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25 Years Ago - The Best Genre Year Ever, Part I: Nordling Remembers E.T.!!

I was twelve years old in 1982. Man, that’s a great age when you’re movie-crazy. Keep in mind, I’d been weaned on a pretty remarkable run of films, things like JAWS and THE EXORCIST and HALLOWEEN and THE TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE and SUPERMAN: THE MOVIE and TIME BANDITS and SUPERMAN II and THE SHINING and MAD MAX 2 aka THE MOTHERFUCKIN’ ROAD WARRIOR and a li’l number called STAR WARS and another li’l number called RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. To see these movies in first run... to be in the audience as we all saw them for the very first time, as we laughed and cheered and freaked out and how unbelievably GREAT everything was... to get the full impact of them... I had a charmed childhood. It was a glorious time to be an audience, like movies were expressly being made for me. I had seen many R-rated films before 1982, particularly on cable, but I was a master of negotiating my way into a theatrical viewing of any R-rated movie I was interested in. Seriously. I was like Robert Preston in THE MUSIC MAN. I could sell it. Admittedly, it was always easier to talk my parents into an R-rated action film than to talk them into an R-rated comedy. There was something about the subversive humor of the day that really set my dad on edge, and I had to work my way around him to see ANIMAL HOUSE or THE BLUES BROTHERS or BLAZING SADDLES or UP IN SMOKE. I’m sorry, dad. As an adult, all I can say to you is forbidden fruit tastes twice as nice. I did see them. And I think they may have corrupted me exactly as much as you were afraid they would. 1982 was one of the first years where I was tracking all the films I was most desperate to see. I had discovered STARLOG a few years earlier, and the more I read it, the more excited I got about the potential of films. As I read early reports on stuff, I got crazy about what they might be. For example, I was a big fan of Robert E. Howard, and I loved the CONAN stories. I had scoured used bookstores for cheap paperback editions of his books and libraries, and I had read pretty much his entire body of work. When I walked into a theater and saw the gorgeous painted poster for CONAN THE BARBARIAN for the first time, it was like getting punched in the face. It was consciousness-expanding. That film went from being something I didn’t know existed to something that I had to see in order to continue living. I went from ignorant to rabid in one swift blow to the skull. I had to negotiate to see it, too. I had an advantage because my mom was a big reader of SF and fantasy, and a lot of the time, she wanted to see the films as much as I did, so I was able to convince her by telling her how good it would be before I ever brought up the issue of the rating. In the case of CONAN, I fucked up my chances by telling my mom that THE SWORD & THE SORCERER, which came out a few months earlier, was “pretty much the same thing.” We went to that one, and by the time Richard Lynch rips himself open in order to let Richard Moll walk out of the ruined pieces of his body, my mom had decided there was no way in hell I was going to CONAN. I proposed a deal, since CONAN was coming out right around my twelfth birthday. We worked on the terms for a while, but finally the deal was settled: if I made only A’s and B’s on my report card, I’d be able to take my friends with me to see CONAN for my birthday party. I don’t think there was another single semester where I did quite that well in school in my entire career as a student. As the summer wore on, I think I just wore my parents down, asking to see one R-rated title after another. I also spent part of the summer with my grandmother, who barely paid attention to ratings. That was a huge help, since I was able to convince her that PORKY’S was about Warner Brothers cartoons and THE THING was “sort of like E.T.”, strategies that paid off in some of the most memorable theatrical experiences of the year for me. Recently, I’ve found myself struggling not to be disillusioned with the state of genre filmmaking. Horror, for example, is growing more anemic with every remake and every PG-13. Sci-fi is practically an allergen to the studios. So how do we fix that? I think the first thing we do is we look back at a year where people were getting it right. And, no, I don’t think the answer is simple imitation, but more an understanding of why that whole year seemed so special to those of us who were there when it happened. To that end, I’ve been talking with AICN contributors over the last few weeks and recruiting them to help me write a series of articles about the films that knocked us on our collective asses that year, and what we’ll be publishing are more than just reviews. Instead, we’re going to talk about what it was like that year, when you could go to a theater and walk from one screen to the next seeing BLADE RUNNER and E.T. and DEAD MEN DON’T WEAR PLAID and THE THING and STAR TREK II and POLTERGEIST and CREEPSHOW and 48 HRS. and TRON, just to name a few. Maybe we’ll stir some memories in some of the guys making genre films right now, and maybe... just maybe... we’ll remember how high we’re allowed to aim and stop just phoning it in as an industry. If nothing else, we’ll have some fun in the process. Since I was 12 years old, I’m going to pick 12 movies that I think really defined the year, 12 movies that pushed me as a viewer in ways that I don’t think I’ve ever been pushed in any other way. These aren’t ranked in any order, though. I can’t tell you which one of these films has influenced me the most, because they’re all part of this incredible adrenaline blast to the jugular that was 1982. I’m not going to review all 12 myself. I wanted to try to get a wide range of reactions to share with you, so I asked some of the other contributors here at AICN to take a shot at some of these titles. First up today, I’m going to run a piece on the film that was the biggest box-office hit of all time by the end of that year, the quiet little movie that ended up completely dominating the cinema landscape. I remember how unassuming the ads for the film were. Universal managed to keep E.T. completely out of the press before the movie came out, and there was next to nothing known about it. “Less is more” turned out to be the best possible strategy, and word of mouth turned out to be the best sales tool they could have hoped for. But don’t take my word for it. Check out what our very own Nordling has to say about it:

"I've been wishing for this since I was ten years old." If you came here looking for a critical breakdown of Steven Spielberg's E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL, you're not going to get it. Sure, I'll talk about what works, and I may even rant a little bit about the 2002 re-release. But this film is too ingrained into my childhood. It's too much a part of me. Everyone has that sacrosanct film, that one movie that really nails him or her. E.T. is that for me. "We're in the middle, Elliott. You can't just join any universe in the middle." Before I get into it, some background. I was 12 years old in 1982. I guess once you're not 12 anymore you stop officially being a child and become an adolescent or whatever. Maybe it was the last year of my childhood. I'll definitely say it was the purest. It was the greatest movie summer ever. POLTERGEIST. KHAN. BLADE RUNNER. THE THING. You know the drill. That summer helped make me into the movie geek I am today. These were the years after EMPIRE. It seemed a millennium since that film, and the Great Question was still unanswered. We had the figures, we had the toy lightsabers, and we played every possible scenario in our backyards. Do you remember that? Do you remember playing? The kids on my street - Scott, T-Boy, Little Kris, our token girl Tracy (who we would sneak kisses from time to time), Stevie Cook, and myself - were unabashed movie freaks. It was easy back then. Video hadn't really taken off yet, not in our neighborhood where VCRs were still a luxury item. The last summer, 1981, we went every single weekend to see RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK. That's just what you did. Talk to any thirty-something and remind them. You'll see. Instead of the Internet, we had a magazine called STARLOG. I read it religiously, probably like my dad's generation read Forry Ackerman's FAMOUS MONSTERS. I read it gleaning every piece of science fiction movie news I could. And I remember in the fall of 1981 reading it and learning that Steven Spielberg was making another science fiction film. They didn't know the title, but the working title was A BOY'S LIFE. Spielberg was being very secretive about the film, not revealing many details. "Just swear the most excellent promise you can make." Now, even at 12, I knew who Spielberg was. JAWS, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS, RAIDERS, of course. I even liked 1941. I didn't understand what they meant by it being a flop except that it didn't make as much money as the others. JAWS, especially, was a major event for me. I was 5, and my family (and when I mean family, I mean parents, uncles, aunts, cousins the works. We must have had 20+ people in the theater that day) saw it opening weekend, as my family loved to fish and JAWS is the ultimate fishing story. I remember asking my dad to let me know when the scary part came. It's to his credit he didn't. "Can't he just beam up?" "This is reality, Greg." Our weekends during that summer of 1982 consisted of either going to movies or begging our parents to drop us off at the movies. Back then, we saw movies in herds. Whole city blocks of kids would all go together as our parents' orchestrated minivans for the child migration. Back then, kids as young as 6 or 7 would be dropped off with the older 12 or 13 year-olds watching out for them. I was one of the older kids so I kept an eye out. We didn't go to the movies to hang out or to be out of our parents' hair, although I'm sure they appreciated the away time. We came to be enthralled, transported, entertained. Sure, we'd sneak into some of the R movies. I remember sneaking into THE THING just as the fat guy's chest opened up and ate the doctor's hands. I quickly turned around and didn't see the rest until a year later on cable. Chickenshit me. So, summer 1982. Steven Spielberg has a new movie out, and I would be damned if I was going to miss it, and certainly wasn't going without my friends. So we all got into Scott's dad's Suburban, and headed out to Northline Mall Cinemas. "We're here. We are here. Where are you from?" A starfield. A single flute. The pan down, and we realize we aren't on some alien world, or in outer outer outer space. We are home. And then we see the Ship, like a Christmas ornament, settled onto the green earth. Then we see them. The little creatures, lovingly tending to and wandering amongst the plants. And the story begins. I am not a child of divorce. At the time, my home was, as far as I could tell, a happy one. Elliott's one-parent world was as alien to me as E.T. was. Only one of my close friends had even grew up with it, which has to be some sort of statistical anomaly, but there it is. I did understand Elliott's sense of loneliness. I had my friends, and I knew how much I loved them, and what it would mean for me to lose them. The kids played D & D. That endeared me to the movie right away. Those kids were us. Me and my friends, hanging out at each other's houses, eating pizza, drinking Dr. Pepper, and killing goblins and orcs and dragons. I make no apologies for being a geek. It's who I am. In fact, it's sort of a litmus test of mine. You probably won't get into my inner circle if you can't identify with me in that respect. To make that connection, to be with people who truly get you, who truly have your back, that's a rare thing, no matter what the movies say. And so Elliott goes out to pick up the pizza, and makes that connection. Even if the connection comes from several million lightyears away. "Because, um, grownups can't see him. Only little kids can see him." "Give me a break." Here's something about E.T., and only a few, few other movies... it gets childhood intrinsically, so completely RIGHT. High praise indeed for Melissa Mathison's script, which has the cadence and the smart-assery that is inherent in every kid. Childhood is messy and joyful, dangerous and crude. Everything is truly an adventure, and nothing is certain. The kids cuss, like I certainly did. They ride their bikes recklessly, just one skid or sharp turn away from slamming into the pavement and serious injury. There is a sense of danger every day. And when you're a kid, you LOVE it. There's nothing, absolutely nothing, like waking up a summer's day and having no idea what the day will bring. Spielberg nailed that. When he replaced the guns with walkie-talkies in 2002's re-release, I wasn't so upset about the fact that he altered his classic movie so much as I was that he completely took out the sense of danger that as children we thrived upon, and enjoyed, and ultimately learned from. Are the guns inappropriate? Of course they are. That's why it works. Those kids were afraid for their lives. Wasn't it glorious? To be the hero? To genuinely risk something? Kids understand that, better than people realize. And, so we watched, and so we were thrilled. We weren't talked down to, or patronized. And we loved it. You can show me the wires, the models, the clay, the drawings, the CGI, and I still think E.T. is real. It's interesting to me how the kids were surrounded by all of the tech every day and still absolutely believed that he was real. The set was almost like playtime, and E.T. reaches an intimacy that none of Spielberg's later films ever quite reached. The relationships felt real and lived in, and the home life was genuine. Later, when the government tarps the house, it feels like a violation of everything we held dear. "Here he is!" "Here's who?" "The man from the moon, but I think you killed him already." It's fascinating to me now how Spielberg got such great performances out of the children. I watched the making-of doc on the DVD set and saw how Steven and Henry communicated, and how open everyone was to not just saying the lines but genuinely feeling them. Watching Spielberg give direction to Thomas as he said goodbye to E.T. was a little like seeing the wizard behind the curtain, but instead of decreasing my admiration for his work it increased it. He showed and still shows a great affinity for actors and it impressed me that he's not just a technical director but a very humanistic one as well. And what can be said about John Williams' score? It's simply beautiful, written at the height of his powers. The last 15 minutes of the film are practically an opera. E.T. wouldn't have nearly the same effect without it. Another minor rant - the CGI in the 2002 version. Okay, they made the face more expressive. I'm cool with that. But some of the CGI is used to fill in the places where our imaginations did just fine. I didn't need to see E.T. running in the forest - the light did that just fine. And I wondered what, exactly, I was seeing. The sense of wonderment at E.T., not being able to see what he was clearly, sparked the imagination, and too many films today insist on showing rather than being subtle and clever and letting our minds fill in the blanks. Sure, it looks great. But it stopped being mysterious. The added scenes in the film were nice, but again, they fill in the blanks that my mind didn't need filled. The original film is a lean, perfect thing. No offense, Mr. Spielberg, but I really don't watch the 2002 version very much. I watch the original, and I keep that sense of wonder. "Is he dead, momma?" "I think so, sweetheart." "Can we wish for him to come back?" "Uh-huh." "I wish." "I wish too." And so, as E.T. sickens and dies, for the first time ever in a movie (but certainly not the last), I cried. And I'm not talking about squinting out a couple of tears from the sides of my eyes. I flat-out bawled. It was probably the first time I was ever hit with any kind of loss, even if it was just a movie. Behind me, two girls started laughing, presumably at me. I was pretty loud. And that's when my friend Scott turned around and calmly said, "Shut up, or we'll all beat the living shit out of you." He gave them a pretty hard stare. And they clammed up. Not a peep. And then Scott turned to me, smiled, and handed me a Kleenex. And when the film ended, and E.T. home, the six of us walked out into the afternoon sun, where Scott's dad was waiting. It was a beautiful, perfect day, and I loved my friends so, so much. I've lost track of them over the years, but I still remember that day, and how it really made a difference in my life. And you know what? That's not even the best time I saw E.T. "I'll believe in you all my life. Every day." A couple of weeks after, my mom throws a Tupperware party at the house. My sister's in high school at the time, it's a Friday night, so she's out and about. So, promptly, she kicks my dad and I out of the house. Now, it's funny - I get my love of movies from my parents, but in different ways. My mom just loves the whole movie-going process. She loves going out to dinner, and seeing a great movie. My dad, however, loved movies differently. He loved great character studies, and a lot of the films of the 1970s. His favorite movie at the time was ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST. He loved ALIEN, and he wasn't a sci-fi kind of guy. "Truck drivers in space!" He loved the real people aspect of it. So I feel like I got some of his sensibilities from him when it came to movies. That night, we go to get some burgers at my uncle's hamburger joint, Roznovsky's, and decide to go to a movie. "E.T.!" I exclaim. "Haven't you seen that?" he asks. "Yeah, but you haven't! I wanna see it again." So we go. And as E.T. sickens and dies, the flood starts again. Can't help it. Even now, play E.T. in front of me, and I'll cry. It's damn near Pavlovian. And then I turn to my dad, and I see something amazing. "You must be dead, because... I don't know how to feel. I can't feel anything anymore. Have you gone someplace else now?" You have to understand something about my dad. He was a big man. He worked in oil fields as a draftsman. In my world, he was John Charlie Steve McQueen Bronson Wayne. Toughest guy in the world. When he came to school for report card day the other kids would do a double-take and ask me later, "THAT'S your dad?" I'd nod and say, "Yeah. Tough, ain't he?" And so it came as something of a shock to see him sobbing, tear-tracks on each side of his face, as he watches this little rubber suit die on screen. He was profoundly moved by this children's film. And my dad, at that moment, ceased to be The Great Impenetrable in my life, and became a living, breathing person. It was a major paradigm shift for me, and it radically changed my relationship with him. We talked more. I wasn't so afraid of him. I found I had so such more in common with him than I thought. It was wonderful. In 1983, my father was diagnosed with colon cancer, which four years later spread to his bones. He died July 15th, 1987. E.T. was the last movie I saw with him, just him and me, by ourselves. Sure, the family went to other movies, but it was the last time my dad and I went together. It might have been the last time we did anything together, just him and me. I can't really remember. But when you're 12, and the whole world is ahead of you, you just can't recognize those times when they happen. "Come." "Stay." "Ouch." It's really difficult for me to judge Steven Spielberg too harshly. A lot of people talk down on him as a filmmaker, saying he's too sentimental, his films have easy answers, that he's too populist. They say that like it's a bad thing. But in 1982, he brought me closer to my friends and family in a way that really hasn't happened since, not with a movie. Not like that. I chase that feeling every time I sit down to a movie, in my darkened church, waiting, hoping for the emotions to come. Sitting there in the dark, with the people I love, knowing that they got your back, that they get you, that you have so much in common with them, even if it's just watching a little alien creature leave his friend to go home. Knowing that it may be the last time. When it comes to E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL, I can't be critical. It is an integral part of who I am and why I am that way. And I am very proud to have been chosen by Ain't It Cool News to write this for their ongoing 10th Anniversary celebration. Thanks so much, Harry and Drew. E.T. is the most important film to have ever happened to me, and I will cherish it and share it with my family for years to come. "I'll be right here." Alan "Nordling" Cerny

As Nordling said, this is the last big series of articles I plan to run as part of our 10th anniversary. I’m going to publish at least one a week for the next couple of months, and as we watch this summer take shape, and as the rest of the year plays out, I hope you guys enjoy taking a look back a full quarter-century to a moment when this fiendish movie addiction that’s had me and all of my friends and co-contributors hooked for most of our lives really seemed to deliver something special each and every time we went to the theater. I believe it can happen again, too. That’s the whole reason I continue to write for AICN. I want another summer like this one, a summer that will inspire the next generation of writers and directors and fans. It’s our obligation to pass this love of film along to others, and a challenge I hope someday I can meet.

Drew McWeeny, Los Angeles

Readers Talkback
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  • March 4, 2007, 8:57 p.m. CST


    by drew mcweeny

    And before I even hear the inevitable, I've had most of the contributors actually finish their articles already. So you'll definitely see all of these. <P>Now about that '90s list...

