From a box office hit to a video game nightmare, E.T. “Alien” will become one of the most talked-about films of the 1980s. 40 years later, it still remains one of the most beloved sci-fi films of all time. Has anyone watched it or not, if asked to name a sci-fi movie, it will undoubtedly be on a par with such as “Star Wars” and “Alien”.
Whether it’s the silhouette of a bicycle flying in front of the moon, the whimsical music of John Williams, or the connection between Elliot and the main character, there will undoubtedly be a moment that will resonate with fans. As for movies, E.T. ticks a lot of boxes in terms of success. It’s not just about the money, but also what the film says and creates in its beautiful story.
Director Steven Spielberg is no stranger to the world of science fiction, as he achieved great success in the film “Close Encounters of the third degree” four years before the release of “Alien”. His work on the film and the idea that humans and aliens interact with each other out of curiosity will become a theme in “The Alien.” Spielberg’s creation of an imaginary friend after his parents’ divorce also reinforced the idea of an alien. After several rewrites, rejection by Columbia Pictures, and approval by Universal Studios for $1 million, E.T. will begin work on a budget of $ 10.5 million. The film grossed $792.9 million worldwide, making it the highest-grossing film in 11 years, surpassing Star Wars and not inferior to Spielberg’s next sci-fi film Jurassic Park. It will also become one of Spielberg’s most popular films.
The Alien, however, is more than just a story about an alien on Earth. An alien who finds himself in a difficult situation creates a wonderful and personal connection with 10-year-old Elliot Taylor. As his days on Earth pass, the empathetic relationship between them grows, and Elliot feels what the alien feels. feels it. The deep connection between them is plausible thanks to the outstanding performance of Henry Thomas (Elliot).
In fact, for the most part, the film is dominated by a young cast, including Drew Barrymore (Gertie) and Robert McNaughton (Michael). The only adult whose face is visible for most of the hour of the film is Elliot’s mother, played by Dee Wallace. Impressionably young and inexperienced cast managed to show sincere performances and sincere expressions of curiosity, fear, sadness and friendship. The only adults shown are government employees in the opening scene of the film and the vast majority of NASA employees bombarding the scene. This creates the idea that adults are real invaders, not peaceful creatures.
Watching E.T. these days feels like a nostalgic throwback to its generation, as the film is replete with references, be it video games, movies and general pop culture of the early 80s. There is even a hint of Spielberg’s earlier work “Jaws”, and many comparisons have been made of the design of aliens with aliens in “Close Encounters”. Despite this similarity, E.T. will create a new era of cinema, as Spielberg did earlier by creating a “Summer Blockbuster”. It was a new breed of science fiction in which, instead of talking about invasion or attacks, the story deepened to create a connection that only a child could establish. The use of special effects in it, which look great today, has had a huge impact on cinema and on how seamless effects can look.
Especially as a children’s film, E.T. gracefully handles the themes of loss and death. The environment becomes tense when NASA medical personnel intervene, and Taylor’s house turns into a high-tech emergency department. The deterioration of E.T. remains visible, and Thomas’ performance is also admirable, as it reflects his deteriorating condition. Spielberg is no stranger to filming emotional scenes, but I.T. teaches children what it means to lose someone close, and how others can react, thereby creating the purest and most natural representation of Thomas. He also teaches the audience hope and courage, while not forgetting about the emotional messages. In films with a minor non-human character, they are usually treated with animal characteristics, which is especially noticeable in Disney animated films. An alien, on the other hand, has more human qualities, such as a child at the stage of learning and development.
The magic and miracle of the Alien is greatly facilitated by the masterful music of John Williams. The large brass sections, soaring violins and curious arrangements for strings and wind instruments are reminiscent of Williams’ work in Star Wars, but the music seems more gentle, especially in those parts that take place in the Taylor house. The most noticeable part, repeated in different parts of the film, lives among the fans and creates a magical feeling of flight.