An inspired account from Steven Spielberg of an alien who lands in a pine forest on the California coast and gets separated from his people when their spaceship is forced to make a sudden departure.
Frightened, alone, and three million light-years from home, the small creature wanders into the home of a suburban divorcee with three young children who lure him into the house with Reese’s Pieces, then take on the responsibility for his safety.
The children are first terrified of the creature, who looks like a walking toad-stool with large myopic eyes, but in time they learn to share their toys and show the creepy but lovable little one – whom they call E.T – where he is on their globe.
There is a classic scene where the kids dress their new friend in a sheet and take him out on Halloween.
The audience roars when E.T., passing a child trick-or-treating who is dressed like Yoda from Star Wars, almost loses his sheet in an attempt to communicate with what he thinks is another alien.
E.T.’s death and eventual rescue by a network of kids on bicycles are among the most heart-wrenching sequences 80s cinema had to offer.
For sheer lump-in-the-throat emotion, nothing surpasses the film’s final sequence when earthling and extra-terrestrial finally leave each other; “Stay” says a weepy Elliott as the two friends embrace. “Come” replies E.T.
Each knows, however, that unless Spielberg decides to bring them together at some stage in a sequel, they will never meet again.
E.T smashed all existing box office records for Universal Studios, and within just three months of its initial release, it was well on the way to becoming the top money-making film of all time (at the time).
Harrison Ford was cast as the school principal, but his only scene was cut. Director Steven Spielberg decided his presence in the film would be too distracting.
Twenty years after the movie’s original release, Spielberg brought out a special anniversary edition featuring some computer alterations to E.T’s facial expressions that he was unable to accomplish in 1982.
The other notable change was the digital replacement of guns from the hands of the government agents (something Spielberg had never been comfortable with) with walkie-talkie radios.
Dee Wallace Stone
K C Martel
C Thomas Howell