  • March 4, 2007, 8:56 p.m. CST

    First again!

    by SilentBob X

    O dear lord I've sunk even lower haven't I?(bang!)

  • March 4, 2007, 9:01 p.m. CST


    by dalbatron

    i loved my childhood. the 80's sucked in every way BUT movies... god bless 35mm! oh apart from pacman...

  • March 4, 2007, 9:15 p.m. CST

    Geez Mort you told your grandma

    by slder78

    Porky's was about the cartoon character? There may be a special level of hell reserved for you.

  • March 4, 2007, 9:21 p.m. CST

    okay then

    by s0nicdeathmonkey


  • March 4, 2007, 9:23 p.m. CST

    very cool

    by playahatersball

    I enjoyed that immensely. It brought back good memories.

  • March 4, 2007, 9:24 p.m. CST

    that was great

    by LegoKenobi

    thanks for running that, mori.

  • March 4, 2007, 9:31 p.m. CST

    1982 - one of the best years of my life

    by tommy5tone

    Guys, that was simply fucking brilliant.

  • March 4, 2007, 9:38 p.m. CST

    I was 3 in 1982...

    by BadMrWonka

    but if you want anyone to write about Jurassic Park in the 90's series, I've got a Nordling-esque story, and a creative writing degree!<p>Mori, this is a great idea, and you chose a real whopper to start out with, both the film and the amazing review. what I love most about this site isn't all the nerd bickering about Optimus' flames (although I do love reading nerdguments...), it's that, at its core, this site is based on an intense love for the medium of film, and at the same time nurtures that feeling in others. AICN tells you, "it's OK to be looking forward to an upcoming movie so much that you feel itchy. it's OK to nitpick sometimes. it's OK to be obsessed with this stuff. it's OK, we all are!"

  • March 4, 2007, 9:47 p.m. CST


    by Jobacca

    Its article like that that make me love this site. Good work man...very moving story that made me think back on the days of me and my grandpa going to the movies together.

  • March 4, 2007, 9:48 p.m. CST

    nothing has topped 1982

    by justmyluck

    Whether it was clipping the 'Blade Runner' and 'The Thing' full page ads from Heavy Metal magazine or walking out of the theater with foldouts of upcoming Sci-Fi movies - it just never seemed to stop. While not all of them fully delivered (cough, 'Firefox', 'Dark Crystal', cough) the year 1982 will remain unparalleled in memory. I raise my glass with you all to NINETEEN-EIGHTY-TWO. Now, I must go arrange all my '82 DVDs in their own little bunch :-)

  • March 4, 2007, 10:01 p.m. CST

    Someone review The Secret Of NIMH

    by Osmosis Jones

    Special-edition DVD in July...!

  • March 4, 2007, 10:03 p.m. CST


    by Lerkst

    The years after Empire? Yep--but then the single greatest movie/film/motion picture was released in '81...Raiders of the Lost Ark. I watch it once a month with out fail, 12 times a year. '82 was possibly the best year of the 90's for movies...87, and then 89 following. Watching Zodiac last night, reminded me of when grown up drama's used to be good back at that time also. But ET sucked.

  • March 4, 2007, 10:15 p.m. CST

    I got a Jurassic Park story too

    by Gwai Lo

    I got to actually leave school to go see Jurassic Park on opening day. Got picked up by my older brother outta nowhere including parental permission slip and somehow actually managed to leave class and see it. I had been going mad reading the book over and over and collecting the McDonald's glasses and drawing velociraptors and what have you. I think I was 11?

  • March 4, 2007, 10:17 p.m. CST


    by Gwai Lo

    Jurassic Park was 93? I was 9

  • March 4, 2007, 10:17 p.m. CST

    Re: NIMH DVD

    by justmyluck see NIMH's incredible backlight animation again - like the opening journal writing sequence - not blown-out in a video transfer - but clear and legible like it was big screen - in NINETEEN-EIGHTY-TWO. :-)

  • March 4, 2007, 10:19 p.m. CST

    E.T. Frightened Me

    by Ryang

    You could say I grew up with E.T. too even though I wasn't born yet when it came out. I remember watching that movie like a hundred times when I was really little and it never got old. Im surprised I didn't wear out that green vhs. When the movie ended, I would be really scared of the creature, thinking he's around some dark corner or in my closet. I even had nightmares and waking-nightmares (seeing him yet hallucinating?) of his menacing self. I think I have recovered but I just thought it was strange how I had this E.T. phobia even though I was OBSESSED with that movie. Haha, I love E.T.

  • March 4, 2007, 10:23 p.m. CST

    Anyone born in the 80s is in the VHS age..

    by Gwai Lo

    I may not have been born when all the movies mentioned in the 1982 article came out, but I sure watched the hell out of them over and over.. I was pretty much given free reign with movies from a very early age.. I skipped the whole Disney phase and watched pretty much anything.. I think I saw the Thing around 9 or 10..

  • March 4, 2007, 10:33 p.m. CST

    I am very pissed at Moriarty now

    by chrth

    I was *so* going to make a comment about the '90s lists. Way to steal my thunder! <p> I was 7/8 in 1982, so my memory is definitely hazy of that year.

  • March 4, 2007, 10:43 p.m. CST

    Man, this really makes me jealous I wasn't born earlier

    by BigStar

    Having been born in 86, the 90s was pretty much when my love for movies began. But E.T. was a huge movie for me. One memory I have about it was when I watched it in the fourth grade and other kids were making fun of me because they said I looked like Elliot. I didn't understand why that'd be something to make fun about and I still don't. Weird.

  • March 4, 2007, 10:43 p.m. CST

    1982 was great...

    by REDD

    but I think 1985 was great also: Against All Odds This is Spinal Tap Repo Man Romancing The Stone Greystoke Firestarter Temple of Doom Star Trek 3 Streets of Fire Ghostbusters Gremlins Top Secret! Purple Rain Dreamscape Buckaroo Banzai The Brother from Another Planet All of Me Stop Making Sense The Killing Fields The Terminator A Nightmare on Elm Street Beverly Hills Cop 2010 The Cotton Club 1984 Starman Dune Johnny Dangerously Birdy The Flamingo Kid

  • March 4, 2007, 10:54 p.m. CST

    my 'E.T.' experience was defeated...

    by justmyluck

    ...from buying ($5 I think) the soundtrack vinyl about three weeks before we all went to see the movie. I has listened to it about ten times and it really took the punch out of the big (flying and goodbye) scenes when i finally saw them. The other kids were bawling but I guess it was like seeing those scenes without the music in a way. Even at that early age, it showed me how much Spielberg/Lucas owed to (or relied on) Williams.

  • March 4, 2007, 10:56 p.m. CST

    Those are all '84 movies, REDD.

    by Osmosis Jones


  • March 4, 2007, 11:06 p.m. CST


    by REDD

    I know, I meant to type 1984. I was thinking of 85 also, which had some cool films.

  • March 4, 2007, 11:09 p.m. CST

    E.T. face down in the ditch...

    by MCVamp

    Hands down one of the most pathetically sad sights in movie history. 1982...what a year. They just showed Blade Runner in HD last night and I was home on Saturday for once with a cold. Good times. " die."

  • March 4, 2007, 11:10 p.m. CST

    Also in 82...

    by REDD

    Das Boot, Quest for Fire, Richard Pryor Live on The Sunset Strip, Cat People, Night Shift, Tootsie

  • March 4, 2007, 11:12 p.m. CST

    On Williams and Walkie-Talkies.

    by Kamaji

    I listen to most of John Williams' scores nowadays, but there seemed to be 'something' about that period of time between 1975 and 1985, that his musical scores really seemed almost 'magical.' The way the strings soar in the finale of 'Close Encounters.' One of my favorite tracks that has grown on me in the last couple of years is 'Brother and Sister' from 'Return of the Jedi.' It's a wonderful melancholy yet almost understanding piece of music-up until that point, Luke and Leia had their own themes, but here, is a theme that unites them under their family umbrella in a sense. I have to also agree with that with 'E.T.,' the removal of the guns does take out the 'menace' that made that film work. There was that great 3-cut shot cutting closer to Elliot, before we see that shot of the gun right next to the car-door. It was a moment where the government guys are basically saying 'Alright, we're going to take drastic steps.' The whole scene builds up to that great take-off scene, and the bikes flying towards the sunset-drenched sky. Watching that scene on DVD, the non-CG sequence still has more 'warmth' than the new shots. E.T. was actually the first film I was taken to, though I was only 2 years old and don't recall much of it. I think we all have some film that we hold dear to us in a family situation or so. For me, it was 'Forrest Gump.' The film to me had a heart, and it stayed with me as my Mom was sadly dying of Ovarian cancer. The waterworks just came on when Forrest is at his Mother's bedside, and talking to Jenny at her grave.

  • March 4, 2007, 11:15 p.m. CST

    1985, for real this time ...

    by ye olde shiza

    Not to take away anything from the article, but I think '85 really was a sweet year for films, at least genre films ... <br><br> And I mean the real '85 list, not the one above. <br><br> I mean ... just check this shit out: <br>Back to the Future<br>Cocoon<br>The Color Purple<br>The Goonies<br>Spies Like Us<br>Police Academy 2<br>Fletch<br>Pee Wee's Big Adventure<br>E.T. Re-Issue<br>St. Elmo's Fire<br>Brewster's Millions<br>Rambo: First Blood Part II<br>Mask<br>European Vacation<br>Commando<br>Teen Wolf<br>Nightmare on Elm Street 2<br>Fright Night<br>Agnes of God<br>Weird Science<br>Friday the 13th 5<br>Young Sherlock Holmes<br>Year of the Dragon<br>Invasion U.S.A.<br>Ladyhawke<br><br>And the list goes on ... some classic and classicly ridiculous stuff in here. <br><br> Instead of highlighting 1982 as the year that changed movies, maybe we should just highlight the early '80s as the years that changd movies. Or maybe we could just chalk that love up to being young. A lot of movies these days don't really apply to young kids, but that doesn't mean we don't get great things like Zodiac, Apocalypto, The Fountain, Etc. <br><br> Plenty of great movies still get made ... it's just that the shitty movies are somehow more popular, now, so they get more attention and make more money.

  • March 4, 2007, 11:23 p.m. CST


    by werideatdusk

  • March 4, 2007, 11:27 p.m. CST

    Come on, you know I meant 1984...

    by REDD

    but yeah, 85 had some good stuff..To Live and Die in L.A., Year Of The Dragon, Re-Animator...

  • March 4, 2007, 11:31 p.m. CST

    That was a fantastic article.

    by filmicdrummer17

    A pity I was only BORN in 1987. What do I have? The Matrix. Saving Private Ryan. Lord of the Rings, a little later. But I understand what you guys mean about the magical age of 12--1999 was a very defining year for me. Y2K and all that.

  • March 4, 2007, 11:43 p.m. CST

    Stupid fucking 1988

    by QuinnTheEskimo

    I hate being so young. Nobody knows what I'm talking about.

  • March 4, 2007, 11:51 p.m. CST

    These days might be gone forever...

    by Mogwai Democracy

    Nowdays, it's almost hard to imagine the way things were back then, but think for a minute: this was PRE-INTERNET, PRE-DVD, PRE-WIDESPREAD VHS, PRE-WIDESPREAD CABLE TV and it's million channels, etc. When a movie came out, it was a big deal. it was an event. When I saw TRON in the theatre when it first came out, the place was so packed that people were sitting in the aisles on the floor! <br><br> There was a lot less available in regards to entertainment back then so when something came out, it just meant a lot more. Plus, there was so much more magic to films back then because filmmaking itself was a much more mysterious art form. There wasn't all these "making of... " specials that you can see on the DVD extras or the million articles you can look up instantly on the internet that explain everything & take the mystery & magic away.<br><br> I would hope that it isn't true but I feel that those days might be gone forever, just due to the completely different society we live in today in term of the mass media, never mind the way the movie industry has evolved into this very targeted, cynical, machine-like industry that continues to devalue the worth of true artistry & risk taking in favor of churning out more formulaic crap that will generate a quick, easy profit.

  • March 4, 2007, 11:58 p.m. CST

    Mogwai Democracy

    by filmicdrummer17

    I'm inclined to agree with you. The ONLY thing I can recall being close to that big an event was...well, "The Phantom Menace." It really is a pity. Things are so much more isolating now.

  • March 5, 2007, 12:06 a.m. CST

    Don't Forget...

    by utz_world

    ...the Star Wars (A New Hope) AND Raiders re-releases that also hit during that magical moment in time called 1982!

  • March 5, 2007, 12:42 a.m. CST

    I had been giving this a lot of thought lately.

    by one9deuce

    1982 is definitely the best year ever for genre films. <p> BLADE RUNNER <p> E.T. THE EXTRA TERRESTRIAL <p> THE ROAD WARRIOR <p> STAR TREK II: THE WRATH OF KHAN <p> THE THING <p> POLTERGEIST <p> CONAN THE BARBARIAN <p> STAR WARS rereleased <p> RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK rereleased <p> I do feel bad for filmgeeks that didn't grow up in the late 70's/early 80's. It really WAS better back then. Every once in a while we get some new classic genre films (JURASSIC PARK, THE MATRIX), but for the most part we get mediocrity. No wonder Uncle Rico wants to go back to '82.

  • March 5, 2007, 12:54 a.m. CST

    Wonderful story, Nordling.

    by DocPazuzu

    I turned 15 in 1982 and have always considered the year to be the best of my life for numerous reasons, not least of which being what an incredible movie year it was. I didn't share my geeky interests with any of my friends on more than a very superficial basis, and it was only after coming to AICN several years ago that I realized that there were others who had understood what a fantastic year it had been. In those days I read Starlog religiously (before it became Startreklog) and greedily devoured any and all info regarding genre releases. If the arrival of a high profile film was imminent, the news could be somewhat plentiful, but most of the time it was weeks or months between each tidbit of information. While I do enjoy the immediacy of the Internet and the luxurious wealth of DVD extra features, I sometimes miss the true hunger and often agonizing anticipation of those lost days while waiting for new movies to open. What's interesting about 1982 is that even the B movies, misfires and downright celluloid shitburgers have a charm which has allowed them to live fondly in many of our hearts even to this day -- movies such as The Beastmaster, Firefox and MegaForce. When contemplating the anemic genre releases of today and how generic, unimaginative, repetitive, insulting and plain stupid they mostly are, I always think of 1982. As I witness the progressive rot in the field I find myself becoming more and more awestruck by just how wonderful that year was and how privileged I was to have been old enough to truly enjoy it. How I miss you, 1982...

  • March 5, 2007, 1:07 a.m. CST

    What about TV, Music, and Cartoons of 82?

    by gusradio

    ??? I loved this article but I still think E.T. blows. However, I fully acknowledge that personal attachment has a gravatational pull all it's own.

  • March 5, 2007, 1:24 a.m. CST

    Great article

    by IMScully33

    I LOVE E.T. I feel the same way about that film as Nordling does. There's not many films that can still reduce me to tears, but that's one of them...just the theme will do it. That movie captures everything about my childhood. It's one of my earliest memories too. I think I caught E.T. on the re-release, but I remember climbing into the car and just SOBBING. I don't even remember seeing the movie, just the sucker punch of the end making me lose my fragile little emotions.

  • March 5, 2007, 1:32 a.m. CST

    Thanks, everyone

    by Nordling

    and thanks, Drew and Harry. I'm really proud of that article.

  • March 5, 2007, 1:37 a.m. CST

    Moriarty - First Run in a theatre?

    by hst666

    The Exorcist when you were 3? Jaws when you were 5? Halloween when you were 7? The latter two maybe (although I would question the responsibility of your parents), but the Exorcist - I can believe you saw it in a theatre before the age of 12, but certainly not first run. Some place like the Drafthouse show it at a later date?

  • March 5, 2007, 2:02 a.m. CST


    by drew mcweeny

    True, EXORCIST wasn't first run. <P>But I saw the theatrical re-release when I was six or seven, thanks to a much-older person who thought that was funny. The older brothers of neighbors, swearing my friend and I to secrecy, loved to take us to see inappropriate horror films. <P>God bless you, Roger Watt, wherever you are.

  • March 5, 2007, 2:04 a.m. CST

    Beautiful essay, man. Really took me back.

    by Laserbrain

    I feel just like a spotty 15 year old with his nose buried in a well thumbed copy of Fantastic Films Magazine all over again. Cheers. :)

  • March 5, 2007, 2:15 a.m. CST

    Nostalgia aint what it used to be

    by Boba Fat


  • March 5, 2007, 2:21 a.m. CST

    I cannot express how amazed by this article i am

    by IndustryKiller!

    I admit I've been losing faith in this site alot as of late. I feel like Harry's heart isn't in it anymore and when he does speak I almost never trust where he's coming from. I also feel that as the site has become more and mroe of a Zeitgeist that it's denizens have become more homogenized int heir point of view on film. I can't think of any other way to explain the free pass that X3 and Star Wars: Episode 3 got at their debuts. But man this gives me hope. Both Mori (say what you want about him but that guy can fucking write) and Nordling wrote two pieces that made my heart soar one after the other. It's the AICN equivalent of that scene in True Romance where Christopher Walken gives one of the best movie monologues of all time which is followed immediately by Dennis Hopper giving one of the best movie monologues of all time. I share Mori's enthusiasm and even his hope for the future, after all I wouldn't be such a critical asshole if it didn't break my heart to see the industry in the state its in. The only question I have is if any talkbackers will ever get to write one of these? I was too young to catch seeing these movies first run in the 80's (although they were an irreplaceable part of my childhood on video and TV) but I have a very similar experience with Jurassic Park as June 11th 1993 is probably one of the defining days of my life.

