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Everyone loves at least one of Steven Spielberg’s movies. Most of the population has a dozen or so of his films they consider with fondness. Even when Spielberg isn’t directing, his production credits span a wide array of great films. Here are 13 things about Steven Spielberg you may not have known…
1. Spielberg was turned down twice by the USC film school, so he attended California State University in Long Beach.
2. He has one of the original Rosebud sleds used in Citizen Kane in his personal collection.
3. During filming of their episode of Night Gallery in 1969, Spielberg gave Joan Crawford the gift of a single red rose in a Pepsi bottle. During an on-set conversation with Detroit Free Press reporter Shirley Eder, Crawford pointed out Spielberg and said, “Go interview that kid, because he’s going to be the biggest director of all time!” Crawford and Spielberg remained good friends until her death in 1977.
4. He spent five months developing the script for Rain Man with Ronald Bass, but had to commit to his handshake deal to direct Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade. Spielberg gave all of his notes to Barry Levinson, who would go on to win Best Director for the film.
5. He is an Eagle Scout and was on an advisory board for the Boy Scouts of America. He left this position because he did not agree with the fact that the Boy Scouts of America discriminated against homosexuals.
6. Spielberg was upset when footage from his debut feature movie Duel was used as stock footage in an episode of The Incredible Hulk. But since Universal Studios owned the rights to both The Incredible Hulk series and the film of Duel, taking legal action was not possible. However, he subsequently updated his contracts to include a clause that would protect his future material from being used as stock footage.
7. Although close friend, George Lucas, has vowed to only shoot future movies digitally, Spielberg has been the most vocal film-maker of the opposing view: to continue shooting all of his movies on film. Other directors siding with Spielberg include Martin Scorsese and Oliver Stone.
8. When he used product placement in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, he used Reese’s Pieces only because M & M’s parent company didn’t want their product associated with aliens and UFOs.
9. Aside from producing The Goonies, he also directed at least one scene in the movie, primarily directed by Richard Donner.
10. He was originally set to direct Cape Fear. He later recommended Martin Scorsese for the job and personally called the director, letting him know that this was a commercial film that had potential to be a hit, which would exercise more power for Scorcese to make his films.
11. Is an excellent shot with a shotgun. Actor Shia LaBeouf once said about his shooting, “He’s an Olympic shot. The hand-eye co-ordination of that man is unlike anything I’ve ever seen. If he weren’t a great director, he could be one of our greatest snipers.”
12. Two of Spielberg’s favorite things to do in his downtime are, allegedly, watching golf and playing Assassin’s Creed.
13. Steven Spielberg was the first living person to have a playable Lego mini-figure modeled after him. It was sold with several sets as part of the Lego Studios product range in the early 2000s.