E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial: Wikis


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E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

Original 1982 theatrical poster
by John Alvin[1]
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Produced by Steven Spielberg
Kathleen Kennedy
Written by Melissa Mathison
Starring Henry Thomas
Dee Wallace
Robert MacNaughton
Drew Barrymore
Peter Coyote
Music by John Williams
Cinematography Allen Daviau
Editing by Carol Littleton
Studio Amblin Entertainment
Distributed by Universal Studios
Release date(s) June 11, 1982 (1982-06-11)
Running time Theatrical version:
115 minutes
2002 re-release:
120 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget US$10.5 million (est.)[2]
Gross revenue $792,910,554[3]

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a 1982 American science fiction film co-produced and directed by Steven Spielberg, written by Melissa Mathison and starring Henry Thomas, Robert MacNaughton, Drew Barrymore, and Dee Wallace. It tells the story of Elliott (played by Thomas), a lonely boy who befriends a friendly extraterrestrial, dubbed "E.T.", who is stranded on Earth. Elliott and his siblings help the extraterrestrial return home while attempting to keep it hidden from their mother and the government.

The concept for E.T. was based on an imaginary friend Spielberg created after his parents' divorce in 1960. In 1980, Spielberg met Mathison and developed a new story from the stalled science fiction/horror film project Night Skies. The film was shot from September to December 1981 in California on a budget of US$10.5 million. Unlike most motion pictures, the film was shot in roughly chronological order, to facilitate convincing emotional performances from the young cast.

Released by Universal Pictures, E.T. was a blockbuster, surpassing Star Wars to become the most financially successful film released to that point. Critics acclaimed it as a timeless story of friendship, and it ranks as the greatest science fiction film ever made in a Rotten Tomatoes survey. The film was re-released in 1985, and then again in 2002 with altered special effects and additional scenes. Spielberg believes E.T. epitomizes his work.[4]



The film opens in a California forest as a group of alien botanists collect vegetation samples. U.S. government agents appear and the aliens flee in their spaceship, leaving one of their own behind in their haste. The scene shifts to a suburban California home, where a boy named Elliott (Henry Thomas) plays servant to his older brother, Michael (Robert MacNaughton), and his friends (K. C. Martel, Sean Frye and C. Thomas Howell). As he fetches pizza, Elliott discovers the stranded alien, who promptly flees. Despite his family's disbelief, Elliott leaves Reese's Pieces candy in the forest to lure it into his bedroom. Before he goes to bed, Elliott notices the alien imitating his movements.

Elliott feigns illness the next morning to avoid school so he can play with the alien. That afternoon, Michael and their younger sister, Gertie (Drew Barrymore), meet the alien. Their mother, Mary (Dee Wallace), hears the noise and comes upstairs. Michael, Gertie and the alien hide in the closet while Elliott assures his mother that everything is all right. Michael and Gertie promise to keep the alien a secret from their mother. Deciding to keep the alien, the children begin to ask it about its origin. It answers by levitating balls to represent its solar system, and further demonstrates its powers by reviving a dead plant.

At school the next day, Elliott begins to experience a psychic connection with the alien. Elliott becomes irrational due partly to the alien's intoxication from drinking beer. Elliott then begins freeing all the frogs from a dissection class. As the alien watches John Wayne kiss Maureen O'Hara in The Quiet Man, Elliott's psychic link causes him to kiss a girl (Erika Eleniak) he likes in the same manner.

Makeshift communicator used by E.T. to phone home

The alien learns to speak English by repeating what Gertie says in response to her watching Sesame Street and, through Elliott's urging, dubs itself as "E.T." It enlists Elliott's help in building a device to "phone home" by using a Speak & Spell toy. Michael starts to notice that E.T.'s health is declining and that Elliott is referring to himself as "we." On Halloween, Michael and Elliott dress E.T. as a ghost so they can sneak it out of the house. Elliott and E.T. ride a bicycle to the forest, where E.T. makes a successful call home. The next morning, Elliott wakes up to find E.T. gone, and returns home to his distressed family. Michael finds E.T. dying in the forest, and takes the alien to Elliott, who is also dying. Mary becomes frightened when she discovers her son's illness and the dying alien, before government agents invade the house.

Scientists set up a medical facility in the house, quarantining Elliott and E.T. The link between E.T. and Elliott disappears as E.T. appears to die. Elliott is left alone with the motionless alien when he notices a dead flower, the plant E.T. had previously revived, coming back to life. E.T. reanimates and reveals that its people are returning. Elliott and Michael steal a van that E.T. had been loaded into and a chase ensues, with Michael's friends joining Elliott and E.T. as they attempt to evade the authorities by bicycle. Suddenly facing a dead-end, they escape as E.T. uses telekinesis to lift them into the air and toward the forest. Standing near the spaceship, E.T.'s heart glows as it prepares to return home. Mary, Gertie and "Keys" (Peter Coyote), a government agent, show up. E.T. says goodbye to Michael and Gertie, and before entering the spaceship, tells Elliott "I'll be right here," pointing its glowing finger to Elliott's heart. E.T. then picks up the flower pot Gertie gave him, walks into the spaceship, and takes off, leaving a rainbow in the sky.


  • Henry Thomas as Elliott, a lonely ten-year-old boy. Elliott longs for a good friend, whom he finds in E.T, who was left behind on Earth. Elliott adopts the stranded alien and they form a mental, physical, and emotional bond.
  • Robert MacNaughton as Michael, Elliott's football-playing sixteen-year-old brother who often picks on him.
  • Drew Barrymore as Gertie, Elliott's mischievous five-year-old sister . She is sarcastic and initially terrified of E.T., but grows to love the alien.
  • Dee Wallace-Stone as Mary, the children's mother, recently separated from her husband. She is mostly oblivious to the alien's presence in her household.
  • Peter Coyote as "Keys", a government agent so dubbed because of the key rings that prominently hang from his belt. He tells Elliott that he has waited to see an alien since the age of ten.
  • K. C. Martel, Sean Frye and C. Thomas Howell as Greg, Steve and Tyler, Michael's friends. They help Elliott and E.T. evade the authorities during the film's climax.
  • Erika Eleniak as the young girl Elliott kisses in class.

