For the first time on blu-ray in celebration of its 30th (has it really been that long?) anniversary, E.T. The Extraterrestrial has not aged at all. I was affected by the large eyed alien and the relationship he strikes up in a short period with a young boy. In 1982, when the film was released, it was the biggest film at the box office of the year. There was just something about it that connected with people of all ages. Even today it is still the 4th most successful film of all-time in the United States. Not only commercially successful, it was nominated for 9 Academy Awards and won 4.
Elliott (Henry Thomas – Gangs of New York, Legends of the Fall) and his family are going through a tough period. His mother Mary (Dee Wallace – Cujo, The Howling) and his father have recently separated. Mary and her three young kids are in flux. Being the middle child Elliott, in some ways, is having the hardest time adjusting. He is still trying to find his way. When he claims he saw some kind of gremlin like things outside his older brother Michael (Robert McNaughton) and his friends make fun of Elliott.
The joke is on them when the next evening Elliott comes face to face with a little grey alien. After getting over his shock, Elliott realizes that the alien is not going to harm him. Luring it into the house with Reese Pieces, Elliott hides the alien in his bedroom. He wants to keep him, but E.T. (as Elliott names him) wants to go home as he was accidentally left behind.
E.T. begins to learn how to speak English and about how humans behave. Elliott also introduces him to Michael and his little sister Gertie (Drew Barrymore – Scream, Big Miracle). E.T also begins to construct a device in an attempt to communicate with his people. Elliott is not happy about E.T. going home, but will do his best to protect him from the government people who are trying to find him.
Do not make the mistake of dismissing this classic as a kids’ film. It is one of those rare films that touch the heart of all ages. Though it is a rather simple story it wisely stays away from clichés or dumbing down things. It is not childish at all. Though there are some more “mature” moments. Which means that I cry my eyes out every time I see the film. No matter that I know what is going to happen I still cry. It is just so heartwarming and touching that it gets you every watch. The emotions are pulled out of you so deftly that you can never resist its charms. It is a film that makes me feel very nostalgic. I always want to be a kid again when I watch it. And it is a film that you can watch over and over.
The casting is spot on. Personally, I think this was the best acting performance of Drew Barrymore’s entire career. John Williams’ (Fiddler on the Roof, Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone) score is amazing. Each of the emotions brought out by the film are supported by his music.
Due to the timeless nature of the story it hasn’t aged at all. A story about a time in all our lives where things were pure, innocent and anything was possible. The message about a friendship between different species really packs a punch. All this captured perfectly in a film.
-Steven Spielberg + E.T.
-A Look Back
-The E.T. Reunion
-The E.T. Journals
-The Evolution and Creation of E.T.
-The Music of E.T.: A Discussion With John Williams
-The 20th Anniversary Premiere
-Original Theatrical Trailer
-Special Olympics TV Spot
-Designs, Photographs and Marketing