Tuesday, February 13, 2018


Rated PG for language and mild thematic elements
Running time: 115 min.
Release date: June 11, 1982

Budget: $10.5 million
Box office (including re-releases): $792.9 million - which is now 73rd all-time worldwide.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Written by: Melissa Mathison


Henry Thomas as Elliott
Robert McNaughton as Michael
Drew Barrymore as Gertie
Dee Wallace as Mary
Peter Coyote as "Keys"
Pat Welsh as the voice of E.T.

Plot synopsis:

In a forest, just outside a developing suburb in California, an alien spacecraft lands and a group of what we will call alien botanists waddle out, intending to collect plant specimens. One of their group strays a little too far, and when government agents hurriedly approach the site, the straggler gets left behind as the craft takes off. He wanders into the tool shed of a family that lives in the development, gaining the imaginative attention of a young boy named Elliott. Soon after, the boy and the alien become fast friends and a telepathic link develops between the two. The story then becomes about their friendship and the connection they share, which is threatened when the alien becomes literally and figuratively sick for home. Government agents lurk everywhere and are given the boogeyman treatment, when in reality (in context of the movie, anyway) everyone in the film is super-nice and well-intentioned. This is a family film with a bittersweet ending, for sure, but there also isn't a hint of cynicism or malevolence in any character in the story. There is a theme of abandonment with E.T. and with Elliott, as we learn that the father of these children has left them behind for a new life. This abandonment felt by both characters is at the heart of their friendship, as they comfort and help each other, forging a bond that spans the universe itself.


****1/2 - Funny, touching, sad and very sweet. Very. Very. Very sweet. This movie is so sweet that it may make you want to brush your teeth a few times after viewing. I'm a cynical person at heart and the rainbow left behind by E.T.'s spaceship at the end made me want to roll my eyes. However, the intention here is to create a family film that is intelligent, funny and entertaining for the entire family, not just the kids. Spielberg and company succeed on that note very easily. Portraying the government agents as shadowy, faceless figures and then turning the lead figure, "Keys", into a nice guy is rather confusing. Then again, if seen through the viewpoint of a child, all adults are rather intimidating at times. I can't go the full monty of ***** because of the confusing character development in anyone over the age of fifteen and the fact that it's probably waaaaaay too sweet for my personal tastes. There is no denying the craftsmanship and storytelling at work here, however. Also, the young cast of Thomas, McNaughton and Barrymore come off as veteran professionals here. This is probably some of the best child acting you will find in a family film. There is no overacting, or obnoxiousness; we see natural chemistry and unforced emotion. E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial is viewed as one of the greatest films of all time, and for good reason, not the least of which is its universal appeal at the box office. Now if only Drew Barrymore had paid attention when E.T. told her to "Be. Good."

No comments:

Post a Comment