Spielberg auditioned more than 300 children for the roles.[5] Having worked with Cary Guffey on Close Encounters of the Third Kind, he felt confident in working with a cast composed mostly of child actors, rather than young adults.[6] Robert Fisk suggested Henry Thomas for the role of Elliott.[7] Thomas, who auditioned in an Indiana Jones costume, did not perform well in the formal testing, but got the filmmakers' attention in an improvised scene.[6] Thoughts of his dead dog inspired his convincing tears.[8] MacNaughton auditioned eight times to play Michael, sometimes with boys auditioning for Elliott. Spielberg felt Drew Barrymore had the right imagination for the film after she impressed him with a story that she led a punk rock band.[7] Spielberg enjoyed working with the children, noting that the experience made him feel ready to become a father.[9]

The major voice work for E.T. was performed by Pat Welsh, an elderly woman who lived in Marin County, California. Welsh smoked two packets of cigarettes a day, which gave her voice a quality that sound effects creator Ben Burtt liked. She spent nine-and-a-half hours recording her part, and was paid $380 by Burtt for her services.[10] Burtt also recorded 16 other people and various animals to create E.T.'s "voice". These included Spielberg; Debra Winger; Burtt's sleeping wife, who had a cold; a burp from his USC film professor; and raccoons, sea otters and horses.[11][12] Burtt would later go on to provide the voice for the main character in Wall-E. The character's form of speaking has a similarity to E.T.

Doctors working at the USC Medical Center were recruited to play the doctors who try to save E.T. after government agents take over Elliott's home. Spielberg felt that actors in the roles, performing lines of highly technical medical dialogue, would come across as unnatural.[9] During post-production, Spielberg decided to cut a scene featuring Harrison Ford as Elliott's principal. The scene featured Elliott being reprimanded for his behavior in science class, and saw Elliott's chair being levitated while E.T. was levitating his "phone" equipment up the staircase with Gertie.[7]


After his parents' divorce in 1960, Spielberg filled the void with an imaginary alien companion. Spielberg said that E.T. was "a friend who could be the brother I never had and a father that I didn't feel I had anymore."[13] During 1978, Spielberg announced he would shoot a film entitled Growing Up, which he would film in 28 days. The project was set aside because of delays on 1941, but the concept of making a small autobiographical film about childhood would stay with Spielberg.[10] He also thought about a follow-up to Close Encounters of the Third Kind, and began to develop a darker project he had planned with John Sayles called Night Skies in which malevolent aliens terrorize a family.[10]

Filming Raiders of the Lost Ark in Tunisia left Spielberg bored, and memories of his childhood creation resurfaced.[14] He told screenwriter Melissa Mathison about Night Skies, and developed a subplot from the failed project, in which Buddy, the only friendly alien, befriends an autistic child. Buddy's abandonment on Earth in the script's final scene inspired the E.T. concept.[14] Mathison wrote a first draft titled E.T. and Me in eight weeks,[14] which Spielberg considered perfect.[7] The script went through two more drafts, which deleted an "Eddie Haskell"-esque friend of Elliott. The chase sequence was also created, and Spielberg also suggested having the scene where E.T. got drunk.[10] Columbia Pictures, which had been producing Night Skies, met Spielberg to discuss the script. The studio passed on it, calling it "a wimpy Walt Disney movie", so Spielberg approached the more receptive Sid Sheinberg, president of MCA.[15]

Ed Verreaux created a $700,000 prototype for E.T., which Spielberg deemed useless.[10] Carlo Rambaldi, who designed the aliens for Close Encounters of the Third Kind, was hired to design the animatronics of E.T. Rambaldi's own painting Women of Delta led him to give the creature a unique, extendable neck.[7] The creature's face was inspired by the faces of Carl Sandburg, Albert Einstein and Ernest Hemingway.[16] Producer Kathleen Kennedy visited the Jules Stein Eye Institute to study real and glass eyeballs. She hired Institute staffers to create E.T.'s eyes, which she felt were particularly important in engaging the audience.[6] Four E.T. heads were created for filming, one as the main animatronic and the others for facial expressions, as well as a costume.[16] Two dwarfs, Tamara De Treaux and Pat Bilon,[10] as well as 12-year-old Matthew De Meritt, who was born without legs,[17] took turns wearing the costume, depending on what scene was being filmed.[7] Caprice Roth, a professional mime, filled prosthetics to play E.T.'s hands.[6] The finished creature was created in three months at the cost of $1.5 million.[18] Spielberg declared it was "something that only a mother could love."[7] Mars, Incorporated found E.T. so ugly that the company refused to allow M&M's to be used in the film, believing the creature would frighten children. This allowed the Hershey Company the opportunity to market Reese's Pieces.[19]

E.T. began shooting in September 1981.[20] The project was filmed under the cover name A Boy's Life, as Spielberg did not want anyone to discover and plagiarize the plot. The actors had to read the script behind closed doors, and everyone on set had to wear an ID card.[6] The shoot began with two days at a high school in Culver City, and the crew spent the next 11 days moving between locations at Northridge and Tujunga.[10] The house scenes were shot at 7121 Lonzo Street in Tujunga. The next 42 days were spent at Laird International Studios in Culver City, for the interiors of Elliott's home. The crew shot at a redwood forest near Crescent City for the last six days of production.[10][14] Spielberg shot the film in roughly chronological order to achieve convincingly emotional performances from his cast. In the scene in which Michael first encounters the alien, the creature's appearance caused MacNaughton to jump back and knock down the shelves behind him. The chronological shoot gave the young actors an emotional experience as they bonded with E.T., making the hospital sequences more moving.[9] Spielberg ensured the puppeteers kept away from the set to maintain the illusion of a real alien. For the first time in his career, he did not storyboard most of the film, in order to facilitate spontaneity in the performances.[20] The film was shot so adults, except for Dee Wallace, are never seen from the waist up in the first half of the film, as a tribute to the cartoons of Tex Avery.[7] The shoot was completed in 61 days, four days ahead of schedule.[14] According to Spielberg during in an interview in James Lipton's Inside the Actor's Studio, the memorable scene where E.T. disguises himself as a stuffed animal in Elliott's closet was suggested by colleague Robert Zemeckis, after reading a draft of the screenplay that Spielberg had sent him before.

