On June 11, 1982, days before my younger son turned three, the movie, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, was released.

English: E.T.'s Communicator from the film E.T...

E.T.’s Communicator from the film E.T. Taken at Universal Studios Hollywood. (Photo credit: WikipedThe two brothers in the movie were six years apart. My own boys 11 years apart.

Themes from this science fiction movie included:

  • Friendship across different backgrounds
  • Hiding stuff from your Mom
  • Taking care of people both physically and emotionally
  • Accepting the fact that you aren’t going to understand everything, like a bike that flies
  • Government officials and scientists can do evil things
  • The power and draw of home.

It was a perfect summer children’s movie and stayed the highest-grossing movie ever until Jurassic Park was released in 1993.

It was inspired by the imaginary alien friend Stephen Spielberg made up when his parents divorced when he was a young boy.

Adults who watched the movie casually talked about the M&Ms that were a key part of the movie when the little boy who had found an alien lured him back to his house with a trail of candy.

Our children explained to us they were not M&Ms. They were Reece’s Pieces.

In fact, Mars refused to allow M&Ms to be used, thinking E.T. would frighten children.

Hershey’s stepped in with their Reece’s Pieces.

Sales of the candy soared after the movie was released, boosting Hershey’s profits by 65%.

In the movie, the alien teaches itself English by watching Sesame Street and builds a communicator to “phone home” with a Speak-and-Spell.

E.T., with an animatronic head that was held over the actors in costume, was played by two dwarves, Tamara de Treaux and Pat Bilon.

A 12-year-old boy, Matthew DeMeritt, who was born without legs was used to  walking on his hands and played the scenes where E.T. was unsteady on his feet or had too much beer.

E.T. was nominated for nine Oscars. John Williams won an Oscar for Best Score and later a Grammy.

The brothers and sister in the movie, Henry Thomas, Robert McNaughton and Drew Barrymore, won Young Artists Awards.

The movie won Best Picture in Drama and Best Score at the Golden Globe Awards.

What was your favorite  movie when you were growing up?

When your children were growing up?

Have you ever watched them with your grandchildren?

To you and the sweet memories of movies.


Carol Covin, Granny-Guru

Author, “Who Gets to Name Grandma? The Wisdom of Mothers and Grandmothers



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