Thursday, 24 March 2016

Cutting Edges: E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

Figure 1- Film poster

E.T The Extra- Terrestrial (1982) is a science fiction and adventure film  that was directed by Steven  Spielberg. The story is based on a young boy named Elliot and he is played by Henry Thomas. Who meets a friendly alien E.T that was accidentally let behind on Earth and was separated from his family and home. The film was nominated for the best sound effect editing, best visual effects and best sound

Figure 2 - Still image

This film show how the camerawork is strongly telling the story and  detailed by the dolly movements and swopping the aerials shots. All of these visual elements blended together showcase in some of the most iconic shots in cinematic history. "In E.T. Spielberg attempts to re- discover the child in every adult. He does this not simply by underplaying the adults' roles in the film but by shooting most of the action at the child eye level." (Sinyard 1987:83)

Figure 3 - Still image

The scene shows  the cycle chase which suddenly takes to the skies so that the shadow of the bike can be seen soaring across the moon. Peter Pan (1953) shows the similar scene of the main character of Peter Pan taking the children to fly along with him across the sky.  "E.T. are a lot of potent myths, It is very skillfully blended together with Peter Pan (1953)  from Babes in the Wood, the fantasy of a friendly or otherworldly creatures who can work miracles but who also need human protection from human aggression." (Sinyard 1987:83).

"Unlike Close Encounters (1977), ET does not concentrate on special effects but more the emotional connection between the young boy and E.T. The director Spielberg forces the viewer to identify with the children' s world." (Sinyard 1987:83).  In one of the last scenes  the children are cycling to escape from the scientists and adults.  This seen impossible task but with extra terrestrial magic and to the audiences delight, the bike begin to  unexpectedly fly  and the children and E.T. manage to escape. Once again, John Williams music adds to the emotional effect and impact of the film.


Arnold, G. (1982) ‘E.T.’: Steven Spielberg’s joyful excursion, back to childhood, forward to the unknown. Available at: (Accessed:24 March 2016).

Sinyard, N. (1987) Films of Steven Spielberg, the (bison book S.). Twickenham, Middlesex: Hamlyn

Vidani, P. (2013) Steven Spielberg: E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL. Available at: (Accessed: 9 April 2016).

Illustration List

Figure 1- Film poster ( Accessed on 24 March 2016)

Figure 2- Still image
(Accessed on 24 March 2016)

Figure 3- Still image
Accessed on 10 April 2016)

1 comment:

  1. You have touched on the use of music to stir emotion in the audience - good :)
    Just a technical point - when you mention the name of the actor that played a character, you don't need to put their name in brackets - here for example
    '...a young boy named Elliot and he is played by (Henry Thomas).' It should just be '...played by Henry Thomas.'