Longtime Spielberg collaborator John Williams composed the musical score for E.T. Williams described his challenge as creating a score that would generate sympathy for such an odd-looking creature. As with their previous collaborations, Spielberg liked every theme Williams composed and had it included. Spielberg loved the music for the final chase so much that he edited the sequence to suit it.[21] Williams work in the movie was very interesting and modernist especially with his use of polytonality. Polytonality, which refers to the sound of two different keys playing simultaneously, is popular in scores for space films and action/adventure films. It is associated with Igor Stravinsky’s ballets the Rite of Spring and Petrushka and the two chords that characterize polytonality are often referred to as the “Stravinsky” chords. Something known as the Lydian mode can also be used in a polytonal way, because the C Lydian mode uses both C major and D major triads. Williams combines polytonality and the Lydian mode for the score of “E.T” (1982) to express a mystic, dreamlike and heroic quality. Williams uses coloristic instruments (harp, piano, celesta and other keyboards) and percussion instruments in the film score of “E.T.” The way he set the theme for the instruments implies the childlike nature of E.T. and his “machine.” According to Karlin and Wright, “Each orchestral instrument has its own personality that can bring life to a score when used to best advantage”.[22]


Spielberg drew the story of E.T. from the divorce of his own parents;[23] Gary Arnold of The Washington Post called the film "essentially a spiritual autobiography, a portrait of the filmmaker as a typical suburban kid set apart by an uncommonly fervent, mystical imagination".[24] References to Spielberg's childhood occur throughout: Elliott feigns illness by holding his thermometer to a light bulb while covering his face with a heating pad, a trick frequently employed by the young Spielberg.[25] Michael's picking on Elliott echoes Spielberg's teasing of his younger sisters,[7] and Michael's evolution from tormentor to protector reflects how Spielberg had to take care of his sisters after their father left.[9]

Critics have focused on the parallels between the life of E.T. and Elliott, who is "alienated" by the loss of his father.[26][27] A.O. Scott of The New York Times wrote that while E.T. "is the more obvious and desperate foundling", Elliott "suffers in his own way from the want of a home"[28] (coincidentally, E.T. is the first and last letter of Eliott's name).[29] At the film's heart is the theme of growing up. Critic Henry Sheehan described the film as a retelling of Peter Pan from the perspective of a Lost Boy (Elliott): E.T. cannot survive physically on Earth, as Pan could not survive emotionally in Neverland; government scientists take the place of Neverland’s pirates.[30] Vincent Canby of The New York Times similarly observed that the film "freely recycles elements from [...] Peter Pan and The Wizard of Oz".[31] Some critics have suggested that Spielberg's portrayal of suburbia is very dark, contrary to popular belief. According to A.O. Scott, "The suburban milieu, with its unsupervised children and unhappy parents, its broken toys and brand-name junk food, could have come out of a Raymond Carver story."[28] Charles Taylor of Salon.com wrote, "Spielberg's movies, despite the way they're often characterized, are not Hollywood idealizations of families and the suburbs. The homes here bear what the cultural critic Karal Ann Marling called 'the marks of hard use'."[23]

Spielberg admitted this scene triggered speculation as to whether the film was a religious parable.[32]

Other critics found religious parallels between E.T. and Jesus.[33][34] Andrew Nigels described the story of E.T. as "crucifixion by military science" and "resurrection by love and faith".[35] According to Spielberg biographer Joseph McBride, Universal Pictures appealed directly to the Christian market, with a poster reminiscent of Michelangelo's Creation of Adam and a logo reading "Peace".[14] Spielberg answered that he did not intend the film to be a religious parable, joking, "If I ever went to my mother and said, 'Mom, I've made this movie that's a Christian parable,' what do you think she'd say? She has a kosher restaurant on Pico and Doheny in Los Angeles."[32]

As a substantial body of film criticism has built up around E.T., numerous writers have analyzed the film in other ways as well. E.T. has been interpreted as a modern fairy tale[36] and in psychoanalytic terms.[27][36] Producer Kathleen Kennedy noted that an important theme of E.T. is tolerance, which would be central to future Spielberg films such as Schindler's List.[7] Having been a loner as a teenager, Spielberg described the film as "a minority story".[37] Spielberg's characteristic theme of communication is partnered with the ideal of mutual understanding: he has suggested that the story's central alien-human friendship is an analogy for how real-world adversaries can learn to overcome their differences.[38]


E.T. was previewed in Houston, Texas, where it received high marks from viewers.[14] The film premiered at the closing gala of the 1982 Cannes Film Festival,[39][40] and was released in the United States on June 11, 1982. It opened at number one with a gross of $11 million, and stayed at the top of the box office for six weeks. It fluctuated between the first and second positions until January. By the end of its theatrical run, it had grossed $359.2 million in the United States and Canada.[41] Spielberg earned $500,000 a day from his share of the profits.[42][43] The Hershey Company's profits rose 65% due to the film's prominent use of Reese's Pieces.[19] The film was rereleased on July 19, 1985,[44] and grossed $40 million domestically.[2] E.T. was released on VHS and laserdisc on October 27, 1988; to combat piracy, the videocassettes were colored green, and encoded with macrovision.[8] In North America alone, VHS sales came to $75 million.[45]

Spielberg with President Ronald Reagan and Nancy Reagan, fans of the film, in 1986

Critics acclaimed E.T. as a classic. Roger Ebert wrote, "This is not simply a good movie. It is one of those movies that brush away our cautions and win our hearts."[39] Michael Sragow of Rolling Stone called Spielberg "a space age Jean Renoir... [F]or the first time, [he] has put his breathtaking technical skills at the service of his deepest feelings."[46] Leonard Maltin called it the best film of the year.[47] George Will was one of the few to pan the film, feeling it spread subversive notions about childhood and science.[48]

There were allegations that the film was plagiarized from a 1967 script, The Alien, by celebrated Bengali director Satyajit Ray. Ray stated, "E.T. would not have been possible without my script of The Alien being available throughout the United States in mimeographed copies." Spielberg denied this claim, stating, "I was a kid in high school when his script was circulating in Hollywood."[49] How is E.T and where did he come from.

