For, July 18, 2014

When "E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial" (1982, PG) played at a local theater last year, I took some grandkids to see it for the first time, wondering how they'd respond to this 30-year-old movie with special effects that can't compare to today's modern computer animation.

But they loved it, and none of them even commented on anything looking phony. They were too caught up in the story and the characters to care.

Such is the brilliance of this movie that Steven Spielberg has often referred to as his "most personal."

And the special effects were as good as they got in 1982. In fact, before the film opened, no one knew what E.T. himself would look like. No publicity stills included him and Spielberg and cast members were quite coy while on the interview circuit to promote the movie. It was the "Jaws" hide-the-monster ploy applied to marketing.

Now, of course, you can find dozens of photos of the little space creature on the Internet and most people, even if they haven't seen the movie, have seen his image somewhere.


      Six-year-old Drew Barrymore and 'E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial'

What can I say about the film that you don't already know?

This is a funny, warm, cleverly plotted and superbly directed coming-of-age, alien-encounter fantasy as a young boy befriends a creature from a spaceship and tries to keep him safe when the government comes calling.


  Director Steven Spielberg gets playful with E.T. on the set.

To say the film remains magical and enchanting is to understate. If your kids haven't seen it, take them. Adult kids, too.

It's playing Saturday, July 19, at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. in the Peery's Egyptian Theater in Ogden, Utah.