In telling the story of an alien from outer space that is accidently left on Earth and consequently befriends a little boy named Elliot, the film, like E.T himself, captured the hearts of millions of viewers of all ages when it was released in 1982, and continued to do so for years after. Everyone who encountered the little brown alien seemed to be touched by the heart-warming friendship he embarks upon with his human counterpart Elliot throughout the film.
A great film should not only have a great mind behind it which ‘E.T’ certainly does in boasting ‘best director’ Steven Spielberg but it should also appeal to a wide scope of audiences which the film does via its family-friendly nature, attracting both adults and children. A great film should also engage said viewers and provoke physical displays of emotion from them which ‘E.T’ evidently does. The film makes audiences laugh in terms of its visual presentations of E.T’s adjustment to life on Earth, such as his hilarious disguises as a little girl layered in makeup and a toddler dressed as a ghost for Halloween, and provides further belly laughs when E.T discovers alcohol and gets raucously drunk.
Most significantly though ‘E.T’ has the power to make its viewers cry. The final scene of the film clarifies that the emotional bond between E.T and Elliot has extended off-screen in terms of the film’s viewers who by this point themselves feel emotionally attached to the characters. As E.T prepares to return to outer space, hugs Elliot and tells him to “be good”, viewers sadden as they will him to stay. When E.T touches Elliot’s heart and says “I’ll be right here”, tears begin to flow and it becomes clear that the little brown alien has touched the viewers’ hearts too. Films with that much of an impact don’t come along that often – around once a decade, aptly enough – which is why E.T definitely deserves the title of the best film of the 1980’s!