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial holds a 98% "fresh" rating on Rotten Tomatoes.[50] It has a Metacritic score of 94, categorized by the website as "universal acclaim".[51] In addition to the many impressed critics, President Ronald Reagan and first lady Nancy Reagan were moved by the film after a screening at the White House on June 27, 1982.[43] Princess Diana was in tears after watching the film.[7] On September 17, 1982, the film was screened at the United Nations, and Spielberg received the U.N. Peace Medal.[52]

The film was nominated for nine Oscars at the 55th Academy Awards, including Best Picture. Gandhi won that award, but its director, Richard Attenborough, declared, "I was certain that not only would E.T. win, but that it should win. It was inventive, powerful, [and] wonderful. I make more mundane movies."[53] It won four Academy Awards—Best Original Music Score, Sound, Sound Effects Editing and Visual Effects. At the Golden Globes, the film won Best Picture in the Drama category and Best Score; it was also nominated for Best Director, Best Screenplay and Best New Male Star for Henry Thomas. The Los Angeles Film Critics Association awarded the film Best Picture, Best Director and a "New Generation Award" for Melissa Mathison.[54] The film won Saturn Awards for Best Science Fiction Film, Best Writing, Best Special Effects, Best Music and Best Poster Art, while Henry Thomas, Robert McNaughton, and Drew Barrymore won Young Artist Awards. In addition to his Golden Globe and Saturn, composer John Williams won a Grammy and a BAFTA for the score. E.T. was also honored abroad: the film won the Best Foreign Language Film award at the Blue Ribbon in Japan, Cinema Writers Circle Awards in Spain, César Awards in France, and David di Donatello in Italy.[55]

Empire called Elliott and E.T.'s flight to the forest the most magical moment in cinema.[56]

In American Film Institute polls, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial has been voted the 24th greatest film of all time,[57] the 44th most thrilling,[58] and the sixth most uplifting.[59] Other AFI polls rated it as having the 14th greatest music score[60] and as the third greatest science-fiction film.[61] The line "E.T. phone home" was ranked 15th on AFI's 100 Years... 100 Movie Quotes list,[62] and 48th on Premiere's top movie quote list.[63] In 2005, the film topped a Channel 4 poll of the 100 greatest family films,[64] and was also listed by Time as one of the 100 best films ever made.[65] In 2003, Entertainment Weekly called the film the eighth most "tear-jerking";[66] in 2007, in a survey of both films and television series, the magazine declared E.T. the seventh greatest work of science-fiction media in the past 25 years.[67] The Times also named E.T. as their ninth favorite alien in a film, calling it "one of the best-loved non-humans in popular culture".[68] The film is among the top ten in the BFI list of the 50 films you should see by the age of 14. In 1994, E.T. was selected for preservation in the U.S. National Film Registry.[69]

20th anniversary version

The 20th anniversary version of the film replaces the guns, used by the police, with walkie-talkies.

An extended version of the film, including altered special effects, was released on March 22, 2002. Certain shots of E.T. had bothered Spielberg since 1982, as he did not have enough time to perfect the animatronics. Computer-generated imagery (CGI), provided by Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), was used to modify several shots, including ones of E.T. running in the opening sequence and being spotted in the cornfield. The spaceship's design was also altered to include more lights. Scenes shot for but not included in the original version were introduced. These included E.T. taking a bath, and Gertie telling Mary that Elliott went to the forest. Spielberg did not add the scene featuring Harrison Ford, feeling that would reshape the film too drastically. Having become a father, Spielberg was more sensitive about the scene where gun-wielding federal agents threaten Elliott and his escaping friends; he digitally replaced the guns with walkie-talkies.[7]

At the premiere, John Williams conducted a live performance of the score.[70] The new release grossed $35 million domestically, bringing the film's total worldwide gross to $793 million since 1982.[2] The 20th anniversary version was released as part of a two-disc DVD set on December 10, 2002; it was also packaged in a collector's edition with the original version.[71] The changes to the film, particularly the escape scene, were criticized as political correctness. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone wondered, "Remember those guns the feds carried? Thanks to the miracle of digital, they're now brandishing walkie-talkies.... Is this what two decades have done to free speech?"[72] Chris Hewitt of Empire wrote, "The changes are surprisingly low-key [...] while ILM's CGI E.T. is used sparingly as a complement to Carlo Rambaldi's extraordinary puppet."[73] South Park parodied many of the changes in the 2002 episode "Free Hat".[74]

Other portrayals

A traffic sign depicting E.T.

In July 1982, during the film's first theatrical run, Spielberg and Mathison wrote a treatment for a sequel to be titled E.T. II: Nocturnal Fears. It would have seen Elliott and his friends kidnapped by evil aliens and follow their attempts to contact E.T. for help. Spielberg decided against pursuing the sequel, feeling it "would do nothing but rob the original of its virginity".[44]

Atari made a video game based on the film. Released in 1982, it was widely considered to be one of the worst video games ever. William Kotzwinkle—author of the film's novelization—wrote a sequel, E.T.: The Book of the Green Planet, published in 1985. The novel concerns E.T.'s return to its planet, Brodo Asogi; its subsequent demotion and exile to its childhood "farm"; and its attempts to return to Earth by effectively breaking all the laws of Brodo Asogi.[75] E.T. Adventure, a theme park ride, debuted at Universal Studios Florida in 1990. The $40 million attraction features the title character saying goodbye to visitors by name.[14]

