*Read John Williams’ biography here
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial
Released in 1982 (another Steven Spielberg project) the movie stars Henry Thomas, Dee Wallace, Peter Coyote, Robert MacNaughton, Drew Barrymore and Pat Welsh.
The film concept comes from an imaginary friend Spielberg invented following his parents’ divorce in 1960. The movie tells the story of a boy who becomes friend with an extra terrestrial (E.T.) who is stuck on Earth. The boy and his siblings help E.T. return to his home planet while avoiding the government.
Williams has described the challenge he found in creating a score that would generate sympathy for the odd looking E.T.. However, as with his previous movies with Spielberg, Speilberg liked every theme and included them all in the movie. In fact, he loved the final chase music so much he edited the sequence to suit the theme
The score was heavily awarded, picking up Williams’ fourth Academy Award, three Grammy’s (Best Instrumental Composition, Best Arrangement on an Instrumental Recording and Best Album of an Original Score Written for a Motion Picture), a BAFTA for Best Film Music and a Golden Globe for Best Original Score.
In some ways the music reminds me of the theme for Home Alone – his score is emotional and sensitive and ranges from happy to intense/dramatic.
I saw E.T. when I was a kid (and it came out on VHS) but I wasn’t a huge fan. From memory I think I thought some bits were scary and I didn’t like the ending which I found sad. That first impression has meant I have never watched it again. I like the music a lot more than the movie!
In your opinion what was better – the music or the movie?