107: “I’ll Be Right Here” – E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

You know the score. You know the quotes. You know the poster. Forty years ago, a wrinkly alien with a magic touch waddled into moviegoers’ hearts and made E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL one of the most beloved family films ever made. Steven Spielberg’s alien opus surpassed STAR WARS as the #1 film of all time and remained the biggest hit in a decade that also saw the release of GHOSTBUSTERS, BACK TO THE FUTURE, the INDIANA JONES trilogy, and BATMAN. It also delighted critics and audiences alike, spawning toys, video games, and one of Universal Studios’ most memorable rides. In short, E.T. was everywhere in the 80s. 

In this episode of the podcast, When We Were Young takes you back to Spielberg’s childhood, chronicling his rise from suburban nerd to world’s most popular filmmaker. Then we chat about CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND, Spielberg’s first foray to the friendly skies, which offers a surprisingly dark vision of one man’s life-shattering obsession with the unknown. Then it’s on to “the Summer of Spielberg,” when both E.T. and the Spielberg-shepherded POLTERGEIST entered theaters in June 1982, each becoming instant classics of suburban childhood interrupted by paranormal events.

What is it like coming back to such a monumental movie as adults? Are we still over the moon for this film, or merely silhouetted against it? Grab a bag of Reese’s Pieces and join us for an episode that’s well worth phoning home about!

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