In 1998, E.T. was licensed to appear in television public service announcements produced by the Progressive Corporation. The announcements featured E.T.'s voice reminding drivers to "buckle up" their safety belts. Traffic signs depicting a stylized E.T. wearing a safety belt were installed on selected roads around the United States.[76] The following year, British Telecommunications launched the "Stay in Touch" campaign, with E.T. as the star of various advertisements. The campaign's slogan was "B.T. has E.T.", with "E.T." also taken to mean "extra technology".[77] At Spielberg's suggestion, George Lucas included members of E.T.'s race as background characters in Star Wars Episode I: The Phantom Menace (1999).[78]


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  20. ^ a b David E. Williams (January 1983). "An Exceptional Encounter". American Cinematographer: pp. 34–7. 
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  26. ^ Thomas A. Sebeok. "Enter Textuality: Echoes from the Extra-Terrestrial." In Poetics Today (1985), Porter Institute for Poetics and Semiotics. Published by Duke University Press.
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  29. ^ Wuntch, Philip (1985-07-19). "Return of E.T.". The Dallas Morning News. 
  30. ^ Henry Sheehan (May/June 1992). "The Panning of Steven Spielberg". Film Comment. http://www.henrysheehan.com/essays/stuv/spielberg-1.html. Retrieved 2007-07-16. 
  31. ^ Susan Goldman Rubin (2001). Steven Spielberg. Harry N. Abrams, Inc.. pp. 53. ISBN 0-8109-4492-8. 
  32. ^ a b Judith Crist (1984). "Take 22: Moviemakers on Moviemaking". Viking. 
  33. ^ Stanley Kauffman (1982-07-05). "The Gospel According to St. Steven". The New Republic. 
  34. ^ Anton Karl Kozlovic. "The Structural Characteristics of the Cinematic Christ-figure," Journal of Religion and Popular Culture 8 (Fall 2004).
  35. ^ Nigel Andrews. "Tidings of comfort and joy." Financial Times (December 10, 1982), I11
  36. ^ a b Andrew Gordon. "E.T. as a Fairy Tale," Science Fiction Studies 10 (1983): 298-305.
  37. ^ Susan Goldman Rubin (2001). Steven Spielberg. Harry N. Abrams, Inc.. pp. 22. ISBN 0-8109-4492-8. 
  38. ^ Richard Schickel (interviewer). (2007-07-09). Spielberg on Spielberg. Turner Classic Movies. 
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  40. ^ "Festival de Cannes: E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial". festival-cannes.com. http://www.festival-cannes.com/en/archives/ficheFilm/id/1558/year/1982.html. Retrieved 2009-06-13. 
  41. ^ "E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial — Weekend Box Office". Box Office Mojo. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/movies/?page=weekend&id=et.htm. Retrieved 2007-04-18. 
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  43. ^ a b Jim Callo (1982-08-23). "Director Steven Spielberg Takes the Wraps Off E.T., Revealing His Secrets at Last". People. 
  44. ^ a b John M. Wilson (1985-06-16). "E.T. Returns to Test His Midas Touch". Los Angeles Times. 
  45. ^ Nancy Griffin (June 1988). "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade". Premiere. 
  46. ^ Michael Sragow (1982-07-08). "Extra-Terrestrial Perception". Rolling Stone. 
  47. ^ Leonard Maltin (2007-05-31). "Leonard Maltin's Top 25 for 25 Years". Entertainment Tonight. http://www.etonline.com/movies/spotlight/2007/05/48377/index.html. Retrieved 2008-12-18. 
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  49. ^ John Newman (2001-09-17). UC Santa Cruz Currents online article "Satyajit Ray Collection receives Packard grant and lecture endowment". University of California, Santa Cruz. http://www.ucsc.edu/currents/01-02/09-17/ray.html UC Santa Cruz Currents online article. 
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External links

Preceded by
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope
Highest-grossing film of all time
Succeeded by
Jurassic Park
Awards and achievements
Preceded by
On Golden Pond
Golden Globe for Best Picture - Drama
Succeeded by
Terms of Endearment
Preceded by
Superman II
Saturn Award for Best Science Fiction Film
Succeeded by
Star Wars Episode VI: Return of the Jedi


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, known as E.T., is a 1982 science fiction film about Elliott, a young boy who befriends an alien being trapped on Earth and trying to find his way home. Elliott and his siblings help the alien return home while trying to keep him hidden from their mother and the government.

Directed by Steven Spielberg. Written by Melissa Mathison.
He is afraid. He is totally alone. He is 3 million light years from home. Taglines
Spoiler warning: Plot, ending, or solution details follow.



  • Do you talk, you know, talk? Me human. Boy. Elliott. Ell-i-ott. Elliott.
  • Coke. You see, we drink it. It's a, it's a drink. You know, food. These are toys, these are little men. This is Greedo and then this is Hammerhead, see this is Walrus Man, and this is Snaggletooth and this is Lando Calrissian see and this is Boba Fett and look, they can even have wars. Look at this. Th-th-th-th-th-th. Uuuuuuuugh. Look fish. The fish eat the fish food, and the shark eats the fish, and nobody eats the shark. See, this is PEZ, candy. See you eat it. You put the candy in here and then when you lift up the head, the candy comes out and you can eat it. You want some? This is a peanut. You eat it, but you can't eat this one, 'cause this is fake. This is money. You see. You put the money in the peanut. You see? It's a bank. See? And then, this is a car. This is what we get around in. You see? Car. Hey, hey wait a second. No. You don't eat 'em. Are you hungry? I'm hungry. Stay. Stay. I'll be right here. OK? I'll be right here.
  • You could be happy here, I could take care of you. I wouldn't let anybody hurt you. We could grow up together, E.T.
  • You have no right to do this. You're scaring him. You're scaring him! Leave him alone. Leave him alone, I can take care of him.
  • E.T., don't go! ...Leave him alone! You're killing him! Leave him alone!


  • Mary: [mumbling] I really can't believe you did this. Your father's going to hear about this one. Mexico.
  • Michael: We're all going to die and they're never going to give me my license!
  • Tyler: We made it! Oh, shit!


