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
Corey Feldman was originally supposed to co-star, but his part was eliminated (he was to be Elliott's buddy until Spielberg decided Elliott was better as a loner). As is often the case in Hollywood, after the director turned Feldman down for this role, he offered him a role in another project as compensation: Billy's buddy in Gremlins (a role similar to that he would have been playing in ET). See more »
The kids on the school bus would not be allowed out of their seats throwing paper wads at each other. See more »
In the 2002 special edition release, the movie opens with a sillouette of E.T. in basket with Elliot on bike flying in front of the Universal logo. See more »
In an early cut, Elliot and his mom go to the principal after the frog incident. The principal was played by Harrison Ford, the screenwriter's husband. The scene was cut in post-production and can only be found on the American laserdisc, released in 1996. 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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