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1983 – Drama: E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

“E.T. phone home,” was the famous line by the adorable extra-terrestrial: the film indeed called everyone on planet Earth, and everyone answered. Steven Spielberg conceived and directed the most beloved sci-fi fantasy of all time: E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial was immediately embraced, and until Titanic (1997) it was the highest grossing film in the U.S. ($435 million on its first run) as well as worldwide (over a billion). E.T. Received five Golden Globe nominations, winning two (Best Film – Drama, and Best Original Score by John Williams). It would eventually win four Oscars (for special effects – by Carlo Rambaldi and Dennis Muren – sound, sound effects, and music).The 40th Golden Globe Awards were held on January 29, 1983, at the Beverly Hilton Hotel. Joan Collins announced E.T. as Best Film, and co-producer Kathleen Kennedy accepted the award: “I’m here to accept this because Steven [Spielberg] is in London casting Raiders,” she said, referring to Spielberg’s subsequent mega-hit Raiders of the Lost Ark. The other dramas nominated by the HFPA that year were Sophie’s Choice, An Officer and a Gentleman, The Verdict and Missing. Spielberg was nominated for Best Director but lost to Richard Attenborough for Gandhi, for which Ben Kingsley won as Best Actor–Drama.Filmed in and around L.A., the Universal/Amblin production tells the story of a gentle alien who’s stranded on Earth where he is befriended by a young boy named Elliott (Henry Thomas). Bringing the extraterrestrial into his suburban California house, Elliott introduces E.T. to his brother and his little sister Gertie (Drew BarrymoreClose Encounters of the Third Kind, did the puppet’s design. Melissa Mathison wrote the script. The concept was based on an imaginary friend Spielberg created after his parents’ divorce in 1960. Spielberg often said that E.T. is basically a father and son story, a theme recurring in many of his earlier films.Considered one of the greatest movies ever made, it was widely acclaimed by critics as a timeless story of friendship. In 1994 it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as one of the films “culturally, historically, aesthetically significant”. It was re-released in 1985, and then again in 2002 to celebrate its 20th anniversary, with altered shots and additional scenes.