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"E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL" (1982)
Amid the wonder, excitement and joy that virtually every frame of this picture elicits — swept along by John Williams' playful and uplifting score — one really does fall in love with the delightful little alien, and indeed, finds oneself reaching for the handkerchief (and realizing but not minding upon later reflection) right on cue. Never mind that certain plot leaps of faith are necessary to advance this fantasy along, the characters (mostly kids) are so compelling and endearing that you're easily pulled in.
Brilliant cinematography, production design and editing not withstanding, with all the special effects of getting E.T. to appear so lifelike, creating a dazzling spacecraft a la Close Encounters and breathtaking aerial excursions (credit Industrial Light & Magic), perhaps the greatest wonder involved in E.T. is that it was reportedly brought in for around $10.3 million. Judging by what's already been released, and what's poised to come forth this summer, E.T., to be released June 11, will make its money back many, many times over.