JAWS, along with the release of George Lucas’ Star Wars in 1977. Yet what if Spielberg had been a silent film director in The Roaring Twenties? Maybe directing Charlie Chaplin, Buster Keaton, or Harold Lloyd in one of the vintage comedies each of them are so well known for? Possibly even the 1925 version of The Phantom have taken after his idols Frank Capra, John Ford, David Lean, and maybe even Akira Kurosawa who each directed his four biggest influences, It’s A Wonderful Life, The Searchers, Lawrence of Arabia, and Seven Samurai, respectively. Spielberg’s films definitely emulate the lighthearted tone of Capra’s work, given how Jimmy Stewart’s character George Bailey from It’s A Wonderful Life is similar yet different to Richard Dreyfuss’ Roy Neary from Close Encounters of The Third Kind. Given how both are estranged from their families. Stewart’s character due to depression around the holidays complete with a suicide attempt. And of course, Dreyfuss’ neglecting his wife and kids in pursuit of UFOs in the latter film.

And there is no denying the visual compositions and cinematography for E.T. The Extra Terrestrial and Raiders of The Lost Ark were inspired by The Searchers and Lawrence of Arabia through and through. No doubt these types of films are what Spielberg would have done had he directed in a previous era.