E.T., Elliott and a gang of kids on bicycles first flew across the silver screen 30 years ago this week in “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial,” which is showing tonight as part of the Los Angeles Film Festival.
Steven Spielberg’s 1982 film is a touchstone for children of the 1970s and ’80s, who watched in theaters and on worn VHS tapes, letting John Williams’ otherworldly score envelope them as the strange spaceman with the glowing heart discovered Reese’s Pieces, beer and the best and worst in humanity.
“E.T.” took the classic children’s adventure story (think “Huckleberry Finn” and “Peter Pan”) and relocated it to the American suburb. The film’s hero is lonely, alienated, 10-year-old Elliott (Henry Thomas), who musters the courage to help a stranded visitor find his way home. Its villains are faceless adults with guns and flashlights. It was the first in a string of movies — “The…
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