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E.T. - The Extra-Terrestrial [VHS]

4.7 out of 5 stars 2,117 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Actors: Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore, Peter Coyote, Dee Wallace, Robert MacNaughton
  • Directors: Steven Spielberg
  • Writers: Melissa Mathison
  • Producers: Steven Spielberg, Kathleen Kennedy, Melissa Mathison
  • Format: Closed-captioned, Color, THX, NTSC, Full Screen
  • Rated:
    PG
    Parental Guidance Suggested
  • Number of tapes: 1
  • Studio: Universal Studios
  • VHS Release Date: October 1, 1996
  • Run Time: 115 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2,117 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: 6304143184
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #110,068 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com

Steven Spielberg's 1982 hit about a stranded alien and his loving relationship with a fatherless boy (Henry Thomas) struck a chord with audiences everywhere, and it furthered Spielberg's reputation as a director of equally strong commercial sensibilities and classical leanings. Henry Thomas gives a strong, emotional performance as E.T.'s young friend, Robert MacNaughton and Drew Barrymore make a solid impression as his siblings, and Dee Wallace is lively as the kids' mother. The special effects almost look a bit quaint now with all the computer advancements that have occurred since, but they also have more heart behind them than a lot of what we see today. --Tom Keogh

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Blu-ray
This is the first thing I want to say about the 2012 Blu-ray Release of "E.T., the Extraterrestrial:" it's back, in its original form. Yes, every frame, the terrorist gag, guns back where they need to be, the musical score in the farewell scene restored to its original grandeur, and no digital shilly-shallying. What a delight! Big thanks to Mr. Spielberg for finally recognizing the deliciously imperfect perfection of his original creation.

I've seen this film approaching 70 times, and I know where the beats are, top to bottom. I was looking for changes, and could detect not a one. Even the slight jump-cut as ET indicates the closet as "home" is restored. The original ILM animation of the bikes in flight is back. The string passage during the final embrace is right where it should always have been. All the terrible tampers have been removed.

The transfer, from original 35mm elements, is as flawless as can be. The look and feel of the theatre experience fills the eye and the ear and, as always, the heart. Welcome "home," E.T., and thanks, Universal, for a job well undone.
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Format: DVD Verified Purchase
This Review Was Written for the 20th Anniversary DVD Version of the Film:
Let me explain something that I feel a lot of people are forgetting. This set doesn't only include the new version, but the old as well. That's a great deal, since you can choose which one you would like to see. If you hate the new effects and CGI, don't watch it. It's that simple.

Now don't get me wrong. I think the newer version is very silly, and I wonder if Spielberg really thought it looked good when he did it. Maybe if he were to do it in around 10 years, it wouldn't look so animated.

I did like the deleted bathroom scene though, even though it was done with CGI. It would have been nice to have seen that in the original, but I guess that would be having my cake and eating it too.

There is nothing flawed about this set, it simply just gives some options that not everyone will want to choose. If you enjoy the movie, you will enjoy this set. It's a classic that hasn't lost it's flavor after all these years.

UPDATE:
Since writing this review 9 years ago, some things have changed (believe it or not). With the release of Blu-ray and Amazon Instant Video, this has caused some confusion over which version(s) are featured on each format. I currently own the Blu-ray edition that Amazon lists as "Multi-format" and has a blue cover that says "Anniversary Edition" at the top and it contains only the ORIGINAL 1982 version of the film (which is undoubtedly the superior version of the two, since it omits the "not ready for prime time" CGI effects that many believe ruined this classic movie.
Read more ›
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Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
The Jaws Blu-ray was pretty good, but E.T. is just about as well done as you could hope for! It actually looks like film for a change with beautiful, natural looking grain and no apparent DNR scrubbing or overt contrast pumping. The detail and color are outstanding, considering the 80's film stock that was used.

And YES it is *only* the 1982 theatrical version... including the bad government agents wielding guns around innocent kids, the terrorist line left intact, and most importantly... NO CGI'd E.T. at all. Your childhood memories remain safely intact.

Hurray! Now if only Lucas could see the light.

The 7.1 re-mix, encoded in 24 bit DTS-MA lossless audio, isn't too shabby either. It pays homage to the original sound design while spreading the sound effects and John Williams' epic score around the room better.

Unfortunately, Universal continues to skimp on the deluxe treatment. If they had placed the video extras on a separate Blu-ray (which they should have done on Jaws as well), they could have included the complete making-of documentaries, rather than edited versions. There is also a wealth of extras from previous video versions, like the special edition laserdisc, not included here.

I also highly recommend the 5.1 channel Super Audio-CD of the superb E.T. score by John Williams released for its 2002 anniversary.
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Format: DVD
First, I want to make it clear that I'm reviewing the DVD here, not the original film. I liked the original; it's a good movie. Not as fantastic as it is hyped to be, but good enough to have on DVD for an occasional viewing. I give the film 4 stars.
I have BIG problems with what's behind this DVD, and the "special edition" of ET that's on it.
The 2002 edition of ET is just absurd. As others pointed out, CGI ET looks silly, and isn't consistent with the "old" scenes that include ET. His stiffness was part of his physical character. Making him more "jar-jar" just doesn't make sense. It's an example of "lets do it because we can". There are lots of thing we "can" do that we "should not" do, and this is one of them.
But much worse than this is the digital removal of the guns. Not only was this poorly done (from a technical point of view), but it's an example of Political Correctness(tm) gone mad. Guess what: government agents and cops carry guns, and they point them at people/things that they are trying to stop/apprehend. Get over it.
I hate to see a work of art like ET defaced just to appease a loud, misguided minority of people who believe in political correctness. Bowing to this minority was a cowardly act.
Finally, the packaging Universal has chosen is obnoxious. The only way to get the original film is to buy a very expensive "gift boxed set", filled with things I do NOT want. I'm willing to pay for a boxed set, but only if it contains the following items: Original movie with original 5.1 sound track, commentary track(s), deleted scenes, making of and/or retrospective featurettes. That's it. This would probably fit on one disc, making a boxed set unnecessary. ...
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