Collaborators: Films Helmed by Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg, Exclusively!
Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg are a match made in cinema heaven. The actor s everyman quality meshes perfectly with Spielberg s old-fashioned magic, resulting in fanciful films that charm and delight audiences. While the pair have t collaborated since 2017 s The Post, we still thought it would be fun to look back at the movies they teamed up on, if only to remind our readers not to take these two talented artists for granted.
The Money Pit (1986)
Surprisingly, Hanks and Spielberg collaborated for the first time on The Money Pit in the middle of the 1980s. The movie follows a couple’s unsuccessful attempts to remodel a home. Despite being burdened by formulaic writing, Hanks and co-star Shelly Long are still able to generate a few smiles with some well-executed physical humor. Although the third act of this movie takes a sharp turn into unneeded melodrama, director Richard Benjamin loses control of the material.
Joe Versus the Volcano (1990)
The director John Patrick Shanley’s whimsical, unexpectedly insightful film about a man with a terminal illness (a brain cloud) who decides to do one last act of valor by diving into a volcano to save the tiny island of Waponi Woo bears all the hallmarks of Spielberg. There is a lot of silly humor, but Shanley goes deeper and creates a magical trip that simultaneously strikes the heart and the soul. Meg Ryan co-stars as three very different ladies who each have an effect on Hanks’ character in their own particular way in the first of three collaborations with the actor. Georges Delerue composed a fantastic score for the film.
Saving Private Ryan (1998)
Despite lacking the complexity of superior war movies like Terrence Malick’s The Thin Red Line, Steven Spielberg’s stirring epic is nonetheless a visceral visual experience. The 30-minute opening D-Day sequence that begins the action is the fiercest sequence Spielberg has ever created. The most memorable scene, however, is the film’s finale, in which Captain John Miller (Hanks) and a motley crew of combat-tested men defend a bridge against German troops. It is a gorgeously staged set piece that is both terrifying and exciting. Saving Private Ryan is a technical marvel and a fantastic movie.
Catch Me If You Can (2002)
In Steven Spielberg’s lighthearted comedy about real-life conman Frank Abagnale Jr., who ran away from home at age 17, forged millions of dollars in checks, and pretended to be a pilot, doctor, and lawyer in the 1960s, Leonardo DiCaprio and Tom Hanks shine. Catch Me If You Can, which also stars Martin Sheen and Christopher Walken (in one of his best performances), is one of Steven Spielberg’s best films because it seamlessly combines intimate drama with warm-hearted comedy. It is still his and Hanks’s best joint effort to date.
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The Terminal (2004)
The Terminal has a lot of heart and good intentions, but it becomes bogged down in a layer of corny Hollywood schmaltz. Viktor Navorski, played by Tom Hanks, is a mild-mannered tourist from the imaginary nation of Krakozhia who becomes detained at John F. Kennedy International Airport in New York. Victor makes new friends, picks up new talents, falls in love with a flight attendant played by Catherine Zeta-Jones, and evades the sour Acting Field Commissioner Frank Dixon during his protracted stay in the terminal (played by a terrific Stanley Tucci). The Terminal, one of Steven Spielberg’s less successful films, is a pleasant if sentimental, piece of entertainment.
Bridge of Spies (2015)
The Bridge of Spies A spy story involving Rudolf Abel from the Soviet Union has Tom Hanks involved (Mark Rylance). You see, Abel was apprehended by the government and accused of spying on America for his native country. James B. Donovan, played by Tom Hanks, is assigned the unpleasant responsibility of defending him. When Donovan is ordered to broker a trade with the Soviets for an American pilot in exchange for Abel, the two men’s odd friendship comes to an end. Bridge of Spies is a gorgeous production that is well-written and played and relies more on intelligence than excitement to convey its compelling true-life story.
The Post (2017)
In Steven Spielberg’s fascinating account of The Washington Post’s rush to reveal official secrets regarding the Vietnam War, Meryl Streep excels. As editor Ben Bradlee, Tom Hanks excels, and a fantastic cast provides outstanding supporting performances. Even yet, The Post is elevated to unprecedented heights by Streep’s performance, Spielberg’s dependable direction, and Liz Hannah and Josh Singer’s astute screenplay.
Bonus: Band of Brothers (2001) and The Pacific (2010)
For HBO’s fantastic miniseries Band of Brothers and The Pacific, Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg collaborated. Both shows offered an emotional look at the atrocities of WWII, complete with horrific violence and tremendous realism. You shouldn’t miss it since it offers one of the most compelling depictions of World War II ever made.
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