  • March 5, 2007, 2:39 a.m. CST

    Great feature, thanks

    by BenBraddock

    Nice writing job! Reading that has me so nostalgic right now.. the sad thing is, not ONE of the cinemas I saw all those great movies in still exists today! Not one... My poor hometown :-(

  • March 5, 2007, 4:15 a.m. CST


    by readingwriter

    It's valuable because even though it's colored by our emotions, it reminds us of what we REALLY value. But the thing is, someday someone's going to write an article here about how 2006 was a great year in movies. Many of the 1982 movies just weren't that good, and that 1985 list someone else posted is astonishing--I hated every one of those movies. So we have to keep things in perspective. More to the point of this site (news), what good is this kind of article in terms of NOW? I'm glad you posted it, but it's really kind of sad, in a way, "Things were great then and shit now." I don't know what if anything will turn Hollywood around, but let's be honest, most of the stuff generally praised on this site by the posters (not the reviewers) is CGI-filled mayhem, not movies like those we're praising here--well-crafted, well-WRITTEN movies. I mean, Virginia Hey's tiny role in The Road Warrior has more impact on me than the character Trinity did in all three Matrix movies--is that really saying anything about quality, or just one's personal taste in women? And what is any of this going to do about the future of genre film? Anyway, great reminiscence, even though I saw ET once in a preview, enjoyed it, and was bored stiff when I tried watching it again (much prefer Poltergeist).

  • March 5, 2007, 4:21 a.m. CST

    Beautiful Nord...

    by reni

    Nice one Bruv! I'm very hungover today. But this cheered me up!

  • March 5, 2007, 4:32 a.m. CST

    My smartarse Joke aside...

    by Boba Fat

    I think part of the problem is that the major studios aren't set up to give filmakers the freedom or the resources to draw upon that Spielberg and Carpenter had when they produced films like "The Thing" and "ET" They were approached from an entirely different angle, a different type of film making. The art direction on both those films would gain an Oscar nominatin today in 1982 it was industry standard for a major studio. I think this applies across the board. I know a studio today will give $200 million to a huge project and try to inject a sense of quality into it but I think back then film making quality was a given. It was how major studio film was made.

  • March 5, 2007, 4:42 a.m. CST


    by AllieJamison

    I can only join in on the praise: Great work, Mori and especially Nordling! Thank you so much. I was born in 1986 and it took me pretty long to get hooked on movies. And still it's also a film from 1981(82)[Raiders] and its successors that inflamed my love with cinema. I'm so thankful to read how it was back then. <br> I think it's not only an act of Nostalgia or an honoring of our (your) roots, part of the explanation of who we are and the cinematic roads we hit. <br> I feel like this is most importantly a tradition of the culture of the cinematic experience ...and anticipation. And it's important for our culture to communicate these past experiences. <br> I also think that apart from Nostalgia, the hype for present day releases that AICN generates clearly that this site doesn't only celebrate things of the past. It's always nice to see where we come from, though.

  • March 5, 2007, 4:44 a.m. CST


    by AllieJamison

    ...clearly shows that this site doesn't only celebrate things of the past... I'm sure there are even more mistakes in there...

  • March 5, 2007, 5:35 a.m. CST

    I detest ET

    by Kizeesh

    But its the "monday night classic movie" on at my local multiplex tonight.<p> Y'all know where I'll be.

  • March 5, 2007, 5:45 a.m. CST

    Ahhhhhhhhhh the 80s

    by livrule

    Magical times ..... My lasting memory is sitting with about 100 other people singing Ghostbusters as the opening credits started!!!

  • March 5, 2007, 6:06 a.m. CST

    Wow... greatest. AICN. piece. ever.


    Nordling - the very first contributor to AICN that made me shed tears. I don't know for sure if it's about how your father passed, or the connection you made with him at the theatre, or if it's just me thinking about being a new dad myself... but you blew me away, friend. It's funny to me that we all hit the Talkbacks on this site and tear each other apart for being whatever brand of geek we each are (SW / LOTR / Trek / Whedonites / Comic geeks / Gamers...) but we all have the geek thing in common and to hear about those truly formative moments in each others' lives makes for a pretty amazing way to identify with each other. It actually makes me realize now that I have not come to AICN in a long, LONG time to have any kind of interaction with other people who have similar interests as I do. I've just checked the news, read a few Talkback subject lines and moved on to Dark Horizons or DavisDVD. But Nordling's article just reminded me why I started visiting this site in the first place. Bravo, Nord. And Bravo to Mori, as well. Thanks, Drew, for spearheding this series in the first place. I have to admit I never realized the fantastic-ness of titles from '82, but to read them all in a list is like a slap in the face. How fucking cool it must have been for a movie-crazy adolescent that year. Myself, I only turned six years old that summer, but I was already in love with the amazing sights I saw at the movies. I do remember my family going to see ET, and me and my sister emptying our tear ducts in the third act. I also remember being very jazzed at seeing a kid in a movie point out what Star Wars action figures he had, and to see ET mistake a kid in a Yoda costume as one of his own. (Personal highlights.) All the rest of those influential films you listed I eventually saw in one form of video or another, but to imagine seeing them all first-run in the theatres - Blade Runner, Wrath of Kahn, Tron, Poltergeist, The Thing - it's like a perfect storm of SF / Fantasy movies. For me, personally, I can relate to the impact of a spectacular summertime movie season at 12/13 years old... I turned 13 in the summer of 1989. I spent every dollar I could get my hands on, going to the movies the entire time. And when I couldn't get to the movies, I'd ride my bike to the nearest movie rental stores and rent some of the excellent movies from '88 that were just making it to VHS at the time. I still consider the summer of 1989 the finest summer of my entire life. Hell, I didn't even have more than 1 or 2 friends at that point in time. (I just moved to Maryland from San Diego in late '88. I was still the weird new kid at the school.) But all summer long I was wrapped in a cinema blanket of some of the greatest (IMO) movies of the 80's. And it was then that I decided that I wanted to make movies myself. I was 13 when I decided that; I'm 30 now. That dream never went away. I can't imagine it ever will. *** Sorry for the rambling. THANKS MORI and Nordling. I can't wait to read the next installment in this series. For real, no bullshit... thanks, guys.

  • March 5, 2007, 6:10 a.m. CST

    I hate E.T.

    by DerLanghaarige

    Spielberg's worst 80's movie (and probably his only bad one)IMO. And I was even more pissed when I was old enough to get that E.T. is supposed to be some kind of Jesus!

  • March 5, 2007, 6:26 a.m. CST


    by Boba Fat

    For me the genius part of E.T is the performances Spielberg drew out of those three kids. For a lot of scenes three kids and a lump of rubber. I don't think they've been bettered or a better sense of childhood wonder captured on film. Spielberg sealed his reputation with that film. As for E.T himself being some kind of Jesus I always took that back of the van resurection shot as a joke. But if it's the sentimentalty that bugs you, I know what you mean. He really went for a hard tug on the heart strings with that ending but it was quite an experience to hear most of the cinema crying.

  • March 5, 2007, 6:49 a.m. CST

    Wow the 80's were good

    by The hoff

    Just looking at the lists of movies that came out in the early eighties really makes me appreciate just what a good decade it was. Having said that I've never really liked ET as a movie, just never found it that entertaining to watch. For me it was star wars, Indy and the Goonies. I was born in 1980 and so had VHS for as much of my life as i can remember and so i got to see a lot of late 70's early eighties movies on VHS and TV and so even though i wasn't old enough to experience a lot of these films in the cinema they were still a huge part of my youth. My first experience of star wars was going round my grandads when i was three and he had recorded it onto VHS from the TV and whilst he and my parents talked me and my brother watched it his TV. Just breath taking, every week that we went to visit him we would ask to watch star wars (after about a year of this he just gave us the tape which just blew my mind being able to see star wars whenever i wanted). But even now whenever i think of star wars i think of my grandads living room and the finger of fudge commercial that played in every ad break of the film.

  • March 5, 2007, 6:57 a.m. CST

    1984 beats eighteenth year!

    by Jugs


  • March 5, 2007, 6:59 a.m. CST

    Man that took me back...

    by brokentusk

    That was an amazing essay; it took me right back to the first time I watched E.T. Nostalgia is great. Can't wait for the next essay, I hope it's as well-written and grammatically correct as this one was. Good work Nordling.

  • March 5, 2007, 7:28 a.m. CST

    The 80's were good. The 90's were better.

    by Teamwak

    Although the 80's is the real decade of the blockbuster, and I am not going to rape my own childhood by being nasty about ET, or Indy. It wasnt until the 90's were a realism came into mainstream movies, not just the odd well-made one. I think we might find 93 or 97 is a better year

  • March 5, 2007, 7:56 a.m. CST

    I remember those summer afternoons

    by SithMenace

    I was born in 1975 so I grew up in the Spielberg/Lucas heyday. My mom would take my sister and I to see matinees in the afternoon when my dad was at work, and I remember walking into the bright, hot summer sun out of that dark air conditioned theater and having the rest of a lazy summer day to play and re-enact everything I had just seen. Sometimes we would stop at Kiddie City and get me a new action figure or two based on the movie we just saw, have lunch and just basically make a whole afternoon of it.<p>Even at 31, I still go to all the new summer movies on a Saturday afternoon, just so I can walk out of that dark theater into a bright, hot summer afternoon and feel like a kid again.

  • March 5, 2007, 8:23 a.m. CST

    Jurassic Park is my ET/King Kong

    by Evil Hobbit

    I was 7 when I saw it and it was life-changing. It made from me the geek I am today. It was rated for All Ages here in the Netherlands and at that time Dinosaurs where hot topic. And when the marketing for JP started it grew even bigger. I remember having my parents buy all the puppets of the velociraptor, triceratops and the fucking big T-rex. And then the day finally came!! Of to see Jurassic Park. There it started. The logo with Williams haunting tune. The moving trees. The cage with the raptor. O god it goes wrong! I'm at the tip of my seat. Shots through the gate, revealing the raptors eye! It's watching to us! IT THINKS! SHOOOT HER! The hand disappeared. It made so much impact. The brilliant stuff in Montana where Grant is diggin up a velociraptor. And then the chopper flight to the island. I can cry just thinking about that feeling or listening to the music. Then revealing the longneck (that's how I called them) followed by the herd of dinosaurs at the lake. How did you do this? I'll show you... The T-rex eventually turned in to my all time favorite 'monster' The film made such a profound effect on me. Where you where first scared to death from the T-rex he reappeared in the end to kick the shit out of those raptors. God did I cheer. T-rex is my hero. And boy was I pissed when in 3 that god fucking awfull Spinosaurus kicked his ass. HOW THE HELL COULD THEY DO THAT??? It was just cruel. Watching Jurassic Park on the screen is an experience I'll never forget and it is without doubt my favorite film of all time.

  • March 5, 2007, 9:12 a.m. CST

    Great memories

    by thefreeagents

    I was 12 that year too and I remember visiting my cousins in Houston that summer. My uncle took us to see ET and the theatre was so packed that there were only 2 seats left. My cousin and I sat and my uncle leaned up against a wall for the entire movie. Can you imagine doing that for a couple of snotty kids? E.T. has stuck with me all these years, especially when my 5 year old saw it for the first time not too long ago and he sat by me on the couch and held my hand during the last 20 minutes or so. Great movie, great article and great memories.

  • March 5, 2007, 9:30 a.m. CST

    One of the best articles ever on this sight...

    by Moonwatcher

    about one of the best movie summers ever. I was 27, a year out of grad school, and all the ads made us think that Spielberg had gone back to making "little films" again. I remember also seeing it with my dad, and tho I didn't notice, I'm sure he was crying, too. Right after that, we went to pick up my mom, wife, and 7 month old daughter from shopping, and I remember thinking how neat it would be when I would get the chance to share this moment with her someday. And yeah, seeing ET face down in the water was sad, but even more so was seeing Drew Barrymore react when they put the paddles on him in the operating suite; man, that still gets me. Nord, great job - thanks for reminding us what it was like back then, how blessed we were to be alive and old enough back then, and how we're reminded, as Ebert said at the time about ET, "what movies are all about."

  • March 5, 2007, 9:38 a.m. CST


    by steele8280

    I just need to say that I thought that was a beautiful article. I never thought I'd enjoy reading about an old movie so much. If all articles in this series hold the same level, it will be something I will really look forward to. Suddenly I feel the need to re-watch my ET dvd. Cheers Nordling.

  • March 5, 2007, 9:41 a.m. CST


    by steele8280

    forgot to add, it was surprisingly interesting to read about an experience I never was able to have with that movie, as I was born in that year of great movies and great wine. ET was a TV discovery for me, as was Sound of Music and Empire Strikes Back and King Kong and other classics. My generation will have other films that we hold dear, but maybe not quite with the same lack of cynicism. Thanks again.

  • March 5, 2007, 9:48 a.m. CST

    Thanx to cool geek films and Cinemax Eurosex flix

    by Doctor_Sin

    The 80s were a great time to be into movies! 1982? "Poltergeist", bitches. "Poltergeist."

  • March 5, 2007, 9:49 a.m. CST

    Amen Evil Hobbit!

    by brokentusk

    I know some people have problems with JURASSIC PARK, but at the age of ten, watching it for the first time - it was just incredible. Of course, it scared the living shit out of me... I agree that the T-Rex kicked a huge amount of ass (and the scene in the rain remains, to this day, the most amazing visual effects sequence I’ve ever seen in a film) and JURASSIC PARK III was utterly lifeless and useless. What ever happened to that supposed script for JURASSIC PARK IV where the dinosaurs could talk and shoot rifles or something? That sounded fucking retarded!

  • March 5, 2007, 9:53 a.m. CST

    Look Back In Anger

    by Douche Baggins

    Good article. 13 in 82 and it reminds me of how crappy Movies, Music, Television is now.

  • March 5, 2007, 10 a.m. CST

    some great movies in '82

    by just pillow talk

    me and my friend in college used to always pile up our mashed potatoes into a mountain when they were served during dinner...freak'n dorks.

  • March 5, 2007, 10:02 a.m. CST

    Great read

    by Monkey Man Zero

    Nicely done, but I think you may have had a gay, woman beating friend. If any of my friends carried kleenex into a movie, they were probably spanking into it. I look forward to the Blade Runner entry in this series. I made my Dad take me because Han Solo was in it. He sees about 1 movie every 10 years in a theater, but he took me. Great times.

  • March 5, 2007, 10:04 a.m. CST

    I hate my friends

    by myspoonistoobig

    They all thought E.T. was scary and don't have any interest in seeing it again and seeing what they missed.<p>I have never heard an entire theater crying. That sounds like it would be pretty memorable. You'd think I'd have heard that at Titanic, but I saw it late in the game and I don't think I was paying attention to the rest of the people in the theater.

  • March 5, 2007, 10:08 a.m. CST

    ugh, more weepy, geeky memory lane wandering...

    by Frank Duckett

    just watch the movies and shut the fuck up.

  • March 5, 2007, 10:14 a.m. CST

    Nostalgia like this always makes me depressed...

    by blackmantis

    As much as I love a lot of the movies discussed here, I've seen them all too many times now for them to have the same impact on me. I've seen Raiders so many times now seeing it again is pointless. It just becomes images spooling past my eyeballs without any emotional pull, as I know every beat by heart. So I scrounge around for something I haven't seen before but all I can really look forward to is the day some new film will knock me on my ass. Those days seem to happen less and less. Maybe I'm just getting old. Maybe, as I heard recently, I shouldn't look for happiness, only happy moments, as that's all life is...I seemed to have a lot more of those happy moments when I was younger...Of course I was an idiot back then too, and ignorance in bliss.

  • March 5, 2007, 10:35 a.m. CST

    Great article

    by kwisatzhaderach

    Shit, is it really 25 years ago? I too remember leaving E.T. one golden summer 1982 afternoon. Seeing it was almost profound. Of course there is lazy filmmaking in it looking back now, but 90% of it still stands up. Looking forward to the BLADE RUNNER, KHAN, POLTERGEIST, CONAN and THING articles!!

  • March 5, 2007, 10:40 a.m. CST

    Scariest part of ET for me was...

    by finky089

    was watching the Dark Crystal trailer that played before it. I don't know why, but those Mystics moaning scared the crap outta me. And yet my parents later took me to see it! (thankfully, since I have a great affinity for it now.)

  • March 5, 2007, 10:58 a.m. CST

    E.T.= Favorite Pet

    by houndog

    It always seemed very obvious to me that E.T. symbolized that special love a child has with a pet. The feelings of responsibility combined with the inevitable feelings of loss. It's usually your first experience with death. We all wish our pets could live on somewhere even if its not with us. Spielberg took that wish and ran with it.

  • March 5, 2007, 10:59 a.m. CST

    This is got to be the coolest thing on AICN ever!

    by Proman1984

    Mori, II enjoyed reading this so much , I can't even tell you. I was negative two in 1982, but I can't wait to read the rest of the series.

  • March 5, 2007, 11:07 a.m. CST

    I chase that feeling...

    by arctor

    "I chase that feeling every time I sit down to a movie, in my darkened church, waiting, hoping for the emotions to come." I've been saying/thinking this exact same thing for's a big part of the criteria by which I judge all films...keep it in mind next time you're strolling down the shelves at your local rental makes picking a movie almost impossible...

  • March 5, 2007, 11:12 a.m. CST

    john belushi

    by hif4life

    hope no one forgets also that the world lost a comedic genius on march 5 1982... can you imagine what ghostbusters would have been like if he had stared in it? anyways, yeah, i was 7 years old and i do remember fondly that year, E.T was the biggest thing for me that year and i had a huge crash on drew barrymoore, man now im deppressed

  • March 5, 2007, 11:12 a.m. CST

    2005 - best movie year since 1982

    by Dark Knight Lite

    Batman Begins, Star Wars Ep. III, Corpse Bride, Devil's Rejects, King Kong, Narnia, Harry Potter 4, Godzilla Final Wars, Fantastic Four, Land of the Dead - Sure, some were better than others, but 2005 was one for the books.

  • March 5, 2007, 11:15 a.m. CST

    oh yeah, also....

    by hif4life


  • March 5, 2007, 11:27 a.m. CST

    Indiana Clones - re: postmodernism

    by Doctor_Sin

    I agree 200%. *applause* I'm glad others get it.

