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E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL - Atari I/O Movie Club - November, 2015

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Atari I/O Movie Club Presents

A Steven Spielberg Film





1982 Universal Pictures










Rated [PG]

Directed by Steven Spielberg

Produced by Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy

Written by Melissa Mathison

Story by Steven Spielberg

Starring Henry Thomas, Dee Wallace, Robert McNaughton, Drew Barrymore, Peter Coyote

Music by John Williams

Cinematography by Allen Daviau

Special Effects by Carlo Rambaldi, Dennis Muren

Edited by Carol Littleton

Production company: Amblin Entertainment

Distributed by Universal Pictures

Video Game Adaptation by Atari

Released June 11, 1982 (United States)

Running time: 114 minutes

Budget $10,500,000

Box office $792,910,554








E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial was always nestled between Halloween and Thanksgiving for me and my family. The events in E.T. take place over Halloween, though I've always associated it more with Thanksgiving as NBC routinely ran E.T. on television Thanksgiving night, and more often than not still does. For many years, Sears, a store I often associate with Atari, would always set up an E.T. display beginning on Black Friday with special deals for E.T. on VHS for as little as two dollars. Thanksgiving was always a nice time of year to warm up by a fire, enjoy a nice meal and watch this family movie with special people in our lives.




About the Movie:


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



The concept for the film 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. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial was shot from September to December 1981 in California on a budget of US$10.5 million. Unlike most motion pictures, it was shot in rough chronological order, to facilitate convincing emotional performances from the young cast.



Released on June 11, 1982 by Universal Pictures, E.T was a blockbuster, surpassing Star Wars to become the highest-grossing film of all time—a record it held for eleven years until Jurassic Park, another Spielberg-directed film, surpassed it in 1993. E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is the highest-grossing film of the 1980s. 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. In 1994, it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". It was re-released in 1985, and then again in 2002 to celebrate its 20th anniversary, with altered shots and additional scenes.








Learn More: The RetroistIMDB | Wikipedia | Rotten Tomatoes



Watch: iTunes | Amazon | Netflix | eBay | Rent on YouTube





Movie Trivia:


After his parents' divorce in 1960, Spielberg filled the void with an imaginary alien companion. He said that the imaginary alien was "a friend who could be the brother I never had and a father that I didn't feel I had anymore." During 1978, he 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 him. 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.


Filming Raiders of the Lost Ark in Tunisia left Spielberg bored, and memories of his childhood creation resurfaced. 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. His abandonment on Earth in the script's final scene inspired the E.T. concept. She wrote a first draft titled E.T. and Me in eight weeks, which Steven Spielberg considered to be perfect. The script went through two more drafts, which deleted an "Eddie Haskell"-esq friend of Elliott. The chase sequence was also created, and he also suggested having the scene where E.T. got drunk. 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”. After this experience Steven Spielberg approached a more receptive Sid Sheinberg, president of MCA Universal.






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The only movie podcast I listen to, The Retro Rewind Podcast, did and episode on E.T. not to long ago full of trivia, info and how well they think it still holds up today.



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This is a terrific idea!

I just love hearing people's experiences with the retro culture that we shared in our youth.

Movies are such a cool thing in that they encapsulate a time and place in their moment of theatrical release but are also like a shared dream.


That's one thing I missed growing up at the movie theater.

Saw a crapton of films, but didn't have a lot of discussions about 'em.

The Star Wars universe was the exception, but there is just as much conversational value in lesser-known earth-bound fare.



Just watched that audition vid, Row.


You can't take any elements of making a movie for granted.

Kid-casting must be insanely hard and require insane luck (just look at SW Ep 1 for opposite results).

Edited by Atari Adventure Square

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I haven't seen this in a while and may have only seen it twice.

I remember when they released it into theaters during college with a new CGI scene or two and some changes.

At the time, the movie actually didn't impress me as much as it used to. The CGI actually took away from the magic and I didn't care much for the drunk ET scene either. 

On a side note, I remember the ride at Universal Studios being solid. The main gimmick was that an ET would say your name at the end I think.

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