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An extra-terrestrial is stranded when the crew of its space-ship makes a hurried departure from Earth. The creature is befriended by 10 year-old Elliott (Henry Thomas) who takes him home where he lives with sister Gertie (Drew Barrymore), brother Michael (Robert MacNaughton) and single mother Mary (Dee Wallace).†

Review by Richard Kuipers:
After three earnest but failed attempts over the past twenty years, I finally made it to the end of Steven Spielberg's 1982 crowd favourite. I still find this a very sticky concoction of cornball sentimentality but as these things go it's at the top of the class. Few films press all the emotional buttons with the precise pressure and the perfect timing of Spielberg's fantasy about the wonders of childhood. Complete with the remastered sound and souped-up special effects of its 2002 theatrical re-release, E.T. looks and sounds superb and its collection of extra features has been produced with the same loving care as the film itself.†

Even if, like me, you can take or leave E.T. as a movie, you'll find plenty worth watching on the two hours of bonus material on Disc 2. The 50-minute Evolution and Creation of E.T. documentary is a thoroughly entertaining mix of technical information and personal reminiscences of just about everyone involved in the production.

Spielberg's story about casting Drew Barrymore after the 6 year-old actress said she was the drummer in a punk rock band, Peter Coyote's recollection of his disastrous audition for Raiders of the Lost Ark and on-set footage shot on film, not videotape, are among the highlights of what qualifies as a genuine documentary rather than a glorified Electronic Press Kit. Elsewhere in bonus chapters there's rare footage of composer John Williams playing the original themes for Spielberg, 140 production photographs, the 2002 cast and crew reunion at the Shrine auditorium premiere, an E.T.-narrated tour of the solar system, dozens of creature design sketches and a great collection of international posters and merchandising items. Talk about a licence to print money! The producers of this release have gone all-out for quality and have succeeded in producing a disc every E.T. fan will want to own and non-fans may find surprisingly worth the time.

Published October 17, 2002

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CAST: Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore, Dee Wallace, Peter Coyote, Robert MacNaughton.

DIRECTOR: Steven Spielberg

RUNNING TIME: 120 minutes

PRESENTATION: Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1; Audio: Dolby 5.1, DTS

SPECIAL FEATURES: 2 Disc Set. Disc 1: Introduction by Steven Spielberg, Optional audio track with John Williams live at the E.T. 2002 Shrine Auditorium Premiere. Languages: English, Dutch. Subtitles: English, Dutch. Disc 2: Featurettes - Space Exploration, Evolution and Creation of E.T., The music of John Williams, 20th Anniversary Premiere, Cast and Crew Reunion. Design and Marketing Stills, 4 Trailers, DVD-ROM with additional Behind the Scenes footage and interviews. Language: English. Subtitles: English, Arabic, Dutch, French, Swedish, Norwegian, German, Danish, Finnish.


DVD RELEASE: October 23, 2002

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