Steve: [reading dice] Five.
Michael: Oh, great.
Steve: So you got an arrow right in your chest.
Greg: Don't worry. I got resurrection.
Michael: I'm already one of the undead, Greg. I can still throw death spells, huh, Steve?
Greg: I'm just trying to help you out, man. Don't be so cranky.
Tyler: Throw the spell over the pizza man. Where's the pizza, man?
Elliott: I'm ready... now to play. I'm ready to play now, you guys.
Greg: We're in the middle, Elliott. You can't just join any universe in the middle.
Michael: You have to ask Steve. He's game master. He has absolute power.
[The boys tell Elliott to order the pizza]
Steve: Just figure your strategy. You're playing after Greg.
Greg: Plenty of sausage and pepperonis.
Tyler: Everything but the little fishies.

Elliott: [upon encountering E.T., running excitedly into the house] Mom, Mom, there's somethin' out there...It's in the toolshed. He threw the ball at me...Quiet! [the other boys obey, he speaks in a hushed tone] Nobody go out there.
[The boys all spring up excitedly and grab knives]
Mary: Stop! Now, you guys, stay right here!
Michael: You stay here, Mom, and we'll check it out!
Mary: And put those knives back!
[Elliott grabs her hands and pulls her outside as well]
Mary: It's O.K., Elliott! Let's go get the flashlight.

Tyler: Oh, great. Nice one, Elliott.
Elliott: It was an accident.
Mary: A pizza? Who says you guys could order a pizza?
Elliott: [points to Greg] It was him.
Mary: In the house.
Greg: You geek, man.
Elliott: Mom, it was real, I swear.
Tyler: [to Elliott] Douche bag.
Mary: [sternly] No douche bag talk in my house.

Mary: It's not that we don't believe you, honey.
Elliott: Well, it was real, I swear...
Michael: Maybe it was an iguana.
Elliott: It was no iguana.
Michael: Maybe a, a, you know how they say there are alligators in the sewers.
Gertie: Alligators in the sewers.
Mary: All we're trying to say is, 'Maybe you just probably imagined it.'
Elliott: I couldn't have imagined it!
Michael: Maybe it was a pervert, a deformed kid or something?
Gertie: A deformed kid.
Michael: Maybe an elf or a leprechaun?
Elliott: It was nothing like that, penis breath!
Mary: Elliott! Sit down.
Elliott: Dad would believe me.
Mary: Maybe you ought to call your father and tell him about it.
Elliott: I can't. He's in Mexico with Sally.
Gertie: Where's Mexico?
Mary: Excuse me. [leaves the table and walks to the window]
Michael: [softly to Elliott] I'm gonna kill you.
Mary: If you ever see it again, whatever it is, don't touch it. Just call me and we'll have somebody come and take it away.
Gertie: Like the dogcatcher?
Elliott: They'll give it to a lobotomy or do experiments on it or something.
Mary: It's your turn to do the dishes, fellas.
Michael: I set and cleared.
Elliott: I set and cleared.
Michael: [quickly] I did breakfast.
Gertie: I did breakfast.
Mary: [slams a pot down on the sideboard with tears] He hates Mexico.
Michael: [to Elliott] Damn it! Why don't you grow up? Think about how other people feel for a change!

Elliott: [to Mary on the phone in Footage] Oh, Mom, I'm gonna throw up. Mom, Please. I'm gonna throw up on the phone if you don't let me go. OK Bye. Mom, I'm gonna throw up now. Yeah, uh. [Elliott coughs and pretends to throw up with coke besides Vomits and he got off the phone and he came back to E.T. in the bathroom] You can drown me in stuff like this. Is this your idea for a good times?

Elliott: Michael, he came back...
Michael: He came back? He came back? Oh, my God! [chokes himself and pulls back]
Elliott: One thing. I have absolute power. Say it. Say it!
Michael: What have you got? Is it the coyote?
Elliott: No. Look. O.K. Now. Swear it. The most excellent promise you can make. Swear as my only brother on our lives.
Michael: Don't get so heavy. I swear.
Elliott: O.K., stand over there. You'd better take off your shoulder pads. You might scare him. And close your eyes.
Michael: Don't push it, Elliott.
Elliott: I'm not coming out until your eyes are closed.
Michael: O.K., they're closed. Mom is going to kill you. Eeeeghh!
Elliott: O.K., swear it one more time.
Michael: [as Yoda] You have absolute power! Eerrp!

Mary: Hi, honey, how do you feel? What happened in here?
Elliott: Oh, you mean my room?
Mary: This is no room, this is an accident.
Elliott: Well, I'm, um, reorganizing.
Mary: I can see that. Put those shelves back on the wall. Get your toys off the floor. Make your bed since you're not using it. Well, you're feeling much better, I see. Would you guys mind keeping an eye on Gertie for me while I take a shower? [kisses Elliott's forehead]
Elliott: Absolutely. Bye, Mom.

Michael: [in awe] Elliott.
Elliott: I'm keeping him.
Gertie: What is it?
Elliott: He won't hurt you, Gertie. He won't hurt you, Gertie. He's not gonna hurt you.
Gertie: Is he a boy or a girl?
Elliott: He's a boy.
Gertie: Was he wearing any clothes?
Elliott: No. But look. You can't tell, not even Mom.
Gertie: Why not?
Elliott: Because, um, grown-ups can't see him. Only little kids can see him.
Gertie: [snapping back] Give me a break.
Elliott: [imitating Dracula] Well, do you know what's going to happen if you do tell? [to Gertie] ...you promise?
[E.T. watches intently]
Gertie: Yes.
Elliott: [to Michael] Do you promise? [his brother nods]

Mary: What are you doing, Gertie?
Gertie: I'm going to play in Elliott's room.
Mary: O.K., don't let them torture you.
Gertie: I won't, Mary.

