After a gentle alien becomes stranded on Earth, the being is discovered and befriended by a young boy named Elliott. Bringing the extraterrestrial into his suburban California house, Elliott introduces E.T., as the alien is dubbed, to his brother and his little sister, Gertie, and the children decide to keep its existence a secret. Soon, however, E.T. falls ill, resulting in government intervention and a dire situation for both Elliott and the alien.Written by
The song heard playing in the background at the beginning of the Dungeons & Dragons scene is "People Who Died" by Jim Carroll. See more »
[20th Anniversary edition] When E.T. is eating potato salad and drinking beer in front of the refrigerator during the scene when he is alone at home, the shadow of his head cast on the fridge door is that of the original puppet, not the CGI head. See more »
At the very end of the credits for the 2002 edition, the classic "When in Hollywood, visit Universal Studios" advertisement from the early 1980's is still retained. See more »
In the original theatrical release of this film, in the scene where E.T. is drinking and getting Elliot drunk, Elliot used chalk and began drawing on thin air. This scene was later cut from video and subsequent theatrical releases, but is pictured in The E.T. Storybook. See more »
Mawkish it may be, but it's a classic for a reason
E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL was one of those films that everybody took for granted as a child in the 1980s. Everybody had seen it, everybody loved it, everybody could reference it with the other kids knowing what they were talking about. Finding myself less than impressed than Steven Spielberg's overt sentimentalism, I wondered how I'd find it as an adult...
Well, I needn't have worried, because E.T. still hits the mark. Yes, it's mawkish and rather dated, but I think that's all part of the fun. This is the classic kid's film of the 1980s, in which the adults are portrayed as either out of touch or the enemy; it's the kids who have to band together to fight for justice, and the template works very well here.
Inevitably, the character of E.T. himself is what makes this film. The Carlo Rambaldi special effects still stand the test of time and the voice mannerisms are just right. Henry Thomas has a tough role, acting against an non-human for the most part, but he excels in the part and the frog scene is still excellent. Drew Barrymore is very effective too. E.T. is certainly a film that still manages to tug at the heartstrings with all of the increasing drama and that poignant ending, and I love it just as much as I always did.
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