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John Byrne
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Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 11 June 2017 at 7:22am | IP Logged | 1 post reply

Today is the 35th anniversary of the original release of E.T. - THE EXTRATERRESTRIAL.

When I walked out of the theater after my first viewing, I immediately had a sequel in mind. Problem -- aside from the fact that no one was asking me! -- was that it would take place about 20 years later. And now that 20 years is fifteen years ago!!

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Shaun Barry
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Posted: 11 June 2017 at 8:23am | IP Logged | 2 post reply


Saw it three times that summer (I was almost 10), and not only was it the first movie in the theaters that really made me cry, it was the first time I'd seen grown adults crying during a movie!

Still gets me to this day.  The whole family watched it on TV a few months back... even with three kids (12, 10 and 7) and a wife who is not a complete robot, who was the only one left weeping at the end?  Me!

I've been mercilessly mocked ever since.



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Doug Centers
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Posted: 11 June 2017 at 8:26am | IP Logged | 3 post reply

A stand alone mega hit movie. Who would've thunk it?

I would like to hear your pitch for the sequel, if you can remember it.
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John Byrne
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Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 11 June 2017 at 8:29am | IP Logged | 4 post reply

I watched the movie a few months ago, for the first time in years, and I admit it pushed all my buttons in the same calculated order. (When the movie first came out, a friend complained that it was "manipulative". I said "You mean TOO manipulative. All movies are manipulative. So is all fiction.")
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John Byrne
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Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 11 June 2017 at 8:33am | IP Logged | 5 post reply

I would like to hear your pitch for the sequel, if you can remember it.

••

In its simplest form, Elliot is all grown up, with his own business. He's the single father of a young daughter, his wife having died. And his business is in trouble, so he finds less and less time to devote to his child. (This part is kinda dark, but then, so was ET's "death".)

ET returns, he and the daughter have an adventure, and at the end he invites her to go with him into space. Elliot, thinking it would be best for her, says "Go!"

The last shot is of ET's Xmas ornament ship rising into the sky as Elliot looks on from a hillside -- with his daughter beside him, holding his hand.

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Matthew Chartrand
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Posted: 11 June 2017 at 8:36am | IP Logged | 6 post reply



  My friends and I were given free tickets to an early preview screening of E.T. from the local BMX shop. 14 years old at the time, man does time fly.
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Doug Centers
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Posted: 11 June 2017 at 8:57am | IP Logged | 7 post reply

My bottom lip started to quiver reading your last shot.
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Robert Shepherd
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Posted: 12 June 2017 at 8:50pm | IP Logged | 8 post reply

ET was the first movie to ever make me cry while watching. I was so embarrassed...;-)
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James Woodcock
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Posted: 12 June 2017 at 10:20pm | IP Logged | 9 post reply

My word that is an excellent pitch for a movie. That ending would just melt the audience. 
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Jeremy Simington
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Posted: 13 June 2017 at 5:49am | IP Logged | 10 post reply

Spielberg considered making a sequel to E.T.  Fortunately, he didn't.

I saw E.T. at age 6 in a movie theatre in Indiana on summer vacation with my parents.  Sobbed at the end, still cry at the end.
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Kevin Brown
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Posted: 13 June 2017 at 6:19am | IP Logged | 11 post reply

I really, really, REALLY, REALLY loathe this movie.

I've quite literally seen it dozens of times. There was a time I could actually recite the entire movie verbatim.  The reason is because I was working at a movie theater when this came out.  (Norridge Theater in Norridge IL.)  Back then there were no huge multiplexes that we have now.  Where I worked was a 4-screen theater and ET was in 2 of those theaters. 

For nearly 3 months straight, it sold out EVERY showing in the 2 largest theaters.  (One had just over 1,100 seats and the other about 950.)  The show times were every hour the hour.  Theater 1 had the even times (noon, 2:00, etc.) and theater 2 had the odd times.  Friday and Saturday night they added an 11:00 and midnight showing, and they sold out.

One bit of trivia:  ET had a sneak peek at 8:00 pm on the Sunday before it opened.  At that time, no one knew what the movie was really about other than it was a sci-fi film by Spielberg.  It, of course, sold out.  And there were still hundreds of people waiting in line to get in.

The manager called the owner, the owner called the film distributor, and they in turn got hold of someone connected to the studio.  We got permission to do a second showing of the film at 10:00.  Back then, theaters never pre-sold tickets.  Period.  This time we did.  It, too, sold out.

The movie we replaced for that second showing was DEAD MEN DON'T WEAR PLAID.  Only one person came out to complain.  (They ignored the sign we had up about the change.)  So the right decision was made to do that second showing....

One other memory I have is the amount of popcorn we went through during that time.  The popcorn seed comes in 50 lb. bags.  Those bags (and all of the concession items) were stored upstairs next to the projection booth.  Guess who had to carry those bags up the stairs...?

For the next 3-4 months we went through 1 ton of popcorn seed each week.  That's just in the 2 theaters.  Theaters 3 and 4 had their own separate concession stand items.

