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Steven Spielberg's Movies, Ranked Worst to Best

From 'Raiders' to 'Ready Player One,' the King of Hollywood's work from completists-only to modern classics

33. '1941' (1979)

Here's a weird thing: Steven Spielberg can’t really do broad comedy. That sounds like an absurd thing to say, given the sheer amount of humor in, say, E.T., Raiders of the Lost Ark, or Catch Me If You Can. But while Spielberg is great at introducing lightheartedness into more intense or emotional material, he's totally lost when his offhand levity is traded in for look-at-me cartwheels. This bloated attempt at a zany multi-character WWII comedy, about Los Angeles panicking at news of a Japanese attack, is a film of massive scale and multiple running gags (rolling Ferris wheels! Sherman tanks on Sunset Boulevard! John Belushi on the loose!). But when you aim for belly laughs and the best you can get is an occasional chuckle, that's considered a failure. The celebrated USO sequence – the closest Spielberg has come to making a musical, next to the opening scene of Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom – is wonderful. The rest of the film, not so much.