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E.T., the Extra-Terrestrial: Family Movies with Staying Power

E.T., the Extra-Terrestrial: Family Movies with Staying Power

June 8, 2022

In June, Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece, E.T., the Extra-Terrestrial, celebrates its 40th anniversary. In the years since its release, the film has established itself as a family classic, a movie that captures the imagination of viewers young and old. The dated ’80s sets, costumes, and of course, the special effects, have not diminished the movie’s staying power. Instead, the storyline still dominates all these years later, making it truly timeless.

By now, the story is familiar. A young boy, Elliott, befriends an alien accidentally left on Earth by its people. They are both struggling with feelings of loss and abandonment, as Elliott is trying to process the aftermath of his parent's divorce. E.T. is cautious of humans, but Elliott’s kindness wins him over, and a strong bond forms between them. Elliott is determined to help E.T. “phone home.”

Back in the ’90s, I was so struck by the power and simplicity of this movie that I made it the topic of my thesis, and it spurred me to start collecting memorabilia. All great movies leave a lasting impression, but few genres are able to do so quite as effectively as family films.

If you’re interested in learning more about this classic film, check out E.T., the Extra-Terrestrial From Concept to Classic: The Illustrated Story of the Film and the Filmmakers.

Whether you’re looking to explore some older films for the first time, or you’d just like to take a walk down memory lane, check out Lisa's Top Ten (Nostalgic) Family Movies for your next watch. And remember, never let your inner child fade!

Lisa P.
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