What’s all the fuss about U.F.O’s and billionaires going into outer space? I once had a close encounter with E.T…..stick around till the end of this feature to hear all about it!

I thought Steven Spielberg made it noticeably clear in the summer of 1982 that extraterrestrials (Space Aliens) are real. Well maybe, in his science fiction BLOCKBUSTER film sort of way. E.T. is one of the greatest family films of all-time. There is no foul language, sexy-time or violence in this film.

Everyone from young to old will enjoy E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.

When this film was released on June 11, 1982, it shattered all previous records and quickly surpassed Star Wars to become the highest-grossing film of all time. Spielberg’s masterpiece held this astounding record for 11 years until his next GIANT BLOCKBUSTER, Jurassic Park was released on June 11, 1993. June 11th seems to be an exceptionally profitable day for Mr. Spielberg.

Although he did not win the Oscar for Best Director Spielberg’s film did win 4 Oscars for Best Original Score, Best Sound, Best Sound Editing and Best Visual Effects. There were other great movies released in 1982 that went on to win the top spots at the 55th Academy Awards but in my heart and mind E.T. was “my clear WINNER”.

E.T. appeared to also be a clear winner at the 1983 Golden Globe Awards with a win for Best Motion Picture-Drama, Best Director, Best Original Score, Best Screenplay and the New Star of the Year Award going to Henry Thomas.

Spielberg’s beautiful story of a young boy named Elliot and a loveable little space alien won the hearts of movie goers worldwide.

Just to refresh my mind about the winners of 1983, I looked them up this morning. I did see all the winning films, but I did “NOT” see those films repeatedly like I have enjoyed, E.T. for so many years.

My partner did not spend weeks sewing and crafting Halloween costumes for any of the other films. On Halloween of 1982 her E.T. costume creation was a HUGE WINNER at our son’s costume contest at his school. I suppose that was a slap in the face to all the Gandhi costumes that marched in his schools Halloween parade…Oh wait, my mistake…

there were NO Gandhi costumes at his school.

E.T. opens with what appears to be space aliens collecting specimens of plants and trees grown in the forest of California. Maybe it was the spaceship parked in the forest that led me to believe they were space aliens.

It appeared that the U.S. Government may have known something was happening because they had trucks out surveying the forest. The men seemed to see something among the foliage, so they got out of their trucks and took chase on some odd creature that was screaming while trying to get away from them. The screaming led them to a giant space ship that is just taking off for the unknown. However, one of the aliens, does not make it back into the spaceship in time for departure.

E.T. was based on Spielberg’s imaginary friend that he created after his own parents got divorced. I suppose that is why he and his writer Melissa Mathison gave us a family that was also a product of divorce.

This is where we meet our family led by the newly divorced mom (Dee Wallace) and her children Elliot (Henry Thomas),  Michael (Robert McNaughton) and Gertie (Drew Barrymore). This is the role that pushed the seven-year-old Drew into the spotlight and limelight of Hollywood. But it was Elliot played by Henry Thomas along with his animatronic friend that were the real stars of E.T.

We find the family at a table playing games. They send Elliot outside to meet up with a pizza delivery guy.

Elliot heard a noise that sounded like it was coming from the tool shed.

Being a little nervous, he tossed a baseball into the shed and someone or something tossed it back to him. This scared Elliot so he also tossed the pizza into the air and ran screaming into the house. His mom and siblings followed him back to the shed where they did not find anyone or anything. Elliot could not get the tossed ball out of his mind, so with flashlight in hand Elliot slipped out into the darkness to find this mysterious person.

And where do we usually find mysterious or scary things? If you thought cornfield, you are correct.

It is among the corn stalks that Elliot finally sees the creature. Both he and the odd creature screamed. Elliot followed it until he decided to lure it to his bedroom with candy (Just like the theatres lure you to the snack bar with those candy commercials before movies).

Elliot finally lures his new friend to his room where they begin to bond. Elliot actually begins to take on the feelings and emotions of his “new brother from another”…PLANET!

This is where the comedy, adventure, the warm friendship of our two stars begins to blossom. And this is also where you should be fully invested in watching this magnificent film. In my typical fashion I will not give away more details of the film, but I will give you the links that will unlock one of the GREATEST FAMILY BLOCKBUSTER MOVIES OF ALL-TIME….E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.

An iconic line in the film is “E.T. PHONE HOME”.

