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ET: The Extra-Terrestrial

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a 1982 science fiction film directed by Steven Spielberg, starring Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore, Dee Wallace and Peter Coyote. It tells the story of Elliott (Thomas), a lonely boy named who befriends a benign alien being dubbed E.T., that is stranded on Earth. He forms a mental, physical and emotional connection with E.T. and helps the alien find its way home, keeping it out of the government’s sight.

Spielberg created E.T. during his youth after his parent’s divorce. After a darker project about aliens entitled Night Skies stalled, Spielberg met screenwriter Melissa Mathison to pen the script. The film was shot during the fall of 1981 in California, on a low budget of $10.5 million, a tenth of which was spent on constructing animatronics for the titular alien. The film was shot in roughly chronological order to create convincing emotional performances from its young cast.

When released the film enchanted many viewers and became an enormous box office hit, beating Star Wars to become the most successful film yet released. Critics acclaimed as a timeless story of friendship, and some even drew parallels to the life of Jesus. E.T. became a popular marketing icon, and the film was re-released in in 1985 and 2002, with altered special effects and additional scenes during the latter occasion. Spielberg still considers it to be the film that epitomizes him the most.

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