  • March 5, 2007, 11:34 a.m. CST

    I remember seeing ET the summer it came

    by emeraldboy

    IN california. I have relatives in Pacific palisades. I hate the way speilberg decided "after 9/11" to remove the guns. Seriously. that is what the berg said. After 9/11 he was forced to go back re touch that scene and ad CGI. Its a bit like MIchealangelo going back to the Cistine Chapel, finding some spray paint, climbing a ladder and spraying I rule, over and over again, thus destroying his own masterpiece. I understand the concept of "its his and he can doe what he likes" what the berg did to et was not necessary. The bit where et says goodbye is heartwrenching. Now go and out the greatest Sci-fi films never made by David hughes and read the real story of ET. The bergs earliest films are the best, duel, jaws, Close Encounters(he has never bettered)

  • March 5, 2007, 11:36 a.m. CST

    Good stuff

    by Darth Thoth

    Great read- both parts. And I look forward to future essays.

  • March 5, 2007, 11:45 a.m. CST

    I am fundamentally flawed.

    by gusradio

    because i don't care about this movie... Secret Chiefs 3, Kid Nikki Radical Ninja, AudioMulch 1.0, and bunch of other stuff you probaly don't care about; I love passionatly just like this article. I loved how passionate and attached people can get to things. Attaching yourself to E.T is a sign of your age + time and place. That's what I got out of the article... I want to smell popcorn right now but I'd rather be seeing Fear and Loathing in Las Vagas with a head full of acid.

  • March 5, 2007, 11:46 a.m. CST

    Dark Knight Lite


    2005 a year for the books?That is if one were to be inspired to write a book called "The Greatest Cinematic Disappointments of All Time".The only redeemable movie of the ones you listed would be BATMAN BEGINS,and even that ones debatable.

  • March 5, 2007, 11:52 a.m. CST

    Nice - brought a tear to my eye in work!!

    by Brody77

    So damn you for that Nordling! lol - amazing article though, very well put together. You could almost imagine it being done like the narration from Stand By Me!! (in case anyone cares, my film is Jaws)

  • March 5, 2007, 12:17 p.m. CST

    Good read, thank you!

    by Cult Exiter

    Ready for more...

  • March 5, 2007, 12:24 p.m. CST

    The two great years I can think of:

    by myspoonistoobig

    1994: Pulp Fiction, Forrest Gump, The Shawshank Redemption, Léon: The Professional, Clerks., The Hudsucker Proxy, just to name a few.<p> 1999: American Beauty, Fight Club, The Matrix, magnolia, Office Space, and again probably more I am forgetting.

  • March 5, 2007, 12:32 p.m. CST

    1982 - a great year for movies

    by Doctor_Sin

    48 Hours, Annie, Atomic Cafe, Fast Times at Ridgemont High, Nightshift, Gandhi, Beatmaster, Blade Runner, Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Officer and a Gentleman, Porky's, Poltergeist, Cat People, Conan, Creepshow, Cafe Flesh (yay, porn!), Q, Richard Pryor on the Sunset Strip, Last American Virgin, Liquid Sky, Dark Crystal, Draughtsman's Contract, Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid, ET, Eating Raoul, Secret of NIMH, ST2Kaaaaahhhnnn, Pink Floyd's The Wall, Victor/Victoria, Tenebrae (yay, Argento!), Zapped! (yay, Scott Baio!), TRON, and World According to Garp.<p>Timerider: The Adventures of Lyle Swann was a regrettable misstep.

  • March 5, 2007, 12:36 p.m. CST

    77-85 was the golden years of geek movies

    by colivo

    1977- Star Wars 1978- Superman: The Movie 1979- Alien 1980- Empire Strikes Back 1981- Raiders of the Lost Ark 1982- E.T. & Star Trek: Wrath of Khan 1983- Return of the Jedi 1984- Terminator 1985- Back to the Future All of these movies still hold up today, and that is the difference between the summer blockbusters now. All these movies had good action, good drama, lovable characters, and a good story. I am so glad I grew up during this time.

  • March 5, 2007, 12:40 p.m. CST

    Great job, Nordling.

    by a goonie

    I've posted a million times before in talkbacks under multiple aliases for many years, but I don't really post much anymore. I've become a quiet observer for some reason, except for that rare moment when I am moved to speak up. I just wanted to say that I loved your articulate piece on E.T., Nordling. Beautifully written, you nailed everything I love about that glorious, brilliant film. Even though I was born in late '81 and therefore didn't see any '82 films in theaters, the year 1982 is very dear to me, because it produced two of my very favourite movies ever: E.T. and Blade Runner. Again, that was a fantastic piece you wrote. Thank you for so eloquently evoking your adoration for a very important film.

  • March 5, 2007, 12:51 p.m. CST

    "Nordling remembers E.T."

    by Vern

    Shit man, I saw that headline I thought E.T. just died. But then I remembered he already died, was resurrected and ascended to Heaven at the end.

  • March 5, 2007, 12:51 p.m. CST

    Hey everybody

    by skimn

    thanks for making me feel older than dirt. I was 25 when I saw ET with my girlfriend. But you can envy me, when I say I saw Planet Of The Apes, first run. 2001 in Cinerama...Exorcist, Jaws and Star Wars on opening nights...and whoever stated that there doesn't seem to be any new films that affect us as those groundbreaking films did is right, to a degree. The last wide reaching genre film I can think of, would be The Matrix.

  • March 5, 2007, 12:50 p.m. CST

    Absodudely right, Indiana Clones...

    by Cult Exiter

  • March 5, 2007, 1 p.m. CST

    Y'know, now that I think about it

    by QuinnTheEskimo

    Maybe being born in 88 wasn't so bad. I mean, I got to watch all the classics on tape, and I got to grow up watching Batman TAS, Star Trek TNG (literally since the day I was born), Ninja Turtles, X-Men. I guess I missed the great geek movie years, but man there were some great shows on TV when I was a kid.

  • March 5, 2007, 1:09 p.m. CST

    1985 was a far better year for films

    by beamish13


  • March 5, 2007, 1:08 p.m. CST

    Touching memories...

    by JimmyLoneWolf

    Thanks for doing this series Mori, it looks like there's some good reading ahead. While I'm a bit younger than you (26 to be exact) and therefore missed out on seeing many of the movies you mentioned in theaters, I can honestly say that my discovery of them on video (and, later, dvd) was every bit as life-changing for me as it was for you. I remember thinking back then that "this is how movies SHOULD be" and I believe that to this day. I don't know if you felt this way Mori, but at the time I watcherd all those great movies, I remember thinking that their unique essence was much easier to pull off than it really was(simply because there were SO MANY great movies made during that time). To this day, I still look upon Star Wars and Raiders as "recent" filmmaking...even though they're pushing 30 years old!! Seriously, these films are as fresh and wonderful as they were back when I first saw them in the mid-to-late 80's. They are treasures, and its great to see you paying tribute to them. I can't wait to show these films to my kids. Rest assured, they'll be watching The Thing LONG before they reach 18 (and probably long before they reach 13!) Anyway, I think this is some of the best stuff you've written and it really touched me, keep up the great work!!

  • March 5, 2007, 1:18 p.m. CST

    Who's old enough to remember the early hate for Yoda?

    by Doctor_Sin

    Remember, oh you legion of sci-fi movie mag readers you, how upset people were before ESB because "there was going to be a muppet in the film"? LMAO. Before ESB came out, you would have thought Frank Oz's presence heralded the coming of the Antichrist. Lucas sure proved them wrong.

  • March 5, 2007, 1:41 p.m. CST

    I think...

    by DocPazuzu

    ...that some of the contrary talkbackers who are championing movie years other than 1982 and to the detriment of the latter are missing the point. It's 1982 as a SF/fantasy/horror movie year which is being honored. Using Ran, Lost in America, Mishima and To Live and Die in L.A. as examples of why another year was "better" is, at best, thoroughly meaningless.

  • March 5, 2007, 1:55 p.m. CST


    by Motoko Kusanagi


  • March 5, 2007, 1:57 p.m. CST

    '82-A great summer of genre movies

    by Randy of AFTIMES

    Great job Nordling and Mori; I can't wait to hear the others and need to write an essay or two myself, having lived and seen them. One thing to point out on one9deuce's list (besides missing TRON) is that ALL of those flilms came out duirng a 3 month period from May to August! SO many classics in such a bright and short time.

  • March 5, 2007, 2 p.m. CST

    I'm still waiting for 'Tales of the Ancient Empire!'

    by Orionsangels

    When THE SWORD & THE SORCERER ends it says coming soon. 'Tales of the Ancient Empire' Well? I'm still waiting and don't gimmie this crap that 25 years have passed. old dead or alive. the actors are making this sequel! I won't stop till they do! grrr!

  • March 5, 2007, 2:03 p.m. CST

    I'm not a huge fan of E.T. but...

    by Orionsangels

    What always got me about the film. Is how it starts out so simple and becomes so epic. Thanks to Williams music of course. It felt low budget, but by the time they fly at the end on the bikes and ride into the sunset. It's the most magical moving thing ever. It just is

  • March 5, 2007, 2:17 p.m. CST

    You scumbag Nordling!

    by Orionsangels

    Your article nearly made me cry. Especially the part about your dad crying. I've yet to see my Dad cry and I'm 34. You also captured some of my youth in there. Hanging out with my friends. All that stuff.

  • March 5, 2007, 2:18 p.m. CST

    1982 is my favorite year at the movies...

    by Bones

    I am very glad to see that others feel the same way. I was nine in 1982, a slightly more impressionable age than twelve, but a glorious year nonetheless.<p> ...And how cool is it that a movie called "My Favorite Year" (which is a great film) came out in my actual favorite year?

  • March 5, 2007, 2:21 p.m. CST

    I think Speilberg should apologise to rick baker

    by emeraldboy

    and make night skies. That would be the perfect sequel to ET.

  • March 5, 2007, 2:23 p.m. CST

    I was loosing faith in this site....Thank You

    by olsonizer

    I used to come to this site on a usual basis. But then I started to notice that people wern't coming to the site to share a love of movies anymore. They were coming to trash talk others in a semi-anonymous way; to take out there angst and loss of control over real life by slamming each other or bashing movies just for the sake of bashing because they want to feel like holier-than-thou elitist. I stopped coming because it was detracting from my love for movies. THIS is the kinda artical that can make me come back. Not just because I'm a big Spielberg fan but because it contains a positive vibe and shared love of the artform. I want to be among a community that remembers it's okay to love film, instead of punch each other in the gut because their boss is an ass and since they can't tell him they come to this site and pretend the reviewer or talkbacker is there boss and commence to being an elitist asshole and cut them a new one with hedge clippers. Thanks Nordling and Mori - We need more community builders like this.

  • March 5, 2007, 2:25 p.m. CST

    Oh yeah--and I was Elliot in 1982...

    by Bones

    Seriously. Because of this movie, my nickname for the rest of elementary school was Elliot.<p> I had the older brother, the divorced mom, the stupid haircut, the Dungeons & Dragons/Pizza parties, all of the Star Wars toys. Between this movie and The NeverEnding Story, my kind of childhood experience was pretty well documented on film...<p> Well, without the Aliens, Luckdragons or dead parents named Moonchild...

  • March 5, 2007, 2:28 p.m. CST

    Orcus, I remember the "Vader Story"

    by Doctor_Sin

    Ah, the good ol' pre-internet days. I remember having a deep conversation with a friend about Kermit the Frog being in ESB. LMAO.

  • March 5, 2007, 2:30 p.m. CST

    'The Thing' was maybe the goriest film of 82, but...

    by Orionsangels

    To me the goriest scene that summer was in 'Sword and the Sorcerer' A guy's face gets spliced in two by a sword and they show it closeup. It used to disturb me. lol. Some of you young katz should look this film up. It's not bad, next to Conan it was the best fantasy wizard movie that year. There's this bad ass sword in the movie that keeps getting destory but then converts into a smaller sword and so on and so on.

  • March 5, 2007, 2:52 p.m. CST

    Nordlings right though about no mystery left in movies

    by Orionsangels

    One of the reasons Jurassic Park worked was because they didn't really give you a good look at the Dinos in the trailer. So when you finally saw that T-Rex appears it blows you away. Today movies give everything away. How cool would have the King Kong ads been if they didn't really show Kong?

  • March 5, 2007, 2:55 p.m. CST

    Starlog phone numbers - oh yeah!

    by Doctor_Sin

    If only AICN had hotline phone numbers to get the latest "scoops" read by Harry. LOL<p>Now THAT was excitement, waiting for TESB. And of course, waiting for those promised "9 films". ;)

  • March 5, 2007, 3:01 p.m. CST

    Wow good stuff guys...

    by quadrupletree

    Thanks for that article, can't wait for the rest of them. I was a bit younger in 1982 but the feelings were all the same. Yes I remember playing with my vader figures in the back yard! E.T. though is one of the few movies from my childhood where the memory is greater than the actual movie, I think because I was younger when I saw it, it was one of my favorite movies as a kid and I didn't see it again for years afterward and when I finally did it just wasn't as good as I remembered it. Very few movies from my childhood are like that but for some reason this one is.

  • March 5, 2007, 3:09 p.m. CST

    Never got into ET

    by CTU Mole

    I was 6 in '82 and did the weekly Raiders of the Lost Ark thing, even got into Blade Runner but ET just seemed too maudlin, even for me at that age.

  • March 5, 2007, 3:16 p.m. CST

    Does anyone else remember ET's hands?

    by Bones

    The first real footage of the movie I ever saw was on "Sneak Previews" with Siskel and Ebert on PBS...both men were jumping up and down singing the movies praises.<p> Then they show the clip, which was Elliot talking to everyone out in the backyard and them going back in the house--they we see ET's little fingers wrap around the doorframe in the shed...<p> That image had our family (My Mom, my older brother and I) looking at each other, saying "Oh Yeah" We are going to see that! When we did see it, it was on one of the weekends my dad came to town for his bi-weekly visitations, and he took all of us to see the film.<p> And, yes indeed--it was the first movie I ever say that made my dad cry like a baby, along with the rest of us. You almost couldn't hear the movie over the sobbing (kind of like the end of "Pan's Labyrinth", recently) and the rest of the summer was jsut as sweet--so many good movies. I still have my old scrapbook of movie ads cut out of the newspaper over the years. And I still have the full-page black and white add for E.T., with the John Alvin painting of the hands and the star. Which I am looking at, right now.<p> Thanks guys--I needed this today.

  • March 5, 2007, 3:41 p.m. CST

    Yeah, but FUCK the Atari 2600 ET game

    by Doctor_Sin

    That thing was a side-scrolling nightmare of endless dimensions. It scrolled up-down, side-side, angles...fucking government agents running around, colelcting phone pieces and getting to the spaceship all on a plain fucking background with no orientation. You kids today and your Dooms and your Halos...Bah!

  • March 5, 2007, 3:45 p.m. CST

    Yeah, but FUCK the Atari 2600 ET game

    by Doctor_Sin

    That thing was a side-scrolling nightmare of endless dimensions. It scrolled up-down, side-side, angles...fucking government agents running around, colelcting phone pieces and getting to the spaceship all on a plain fucking background with no orientation. You kids today and your Dooms and your Halos...Bah!

  • March 5, 2007, 3:55 p.m. CST

    80's had some great movies and comics.

    by mrfan

    Good stuff. I think there was always something for everyone when it came to movies. There were horror movies. Loved the Thing. Comedies. Loved Ghostbusters, Vacation, Trading Places, 48 hours, Mr.Mom. John Hughes movies out the ass. My favorite movie of all time is Raiders of the Lost Ark. Got two sequels in that decade. How about Star Trek 2-5. Also the eighties. I almost forgot about Caddyshack. Good times at the theater. Good times.

  • March 5, 2007, 3:54 p.m. CST

    this article

    by macgruder

    represents to me what movies can do to lives and how integral they have become PART of our lives. E.T. was and is one of my favorite movies ever. When I think of E.T., I think of youth and how it felt to be a boy growing up in the 80's. This article summed it greatly. I hope the future ones are just as good.

  • March 5, 2007, 4:07 p.m. CST



    Well, since so many others are pointing out other good years for movies (and not that I wish to detract from the 1982 discussion in any way, but...) I want to point out this year marks the 10th anniversaries of the following films: Good Will Hunting / Chasing Amy / Grosse Pointe Blank / LA Confidential / The Full Monty / As Good As It Gets / Boogie Nights / Gattaca / Donnie Brasco / Con Air / Face Off / Contact / The 5th Element / Starship Troopers / The People Vs. Larry Flynt / Alien Resurrection (hey, Fuck ya, I liked it...) and the last feature film by one Jim Cameron... the name of it eludes me at the moment...

  • March 5, 2007, 4:10 p.m. CST

    CGI is part of the problem

    by Neo Zeed

    I don't believe in a movie world where real actors act with CGI backgrounds and characters. Also, I'm sure CGI is VERY diffcult to render, but as a plain ol' Joe I don't feel the struggle over traditional effects (set building, makeup, animatronics, etc.) Even with the worst genre movies back in the day, I could appreciate the work that went into the effects. CGI? Not really. I just kinda take it for granted, thus ther's no wonder. I'm no longer going "Oh shit! How'd they do that?!" Now I just say, "CGI." And I never think it's real, I just think it looks like a PS3 cutscene. Anyway give me a muppet anyday. Yeah...I'm that old. LOL

  • March 5, 2007, 4:38 p.m. CST


    by kwisatzhaderach

    Alien Resurrection was the pits. A total piece of crap.

  • March 5, 2007, 4:45 p.m. CST

    This summer will be the highest-grossing ever

    by dead.legend

    MARK MY WORDS! not really... But it will make more money than any other year in history. Pirates 3, Shrek the third, Spidey 3, Transformers, Die Hard 4, and a slew of others. Pirates and Spidey alone are two of the biggest franchises of all time. Pile on a buch of other hits, yer talkin about BILLIONS. 1982 was the shit for sci-fi fans though. No other year has ever produced more sucessful sci-fi pictures.

