E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial Turns 40 In 2022

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial Turns 40 In 2022


E.T. The Extra-terrestrial celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2022! This beloved movie has touched the hearts of millions and continues to be a classic favorite. The heartwarming movie about a gentle extraterrestrial stranded on earth is nothing short of a classic.

He’s found by a little boy, Elliott (Henry Thomas), who takes the alien in and introduces him to his siblings. Altogether, it’s a sweet tale that speaks loud and clear to the inner child. The movie itself was a highly successful one, raking over $792 million worldwide.

Additionally, it was nominated for nine Academy Awards, out of which it won four. These achievements have essentially made E.T. a film classic, and one of the most enduring works of cinema in decades.

Here are some of the reasons why E.T. The Extra-terrestrial deserved to be honored on its 40th anniversary.

It was a Fresh Take on the Sci-Fi Genre

E.T. The Extra-terrestrial

Back when E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial came onto the scene, there was a very specific template for sci-fi movies in Hollywood. They were way closer to horror flicks than anything else. But, instead, E.T. chose to tread the path of no violence, which made it quite endearing.

In fact, the scariest part of the movie is when E.T.’s home planet sent out a search party to find him, and they end up kidnapping Elliott’s brother, Michael (Robert MacNaughton). Yet, even that scene did not quite cut it as a scary one. To be honest, it was more suspenseful than anything.

In more ways than one, the film is not a science fiction movie in the traditional sense. No space battles or aliens are trying to take over the world. Instead, E.T. is simply a story of acceptance and friendship. This simple plot is what makes it both unique and timeless.

The Performances Are Outstanding

E.T. The Extra-terrestrial 2

E.T. features some great performances by some very young actors at the time. Thomas, who played Elliott, gave a touching and heartwrenching performance as a boy struggling with his parent’s divorce. Drew Barrymore, who plays Gertie, is also excellent as Elliott’s younger sister.

She delivered some of the film’s funniest and most memorable moments, such as when she dressed E.T. up in her mother’s clothes. But the show’s real star is E.T. himself, who was brought to life by actor Pat Welsh. Welsh’s performance is so believable and charming that it’s easy to forget that E.T. is not an actual person.

It Featured Steven Spielberg’s Work From A Different Era

Steven Spielberg

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial was released when Steven Spielberg was quite different as a director. He’s spearheaded some of the greatest films of all time, such as Jurassic Park and Schindler’s List. But E.T. is unique because it’s reminiscent of Spielberg’s work from a different era.

The movie itself is a reminder of Spielberg’s roots as a director of blockbusters and is one of his most purely entertaining films. In an interview Spielberg did with The New York Times, the then-34-year-old director explained his motivation for creating E.T., saying, “I’ve always wanted to do something about kids because I’m still a kid.”

Sure, he would go on to direct some of the hugest blockbusters Hollywood has ever seen. But, there was something intimate and endearing about E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.

The Film Is Visually Stunning



E.T. was one of the first movies to use computer-generated imagery (CGI), and that’s quite impressive, considering it still holds up today. For instance, the CGI aliens in the search party scene are still some of the best-looking aliens. The movie’s cinematography is also top-notch, with beautiful shots of the California countryside.

It Has An Excellent Soundtrack


The movie’s soundtrack, composed by John Williams, is one of the most iconic and memorable in all cinema. The central theme, “Flying”, is so catchy and beautiful that it will resonates long after the credits roll.

The film has an important message

E.T. The Extra terrestrial 4

At the end of the day, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial is a feel-good movie that delivers an important message about acceptance and understanding. The central lesson is not to fear things that seem different or initially come off as strange. Making it an even more loaded message is the fact that it’s as relevant today as when the film was initially released.

So, if there was ever a reason to honor the movie by watching it, then it’s this one.

Read Next: Is E.T. Really a Jedi?

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