E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

1982 American science fiction film directed by Steven Spielberg

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a 1982 American science fiction movie directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Melissa Mathison. It follows the eponymous alien, who is stranded on Earth. A boy and his family keep it hidden from the group of government agents, while bringing it home. E.T. became the highest-grossing movie of all time, a record it held for ten years. It did better than Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope.

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
Directed bySteven Spielberg
Produced bySteven Spielberg
Kathleen Kennedy
Written byMelissa Mathison
StarringHenry Thomas
Dee Wallace
Robert MacNaughton
Drew Barrymore
Peter Coyote
Music byJohn Williams
CinematographyAllen Daviau
Edited byCarol Littleton
Distributed byUniversal Studios
Release date
June 11, 1982
Running time
115 min. (1982)
119 min. (2002: 20th anniversary edition)
CountryUnited States
BudgetUS$10,500,000 (estimated)[1]
Box office$792,910,554

It was followed by E.T.: A Holiday Reunion (2019).

Release datesEdit

Country Premiere
  United States 11 June 1982
  Australia 26 November 1982
  France 1 December 1982
  Netherlands 2 December 1982
  New Zealand 3 December 1982
  Japan 4 December 1982
  Spain 6 December 1982
  Italy 7 December 1982
  Iceland 9 December 1982
  Mexico 9 December 1982
  West Germany 9 December 1982
  United Kingdom 10 December 1982
  Ireland 10 December 1982
  Sweden 10 December 1982
  Israel 11 December 1982
  Peru 16 December 1982
  Finland 17 December 1982
  Portugal 17 December 1982
  Argentina 23 December 1982
  Brazil 25 December 1982
  Colombia 25 December 1982
  Greece 25 December 1982
  Denmark 26 December 1982
  Norway 26 December 1982
  Hong Kong 1 January 1983
  Thailand 1 April 1983
  Egypt 25 April 1983
  Hungary 22 December 1983
  Turkey January 1984
  South Korea 23 June 1984
  India 9 May 1986
  East Germany 29 April 1988
  Russia 4 January 1999

20th anniversary editionEdit

Country Premiere
  United States 22 March 2002
  Israel 26 March 2002
  Denmark 27 March 2002
  Spain 27 March 2002
  Sweden 27 March 2002
  Argentina 28 March 2002
  Australia 28 March 2002
   Switzerland 28 March 2002 (German speaking region)
  Czech Republic 28 March 2002
  Germany 28 March 2002
  Hong Kong 28 March 2002
  Hungary 28 March 2002
  Mexico 28 March 2002
  Netherlands 28 March 2002
  New Zealand 28 March 2002
  Peru 28 March 2002
  Brazil 29 March 2002
  Colombia 29 March 2002
  Estonia 29 March 2002
  Finland 29 March 2002
  United Kingdom 29 March 2002
  Ireland 29 March 2002
  Iceland 29 March 2002
  Italy 29 March 2002
  Portugal 29 March 2002
  Belgium 3 April 2002
  France 3 April 2002
  Philippines 3 April 2002
  North Macedonia 5 April 2002
  Taiwan 5 April 2002
  Norway 12 April 2002
  Greece 26 April 2002
  Japan 27 April 2002
  Russia 23 May 2002
  Singapore 30 May 2002
  Poland 31 May 2002
  Turkey 7 June 2002
  South Africa 28 June 2002
  Kuwait 2 July 2002


Having worked with Cary Guffey on Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Spielberg felt confident in working with a cast of mostly child actors.[3]

The major voice work for E.T. was Pat Welsh, an elderly woman who lived in Marin County, California. Welsh smoked two packets of cigarettes a day, which gave her voice a quality that sound effects creator Ben Burtt liked. Burtt also recorded 16 other people and various animals to create E.T.'s "voice". These included Spielberg; Debra Winger; Burtt's sleeping wife, who had a cold; a burp from his USC movie professor; and raccoons, sea otters, and horses.[4][5]

Doctors working at the USC Medical Center were recruited to play the doctors who try to save E.T. Spielberg felt that actors in the roles, performing lines of medical talking, would come across as unnatural.[6]


The movie was first shown at the closing gala of the 1982 Cannes Film Festival.[7][8] It started in the United States on June 11, 1982. It opened at number one with a gross of $11 million. The movie was re-released in 1985 and 2002.

On September 17, 1982, the movie was shown at the United Nations, and Spielberg received the U.N. Peace Medal.[9]

The movie was nominated for nine Oscars at the 55th Academy Awards, including Best Picture. It won four Academy Awards: Best Original Score, Best Sound, Best Sound Effects Editing, and Best Visual Effects.[10] At the Golden Globes, the movie won Best Picture in the Drama category and Best Score; it was also nominated for Best Director, Best Screenplay, and Best New Male Star for Henry Thomas. The Los Angeles Film Critics Association awarded the movie Best Picture, Best Director, and a "New Generation Award" for Melissa Mathison.[11] The movie won Saturn Awards for Best Science Fiction Film, Best Writing, Best Special Effects, Best Music, and Best Poster Art, while Henry Thomas, Robert McNaughton, and Drew Barrymore won Young Artist Awards. Composer John Williams won a Grammy and a BAFTA for the score. It was nominated for a BAFTA Award for Best Screenplay.

In 1994, E.T. was selected to keep in the U.S. National Film Registry.[12]


  1. * E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial at Box Office Mojo. Retrieved on 2008-04-04. Archived 25 November 2011 at WebCite
  2. Stewart, Jocelyn (2008-02-10). "John Alvin, 59; created movie posters for such movies as 'Blazing Saddles' and 'E.T.'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 2008-02-10.[dead link]
  3. Steve Daly (2002-03-22). "Starry Role". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved 2010-04-17.
  4. "The Making of E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial"--from the "E.T. Signature Collection LaserDisc", MCA/Universal Home Video, 1996
  5. Natalie Jamieson (2008-07-16). "The man who brings movies to life". Newsbeat. Retrieved 2008-07-17.
  6. E.T. — The Reunion (DVD). Universal, directed by Laurent Bouzereau. 2002.
  7. Roger Ebert (1985-08-09). "E.T.: The Second Coming". Movieline.
  8. "Festival de Cannes: E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial". festival-cannes.com. Retrieved 2009-06-13.
  9. "U.N. Finds E.T. O.K.". The Twilight Zone Magazine. February 1983.
  10. "The 55th Academy Awards (1983) Nominees and Winners". oscars.org. Retrieved 2011-10-09.
  11. "E.T. Awards". Allmovie. Retrieved 2010-04-17.
  12. "Films Selected to The National Film Registry, Library of Congress 1989-2006". National Film Registry of the Library of Congress. Retrieved 2007-02-15.

Other websitesEdit