E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial: The 20th Anniversary

To see or not to see E.T. that is the question for most moviegoers, who saw it o­n the big screen in 1982. Let me refresh your memory: E.T. is the tale of a shy, lovable, innocuous but befuddled extraterrestrial who gets left behind by his fellow aliens, and found in the family backyard by a 10-year-old boy, Elliot (Henry Thomas), who befriends him, names him E.T., and hides him in his bedroom. Older brother Michael (Robert MacNaughton) and little sis Gertie (Drew Barrymore) help Elliot to help E.T. to 'phone home', that is, get home, without the nasty intrusions of the adult world. E.T. is a kid's movie for adults: the story of a boy confused by his parents' divorce, who has a 'special friend' to smooth out the psychological upheavals he's experiencing. It works for the kids, too, in a kinder, gentler updated version (Spielberg made changes to insure that), with digital enhancement to please today's discriminating, uh, fussy audience. But the director didn't have to do all that: it would have held up entirely o­n its own as that sappy, but beloved Spielberg classic.

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