  • March 5, 2007, 4:49 p.m. CST

    Sorry, TORTURE PWN

    by Dark Knight Lite

    But I was there in '82, and I remember jackasses saying that Conan, Blade Runner and The Thing were "good, but could have been much better." Pretty much what you're saying about the 2005 releases. I enjoyed the hell outta Batman, Sin City (forgot that one earlier,) Kong, Star Wars and was pleasantly surprised by Narnia. The rest either met or were slightly below my expectations. Only War of the Worlds and Land of the Dead came in far below what I had anticipated. 2005 was indeed a great year for genre releases. Perhaps some Oxy 10 will not only clear up your acne, but your memory as well.

  • March 5, 2007, 4:55 p.m. CST

    I saw The Thing at the drive-in

    by Dark Knight Lite

    I had almost forgotten that.

  • March 5, 2007, 5:01 p.m. CST

    Great Article

    by the beef

    I was born in '82 so I can't comment on that year for being at the theater. Since then, summers haven't been fantastic and the impressive blockbusters were put out over a course of time, not in one great year. Honestly, the closest I think this generation has had to reaching the ranks of great genre years was 2005 EPISODE III WAR OF THE WORLDS BATMAN BEGINS KING KONG GOBLET OF FIRE CHARLIE AND CHOCOLATE FACTORY SIN CITY SKY HIGH CORPSE BRIDE HOWL'S MOVING CASTLE

  • March 5, 2007, 5:21 p.m. CST

    Frank Duckett

    by Quin the Eskimo

    cynical asshole

  • March 5, 2007, 5:25 p.m. CST

    There is something about sharing a movie-going experien

    by Quin the Eskimo

    ce with a dad. I think it may be about reacting the same way as the man you both idolize and fear. I remember watching Jurassic Park in the sixth grade and being amazed that my dad, an ex navy seal turned preacher, had laughter in his eyes. He died about 5 years later, which makes the memory all the more poignant.

  • March 5, 2007, 5:55 p.m. CST

    My older brother took me to Raiders and to Road Warrior

    by Doctor_Sin

    Cool times.

  • March 5, 2007, 5:57 p.m. CST

    The best thing about 1982

    by Human Worm Baby

    The best thing about 1982 for me was that I was born that year. Good old May 7th, 1982. Bless the sperm that germinated mom's ovule and made me.

  • March 5, 2007, 6:03 p.m. CST

    I lost my virginity in 1982

    by Garbageman33

    So yes, I have fond memories of that year. Although I think I might have enjoyed The Road Warrior (did that come out in '82?) more than I enjoyed the sex. It certainly lasted longer.

  • March 5, 2007, 6:16 p.m. CST

    this article nailed it perfectly

    by Sir Loin

    1982 is an absolute fixture in time for those who were kids (I was 14). So many movies, so many classics. Please keep these kinds of articles coming, they are what keep many of us coming back to AICN because we recognize what times like the summer of 1982 represent. I'm still mad that E.T. beat out Poltergeist for the FX Oscar, though! I took 4 months alone (according to Starlog) to research the imploding house effect at the end. Rip-off! :)

  • March 5, 2007, 6:18 p.m. CST

    P.S. SilentBob X is a penis-breath

    by Sir Loin

    "Look at me, first post! I'm now a man! Still haven't kissed a girl, but I got first post!" Too bad we can't auto-nuke posts like that, especially in such a nostalgic TB.

  • March 5, 2007, 6:20 p.m. CST

    let's relive our youths...

    by PeteBogs

    actually, a 1982-themed film fest would be pretty awesome...

  • March 5, 2007, 6:32 p.m. CST


    by REDD

    The Terminator was released in 1984.

  • March 5, 2007, 6:46 p.m. CST

    Human Worm Baby

    by mrfan

    While you were breast feeding on your mama I was sucking some coeds tit at the drive in with the Rocky triple feature. Sorry. <p> Good times. Good times.

  • March 5, 2007, 6:50 p.m. CST

    Sure enough Randy of AFTIMES

    by one9deuce

    TRON should have been on my list. <p> And a thank-you to both Moriarty and Nordling for a great, great article. <p> I would like to add my two cents on the debate concerning how much we know now going into a movie. I don't think any of that stuff matters. A movie is either a great movie, or it's not a great movie, and anything we learn about it before hand is irrelevant. My two cousins saw THE TERMINATOR before I did, and they told me everything. And I mean everything, including the T-800 getting crushed in the press at the end. Didn't take away from my enjoyment of the film one bit. And thats because it's a great film.

  • March 5, 2007, 6:51 p.m. CST

    12 is generally an awesome year for everyone...

    by Flim Springfield

    I was 12 in '84, great year! I went to two movies a week all summer, I saw "Ghostbusters" seven times. Hell, I even saw "Breakin'" twice!

  • March 5, 2007, 6:54 p.m. CST



    Please see my above comments re: my feelings on the movie. ;-)

  • March 5, 2007, 7:09 p.m. CST

    This review is like the next Cinema Paradiso

    by Chanoc

    The love of Cinema, whether it is in a little italian village circa WWII or at your local cineplex in 1982 or 2007, will always be like your first real love and you will never forget it. This review made me cry almost as much as I cry EVERY time I see E.T. They should make a movie based on this story and it could well be the next Cinema Paradiso. Great Article!

  • March 5, 2007, 7:16 p.m. CST



    But don't you think that, because audiences (especially the likes of us who post on AICN) have become so much more savvy in the ways of the business, it makes us a little bit more jaded and cynical when we watch movies now? It's not just that we know how they do the effects, or that we think "this movie will be cool because it was directed by _________," but even thinking about things in terms of box office returns, budget issues, talent disputes, etc. We all know so much more these days about the ridiculous behind-the-scenes stuff that it invariably colors our perceptions of the movies we see. Like X3, for example. 15, 20 years ago, people would have either liked it or not. Comics fans would have either liked it or not. Kids would have either liked it or not. But instead, in 2006, the movie had to contend with the public's perception of Ratner making it instead of Singer. And would it be better than Superman because that's where the franchise's talent went. And was the movie good despite its rushed production schedule. And did it suffer from the fact that Halle Berry demanded a larger role. And was it screwed from the beginning because the President of Fox's Film division is a douchenozzle. Back in the 80's, movies either lived up to what they should have been or they didn't. If the lens of my memory is smeared with nostalgia, and I just never realized that people viewed movies with the same skewed point-of-view going in to the theatre, then somebody please correct me and I'll admit my error. But you can't really believe that all the industry "sophistication" we've acquired in the past ten years or so, in the new era of 24-hour entertainment TV, deleted scenes and commentary tracks on DVDs and daily on-set blog entries by cast and crew members, hasn't affected our basic love of the medium, do you?

  • March 5, 2007, 8:27 p.m. CST


    by one9deuce

    You make good points, but I just don't think it matters once those lights go down. Everytime I think I am getting too cynical, a great genre film completely makes me forget I know anything about anything concerning film. It happened with THE MATRIX in 1999. And it happened with PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: THE CURSE OF THE BLACK PEARL. Those are the last two genre movies that compelled me to take friends or family who hadn't seen it yet. I wanted people I liked to see those films. Such a rarity. <p> Since the corporations took over the studios, the output has steadily gotten worse. That's the real problem. We had this golden age of genre cinema from 1975 to 1985 of REALLY great films. The filmmakers behind those classics wanted to tell a great story, that was their motivation. Since then the studios have been making films that try to copy the success of those films instead of doing what made those films successful. Big difference.

  • March 5, 2007, 9:41 p.m. CST

    Back to one9...


    I'm absolutely with you on The Matrix - but remember back in early 1999, Keanu Reeves had been far removed from the industry's idea of a "bankable star." Dude hadn't had a hit in years. And the Wachowskis were really only known for "Bound," which was well-received, but said nothing in terms of their SF blockbuster potential. Plus, not everybody was getting all their movie info from AICN and such outlets at that point. Sure, this house that Harry Knowles built was growing steadily (much like Harry Knowles was... ba-ZING!) but the online film community was still young and not yet the force to be reckoned with as it is today. (Snakes on a Plane, anyone?) <p> Also remember the fact that in the Spring of 1999, people thought there were only two movies coming out the whole year: "Star Wars-Episode 1" and "Everything Else." <p> So what I'm saying is, The Matrix slipped in under the radar... and blew the shit out of everyone that saw it. THAT movie was the real defining blockbuster that year, in my opinion. Sure, TPM had all the hype, but The Matrix had the goods. BUT when it came out, we didn't really know much about it. It didn't really have much hooplah prefacing it, until the trailers and the commercials hit. When we all saw the bullet-time effects, we were all intrigued. It captured our attention. And then it was released and sailed into the summertime on great word of mouth. <p> As for POTC, I could kind of say it too was sort of underestimated before its release, but not as much as Matrix. It certainly wasn't pegged to be the huge blockbuster it turned out to be. So ultimately, when you went in and sat down in the theatre and fell in love with those flicks, I'm guessing that you didn't go in already overwhelmed with information about the movies' productions couching your reactions. Although, I don't know how much you paid attention to them, pre-release. I could be off-base in my assumption. <p> You also mention the corporate takeovers of the studios in the 80's and 90's. I agree with you that they have turned all the big movies into products, but, just to play devil's advocate, there were also PLENTY of bad, even horrible genre movies between 1975 and 1985. Corporate ownership or not, it's always been Hollywood's style to ape the success of any pop culture landmark. True, Star Wars begat Alien, Alien begat The Thing, but for every contributary movie that worked, there were a dozen that stunk up the cineplex. Hell, more recently, comics movies were DOA after the rotting corpse of Batman and Robin, until X-Men dropped in 2000 and Spider-Man finally got out of the courts and into production. Ever since then, not two months goes by that we don't see another comics hero up on screen - sometimes done right, sometimes Elektra. <p> The corporate Hollywood machine is most certainly a chronic failure whose rare succeses sustain its tortured existance. If we didn't spend the money we spend on the movies that we DO think are worth it, the industry would crumble. And who knows? Maybe it would just be picked up and resurrected by... I don't know... guys with cameras in one hand and scripts in the other. And then maybe the whole history of Hollywood would start all over again... just like The Matrix.

  • March 5, 2007, 10:11 p.m. CST

    I also hated E.T.

    by SnapT

    I was about 5 when E.T. came out, and I had constant nightmares of E.T. hiding in my closet and then popping out at me and screaming his horrible scream. I was also afraid whenever I saw a doorway of seeing E.T.'s fingers wrap around it and pop out of it. When my parents took me to see E.T. all I did was cry. During the scene when E.T. was dying my parents thought I was sad about him dying because I was crying, but I was only crying because friggin' E.T. was on the screen and looking even scarier than normal. Ghost E.T. BOO FOR E.T.!

  • March 5, 2007, 10:13 p.m. CST

    Although now that I am 29 I hate E.T. less.

    by SnapT

    I am not as afraid of E.T., if afraid at all, and I appreciate the quirky dialogue and naturalistic style of the film. Spielberg should go back to that real life, characters-talking-over-each-other, TV-on-in-the-background kind of style.

  • March 5, 2007, 10:25 p.m. CST

    Hey Mori! 90s list!

    by Lenny Nero

    Just kidding. Or am I?

  • March 5, 2007, 10:31 p.m. CST

    Mem' the corners of my mind...

    by Zardoz

    Great article. I'm right there with you guys, too! I was 12 in '82 and I remember going to the multi-plex, buying one ticket and then sneaking into various theaters and seeing E.T., Raiders, Khan, ESB, Somewhere in Time, 9 to 5 and Blade Runner over-and-over again. Ah, yes: I'm very old...And I saw E.T. with my Mom on its opening night in a packed theater in New Orleans and both of us cried a river at the end; I don't think there was a dry eye in the house at the end of the movie. Oh yeah, and Starlog! Now THAT was a true SF mag for the fans! Man, I used to have every issue...

  • March 5, 2007, 11:15 p.m. CST


    by rune_spell

    An engaging article, indeed. I yearn for the day when we can all go back to theater and relive those experiences we grew up with and have come to cherish so much in these past..oh..20 years of shite filmmaking (with exceptions of course). And while I do, or did, enjoy reading Starlog, my favorite genre mag was definitely Cinefantastique. Although you couldn't trust their often short-sighted, biased reviews, the articles and interviews were top-notch. I can't wait for the next article. Cheers!

  • March 6, 2007, 12:15 a.m. CST

    1982 the year of MEGAFORCE

    by TrainWreck1969

    Why can't I get a 25th Anniversary Special Edition Two Disc DVD from Fox Home Video. Barry Bostwick as Ace Hunter and Persis Khambatta riding laser-firing tank-busin' dune buggies! Rank? Why ain't nobody got a rank in Megaforce.

  • March 6, 2007, 12:22 a.m. CST

    I LOVE E.T.!!!!!!! (sniff, sniff) :(

    by wackybantha


  • March 6, 2007, 12:33 a.m. CST

    The Curse of Being Born in '86

    by TheBigChill

    Having been born in 1986, I can't make any sort of comment in regards to how movies that played in theaters in 1982 were so much more magical than those seen today, but I can agree that they are some of the more memorable entries in my expanding collection of DVDs. Each rich in story and visual. They dared to imagine. But here is the problem with nostalgia: when you look back on something you liked you have a difficult time remembering what you didn't like. For every E.T. there is a crapper. But that is the way movies are. I would like to believe that this winter movies were generally good. That isn't to say the good movies made lots of money, but I remember going to the theater and seeing a lot of good movies. The Departed, Apocalyto, Children of Men, Pan's Labyrinth, Blood Diamond, Little Miss Sunshine, Superman Returns, Casino Royale, Talladega Nights, Pirates of the Caribbean, Borat, Inside Man, V for Vendetta, Monster House, Babel, The Prestige, The Fountain... and I'm sure that list goes on. And for every good movie that can be seen throughout this year, you could see an RV or Saw III. No, these movies aren't as ground-breaking as The Road Warrior or Blade Runner, but I remember going to the movies excited to see them and coming out very happy to have been able to see that on the big screen. Maybe one day more film makers will get the idea that making movies that make people feel something is more important than the cash in their pockets. But until that day, we should appreciate any film, from any year that really makes us think, believe, feel like we are somewhere else.

  • March 6, 2007, 12:49 a.m. CST

    Dark Nite Lite,I certainly WAS there in 82


    but I still don't think anything you listed is anywhere near the caliber of 82 in quality or lasting power.25 years from now Narnia,Batman Begins(which,for the record,I liked),Sin City(liked that as well),Land of the Dead(liked that too,somewhat,etc. will be all but forgotten while people will still be celebrating the 50th anniversary of many 82 films.And,just for the record,I've LOVED THE THING and BLADE RUNNER since day one.

  • March 6, 2007, 3:33 a.m. CST

    ET for you = Sandlot for me

    by Ryb0

    I was born in '85. The Sandlot was the movie of all movies for me. It captured summer perfectly. Well for me at least. I loved baseball and that movie. Still do.

  • March 6, 2007, 5:04 a.m. CST

    Also There in '82


    And it was a great year, but I tend to disagree that genre-busters like Sin City will necessarily be forgotten. A lot of people weren't betting on Blade Runner, and certainly not The Thing, at the time (I can't think of a person, even at the time, that didn't see E.T. as a classic). However, aside from films, there's something else different now that we're never gonna have back: less distratctions in 82. There was nothing like a great movie. I loved Tron--I still love Tron--but I could make a movie with better effects than that on my home computer, now. The Internet, videogames, sattelite TV, a zillion cable channels, podcasts and iPods and mp3s and on-demand-everything and other crap I'm not even thinking of . . . it's hard to have an experience, even with a great film, of there being nothing to compete with it, nothing you could possibly rather be doing, even for a moment, no way to find out much about the film until it comes out (where, today, we can often read the scripts online) . . . Still, what really determines how enduring movies will be won't be what people saying about them now, or a year later, but what people are saying about them 25 years later. And there were a lot of people at the time who didn't think anybody would be talking about Blade Runner 25 years later. The Road Warrior was just a sequel to that weird movie you could see on cable sometime, with those horribly dubbed voices. Still, 1982 was a heck of a year. Has anybody mentioned My Favorite Year? Or Tootsie? Fast Times a Ridgemont High? Oh, and Poltergeist, a film I loved as much as E.T. from the moment I saw it. The Executioners Song, featuring more nudity of a still very hot Rosanna Arquette that I could have ever hoped for . . . The Secret Policeman's Other Ball? Diner? Even the questionable remake of Cat People? And the other great Stallone flick, First Blood. And let's not forget Rocky III! Heck, 1982 even gave us An Officer and a Gentleman. While there weill certainly be future classic films, I must admit that we must all hail 1982 as one of the most excellent in cinema. Except for 1981, the year that brought us both Raiders of the Lost Ark (one of the best films ever, for a million reason, not the least of which was Karen Allen) and Time Bandits. And I'm also a big fan of 1985, as it gave us one of my favorite movies, Back to the Future. And it was also the year that gave us a lot of 80s teen/tween classics, like The Breakfast Club, Better off Dead, Goonies, Explorers, My Science Project, Real Genius, St. Elmos Fire, The Sure Thing, Teen Wolf, Weird Science . . . 1985 also gave us Re-Animator, the panned but still oddly compelling Tom Cruice vehicle, Legend, Ladyhawke, and one of my other favorite films of all time, Brazil. The 80s were sweet!

  • March 6, 2007, 6:50 a.m. CST

    I'd rather watch saw3 than SR

    by Lost Prophet

    And nothing to do with how good Saw 3 is- it just has to be better than SR. <p>But good point nonetheless. <p>About ET- when I saw it when it was released I was about 4 or 5 (can't remember the month it came out in The UK- sorry) and loved it. But as I have got older, I have started to believe that the decline in Spielberg dates from ET. As good as Munich was, it is not a patch on his early work- and represents a blip in an otherwise downward spiral, and War of the Worlds isn't worthy to lick the shoes of Close Encounters. Just an opinion. <p>Lastly, seriously, whoever said 2005 is going to be a landmark year has got to be kidding. One thing that is certain is that summer of 2006 will be a landmark - it will be remembered as the absolute nadir of cinema- The summer quality finally bottomed out.

