AFI Top 100: No. 24 E.T., The Extra Terrestrial


As an 80’s-born individual (one born well after 1982, I should add), I watched E.T. several times as a child. The last time I saw this movie, I was probably between the ages of Drew Barrymore and the kid who played Elliot, so that tells you how long ago it was.

Spielberg films are full of magic and E.T. ranks at the top. The relationship between the boy and the alien made you laugh, smile and cry. Spielberg’s human touches are what make these movies so special. For example, the scene where E.T. (and subsequently Elliot) gets drunk. The goofy looking alien tripping over the house in his odd voice is hilarious. The scene where Drew Barrymore’s character is screaming and causes E.T. to scream and run around, you laugh because a. E.T. is so odd looking and b. screaming would certainly be a natural reaction.

As I mentioned, it’s not just the laughs but the cries that make this movie so special. Even at the beginning, when E.T. is left behind, your heart hurts for this poor creature. When E.T. and Elliot are dying… and finally when E.T. leaves. Finishing this movie without a tear in your eye or at least getting slightly choked up is quite a task.

With all his movies, Spielberg gives the world iconic scenes and soundtrack. E.T. is no different and the image of the young boy on a bike with the alien in his basket and the moon behind him, with a triumphant song in the background is one that will not leave the public’s mind and heart anytime soon.


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