Together Again: Tom Hanks and Steven Spielberg disguise their sophistication with squareness

With Together Again, Jesse Hassenger looks at actors and directors who have worked together on at least three films, analyzing the nature of their collaborations.

When Tom Hanks starred in 1998’s Saving Private Ryan for director Steven Spielberg, it was an event that seemed long overdue: one of the world’s biggest movie stars teaming with the world’s most successful filmmaker. Their careers in the ’90s had similar arcs, beginning with critical disasters (1990’s Bonfire Of The Vanities for Hanks; 1991’s Hook for Spielberg) before reaching dual triumphs in 1993 with summer hits (Jurassic Park and Sleepless In Seattle) and Oscar glory (Schindler’s List and Philadelphia). More hits followed, and in retrospect it’s odd to consider that Hanks worked with a Spielberg protégé (Robert Zemeckis), a Spielberg movie-brat buddy (Brian De Palma), a Spielberg associate and parody (Joe Dante), and a sort of ersatz …

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