  • March 6, 2007, 7:08 a.m. CST

    Pirates of the Caribbean

    by kwisatzhaderach

    Why do people like this film? It's TERRIBLE! Bland acting, poor pacing, everything played for laughs. Horrible Bruckheimer tosh.

  • March 6, 2007, 8 a.m. CST

    you seem to be down on a lot of films recently, Kwisatz

    by Lost Prophet

    you need some happy pills. Are you scottish by any chance?

  • March 6, 2007, 9:22 a.m. CST

    I also didn't like POTC

    by Neo Zeed

    I thought it was boring.

  • March 6, 2007, 9:46 a.m. CST

    Great article.

    by briantag

    I was also born in 1970, and have many of the same memories. I remember loving Starlog, Future, Fangoria, OMNI, and yeah, that was like our "internet" back then.

  • March 6, 2007, 9:56 a.m. CST

    I miss those concession stand prices

    by Doctor_Sin

    It seems so long ago we used to joke about "taking out a loan" to pay for popcorn. LOL Now, we need a mortgage.<p>I miss the Dollar Theaters. Man, just waiting for new releases to hit the cheapie places and seeing like six films a day was fucking wicked. And late at night, some showed stuff like Rocky Horror or 80s Hong Kong flicks (the "classic" good ones from Chan, Li, and Chow, etc).

  • March 6, 2007, 10:23 a.m. CST

    has anyone mentioned...

    by m2298

    THE LAST UNICORN? There was a time when animated films would appear out of nowhere for a weekend or two and then disappear (other than the Disney ones which only came out once every four years). Some were good and some weren't, but they usually had little hype. Also mentionable is 1985's disappointing but still noteworthy live action RETURN TO OZ.

  • March 6, 2007, 11:25 a.m. CST


    by SithMenace

    I thought I was the only one that was bored with POTC. Sure, I like Johnny Depp's character, but that wasn't enough to carry an otherwise terrible movie. I never even saw the second one, and based on the reviews I probably never will.

  • March 6, 2007, 11:31 a.m. CST


    by SithMenace

    '08 looks to be a very promising year for genre films. We get Indy 4, The Dark Knight, Bond 22, Star Trek 11, possibly Jurassic Park 4 and possibly Terminator 4, and a few others I can't remember right now. Definite potential.

  • March 6, 2007, 11:44 a.m. CST


    by SithMenace

    I give a shit. I'm roughly the same age as you and at one point or another have thought about everything you said. Things were just different then.

  • March 6, 2007, 11:50 a.m. CST


    by cutest_of_borg

    Was 15 when my buddies and I saw STII opening day - and I freaking cried when Spock died. Can't watch it now without tearing up.

  • March 6, 2007, 1:01 p.m. CST

    1968 was another fantastic year for genre cinema.

    by a goonie

    It's going back a little ways, but 1968 is another year that absolutely owned the asses of genre cinema lovers. Night of the Living Dead, Planet of the Apes, Rosemary's Baby... oh, and also the greatest movie ever committed to celluloid: 2001: A Space Odyssey. Yeah, just wanted to give '68 some love.

  • March 6, 2007, 1:15 p.m. CST

    If you *didn't* cry when Spock died, you have no soul

    by Doctor_Sin

    That was moving. Truly moving. Not in a sappy "sad" movie way, either. A very noble, heroic death. I actually hated the Search for Spock nonsense. Sorry, but, if you kill someone off just let them die.

  • March 6, 2007, 1:54 p.m. CST

    E.T. is a prime example of a perfect film

    by performingmonkey

    Spielberg made three perfect films, Jaws, Raiders and E.T.. None of his others come close, not Schindler's List not Saving Private Ryan not Jurassic Park, certainly not Close Encounters.

  • March 6, 2007, 2:11 p.m. CST

    12 in 82...

    by NNNOOO!!!

    ...and I knew even then that it was a special year for movies. I saw KHAN and DARK CRYSTAL six times each. For E.T., we were down in front at the Pleasant Hill Century Dome and I remember looking to the side to see rows of moviegoers blubbering in the reflected light of the screen. Great article, Nordling.

  • March 6, 2007, 2:32 p.m. CST

    in 82 i was 4 or 5...

    by El Borak

    e.t. is the first movie i can "remember" seeing in the theater. my mom took me. i was a little'un in "empire" but no memory of that. i saw e.t. twice and that bastard scared me everytime!!! when e.t. screams in the dark i had to turn around in my mom's lap. one of the times the lady behind us was smiling and laughing at me. ahhh shame... anyway that was my "FIRST" theater going experience.

  • March 6, 2007, 2:57 p.m. CST

    Very good article.

    by boba_rob

    Touching and poignant. Keep up the good work.

  • March 6, 2007, 4:31 p.m. CST


    by moto

    Look, I enjoy this site. Sometimes we are offered some fun moments and articles such as this one, as well as the interviews with Cameron and Stallone. But the fact of the matter is, there is a reason we don't have summers of wonder anymore in those theaters. And sorry to say, it's due to AICN and its copies. Back then, yeah, magazines like Starlog offered little snippets of information to tease the genre geeks/audience. So we went into that dark theater not knowing what to expect, and excited about it! Even when a movie didn't perform 100% (no movie does), we took what we loved about them and forgot the rest. Problem now is AICN and co. have created monsters. Fanboys that dig into early scripts for movies yet to be released, prejudgments of a movie based on various spy images, etc. The internet has just really ruined any type of wonder that we had back in the days of the 80s. The internet has created forums and communities of people that are so easily convinced one way or the other... either the movie is going to suck, or it's going to be brilliant. That's an impossible viewpoint. Black and white is not the way to think, just read talkbacks here and that's all you see. The magic is just gone for so many people. These leaked images, scripts (most of which are old, but people just don't get the process of filmmaking), and early "reviews" of films just ruin everything for those who put so much merit into them. That's why '82 will never happen again for most people.

  • March 6, 2007, 5:42 p.m. CST

    Talk about a blast from the past!

    by John Titor

    And I should know

  • March 6, 2007, 6:10 p.m. CST


    by justmyluck

    Best post in this thread, IMO. The anticipation and wonder is definitely diminished by geek sites that race to expose as much as they can before opening day (spolier warnings, oh yeah). But we're to blame for going here and killing the magic for ourselves, too. Its also evolution, where 'casting a spell' over the moviegoing public takes so much more sophistication and skill and resources. And Hollywood doesn't like taking the risks it used to due to that associated expense. Now with geek sites, studios know they have to hedge their bets by inviting geek reporters onto sets to plop us into theater seats when, ironically, its the advance inside looks that makes everything seem less special. I did a post up there about having some of the wind knocked out of E.T. because I listened to the soundtrack before I finally got to see the movie, but it was the studio that released the soundtrack a few weeks early, and me that couldn't wait to hear John Williams' new score - it takes two to tango. Now streaming soundtrack clips are a few mouse-clicks away, a month or so in advance! What can you say except that the only way to battle all this interactive preview information is with great stories which are so powerful they deflect any other attempt to condense them.

  • March 6, 2007, 8:07 p.m. CST

    Moto speaks volumes of truth.

    by Doctor_Sin

    It's not just AICN - it's all the sites before or since that provide focal points for fans to gather and receive spoileriffic news. We won't get that childlike wonder back unless we all abstain from visiting these sites and letting them fall into ruin. But, is that even possible anymore? Sad but true.

  • March 6, 2007, 8:21 p.m. CST

    Wow, moto, nail meets hammer

    by Bronx Cheer

    Could not have said it better myself. I remember when Raiders hit. I was a big film fan back then, hell I was going to the UCLA Film School, and it still had not made it on my radar. I'll never forget the feeling I had walking out of the theater, the theme playing in my head. And here I am, oh so many years later, having had the pleasure to been involved with some of the films that have a genetic link to the films I was raised on, including two of the three horrible prequels, a couple of Spielberg flicks, and lately the big flick shooting in NYC. (It probably won't be any good, but it sure will be expensive!) All the spying and obsessive criticism of films not even yet in production have ruined things for film fans. The only sweet surprises are the foreign and indie films that never make it on the screen of sites like this. It's really part of the whole entertainment obsession and not any website's fault. It's the whole mess and we're stuck with it. Plus, the movies being made these days are pretty rank. It's rare to find a good one that sneaks through the system.

  • March 6, 2007, 8:37 p.m. CST

    Word of Advice on Film School

    by Bronx Cheer

    Don't bother! The way you work in this industry is to pay your dues. Hang around a set, be a non-paid PA, make all the copies and pick up all the lunches you're asked to, and learn how to carry two or three trays of lattes. And learn how to network. Remember peoples names. If you can't sling a little bullshit and make nice with strangers, especially ones who have anger issues, you'll never make it. Make movies, watch movies, and understand that it is a business, but one full of interesting and creative people. Dream, but don't dream too much. You'll have to work your ass off, so staying grounded is good. Just be driven. Know where you want to go, and go.

  • March 6, 2007, 8:56 p.m. CST

    I'm not sure if the internet is to blame for...

    by Neo Zeed

    Avid farts, Cgi-overkill, Comedies with Fat suits, Simon Kinsberg, the Star Wars prequels, PG-13 horror, PG-13 action, AvP, the Fast and the Furious trilogy, etc. LOL. However, I hope that these articles help remind the people that the 80's were a GREAT time for genre entertainment. Filmmakers can actually learn from these films by dissecting them..instead of thinking they were fun little romps.

  • March 6, 2007, 9:03 p.m. CST

    CHILDlike wonder....mmmmhhhh

    by AllieJamison

    Deconstruction, deconstruction. Where's the mention of self-responsibility? <br> Of course most good film sites (à la aicn or chud) have a tendency towards indulgence. I personally don't read script reviews anymore, though. I also try to reduce my endulgence of tv and other promotional clips (exceptthe trailer. <br> As far as "spoileriffic" news is concerned I think I'm gonna go through a lot of new lessons and bottle necks of decisions in the approaching months, waiting for Indy IV (in my seventh year here). I must also say, though, that my favorite internationally acclaimed german newspaper's critics don't give a shit on spoiling films. But who cares about such a crappy example. It is an important facet of this and other good film sites, however, that we don't only meet to receive spoileriffic news. In my mind we also meet to construct our own world of future and present masters of this art. We try to dig them up under that huge pile of crap that is delivered on us every week. <br> This is after all the place I first heard of Del Toro or other filmmakers and films, I don't know I would have ever seen, unless they'd have been hyped here at aicn. <br> But what do I know. I think there's much left to say on that subject of ruining of film experiences in advance. In my mind, though, blaming film sites for ruining the cinematic experience seems kind of dull. It's everyone's own fault if he watches every single clip of a film he can find. But it's not our own responsibility if we don't know what we're getting ourselves into and innocently and helplessly consume "spoilerish" promotion...<br> <br> In addition to that you guys should consider that by growing life experience your senses of wonder may shift. At least I hope so...

  • March 6, 2007, 9:15 p.m. CST

    Good points, AJ

    by Bronx Cheer

    I've only recently come to this site after avoiding it like the Black Death. I'm here out of morbid curiosity. I don't really watch too many movies anymore, so in many ways, hanging out here is sort of like listening to people talk about the dead at a funeral. Some of the conversations are interesting, but in truth it's the fly-on-the-wall aspect that I am here for. Harry is such a bizarre phenomenon. And that's not meant as an insult. I just don't know what to make of him. Or the people who come here to argue the finer points of Spider-Man's webbing. I've been sick in bed and miserable for a day or two, and I have sort of gone off the deep end on the Talkbacks. It's been entertaining, but I feel soiled by the experience. Oh, pardon me, I'm just soiled. Nothing to do with the site. Bath time.

  • March 6, 2007, 9:22 p.m. CST

    About ET

    by Bronx Cheer

    Sorry, but that film does not hold up. It was sweet when it came out, but it's not that good. It was different, and had cute kids, and a dog, and an alien drinking beer. Hell, sounds like life down at the trailer park. But it's just too cloying, and the only way that film should have ended was to kill ET, but instead they took the old Jesus route. Eliot should have been allowed to feel the real pain of separation that death creates. Then it would have been possibly a terrific movie.

  • March 6, 2007, 10:08 p.m. CST

    Bronx, E.T. should have died at the end???

    by moto

    I have to disagree. I see where you are coming from, but if E.T. had died at the end, it would not have been as nearly as successful as it was. Parents would NOT have taken their young children to see such a film over and over. They took their children to see E.T. because it represented childhood innocence very well, and offered hope and magic. I really don't grasp why some people need to have a film be ultra-realistic and/or dark in tone for it to be taken seriously. Film is, and always has been, about escapism. The whole point of the film was looking through the eyes of a child. That innocence that is lost as they grow into adults, witnessing death and violence. E.T. was and remains to be a fine example of a timeless classic for children, and the children in all of us. Okay, that sounded lame, but it's true:)

  • March 6, 2007, 10:17 p.m. CST

    Best Review Ever

    by gorillarama

    I have been a long, longtime reader but frankly never felt inclined to chime in considering the often infantile jibber jabber (not that it isn't fun to read!). After reading Nordling's piece, I simply had to let the man know that he has struck me to the quick. I was born in 1972 and recall the impact that E.T. had on both myself and my sister (who was one year younger). This review manages to capture the very essence of that experience and frankly, made me well up with bittersweet tears. Ain't It Cool has always been a lot of fun to read - this post was substantially more than that. I eagerly anticipate was is next in this series and I hope that they can be archived for future perusal. Thanks for stoking the memory of happy times Nordling.

  • March 6, 2007, 10:22 p.m. CST

    Two ways to go about it:

    by Bronx Cheer

    1)Don't kill him, and them resurrect him. It was cheap manipulation. Just let him die. 2)Let him get very sick, and then pull him back. That old heartlight thing would have been just as effective, probably more effective, if they were saying their last goodbyes. Lot of waterworks, and he lives. Since the filmmakers had already decided it was okay to put the audience through ET's death, then they also could have left it there. It's rough, but there have been plenty of movie deaths kids have gotten over. And there have been plenty of real deaths kids have gotten over as well. And one powerful lesson for the kids in the audience is that ET would always be with Eliot, but that Eliot would have to go on. The film might not have been as successful, but it sure would have been better. This isn't about realism. It's about drama. ET was a messenger. Eliot got the message. Film over. But this is debatable endlessly, and obviously the filmmakers chose to tell the story that we have today. Good on them. And goodnight.

  • March 6, 2007, 10:28 p.m. CST

    And, regarding FILM SCHOOL?

    by moto

    I don't know how it was brought up, just read something about someone saying that film school is a waste. Anyway, I've worked in the industry for eight years... I was a firm believer that film school was not needed. And yes, you surely CAN achieve success without it. And yes, I have achieved some great success without it. However, in retrospect, there are many advantages that you have as a film school graduate, especially in UCLA, NYU, USC, etc. <p> 1) Contacts. You can learn how to write, direct, edit, etc. on your own. But film school offers the unique tool of early contact building. Your dorm room buddy and you are taking film school at USC. He takes on the business route, maybe ent. law, and you take writing and directing route. You graduate. So does he. Artists struggle more, so you probably do. But there are always room for more ent. agents/lawyers, etc. You've written a script or directed a film, hopefully a good one, but you need a rep to get it noticed. Your buddy is now working at an agency. There's a HUGE in. Film school could have helped me personally on that level alone. You can still make it otherwise, but could take many more years than it needs to. <p> 2) Internships. Film schools like these offer internship access to studios. Kind of like a free pass. I can't tell you how many people I've met in the industry started by interning (if you are female, and hot, intern at the marketing firm of any studio... you've got it made... sad but true. Out of every marketing intern AND executive I've met, I'd say about 90% were atrractive females. It goes for executive assistants as well, who eventually moved onto executive positions.) Weird, sad, but an interesting note. Anyway, internships are KEY. <p> 3) A degree from these schools gets you in the door. Yes, you can do it otherwise... I did... but overall it's an uphill battle. That degree from those schools is taken seriously... HOWEVER, this mostly entails development positions, executive positions, which lead into producing positions. Writing and directing??? You just gotta write a great script or direct a great movie and work it. <p> 4) Lastly, that degree can lead to other jobs in case your fil industry career doesn't pan out, which happens all of the time. Say you graduate HS, skip film school, and work it the hard way, starting at the bottom (my story 100%). You find yourself maybe ten years later, still heading nowhere... not where you want to be. Sometimes you have to face the facts. And that degree can be your savior. You can teach somewhere. You can get a job in broadcasting. Whatever. A degree helps. big time. Sorry for the long post. Just want to give up-and-comers the right info. You can do it without film school, but you may find yourself regretting it, out of luck, and missing out on so many "ins" that could have saved you years of trouble.

  • March 6, 2007, 10:32 p.m. CST


    by moto

    Well said.

  • March 6, 2007, 10:46 p.m. CST

    I never said don't get an education!

    by Bronx Cheer

    but film school degrees mean squat. Tell a dolly grip that you went to film school. He'll tell you to please get out of his way. You might make some contacts, perhaps, but for the amount of money you drop at one the few good film schools, I don't see the value. Meeting people is not thew same thing as having them as contacts. The contacts you make are mostly other students! Now, I did get offered a position on Taxi while I was a junior, but that was because my teacher was also an editor and he had a friend who was a producer etc, but that chain also happens on a film set, and you can save yourself time and money by jumping right in once you've gotten yourself an education. I turned down the Taxi gig because I was at UCLA for the education and I wanted to finish my degree; film school was just part of it. I double majored in English Literature as well. Your statement that you are giving the "right info" is not accurate, as we are both offering our opinions. How the heck did all those other filmmakers get their start, before universities saw the advantage of offering a film program? It's a big fat lie to tell everyone that they'll be filmmakers. The jobs go to the lucky, the connected, the good looking, and the talented. Those are in order of importance. David Geffen spoke to one of my classes, and told us how he got his big start. It was at William Morris, I believe, and in order to work in the mail room (where everyone started), you had to have a college degree. So he lied and said he had a degree from UCLA. He got the job, and the rest was history. Since he told us that in 1982, there has been a lot more history for him. It was hilarious, him telling a room full of film majors that he lied about going to the school they were working to graduate from, and look where that got him. Moral of the story? You make your way in whatever way you make it. Have fun with whatever path you choose, but don't buy into the idea that there is "right info" and "wrong info." There is one sure way to fail: never try.

