AFI #24 – E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

ET the Extra-Terrestrial PosterE.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

1982

Directed by Steven Spielberg

Netflix says… A lonely suburban boy befriends a gentle alien and tries to help it return home while protecting it from government forces that are in pursuit.

Kids, I can’t believe I did this. I watched a couple of these things out of order. I know… I’ll understand if I lose a number of readers over this. Thing is, I forgot that I didn’t need Netflix to send me E.T. because I own that one on DVD. So when they sent me The Grapes of Wrath last week, I naturally assumed it was next on the AFI list at #24. Turns out, E.T. was supposed to be #24. Oops…

This is the first movie I remember seeing in the theater. I don’t know how that’s possible. Because this came out in 1982 and I was only 2-years-old at the time. Maybe it was re-released later and I remember seeing it then. I remember it being a big deal when E.T. was finally released on VHS around the time I was in third grade. I also remember playing the Atari 2600 video game adaptation of this movie as a young child. That game, apparently, nearly caused the entire video game industry to collapse in the early 1980s. I didn’t think it was a bad game. But if you do a search on the internet, a lot of people call it the worst video game ever made. Seems a bit harsh to me.

As for the movie itself, I love it. This is a great movie. When people talk about movies and express a Spielbergian nostalgia, this is the movie that most likely comes to mind. As a kid, I thought of this movie as nothing more than a nice story about a kid and his best friend, the alien. But it’s so much deeper than that. These kids are dealing with their parents’ divorce and none of them really knows how to cope. If you’ve never seen this, you’ve got to get your hands on a copy as soon as you can. It’s amazing. And, I’ll be honest, that part near the end when their home gets invaded by astronauts still terrifies me.ET the Extra-Terrestrial - Moon

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