Aliens from outer space have come to Earth to collect plant samples for examination. When government agents descend on the area the aliens quickly board their ship and flee. One alien gets left behind.

Elliott (Henry Thomas) is a ten year old boy living with his mother Mary (Dee Wallace), his older brother Michael (Robert McNaughton) and his little sister Gertie (Drew Barrymore). Walking to the house after receiving a pizza delivery Elliott realizes that someone is hiding in their shed. He tries to tell his family about the alien but they think it’s coyotes. Elliott knows there’s something out there. Later he goes out into the cornfield and runs into it. Both Elliott and the alien scream. The alien runs away.

The next night Elliott lures the alien into the house by leaving a trail of Reese’s Pieces. Over the next few days Elliott’s brother and sister learn about the alien but they keep it a secret from their mother. At first Elliott and the alien communicate by hand gestures. By watching TV and using a “speak and spell” the alien learns English. The kids learn that the alien is from outside the solar system somewhere and wants to contact his fellow travelers to go home. The kids learn that E. T., as they are now calling him, has the power to levitate things and the power to heal.

E. T. puts together a transmitter by MacGyvering a bunch of old electronic equipment, household appliances and the ‘speak and spell’. Out in the woods E. T. manages to send his message to his friends. But things are not going well for the little alien. His health is fading. Elliott too is being affected. Because of his empathic relationship with E. T. he is experiencing everything the alien is experiencing. E. T. is dying and so is Elliott. Government people that have been in the area know E. T. is there. Led by a man only referred to as Keyes (Peter Coyote), they invade the house and take E. T.

“E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” was released in 1982 and was directed by Steven Spielberg. It is a science fiction movie. The concept was based on an imaginary friend invented by Spielberg after the divorce of his parents. It was the highest grossing film of all time until “Jurassic Park”, which was also directed by Spielberg. In 1994, it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as being "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant." It was re-released in 1985 and 2002. The entire film is chock full of Spielberg moments.

Most of the full-body puppetry was performed by a 2'10" tall stuntman, except for the scenes in the kitchen. For those they hired a 12-year-old boy who was born without legs but was an expert on walking on his hands. Spielberg shot most of the film from the eye-level of a child to further connect with Elliott and E.T.

Drew ad-libbed the line “I don’t like his feet.” She had looked down and was actually referring to the wires coming out of the puppet. She also ad-libbed the line “Give me a break!” when Elliott tells her that only kids can see E. T.

The alien’s face was supposedly modeled after a combination of the poet Carl Sandburg, Albert Einstein and a pug dog. During an interview Spielberg said that E.T. was a plant-like creature, neither male nor female. To simulate the noise of E. T.’s walk foley artist John Roesch said he used a wet T-shirt crammed with Jell-O.

The voice of E.T. was predominately provided by Pat Welsh. She was an elderly woman who smoked two packets of cigarettes a day. This gave her that gravelly voice. It was a quality that sound effects creator Ben Burtt liked. She spent nine-and-a-half hours recording her part. Burtt also recorded 16 other people and various animals to create the final E.T. "voice". Other recordings were of Spielberg, Debra Winger; Burtt's sleeping wife who had a cold, a burp from his USC film professor, raccoons, sea otters, and horses.

The doctors and nurses who work on E.T. in the film were real emergency room technicians. They were told to treat the puppet the same way they would treat a real patient, so that their dialogue and actions would seem real.

Suffice it to say E. T. is a classic. Each generation rediscovers the film. For most it is on their top ten list of the best science fiction movies ever. Almost forty years later it is still relevant and still the tear jerker you remember. It’s also a family film where the worst thing that is said is “Penis face”.