  • March 6, 2007, 10:54 p.m. CST


    by Bronx Cheer

    There are so many different ways into the business that we are both absolutely correct and both absolutely dead wrong. It's s fun business to work in, but it's also completely full of shit, and the bull crap you have to wade through sometimes makes it almost as bad as ditch-digging.

  • March 6, 2007, 11:22 p.m. CST

    Wait, wait, wait...

    by moto

    First off, I'll admit that saying "the right info" was bad on my part. Didn't mean to make this into an "I'm right, you're wrong" thing. Not intended at all. I myself never said that because you have a film degree, you will work in the film industry. My whole point is that to generalize and say film school is a waste is NOT the way to convey the message to people. Do you need a film degree to be a dolly grip, a production assistant, a set construction guy, a runner, a costume designer, etc. etc. etc.? No. Never said that. I'm saying that don't fully count out film school and dismiss it as a waste of time. If you want examples, then all I have to say is Francis Ford Coppola and George Lucas. Their relationship is a prime example of the benefits of going to film school and making contacts there. Coppola made Lucas' career by taking him in, based off of his film school experience. But I won't generalize it and say, "THAT is why you should go to film school." It doesn't happen that way. There's no one way to make it. But closing a door on film school as you had implied in the original post (no clue it was you... didn't look... weird coincidence though) just sends the wrong message to people. Not that we're changing lives here or anything. I was just saying that film school CAN and HAS BEEN a very integral part of getting into the film industry. There are plenty of examples supporting both ways, but don't close the door on something like that. In my post you'll notice I said that yeah, you CAN make it into the industry without film school... I did, but my path or your path or David Geffen's path or George Lucas' path or whoever cannot dictate anyone else's journey. So I guess my "right info" comment was more geared towards the message: Don't slam the door on film school. Your exact words regarding film school were "Don't bother!" You had great advice otherwise, but to say a film degree doesn't mean squat is a HUGE generalization because I've seen firsthand that yes, to many people in the film industry, it does. If you're a writer meeting with a producer, and they are meeting with ten other writers for consideration, and that producer sees that "hey, you went to USC, too?" Sorry, sad to say, but that DOES make a difference. I don't agree with it, but it does. You're right, film degrees mean shit to trade positions in film crews (sound, construction, etc.). But for so many other positions, film school can be a huge benefit. Yeah, contact-wise your just meeting other students, but you're also probably meeting the future executives, agents, etc. Hey, I hear what you are saying. I lived the life of no film degree. I lived the life of starting at the bottom and networking your way up. We're on the same page. But just don't want to say "don't bother" with film school. I will say, "don't COUNT on film school". Maybe that's a better way of putting it. Either way, didn't mean to make it a "I'm right, you're wrong" thing. My bad.

  • March 6, 2007, 11:26 p.m. CST


    by moto

    For the record, nice to have an intelligent "debate" or conversation in a talkback for once. Most other TBers would be calling each other fucking assholes, dipshits, cocksuckers, Singer apologists, etc.

  • March 7, 2007, 1:53 a.m. CST

    Wow. Great article, I'm a little verklempt...

    by Pan Demonium

    I, too, was 12 in that magic year, and so many memories of the time are rushing back to me. Thanks for reminding me why I love movies. Even though E.T. was never one of my favorites, I remember well the experience of seeing it. I can't wait to read the next installment of this series...

  • March 7, 2007, 4:11 a.m. CST

    The Funniest Part...

    by drew mcweeny

    ... of the people who insist on making the "E.T./Jesus" comparison is that YOU ARE NOT PAYING ATTENTION. It's not Jesus... it's Tinkerbell. Shit, Spielberg even has Dee Wallace reading from the book in the film, just so you don't miss it. The film isn't a religious allegory... it's about the way a child's belief and love is so much stronger and so much cleaner than an adult's ever can be. "I do believe in fairies. I do believe in fairies. I do believe in fairies. I do. I do." C'mon, people. It's not like it's some deeply hidden subtext. E.T. had to come back to life to thematically complete the film.

  • March 7, 2007, 4:48 a.m. CST be young...

    by Rogue Planet

    The Last Starfighter, Tron, Star Trek II, The Empire Strikes Back, Raiders, Temple of Doom, Blade Runner, ET, Ghostbusters, Alien...those days will never come again. That makes me a little sad. Have we seen the last of the summers of blockbusters? I remember '89, when it seemed every blockbuster in existence seemed to be released the same month...good times, good times. Of course, I'm all growed up now, so they say, and maybe I've lost that sense of inner wonder, but I don't think I've felt the same about movies as I did back in the summers of the early 1980s, when everything was new and big and spectacular...and apparently directed by Stephen Spielberg. (Is it me, or did "The Thing" mess anybody else up? I don't think I was as messed up by anything in a movie since I was 6 and saw the flying monkeys in "The Wizard of Oz" on TV for the first time. Stupid f%&#$ing flying monkeys.) - T

  • March 7, 2007, 9:01 a.m. CST

    ET = Tinkerbell = Jesus

    by Doctor_Sin

    "I do believe in Jesus. I do believe in Jesus. I do believe in Jesus. I do. I do." *claps hands* Jesus, Tink, and ET rise up.<p>Jesus: "Good googly-moogly!"

  • March 7, 2007, 10:52 a.m. CST

    Mori, you missed the point of my critique

    by Bronx Cheer

    Speaking only for myself, I use the Jesus comparison referring to the resurrection. When he dies, the kids all go away, and it's not until the light comes on in ET's chest that Eliot even has a clue he's being revived. The Peter Pan allusion was heavy-handed (yeah, I noticed she read the book)and was thematically directed at the kids as a group of lost kids, and that includes the mom who was as lost as the kids were. Hell, they don't even call her mom, they call her by her first name. These kids have no parents. And sure, Tinkerbell as the cheerleader of belief, that's in there. If ET is Tinkerbell, he is as much Peter Pan. But in the end, ET is ET. ET is Eliot. I'm not looking for subtext. I'm not searching for Christ! I'm complaining about cheating. When Old Yeller dies, he's dead. When Bambi's mom dies, she's dead. DEAD. When ET dies...oh look, he didn't die! He just stopped. And then they plugged him back in again. WTF? I was as happy as the next guy that he ended up living, because he was a good character and he had a good soul--I liked ET--but if you, as a storyteller, are going to kill a character, one we've invested a lot of time and emotion in, then you need to honor the grief we experience when you KILL the character. Faked deaths in movies suck. They are cheap, cheating, and lazy. It's one thing when we don't know if a character survived an avalanche, or an explosion, or the collapse of an office building. But when you actually show the death, using all the conventions of modern storytelling, including the monitoring machines, and the tears of children, and then you jump up and say, OH LOOK, HE'S ALIVE!--sorry pal, that makes you a lousy and lazy storyteller. You don't make children cry and then say, Just Kidding! Don't mistake me for one of those people who don't like Spielberg because he is a manipulative filmmaker. That is the worst possible complaint to make of a filmmaker. Part of the charm of the medium is the ability to direct your audience toward a certain feeling or mental state. I think Spielberg is a filmmaker of phenomenal talent. My complaint with "ET," and it's not a big one, because it is indeed a wonderful little film, my complaint is with the death/not-death of the titular character. I don't think it was handled well. But let's get back to subtext for a minute. If you do not think there are echoes of Jesus' story in the film, you need to look again. There are a couple of shots that echo quite clearly depictions of Jesus in religious art. And the glowing heart thing? The Sacred Heart? This isn't to say that ET is the Jesus story, but there are certainly thematic and visual references that are unmistakable. Those echoes are not there to push any agenda, but they are used in the way all artists use allusions, to add meaning and resonance to the story. Your belief that ET has to come back to life to complete the film thematically skirts my complaint. I just don't think they had to actually kill him off and then bring him back. There are ways to take him to the brink, show the kids love for him, and the power that love and faith have in this relationship, and then BAM there goes that damned light and everybody's happy. The best part of the film, the most heartbreaking part of the film, was that one shot of the mom when ET and Eliot are embracing, and she's not sure if she's losing her child, and then she cannot help ease his pain because ET has to's a terrific bit of work by Dee Wallace and Spielberg, and as a parent, that's a very touching scene and that is when the film is completed, when the mother regains her role as Mom, when the kid experiences the pain of loss but has gained the confidence that comes with knowing that you are always with someone even when you are apart, because you love each other. I don't agree completely with your ultimate assessment either. I think the film points out that adults are clueless when it comes to the emotional lives of kids, that they do not understand that children feel love and faith very deeply, and that adults and kids see things completely different, down to the actual visual perspective from which they take in he world. It's not an indictment of adults. It's a plea to adults to lighten up, have a little faith, and let kids be a part of the world, too. The kids are happy to share their world with the adults; it's just that the adults are too busy doing "adult stuff" to be bothered with the "silliness" of whatever it is that kids are up to. And it's a plea to find them again, to not let there be Lost Kids. Of course, we can agree to disagree. This little movie has touched many people and will continue to, even with the misguided digital tweaks Spielberg made, and while normally I wouldn't go off for so many lines about a film, I felt it important to clarify my thoughts. "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial" works on a number of levels. And any movie that works a triffid into a scene is all right with me. Cheers Mr. McWeeny.

  • March 7, 2007, 10:58 a.m. CST


    by Bronx Cheer

    I completely neglected to thank you for your essay. It's curious the different ways that art works on us, and how something like "ET" could have so much meaning, when, hey, "it's just a movie." But I do not believe there is anything in the realm of art that should be dismissed even if it only reaches one person and that person is the artist. I can't watch ET anymore because of too many associations, including the death of my wife a few years ago from cancer. Thank you for your words, and for your honesty.

  • March 7, 2007, 11:04 a.m. CST

    Moto, I stand corrected

    by Bronx Cheer

    I never should have been so black-and-white in stating my opinions. It's interesting that we're both working in the industry, and I went to film school and am not it's biggest proponent, and you did not and are making positive arguments as to the merits of film school. Thanks for the thoughtful response, and I agree, it's a pleasure to have a calm discussion on AICN. Cheers.

  • March 7, 2007, 11:07 a.m. CST


    by Bronx Cheer

    I guess after further reflection I like ET much more than one of my earlier comments would make you think. I guess I hadn't given it serious thought lately.

  • March 7, 2007, 11:18 a.m. CST

    Mori, I forgot to mention

    by Bronx Cheer

    <p>When I used the expression "but instead they took the old Jesus route" I was only referring to resurrection, not the Christ story. I shouldn't have been so sloppy.</p> <p>One other thing: is this site ever going to get a proper comment system? I wrote a long post, but in paragraph breaks, and they still went away.</p>

  • March 7, 2007, 1:54 p.m. CST

    ET's resurrection...

    by moto

    ... to me, it was just about the fact that E.T. was an alien, and aliens are obviously going to be different from humans, thus a human's understanding of death is different to that of E.T.s species. I don't think it was a manipulative move by the writer (not saying anyone said it was) at all. I think it was a way to say that our understanding and way of death can be different to those not of this world.

  • March 7, 2007, 2:03 p.m. CST

    First Blood also came out in '82

    by MediaGold

    Wow, never really realized how many great films came out in that year. I was practically an Elliott clone when ET came out - 11 year old skinny white kinda geeky white kid with freckles, brown hair and brown eyes. I connected with that film. So much so it's hard for me to watch it nowadays - it's just so damn depressing and the feeling of melancholy it generates is unbearable. That and I saw it enough to last a lifetime when I was a kid.

  • March 7, 2007, 2:06 p.m. CST

    "E.T. is that for me"

    by jimmy_009

    Ditto. It's pretty much impossible to explain to anyone that doesn't 'get it'. I was four when E.T. came out and it was my whole world. There's not an untrue moment in the whole film. It pretty much captures childhood, or at least what I remember childhood being. I can't wait to show it to my son.

  • March 7, 2007, 2:34 p.m. CST

    I was 9 in 1982

    by holidill

    I remember seeing ET late in the summer, after it had become the huge hit. My mother, sister and I were housesitting for my grandparents in Oxon Hill MD. We went to see ET at a movie theater that had maybe 2 other people in the theater with us. I also remember waiting in line for Wrath of Khan with my dad at the old defunt York Road cinema when I got scared and told my dad I did not want to see it. For the life of me I do not remember why. Maybe I hated the first film.

  • March 7, 2007, 3:47 p.m. CST

    If ET died and rose again...

    by BillyPilgrim

    Did he hide all the eggs??

  • March 7, 2007, 4:19 p.m. CST

    This Is Madness...!

    by buster00


  • March 7, 2007, 4:42 p.m. CST

    Don't forget that 1982 also produced

    by BillyPilgrim

    Two...YES!!!...two Chuck Norris movies in ONE year! Forced Vengeance and Silent Rage. Ohhhhh roundhouse kick goodness!!! Chuck would have defeated Xerxes and his horde by himself. He would have told Leonidas,“Sit this one out guys. I don't step on toes, Leo, I step on necks!” THIS...IS...NORRIS!!

  • March 7, 2007, 5:04 p.m. CST

    I've been saying this for years

    by Norm3

    1982 was the best year ever for movies. Even though I missed most of them due to spinal injury & 6 month rehab hospital stay.

  • March 8, 2007, 5:35 a.m. CST

    I can't believe no one has mentioned Red Dawn in 84

    by Walterego

    82 might have been a great year, but 84 was more important to me because I was blown away by Red Dawn and The Terminator, both very powerful action films for a 14 year old (I'm the same age as Nord), and Ghostbusters in which Bill Murray defined the comic style I would idolize as a self proclaimed class clown. But ET to me was outshined by Raiders and Star Wars, and Yoda was still a more impressive character to me than ET. Also things that Elliot did felt odd to me as a kid, I remember relating more to Elliot's brother Greg and his bmx riding buddies. I guess I was ready for more mature films like Blade Runner but my mom was conservative and still banned R films, which I didn't learn to sneak into until a couple years later. I was largely dependent on watching everything on VHS at friends' sleepover movie marathons. Red Dawn was a movie that I had anticipated in just the same way that Nord describes for Conan, having read about it in film magazines half a year before. I still kind of get chills from the film theme that plays at the end of the film.

  • March 8, 2007, 6:03 a.m. CST

    i was also 12 in 1982:

    by newc0253

    and i remember being underwhelmed by ET when it came out. Raiders, i loved. it's still one of my favourite movies of all time. But ET? jesus, it was saccharine: Spielberg at his schmaltziest.

  • March 8, 2007, 10:18 a.m. CST

    1980-1989 (movies i've seen from the age 10 to 19)

