E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

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10 Overall Score
Story: 10/10
Acting: 10/10
Visuals: 10/10

Great visuals, acting, and story

Nothing

 
Movie Info

Movie Name:  E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

Studio: Movie Studio

Genre(s): Movie Genre

Release Date(s): Movie Release Date

MPAA Rating: Movie Rating

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Nothing’s more all-American than a boy and his alien

An alien botanist comes to Earth to collect samples. When humans interrupt the mission, he is left alone on the planet. Finding a boy named Elliot (Henry Thomas), the alien makes an instant bond. Now Elliot, his brother Michael (Robert MacNaughton), and his sister Gertie (Drew Barrymore) must hide E.T. from their mother (Dee Wallace) and find a way to get E.T. home before the research team led by “Keys” (Peter Coyote) finds him.

Directed by Steven Spielberg, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (which is sometimes just called E.T., had a working titles of A Boy’s Life and Night Skies) was one of the biggest moneymakers of all time and was nominated for nine Academy Awards: Best Picture, Best Director, Best Original Screenplay, Best Film Editing, Best Cinematography, Best Sound Effects Editing (won), Best Visual Effects (won), Best Music (won), Best Sound (won). The film was mostly trumped by Gandhi. It has since gone on to be a classic and sell multiple VHS, DVD, and Blu-Ray versions.

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Don’t blink!

I want to dislike E.T. and simply write it off as schmaltzy sentimentality, but I find each time I watch it, I can’t do it. The reason being is that the movie has something real honest about it. It isn’t easy and has the ability to appeal to kids while having more going on that the kids don’t understand. I saw E.T. in the theater as a child and understood it, but missed some of the subtext about Elliot’s father, the symbiotic relationship between Elliot, and E.T., and Peter Coyote’s need and desire to find E.T. also and Jesus parallels with E.T.’s sacrifice. It all makes for a rather complex story that isn’t just flowery.

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Yeah, nothing traumatizing about this

E.T. was originally supposed to be a darker film with a family besieged in their home by alien invaders (back when it was Night Skies). The movie was softened up and turned to the relationship between Elliot and E.T. (Spielberg explored the flipside the same year with Poltergeist which he “produced”). The movie is just one of the better family films out there because it isn’t afraid to be dark…really dark at moments. I can remember being terrified when E.T. was white and crusty and dying in the river and a theater full of kids crying when it appeared E.T. had died.

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I learned it from RuPaul…you better work!

The cast is also perfect. Henry Thomas is likeable as Elliot and Robert MacNaughton feels like a real big brother. Dee Wallace is great as their frustrated mother (Shelley Long was allegedly offered the part first but had to drop out due to Night Shift) and the movie helped make Drew Barrymore a star (despite that the instant fame also helped ruin her). Cut from the film were cameos by Harrison Ford as Elliot’s principal and a role by Corey Feldman (who got a spot in Gremlins as result).

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Nothing more classic

Spielberg really connects with what makes him great. He is able to get in line with a kid’s mentality while telling a story with real issues. It is similar to the effect of To Kill a Mockingbird, and Spielberg possible directs kids best in this film. The movie is all shot from a kid’s perspective at a lower level camera. The result is fantastic and images like Elliot and E.T. in front of the moon combined with John Williams’ classic soundtrack are now part of American modern mythos.

As I say, I want to dislike E.T., but I can’t. Movies like Schindler’s List or The Color Purple might show Spielberg’s skill, but movies like Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Jaws, and E.T. shows how he directs with finesse that is unrivaled. When the movie was released in 2002, Spielberg took out the guns and replaced them with walkie talkies, but has since turned them back to guns the new Blu-Ray version. If you haven’t seen E.T. in years stop in and revisit a classic.

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Author: JPRoscoe View all posts by
Follow me on Twitter @JPRoscoe76! Loves all things pop-culture especially if it has a bit of a counter-culture twist. Plays video games (basically from the start when a neighbor brought home an Atari 2600), comic loving (for almost 30 years), and a true critic of movies. Enjoys the art house but also isn't afraid to let in one or two popular movies at the same time.

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