Back to IndieWire

Watch: Steven Spielberg’s Short War Film ‘Escape to Nowhere’ From 1961

Spielberg made the short film set in East Africa as a teenager.

Steven Spielberg’s short “Escape to Nowhere”

YouTube

In 1961, a 14-year-old Steven Spielberg produced and directed one of this first short films, the ominously named “Escape to Nowhere.” In the opening sequence to the movie, a title card reads “Produced and Directed by Steve Spielberg” before one of the first shots that states the setting is “Somewhere in East Africa.”

There is no dialogue in the two-minute clip that has surfaced online, just battle scenes that play to the sound of Richard Wagner’s “Ride of the Valkyries.” (Something tells us Spielberg was not able to license the rights to the music.) Spielberg’s sister Anne Spielberg is the only person credited in the cast on IMDb, which states that the entire short is 40 minutes long.

Though the production value is exactly what one would expect from a teenage filmmaker, Spielberg’s eye for dramatic action scenes and swiftly-paced editing are apparent even at this young age. “Escape to Nowhere” is his third film as a director, having previously directed two other short films, “Fighter Squad” (1961) and “The Last Gun” (1959). Based on the subject matter of his first three projects, it’s surprising that Spielberg waited 37 years before directing his Oscar-nominated war film “Saving Private Ryan.”

To watch a two-minute clip of “Escape to Nowhere,” check out the video below.

Stay on top of the latest in film and TV breaking news! Sign up for the Email Newsletter here.

This Article is related to: News and tagged , ,


Comments

MDL

Before ‘Apocalypse Now’ there was 14 year old Spielberg making a war picture…

Rycritic

There’s an old story that Spielberg casted someone who was bullying him to play the hero in this film. After than, him and the bully became friends.

CWD

Even then, Mr. Spielberg knew the importance of music in film. The greater directors get it.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *