Summaries

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

Film and Plot Synopsis

After a group of aliens leaves one of their own behind, he finds himself alone in a strange world. Soon, a lonely ten-year-old boy named Elliott finds him, and the two bond. Unfortunately, government agents are also aware of the alien, and they capture the creature. Elliott and his friends band together to rescue our intergalactic guest so he may return home before it’s too late.

‘E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial’ Movie Summary

The summary below contains many spoilers and feeble attempts at humor.
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982)E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial begins in a forested area on the outskirts of Suburbia, USA. An alien spaceship lands as part of its five-year mission: to explore strange new worlds. To seek out new life and new civilizations. To boldly go where no extra-terrestrial has gone before!

As the creatures wander about, one of the redshirts from the crew wanders a bit too far. Suddenly, some strange lights and chaotic sounds force him to hide. The spaceship leaves without him like dad on a cross-country trip who doesn’t see his youngest son is still peeing behind a roadside tree. Alone, the creature then it makes its way to a nearby housing development to borrow an intergalactic phone.

In one house, a young boy named Elliot (Henry Thomas) goes to grab a pizza delivery. As he turns to go back inside, he hears a strange noise. He traces it to the shed in the backyard. He rolls a baseball into it, and is scared witless when something rolls it back out.

Elliot races inside to tell everyone, but when they all come out to investigate, there’s nothing in the shed. Well, there are some strange footprints, but that must be some type of coyote lurking in the nearby woods.

Later that evening, Elliot hears more noises in the backyard, and goes looking for their source. Like a creepy dude in an ice cream truck, Elliott stumbles upon a strange creature staring at him—which scares the bejesus out of the both of them. The creature quickly scurries out a nearby gate and back to the woods.

The next day, Elliot takes his bike into the forest, with nothing but a bag of Reese Pieces to save him, because M&M’s wouldn’t be in this stinking movie if you paid them! Elliot hopes to once again spot whatever it was he spotted the previous night. However, when he sees a man with the keys on his belt loop, he’s scared witless once again, and quickly leaves.

That evening, Elliot tries to convince his family, he saw something, but they don’t believe him. He says his dad would believe him which is a low blow for mom (Dee Wallace) who just divorced his deadbeat ass. His older brother, Michael (Robert MacNaughton), yells at him for being a dick to mom.

Later that evening, Elliot goes outside again, but this time, the creature sashays right up to him. Elliot uses the Reeses Pieces (fuck M&M’s) to get the creature to come into the house and up to his room. He finds the creature isn’t evil, but is gentle and is just as curious about Elliott as he is about it.

Elliot fakes being sick the next day to stay home from school so the two can bond. Later that evening, Elliot shows the little creature to Michael and their little sister, Gertie (Drew Barrymore). They both promise not to tell anyone about him.

Without Google or a computer, the kids must fend for themselves. They figure this thing must be an alien, so we will call him E.T. now. When they ask him where he’s from, E.T. uses the force to levitate things around which makes a mockup of the planets in the solar system. Gertie then gives him a potted plant with dying flowers, which he revives using his force heal powers, and it becomes pretty once more.

Elliot hides E.T. in his closet the next day, and heads off to school. While everyone is out, E.T. wanders the house, raids the refrigerator, eats mom’s food; gets drunk off her beers, and watches TV. Unbeknownst to Elliot, E.T. has formed a mental bond with him—kind of like sensing him through the force—and he gets Elliot to set free a bunch of frogs scheduled for their big dissection. He then gets Elliot kiss a blonde girl full of cooties.

After Elliot returns home that evening, he finds Gertie helped teach the alien to talk by watching Yo! MTV Raps. Just kidding. MTV didn’t let black people on their network until the mid ‘80s; Gertie used Sesame Street instead. Since they can all talk to each other now, Elliot decides to name the alien E.T.

E.T. attempts to explain that he intends to build a machine to communicate with his home planet, and demand they pick him after ditching him. Now, all Elliot needs to do to help is run over to the corner drug store, and get some plutonium for the 1.21 gigawatts of power E.T. needs to power the phone.

Since plutonium is still a little hard to come by in the ‘80s, Elliot and Michael instead rummage through the garage looking for other items to use. When Michael notices that E.T. is looking a little pink, Elliot says they are just fine. We then see some shadowy men lurking in a van down by the river busily monitoring the family. They hear the entire conversation.

Halloween arrives, and the boys put a sheet over E.T. and tell mom it’s Gertie dressed up as a ghost. However Gertie’s already left on Elliot’s bicycle to hightail it to their secret rendezvous location. Once the boys arrive too, Gertie trades places with E.T. so that Elliot and E.T. can assemble and activate the little communications device we will call the etPhone (which I hear Apple now sells for $2.5M per device without a charger or airpods).

Elliot places E.T. in a plastic milk crate attached to his bike’s handlebars, and heads out. Unfortunately, he loses control of his bike down a steep hill, and it races towards a cliff. When Elliott panics, E.T. uses force levitate to send them and the bike safely over the ravine. Is there nothing that little fellow can’t do?! E.T. next assembles his etPhone and activates it. Immediately, it begins to send a signal out into space. Exhausted, Elliott falls asleep as the alien watches over him.

When Elliot wakes up the next day in the woods, E.T. is gone. Elliott returns home to find his mother has been looking for him. He then asks Michael to help find E.T. When they do find him, he’s barely breathing.

Once they get him home, the three show E.T. to their mother, and Elliot explains that both he and E.T. are dying. As she panics, a group of government agents show up in space suits to seal off the house, set up a medical unit, and examine Elliot and the alien. I bet they want to dissect E.T. like those poor frogs at Elliott’s school.

Remember that man with keys on his belt loop from the beginning of the film (Peter Coyote)? Well he shows back up to tell Elliot that they have the etPhone in the forest, and he wants to know how to save the little fellow. The man tells Elliott that he’s had the same kind of wonder about aliens since he was a child too, and finding this E.T. is a lifelong dream come true.

As Elliot weakly explains that E.T. needs to go home, E.T. detaches himself from Elliot. E.T. dies from his illness—Michael realizes it when the plants E.T. revived earlier begin to wilt and die.

The medical team attempts to revive E.T., but it’s too late. Before they take E.T. away, Keys allows Elliot some time alone with his new pal. Elliot believes E.T. must be dead, because he can’t feel anything anymore. He tells E.T. that he loves him, and turns away. As he does, he sees the dying flowers return to life. Elliot turns back to find E.T. alive. E.T. explains that his planet’s people are finally on their way to get him after stopping off at the local Stuckey’s for one of their intergalactically-famous Pecan Log Rolls!

Elliot hides the fact that E.T. is alive, and asks Michael to help get him to the forest. Michael enlists his friends to take Elliot’s bike with theirs to a playground at the top of a nearby hill. Meanwhile, Michael and Elliot steal the van E.T.’s in, and head to the playground too.

Once they meeting up with Michael’s friends, they take E.T. to the forest. The government agents are already hot in pursuit, and as the kids race down the street, they see a roadblock full of armed agents lying in wait. Just as it seems the agents will nab them all, E.T. force levitates all the kids’ bikes, and they fly off toward the woods.

After they land, night falls, and E.T.’s ship soon arrives. Elliot’s mother and Gertie show up. Gertie and Michael say their goodbyes before Elliot does. E.T. asks Elliot to come with him, but Elliot can’t. He kind of likes his family too. E.T. gives Elliott a hug, lights his finger, and points it at Elliot’s head. He tells the boy that he’ll be right there.

Gertie gives E.T. the plant she originally gave him, and he enters the enormous ship forever. As the ship takes off, it leaves a beautiful rainbow chemtrail in its wake. While everyone stares up at its wonder, the chemtrail neuralyzes anyone not wearing Ray-Ban sunglasses. The unsuspecting people below forget anything out of the ordinary ever happened for a heart-warming happily ever after.

The End.

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Universal Pictures released E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial on June 11, 1982. Steven Spielberg directed the film starring Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore, and Peter Coyote.

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