I will say, CALL YOUR FRIENDS and family over for a MOVIE NIGHT they will always remember. If they are not too excited about coming over, use that trick of luring them over with candy.

Use these links for all our versions of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial. In 2002, a special 20th Anniversary edition was released with extra footage, computer-generated enhancements and a digitally remixed soundtrack.

No matter who your guests are, they will need a tissue at the end of the film.

It is always fun watching your BIG STRONG friends tear-up at the end so make sure you invite them too!

And now for my CLOSE ENCOUNTER with E.T.

The year was 1983 and I was a District Manager at Wherehouse Music. I was in my office when someone from our Corporate Office called to tell me that I had been chosen to win a Super Bowl Weekend. Well since I had never been to a football game I was not quite as happy as you are thinking I should be. But happiness did set in when they said the weekend meant a 4 day stay at a Beverly Hilton suite, a hotel credit card for all meals and expenses. A trip to Disneyland and a formal dinner at the Bel Air Country Club with both teams. And last but not least a police escorted ride on the Sports Illustrated bus to and from the game….Oh and there were also GREAT seats for the game.

For me, those four days off in a luxurious hotel suite was all I needed to hear.

So, after I hung up the phone, I quickly called a friend to ask who was playing in the Super Bowl? This BIG GAME was happening in just a few days so I should have known who was playing…IF I LIKED FOOTBALL!

I could bring a guest, so my resident plus-one and partner Carla was invited to join me. So, off we went to check-in to our suite. That credit card was thoroughly used on the finest dining and drinks in the hotel. One of the days we were taken by limo to the Bel Air Country Club for a reception and dinner with the teams. Since it was formal, we were dressed and armed with our camera to document this beautiful evening. As we arrived everyone was making a fuss over certain people but since we did not know football, we also did not know these people. And I felt very strange taking photos of random gigantic guys in suits and tuxedos that I did not know. This was long before social media so finding their names would not have been easy to do. So, we just acted happy to be there and enjoyed our amazing dinner. After dinner there were some other things happening, but we wanted to get back to our luxury suite. We summoned our limo driver and when we arrived we saw a huge crowd of people and paparazzi outside of our hotel. I thought the crowd and the flashing cameras were something to do with the Super Bowl.

The hotel Security asked to see our credentials or a room key to get in. We just happened to have our room key so we were “golden” to get in. We noticed a lot of other guests going in dressed in formal wear just like us. As I looked around the very crowded lobby, I saw several A-List actors to include Dustin Hoffman, Al Pacino, Meryl Streep, Jessica Lange, Debra Winger and so many more. Since we were dressed appropriately and armed with our room key we could not get thrown out so I whipped out my camera and started snapping pictures. We still were not even sure why all the celebrities were there until I strolled towards the brightly lit ballroom with a lot of beautifully decorated tables. These tables looked similar to the ones we just left at the Bel Air Country Club. Not many people were in the ballroom, so I walked around a bit trying to look like I belonged. I spotted a huge stack of booklets near the door so I picked two up and walked back into the lobby. I felt like we could blend into the lobby crowd. It was then that I looked at the front of the booklet (the program) and I realized what was happening.

Our hotel was hosting the GOLDEN GLOBES AWARDS.

I had attended several music awards shows through the years such as the Grammys but never a high profile film award show. So now this SUPER BOWL weekend was finally off to a GREAT start. I did not think it could get any better until I turned around and standing right behind me was the star of my “newest” favorite movie. It was Henry Thomas from E.T. dressed in the cutest little Tuxedo. Out of ALL the stars we saw that evening, it was Henry Thomas (Elliot from E.T.) that had me starstruck.

The next day we HAD to go to that Super Bowl football game. There was no getting out of it. We arrived and saw big burley men with their faces painted and some wearing ridiculous hats and clothing. We sat through the whole game that included a half-time show by the Los Angeles Super Drill Team. Yes, you heard me right a Super Drill Team…there was nothing like The Rolling Stones, Springsteen, Whitney Houston, Prince, Black Eyed Peas or the J-Lo and Shakira half-time shows we see today.

And that was my CLOSE ENCOUNTER with E.T.

Come back soon to hear about the Steven Spielberg film which was the only one in 11 years to move E.T. out of the highest-grossing film position. If you like dinosaurs you just may like hearing my thoughts on the blockbuster…JURASSIC PARK!!!

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E.T. The Extra Terrestrial on DVD

E.T. The Extra Terrestrial on 4K Ultra HD