So, yeah, not a fan of this movie....


Edited by Kevin Brown on 13 June 2017 at 6:20am
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Peter Martin
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Posted: 13 June 2017 at 6:29am | IP Logged | 12 post reply

Love this movie -- the bit where they fly past the moon is one of my favourite movie moments. 

The movie came out when I was 7 years old and I went ET crazy for a while (this entailed drawing a picture or two of ET every day).

Saw it in the cinema at the second time of trying (it was sold out on the first attempt and we went to see Tron instead) and I cried, oh how I cried.
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Eric Ladd
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Posted: 13 June 2017 at 1:37pm | IP Logged | 13 post reply

Last year during a long road trip I let the kids watch it in the van while I drove. My wife and I were giddy toward the end knowing full well what would happen. The movie struck all the same cords with my children as it did with me when I was 13-14. However, I think my kids were more taken aback because E.T.'s death caused shrieks from the back seats and immediate claims of, "This movie is horrible!!". I had to suppress laughter as I encouraged them to continue watching. I think it is a fine movie.
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Petter Myhr Ness
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Posted: 13 June 2017 at 2:36pm | IP Logged | 14 post reply

Being a child of the 80ies, and a fan of many a Spielberg movie, friends have been amazed when I tell them that I never liked E.T. Can't put my finger on what it was (it's been 3 decades since I saw it), but I just didn't care for it.
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John Byrne
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Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 13 June 2017 at 2:55pm | IP Logged | 15 post reply

There is a story -- almost certainly apocryphal -- that Universal thought they had a major bomb on their hands, and so had ET at the video factory preparing tapes to be shipped before word of mouth killed the sales.

Then the movie went thru the rough and there was a mad panic to retrieve all the masters.

Don't believe a word of it, but its a fun story.

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Michael Penn
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Posted: 13 June 2017 at 3:15pm | IP Logged | 16 post reply

I love it: "thru the rough"!
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John Byrne
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Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 13 June 2017 at 4:21pm | IP Logged | 17 post reply

Oops.
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Anthony J Lombardi
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Posted: 13 June 2017 at 4:30pm | IP Logged | 18 post reply

If anyone is interested E.T. is on cable tonight. For Verizon Fios customers it's on channel 68 WGN America at 8 pm est
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Tim O'Neill
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Joined: 16 April 2004
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Posted: 13 June 2017 at 6:51pm | IP Logged | 19 post reply



I loved this movie when it was released. The same week I first saw the movie, I read the novelization in one day.

The movie still gets me each time I see it!


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Shane Matlock
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Posted: 13 June 2017 at 7:13pm | IP Logged | 20 post reply

ET destroyed 13 year old me. Such a great film. I saw it multiple times in the theater. And it's pretty timeless too. My 5 year old son watched it recently and absolutely loved it. 
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Kevin Brown
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Posted: 14 June 2017 at 5:42am | IP Logged | 21 post reply

 John Byrne wrote:
There is a story -- almost certainly apocryphal -- that Universal thought they had a major bomb on their hands, and so had ET at the video factory preparing tapes to be shipped before word of mouth killed the sales.

Then the movie went thru the rough and there was a mad panic to retrieve all the masters.

Don't believe a word of it, but its a fun story.

JB, this may or may not be what you're referring to , but they did do an early, early private preview of the movie a few months prior to its release.  It was all very hush hush because they were testing it out on an audience.  They did it at the theater I worked at and it was a 9:00 am showing.  The title at the time was "ET and Me".  

There were about 500 or so people in the theater and 20-25 studio people handing out questionnaires for them to fill out.  NO one who worked at the theater could go into the screening.  The studio even brought in their own projectionist for the showing.  We were there for concessions and clean up.....

I was able to find out later on that the test audience hated the original ending and the studio changed it.  To this day I don't know what that ending was like.

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Matthew Wilkie
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Posted: 15 June 2017 at 8:06am | IP Logged | 22 post reply

Didn't this film also spawn the game that killed Atari, or certainly contributed to its demise?Probably hyperbole but I recall having it and it was a stinker.
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John Byrne
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Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
Posts: 107026
Posted: 15 June 2017 at 8:18am | IP Logged | 23 post reply

Didn't this film also spawn the game that killed Atari, or certainly contributed to its demise?Probably hyperbole but I recall having it and it was a stinker.

••

How do you make a game out of such a sweet movie? Badly. It was certainly the game that killed my interest in such things.

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John Byrne
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Beam Me Up, Scotty!

Joined: 11 May 2005
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Posted: 15 June 2017 at 8:19am | IP Logged | 24 post reply

JB, this may or may not be what you're referring to…

••

Not, I'd say.

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Anthony J Lombardi
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Posted: 15 June 2017 at 9:18am | IP Logged | 25 post reply


Didn't this film also spawn the game that killed Atari, or certainly contributed to its demise?Probably hyperbole but I recall having it and it was a stinker.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Urd9JbjLmbY
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