Michael: Maybe it's some animal that wasn't supposed to live? Like those rabbits we saw. Could be a monkey or an orangutan.
Elliott: A bald monkey?!
Gertie: Is he a pig? He sure eats like one.
Elliott: [pointing at a globe] OK. We're here. We are here. Where are you from?
[E.T. points out the window at the sky]
Gertie: [looks at E.T.'s feet] I don't like his feet.
Elliott: They're only feet, you little twerp. He's trying to tell us something. [to E.T.] Earth. [he touches the globe] Home. Home. Home.
E.T.: Home. [points out the window at the sky]

Michael: [about E.T.] Did you explain school to him?
Elliott: How do you explain school to a higher intelligence?
Michael: Maybe he's not that smart. Maybe he's a worker bee who only knows how to push buttons.
Elliott: He's too smart.
Michael: All right. I just hope we don't wake up on Mars surrounded by millions of these squashy little guys.

Tyler: Hey, Elliott, where's your goblin?
Michael: Shut up.
Steve: Did he come back?
Greg: Well, did he?
Elliott: Yeah, he came back. But he's not a goblin. [blurts out] He's a spaceman.
Steve: [mockingly] As in extraterrestrial?
Tyler: Where's he from? Uranus. Get it. Your anus?
Greg: He doesn't get it Ty.
Tyler: Get it? Your anus?
Greg: He doesn't get it.
Elliot: You're so immature!
Greg: And you're such a sinus supremus.
Elliott: Zero charisma!
Greg: Sinus supremus!
Elliott: Zero charisma!
Greg: Sinus supremus!
Elliott: Shut up, Greg!
Pretty Young Girl: Hi, Elliott.
Greg: Sinus supremus!
Elliott: Zero charisma!
Greg: You wimp!

[Mary hits E.T. with the refrigerator door]
Gertie: Here he is.
Mary: [absently] Here's who?
Gertie: The man from the moon. But I think you've killed him already.
Mary: Just as soon as I unload this stuff, O.K.?
Gertie: I want you to meet somebody.

[after E.T. learns how to talk]
Mary: Gertie, I've gotta go pick up Elliot. Will you be a good girl until I get back?
Gertie: Mommy, he can talk!
Mary: [thinking she meant Elliott] Of course he can talk. I'll be back in ten minutes. Stay there.

Elliott: Oh, God!
E.T.: Elliott.
Elliott: What?
E.T.: Elliott! Elliott!
Gertie: I taught him how to talk. He can talk now.
Elliott: Wait. Can you say 'E.T.'? E.T.?
E.T.: E.T.
Elliott: Ha! Ha!
E.T.: E.T.! E.T.! E.T.! Be good.
Gertie: 'Be good'. I taught him that too.
Elliott: You should give him his dignity. This is the most ridiculous thing I've ever seen.

E.T.: Phone. Home. [pointing at the window] E.T. home phone.
Gertie: E.T. phone home.
Elliott: E.T. phone home. E.T. phone home!
Gertie: He wants to call somebody.
Michael: [entering the room] What's all this shit?
E.T.: [famous line] E.T. phone home.
Michael: My God, he's talking now.
E.T.: Home.
Elliott: E.T. phone home?
E.T.: E.T. phone home. [pointing at the window again]
Elliott: And they'll come?
E.T.: Come? Home. Home.

Elliott: What do I do?
Michael: How the hell do I know? You're the genius here. You have absolute power, remember? [imitating Elliott] I found him, he belongs to me! You know, Elliott, he doesn't look too good anymore.
Elliott: Don't say that, we're fine!
Michael: What's all this "we" stuff? You say "we" all the time now. Really, Elliott, I think he might be getting kind of sick.
Elliott: Look, he's fine, Michael!
Michael: OK, OK! Forget I mentioned it. Grab that Fuzzbuster.

Mary: Where's Elliott? I'm asking you a question.
Gertie: Anyways, why would Elliott go to the forest? Why would he do such a thing? [smiles]
Mary: Get in the car. [smiles] Get in the car now.

Michael: Mom, would you come with me?
Mary: What is it?
Michael: Mary, just come with me.
Mary: Michael, what?
Michael: Mom, remember the goblin?
Mary: Michael, what are you talking about?
Michael: Just swear the most excellent promise you can make.
Mary: [annoyed] Michael.
[Michael opens the door, showing E.T. and Elliott]
Mary: That's wonderful.
E.T. Mom.
[Mary becomes shocked]
Elliott: We're sick. I think we're dying.

Scientist: Does he sleep at night?
Mary: I don't know, I don't know. What's the matter with Elliott?
Scientist: Have you noticed any surfaced sweating?
Mary: No.
Scientist: Has it lost any hair?
Gertie: He never had any hair.
Scientist: Are the children all right.
Mary: Yes.
Scientist: Has it built anything or write anything down?
Michael: Uh, no.
Scientist: You said it has the ability to manipulate its own environment?
Michael: He's smart. He communicates through Elliott.
Scientist: Elliott thinks its thoughts.
Michael: No, Elliott... Elliott feels his feelings.

Keys: Elliott, I've been to the forest... Elliott, that machine. What does it do?
Elliott: The communicator? Is it still working?
Keys: It's doing something. What?
Elliott: I really shouldn't tell. He came to me. He came to me.
Keys: Elliott, he came to me too. I've been wishing for this since I was 10 years old. I don't want him to die. What can we do that we're not already doing?
Elliott: He needs to go home. He's calling his people and I don't know where they are. He needs to go home.
Keys: Elliott, I don't think that he was left here intentionally. But his being here is a miracle, Elliott. It's a miracle. And you did the best that anybody could do. I'm glad he met you first.

Elliott: E.T., stay with me. Please...
E.T.: ...stay.
Elliott: Together. I'll be right here. I'll be right here.
E.T.: Stay, Elliott. Stay. Stay. Stay. Stay.
Scientist: The boy's coming back. We're losing E.T.
Elliott: E.T., answer me, please. Please.

Steve: Something is happening.
Greg: [mockingly] Ooh, they're going to die.
Tyler: Shut up, Greg.
Steve: Something is definitely happening.

Gertie: [about E.T.] Is he dead, mama?
Mary: I think so, sweetheart.
Gertie: Can we wish for him to come back?
Mary: Yeah.
Gertie: I wish.
Mary: I wish, too.

