E.T. - The Extra-TerrestrialAFI Rank: #25
Year Released: 1982
Director: Steven Spielberg
Actors: Drew Barrymore, Robert Barton
The first "kid's movie" to show up in the AFI top 100 movies, there's a reason why. While it's a cute little story that kids can enjoy and understand, there are many powerful messages in here for adults as well.
I know many adults who, when pressed, will admit to crying during ET. It's a movie that really knows how to play your heart-strings. The basic story is pretty straight-forward. A cute, friendly alien gets stranded on earth, and is befriended by a young boy and girl who try to help the alien get back home again. In an era where most aliens are evil, nasty creatures bent on world domination, the police and FBI agents are all out to grab and investigate this menace. So you end up with the nasty, dark government against the cute, innocent kids.
I saw this movie as a teen and enjoyed it greatly. I've seen the movie *with* kids and they loved it. It really is a movie that appeals to all ages, and it does that without talking down to anyone. It's earned its spot in the AFI top 100 movie listing with its plot, pacing, acting and directing.
If I have a complaint here, it's with the "redone" 2002 version. The movie was great as it was when first put out. There was no need to alter the ET main character. His whole appeal was that he was organic and someone you could relate to. Why turn him into a CGI thing?
Also, I have an issue with them turning the police and FBI's weapons into walkie-talkies. Sure, kids don't need to be exposed to Pulp Fiction degrees of blood and violence. However, to say that police officers can't carry weapons makes no sense to me. What's next - gunfighters in the old west who walk around with empty holsters? When real police do community policing and walk beats, should they hide their guns so that kids don't see them? I found this completely unnecessary and a more than a little insulting to the intelligence of the youngsters watching with me.
Watch the original movie, which is what the AFI voted in - not the "PC version".
Buy ET from Amazon.com
AFI Top 100 Film Listing
Male vs Female Actors in the AFI Top 100
The Bechdel Test in the AFI Top 100