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.
Watched with my wife, the 7th grader, and the kindergartner. I only kind of half watched... It's been a long week. I really wanted to check out my youngest's reactions. Watching this with my 5 y.o. involved answering a lot of questions, but she LOVED it: wide eyed amazement, tears at the appropriate places, and shouts of "YEAH!!!" during the bike scenes. Some of the animatronics are definitely dated, but it's weird seeing these older movies with kids so used to everything being CGI... Even my 7th grader said that some scenes seemed really realistic, which surprised me.
Dream work indeed. An alien is stranded on Earth and a bunch of suburban kids attempt to help him get home. It's amazing to think that such a simple and standard story would go on to become a global phenomenon. E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, directed by Steven Spielberg, blasted its way into pop culture and simultaneously became one of the most cherished films of all time. It's not hard to see why, for E.T. appeals to every member of the family, from the joyous set ups as E.T. stumbles around middle America suburbia, to the doses of magic so gleefully constructed by Spielberg's inner child. Those wishing to scratch away at the surface (and there are many who have previously) will find Spielberg affecting his picture with divorce subtexts (his parents divorce was known to upset him deeply), whilst the government "villains" show an astute aside to paranoia of the times and suspicions of political operatives. Dee Wallace, Henry Thomas, Robert MacNaughton, Drew Barrymore and Peter Coyote star. The score, now famous and likely to bring about goose bumps with at the opening bars, is from John Williams, with cinematography coming from Allen Daviau. Shown in the main from a child's perspective, the film is still a wonder that charms and informs on repeat viewings. So much so that as it approaches its 40th birthday, its longevity and all encompassing appeal shows no sign of abating. Something that Spielberg and his crew can rightly feel very proud about. 9/10