Keys: They're gonna have to take him away now.
Elliott: They're just gonna cut him all up.
Keys: Would you like to spend some time alone with him?
[Elliott is left alone with E.T.]
Elliott: Look at what they've done to you. I'm so sorry. You must be dead, 'cause I don't know how to feel. I can't feel anything anymore. You've gone someplace else now. I'll believe in you all my life, every day. E.T., I love you.
[E.T.'s heart light glows and he is revived]
E.T.: E.T. phone home. Phone home, phone home.

Gertie: Are they gone, mama.
Mary: Who's gone, honey?
Gertie: The boys?
Mary: What boys?
Gertie: I'm supposed to give this note to you when they're gone.
Mary: Give it to me now, Gertie. [reads the note] Oh, my God.

Michael: Where's the playground?
Elliott: It's near the preschool!
Michael: Where's that?
Elliott: I don't know streets! Mom always drives me!
Michael: Son of a bitch.

[after Steve, Tyler, and Greg see E.T. in awe]
Elliott: OK, he's a man from outer space and we're taking him to his spaceship.
Greg: Well, can't he just beam up?
Elliott: This is reality, Greg.

Gertie: [tearfully] I just wanted to say goodbye.
Michael: He doesn't know 'goodbye.'
E.T.: Be good.
Gertie: Yes. [kisses E.T.'s nose]
[Michael gently strokes E.T.'s head]
E.T.: Thank you.
Michael: You're welcome.
E.T.: [to Elliott] Come.
Elliott: Stay.
E.T.: [after touching his heart light and then touching his lips] Ouch.
Elliott: [after repeating the gesture] Ouch.
E.T.: [after touching his finger to Elliott's forehead, his fingertip glows] I'll be right here.
Elliott: [tearfully] Bye.


  • He is afraid. He is alone. He is three million light years from home.
  • His adventure on Earth.
  • The mystery. The suspense. The adventure. The call... that started it all.
  • The story that touched the world!
  • Twenty years ago, one legacy, one touch, one story that touched the world.


Actor Role
Dee Wallace-Stone Mary Taylor
Peter Coyote Keys, Head Scientist
Robert MacNaughton Michael Taylor
Drew Barrymore Gertie Taylor
Henry Thomas Elliott Taylor
K.C. Martel Greg
Sean Frye Steve
C. Thomas Howell Tyler
Erika Eleniak Pretty Young Girl
Pat Welsh E.T. (voice)

External links

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E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
Box artwork for E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.
Developer(s) Atari
Publisher(s) Atari
Release date(s)
 December, 1982
Genre(s) Adventure
System(s) Atari 2600
Mode(s) Single player
Input Joystick

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial was a game developed by Howard Scott Warshaw based on the film of the same name and released by Atari for the Atari 2600 video game system in 1982. It was widely considered a poorly produced and rushed game that Atari thought would sell purely based on brand loyalty to the names of Atari and E.T. Instead, the game fared horribly and cost Atari millions of US dollars. E.T. is seen by many as the death knell for Atari and is widely regarded as one of the worst video games ever produced as well as one of the biggest commercial failures in video gaming history. A major contributing factor to Atari's demise, the game's failure epitomizes the video game crash of 1983. Over 2 million excess cartridges were dumped in a landfill in Alamogordo, New Mexico.


The gameplay of E.T. consists of maneuvering the fictional alien character E.T. through several screens to obtain the three pieces necessary to assemble a device to "phone home". The phone pieces can be obtained by finding them scattered randomly in various wells (pits) or the player can collect nine Reese's Pieces and then "call Elliot," who will then bring him a phone piece. Additionally, the player must avoid an FBI agent and scientist in pursuit. If either enemy catches E.T., the player is carried to the Washington D.C. screen. If the FBI agent catches E.T. he also will lose all collected phone pieces (or Reese's Pieces if no phone pieces have been collected). The difficulty setting can be changed with the game select and left and right difficulty switches located on the console. This will either change the number of humans present, the speed of movement of the humans, or the conditions needed to call the spaceship.

E.T. is also given a limited supply of energy and starts the game with 9999 points. Any action, including movement, depletes the energy. E.T. can use Reese's Pieces at an "eat candy" spot and press the button to replenish energy. If E.T. reaches zero energy he will turn white and die. Three times per game, Elliot will then appear to revive E.T. by "merging" with him, letting the player continue with 1500 points. Locating and reviving a wilted flower adds an extra revival from Elliot. If E.T. dies more times than Elliot can revive him, the game ends.

Four of the six screens are riddled with wells of varying size that E.T. falls into if he gets too close, causing him to lose some energy. In order to get out, the player must levitate E.T. by pressing the controller button and tilting the joystick forward. Since phone pieces and wilted flowers are found at the bottom of wells, this often leads to the majority of the game consisting of players intentionally falling into wells in order to complete the round.

Once E.T. has all three phone pieces, the player may press the controller button at a "call ship zone." This causes a timer to appear and count down the time E.T. has to arrive at the landing zone. In most cases, E.T. cannot call his ship when a human is present (lower difficulty levels will allow it). Once the player finds the landing zone they may press the controller button again to call the ship. If no humans are present when the timer has run out, the ship will appear and pick E.T. up. This will end that round of play. The player is then given bonus points based on how many Reese's Pieces he has left and may continue playing for another round. Aside from bonus points earned, all rounds are functionally identical and do not increase in difficulty with play.

Table of Contents

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial/Table of Contents

Simple English

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Produced by Steven Spielberg
Kathleen Kennedy
Written by Melissa Mathison
Starring Henry Thomas
Dee Wallace
Robert MacNaughton
Drew Barrymore
Peter Coyote
Music by John Williams
Cinematography Allen Daviau
Editing by Carol Littleton
Distributed by Universal Studios
Release date(s) June 11, 1982
Running time 115 min. (1982)
120 min. (2002: 20th anniversary edition)
Language English
Budget US$10,500,000 (estimated)[1]
Gross revenue $792,910,554
Allmovie profile
IMDb profile

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a movie made in 1982 by Steven Spielberg. It was written by Melissa Mathison and it is a science fiction movie.


  1. * E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial at Box Office Mojo. Retrieved on 2008-04-04.

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