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.
The film is about a psychotic Peterbilt 281 tanker truck driver who chases the terrified driver (Dennis Weaver) of a small Plymouth Valiant and tries to run him off the road.
Special praise of this film by the influential British critic Dilys Powell was highly significant to Spielberg's career.
He is also one of the co-founders of Dream Works Studios.
As a child, Spielberg faced difficulty reconciling being an Orthodox Jew with the perception of him by other children he played with.
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.
Crawford, however, was "speechless, and then horrified" at the thought of a twenty-one-year-old newcomer directing her, one of Hollywood's leading stars. It was immediately obvious to me, and probably everyone else, that here was a young genius.
I thought maybe more experience was important, but then I thought of all of those experienced directors who didn't have Steven's intuitive inspiration and who just kept repeating the same old routine performances.