    by logocult

    Batman (1989) 1-blood-orphan Best of the Best (1989) 1-blood-hero's broken arm Bill & Ted's Excellent Adventure (1989) 1-timetravel Blind Fury (1989) remake-blood The Blood of Heroes (1989) blood-heroes deaths Cyborg (1989) 1 Heathers (1989) blood-heroes death-absent parents January Man (1989) Johnny Handsome (1989) blood-hero's death Licence to Kill (1989) Bond-blood-orphan Lost Angels (1989)absent parents Penn & Teller Get Killed (1989) blood-heroes deaths Road House (1989) 1-blood Say Anything... (1989) UHF (1989) p Weekend at Bernie's (1989) 1 The `burbs (1989) Willow (1988) Fantasy-blood Jack's Back (1988) blood-hero's death? Above the Law (1988) blood The Adventures of Baron Munchausen (1988) adaptation-blood-heroes deaths? Alien Nation (1988) Alien-1-blood Beetle Juice (1988) 1-heroes deaths The Blob (1988) remake-blood-heroes deaths Bloodsport (1988) 1-blood Coming to America (1988) Die Hard (1988) 1-blood-hero's arm shot Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (1988) Earth Girls Are Easy (1988) A Fish Called Wanda (1988) blood Maniac Cop (1988) 1-blood The Moderns (1988) The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988) 1 Phantasm II (1988) remake-blood Scrooged (1988) adaptation They Live (1988) Alien-blood-heroes deaths Waxwork (1988) 1-blood Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) adaptation-Fantasy Young Guns (1988) Western-1-blood-heroes deaths Three 'O Clock High (1987) *batteries not included (1987) Adventures in Babysitting (1987) 1 Amazon Women on the Moon (1987) p Angel Heart (1987) blood-hero's death Evil Dead II (1987) remake-timetravel-blood-hero's hand severed The Hidden (1987) 1-blood-heroes deaths Hot Pursuit (1987) Innerspace (1987) Lethal Weapon (1987) 1-blood The Lost Boys (1987) Vampires-blood Mannequin (1987) 1 The Monster Squad (1987) Vampires-blood Near Dark (1987) Vampires-blood Planes, Trains & Automobiles (1987) Predator (1987) Alien-1-blood-heroes deaths Prince of Darkness (1987) blood The Princess Bride (1987) blood-hero death? Raising Arizona (1987) blood RoboCop (1987) 1-blood-hero's death? Spaceballs (1987) p The Untouchables (1987) remake-blood-heroes deaths The Witches of Eastwick (1987) adaptation-blood ¡Three Amigos! (1986) Aliens (1986) sequel-blood-heroes deaths Big Trouble in Little China (1986) Club Paradise (1986) Crocodile Dundee (1986) 1 Dangerously Close (1986) The Delta Force (1986) 1-blood Ferris Bueller's Day Off (1986) 1 Flight of the Navigator (1986) The Fly (1986) 1-blood-hero's death From Beyond (1986) blood-hero's death The Golden Child (1986) Highlander (1986) 1-blood-heroes deaths? The Hitcher (1986) 1-blood House (1986) 1-blood Iron Eagle (1986) 1 Labyrinth (1986) Puppets Little Shop of Horrors (1986) remake Manhunter (1986) 1- blood No Retreat, No Surrender (1986) 1-blood One Crazy Summer (1986) Peggy Sue Got Married (1986) timetravel Running Scared (1986) blood-heroes shot Short Circuit (1986) 1 Stand by Me (1986) Into the Night (1985) American Ninja (1985) 1-blood Back to the Future (1985) 1-timetravel Better Off Dead... (1985) Brazil (1985) Future The Bride (1985) remake-blood Cocoon (1985)1 The Emerald Forest (1985) blood Enemy Mine (1985) Future-blood Explorers (1985)absent parents Fandango (1985) Flesh & Blood (1985) blood-hero's hand and leg shot Fletch (1985) 1 Fright Night (1985) Vampires-1-blood The Goonies (1985) absent parents Into the Night (1985) The Journey of Natty Gann (1985) King Solomon's Mines (1985) remake Ladyhawke (1985) blood The Last Dragon (1985) Legend (1985) Fantasy-blood-orphan The Legend of Billie Jean (1985) blood-hero's arm shot-absent parents Lifeforce (1985) Alien-blood-hero's death Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters (1985) blood-hero's death Pale Rider (1985) Western-blood Pee-wee's Big Adventure (1985) 1 Radioactive Dreams (1985) Re-Animator (1985) 1-blood Real Genius (1985) Remo Williams: The Adventure Begins (1985) 1-adaptation-blood-hero's death? The Return of the Living Dead (1985) 1 Runaway Train (1985) blood Silverado (1985) Western Spies Like Us (1985) The Sure Thing (1985) Teen Wolf (1985) Werewolf-1 To Live and Die in L.A. (1985) blood-hero death Trancers (1985) timetravel-Future-1-blood Weird Science (1985) Witness (1985) blood-hero's gut shot Year of the Dragon (1985) blood-hero's hand shot Young Sherlock Holmes (1985) remake-blood-dead mother Dreamscape (1984) Future Never Ending Story (1984) Fantasy-1-absent parents 2010 (1984) Future-sequel-hero's death? The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai (1984) Alien-blood-orphan Beverly Hills Cop (1984) Action-1 Dune (1984) Future-1-blood-heroes deaths-dead father Footloose (1984) Ghost Busters (1984) 1 Grandview, U.S.A. (1984) Gremlins (1984) Puppets-1-blood Greystoke: The Legend of Tarzan, Lord of the Apes (1984) remake-blood-orphan The Ice Pirates (1984) Iceman (1984) blood The Karate Kid (1984) 1-blood-hero's leg broken-absent father The Last Starfighter (1984)blood-heroes deaths? Night of the Comet (1984) A Nightmare On Elm Street (1984) 1-blood Police Academy (1984) 1 Repo Man (1984) Romancing the Stone (1984) 1-blood Runaway (1984) Future-blood Sixteen Candles (1984) Splash (1984) 1 Starman (1984) 1 Streets of Fire (1984) blood Supergirl (1984) The Terminator (1984) 1-timetravel-blood-hero's death Top Secret! (1984) p Never Say Never Again (1983) Bond-orphan The Black Stallion Returns (1983) sequel Blue Thunder (1983) blood Christine (1983) blood Class (1983) The Dead Zone (1983) blood-hero's death The Hunger (1983) Vampires-blood The Keep (1983) blood-hero's death Krull (1983) Fantasy-heroes deaths The Meaning of Life (1983) Revenge of the Ninja (1983) blood Scarface (1983) remake-blood-hero's death The Star Chamber (1983) blood Strange Invaders (1983) Stroker Ace (1983) Trading Places (1983) Twilight Zone: The Movie (1983) anthology-remake Uncommon Valor (1983) blood-heroes deaths Vacation (1983) 1 Videodrome (1983) blood-hero's death Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid (1982) p-hero's arm shot 48 Hrs. (1982) 1-blood-hero's arm shot The Beastmaster (1982) Fantasy-1-blood Blade Runner (1982) Future-1-blood-hero's fingers broken Cat People (1982) remake-blood The Challenge (1982) Action-blood Conan the Barbarian (1982) Fantasy-1-blood-hero crucified-orphan Creepshow (1982) Anthology-1-blood The Dark Crystal (1982) Fantasy-Puppets E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) Alien Firefox (1982) First Blood (1982) 1-blood The Man from Snowy River (1982) Western-1 One from the Heart (1982) Pink Floyd The Wall (1982) The Pirate Movie (1982) p-orphans Poltergeist (1982) 1-blood Porky's (1982) 1 Q (1982) Fantasy Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan (1982) Future-sequel-blood-heroes deaths The Sword and the Sorcerer (1982) Fantasy-blood-hero crucified They Call Me Bruce? (1982) 1 The Thing (1982) adaptation-blood Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann (1982) timetravel Tron (1982) 1 Venom (1982) An American Werewolf in London (1981) Werewolf-1-blood-heroes deaths Body Heat (1981) remake-blood The Cannonball Run (1981) 1 Charlie Chan and the Curse of the Dragon Queen (1981) Clash of the Titans (1981) Fantasy-orphan Dragonslayer (1981) Fantasy-blood Enter the Ninja (1981) blood Escape from New York (1981) 1-blood-hero's leg shot The Evil Dead (1981) 1-blood Excalibur (1981) blood-heroes deaths For Your Eyes Only (1981) Bond-blood-orphan The Funhouse (1981) blood The Great Muppet Caper (1981) sequel-Puppets Heavy Metal (1981) 1 History of the World: Part I (1981) p The Howling (1981) Werewolf-1-blood Road Warrior: Mad Max 2 (1981) sequel-blood Modern Problems (1981) Outland (1981) remake-blood-hero shot Pennies from Heaven (1981) remake Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) 1-blood-hero's shoulder shot-dead mother Scanners (1981) 1-blood Sharky's Machine (1981) remake-blood-hero's fingers severed Stripes (1981) Time Bandits (1981) timetravel-Alien-blood-absent parents Wolfen (1981) Werewolf-adaptation-blood-heroes death Halloween II (1981) sequel Airplane! (1980) 1 Altered States (1980) adaptation Any Which Way You Can (1980) sequel Battle Beyond the Stars (1980) remake-heroes deaths The Blue Lagoon (1980) 1-orphans The Blues Brothers (1980) 1-orphans Caddyshack (1980) 1 Fame (1980) 1 Flash Gordon (1980) adaptation The Gods Must Be Crazy (1980) 1 Popeye (1980) remake-orphaned Somewhere in Time (1980) timetravel Star Wars: The Empire Strikes Back (1980) sequel-blood-hero's hand severed-orphan Superman II (1980) sequel-blood-orphan Used Cars (1980)

  • March 8, 2007, 1:34 p.m. CST

    Another member of the 1970 club

    by Kentucky Colonel

    What a great year to have been born...especially in January! My mother took me out of kindergarden to see my first movie in a big theater (Bambi). Later that year she took me to see "The Towering Inferno" (my dad was a firefighter). In 1977 I remember walking out of Star Wars (the same theater I saw Bambi in) and looking up at the night sky...and my world was forever changed. 1982 was a special time...I thought my friends I had would be my friends forever. Girls were just girls and not yet "keepers of the pussy". We went to pizza parties, played Wizard of Wor because the game talked (!!!) and made little movies on super 8 film. I was soooo into TRON my 8th grade nickname was "Flynn" (a name one of my friends still calls me from time to time). Even though most of the kids I knew and loved back then have long gone away I will always love and cherish their memory from that special place in time. Daniel Bache, David Stewart, Mike Whitener...guys I thought I'd go to the grave with...all now just names from the past. Nowadays I look forward to sharing those special movies with my eventual offspring. And I really can't wait to go get the young un from school and go to the movies...

  • March 8, 2007, 11 p.m. CST

    ET was good, but THE movie of 1982 was...

    by readingwriter

    ...well, I don't know, but after the very stodgy Raiders (loved it, but while I rarely agreed with her, Pauline Kael hit the "mechanical" feeling of this movie on the head) and before the OK kids' movie that was ET, for me it was Star Trek 2. I am not a Trekkie, hate everthing that came after the original series cast (well, those episodes I bothered sampling), and didn't like the first Trek movie. But this one, I had a feeling, would be fun. My friends and I went early, got into the sold out show, and from the moment the old fanfare led into James Horner's theme, I knew this was gonna be fun. And it was, but it was something else; it was "serious" fun, in the way that Gunga Din was serious fun. It's no classic in the Gunga Din ballpark (neither was Raiders), but it has that same feel that the moviemakers were taking the thing seriously but not TOO seriously. I mentioned Horner's score, which contributed mightily--who knew he would turn out to be such a depressing example of Hollywood mediocrity? This score SINGS--it fits the action perfectly, and does precisely what it should do. And this is a great example for today's moviemakers about what a director can do with a good script and ingenuity. That first time I watched I was enjoying myself pretty well until the scene which totally got me, when Khan attacks the Enterprise. When the Reliant fills the screen, with Khan's theme playing, it was exciting, and as the scene played out, the tension mounted. Then, the pace increases, the music builds and...the Enterprise is BLASTED. This NEVER happened this way, so viscerally, so gut-wrenchingly, in the old series, and not in the first movie. You could feel the collective "Holy SHIT, they're HIT!" even if you couldn't hear it. The chaos that follows, again perfectly accented by Horner's score (I can hear that piano pounding as Sulu says "I can't get power, Captain!"), makes us feel that this time Kirk and company really are in trouble. Later, Spock's death is so well done that one can only regret that he wasn't left to die. See, after this, Trek lost any chance of being "grownup" SF, and descended into the SFantasy that SF is pretty much nowadays, in movies and books, the comic book anything-goes approach to resurrecting the dead, because kids can't face that death is final, and neither can overgrown adolescents. But in this movie, at least, as the credits roll, we see Spock has sacrificed himself to save others, and even though he's missed, his sacrifice is a cause for celebration, too. Not bad for a piece of pop junk.

  • March 9, 2007, 1:01 a.m. CST

    Wow. Just Wow.

    by Pogue__Mahone

    Thanks EVERYONE for a beautiful tribute piece and an almost universaly pleasant talkback. I, TOO, was born in 1970 and have memories that are forever engrained in my head and heart because of these films. On an ironic note, I asked my nephew who turns nine in three weeks if he'd ever seen the movie TRON - mostly due to his love of all things videogame. His blank stare said it all. I now have a movie date with him on Sunday to watch that great little slice of nostalgia with him and I, for one, can't wait! I hope he digs it as much as I have over the years! Again... thank you Moriarty and Nordling - and all you other talkbackers for sharing your memories and opinions. This is the best page I've read on AICN in the YEARS I've been reading them! Now about those flames on Optimus Prime.... (Kidding... sorry!)

  • March 9, 2007, 7:56 a.m. CST

    Hey Nordling...

    by KabutoKoji

    You made me cry! Seriously. And the funny thing is I want to say thank you to you for doing it. Thank you. Really.

  • March 9, 2007, 7:46 p.m. CST

    Kudos indeed. This was a great idea.

    by Bronx Cheer

    I'm looking forward to reading more of these remembrances. I turned 21 in 82 (don't go there), so that was a pretty big year for me personally. Again, great idea.

  • March 9, 2007, 8:39 p.m. CST


    by one9deuce

    Why don't you just change your user name to Pompous Ass? That way we wouldn't have to actually read your posts to come to that conclusion. It would save us a lot of time, so think it over. Anyone who name drops Pauline Kael to bolster their opinion doesn't have their own insight. GUNGA DIN better than RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK? Name one element of GUNGA DIN that is better than RAIDERS. Of course you'll probably just regurgitate something ignorant from one of your CalArts professors. <p> By the way, your parents pissed away a fortune for a piece of paper that's worth less than toilet paper. At least you can wipe your ass with toilet paper.

  • March 10, 2007, 7:29 a.m. CST

    But one9deuce, there's nothinq like wiping your ass

    by Bronx Cheer

    with your diploma and feeling the raised letters go by. In fact, I've read stories of Harvard PhDs who have learned to read Braille using their winking sphincters.

  • March 10, 2007, 10:09 a.m. CST

    Last Golden Era

    by karnevil9

    Being of the same age (I still have my "I saw E.T." button that you were able to get the 1st week of release!) it seems that after T2 and The Abyss, it's been downhill. I hate to sound like some old fart but all you have to do is even look at the Oscars for those years. Great movies. You really can't say that now. Yeah, there are some good ones that pop up from time to time, but not like back then. It really was Hollywood's Last Goldern Era. Thanks for pointing it out to folks. It is sooooo true. I'll put it this way, how happy would we all be if "Preditor" came out now? Now mind you, that was just another summer movie by an unknown director. Arnold was starting to come into his own. It still holds up. Oh well... Who would have thought that "The Running Man" would look so good after all these years?

  • March 10, 2007, 2:37 p.m. CST

    Bronx Cheer

    by one9deuce

    I posted before I read the debate on film school section. Some really well thought-out reasoning on both sides. I guess I just think that with the internet, DVD bonus features, digital video cameras and editing software that an aspiring filmmaker can learn everything they need to make movies. Of course, contacts ARE helpful, but even more important I would think is being around people who love films. The creative atmosphere. I just have a hard time with people spending 50 to 100 thousand on film school when they could spend money producing their own film that might get them noticed. They'll have to do that anyway when they graduate, why be in debt? I'm thinking of people who want to direct of course, but doesn't everybody?

  • March 11, 2007, 12:27 a.m. CST


    by readingwriter

    Never has someone been so proud of being so ignorant of film history--Gunga Din is only superior to Raiders in terms of character, humor, scale, etc. Only an anal squirt such as yourself--who hasn't the knowledge to actually debate the choice and can only call names (have you SEEN Gunga Din?)--would be PROUD of liking an 80's Hollywood stick-character exercise to a movie based on Rudyard Kipling (you should try reading him, you must get tired of those vampire slayer novelizations). Interesting how without knowing thing one about my education you act as if having a diploma is a bad thing--maybe you shouldn't spend so much time online and read something that doesn't come with little pictures, maybe you might learn about real character depth, as opposed to characters who are just tough guys who crack wise. And it figures you would know a lot about toilet paper, seeing how many packages of it you arrange into pyramids each day at work.

  • March 11, 2007, 4:56 a.m. CST

    Mr Moto...

    by karnevil9

    is complete right on every point. It's a shame that this site and other aspects of our modern life are in fact killing the possibilities of a producer taking a chance on an idea or, better still, a person. I have been in meetings where the people who are on staff at a studio are given instructions on what to write on this site. It goes beyond plants. It is literaly their job to write on this site for the studio; to write possitive things for it's films and negative against it's competitors. Sad. And just like Mr Moto, I have had the thrill of working with the very people that I use to stand in line to see their latest work. I really feel bad for the 15 year-olds of today. Not only are they missing out on that great experience of the discovery in the movie theater, but they have also be sold on the idea of film school being the answer to their dreams. In many ways, film school is a minus. Yeah, go to college, study film if you want but realize that it will really not help you get a job. Out of my class at a well known film school, I am the only one with a degree of success... and I am "below the line." What will help you is being the first to show up and the last to leave, never complain about the hours, always have a smile on your face, and be eager to learn. That is how you get asked to work on the next show. Anyway... to go back to the original point about this site and all that is has done, think of it this way: by definition, Harry is now a plant. Good-bye 1982.

  • March 11, 2007, 12:30 p.m. CST


    by wato

    That is possibly the single greatest post I've read on this site in the last 10 years. Great job. I want to watch ET with my kids now.

  • March 11, 2007, 1:28 p.m. CST


    by one9deuce

    Indiana Jones' motivation for getting on the Nazi submarine is far more complex than anything in GUNGA DIN, and I LOVE that you can't see why! Here is a challenge to you: Explain the brilliant character arc that is punctuated by Indiana Jones getting on the submarine, and then explain when and why that arc comes full circle. <p> Since it's gone over your head for 25+ years I'm thinking you aren't smart enough to complete this challenge. I think the only thing you can do is repeat what others have written or said about great films. <p> Prove me wrong. Make me eat a big shitburger and I'll admit you aren't as dumb as your post's suggest.

  • March 12, 2007, 4:42 p.m. CST

    I love being this age

    by brattain

    I'm 37. I remember it all as well. Hell, to this day, my favorite movie of all time is still RAIDERS. Its the kind of "favorite" movie that when someone else mentions it, even in an article like this, I think "wow, they're talking about MY movie." Not that I made it of course, but that it is so intimately ingrained into my psyche (along with the other classics to be sure) that I almost feel complimented when others compliment the movie. Twisted yes, but I bet at least a couple of you know what I mean. Ahh, the summer of Kahn (and I wasn't even a Trek fan before that one), Blade Runner, even ET. Coming off the previous years, it seemed to me as if "the life-changing blockbuster summer" was going to be the norm from now on. Thankfully, the next several summers mostly delivered. But we all know how things started to change in the late 80's. It hasn't been the same since.

  • March 27, 2007, 10:09 a.m. CST

    This one is for spanish people

    by CuervoJones

    ¡Naranjito y Verano Azul!

  • July 31, 2007, 10:54 a.m. CST

    so I still don't understand Ocrus...

    by just pillow talk

    This showed a posting only 2 hours old..only, no posts. Was it a spammer who got whacked again?

  • June 5, 2012, 11:47 p.m. CST

    Ok, its an old talkback...

    by The_Loafer

    ... but it's never too old to tip the hat and acknowledge such a well written piece. I was 18 the year of 1982, 18, the age where we are supposed to formally stop acting like kids and take life more seriously; where we are supposed to stop dreaming and start focusing, where magic no longer exists. Well, to that I say, whoever thinks that can kiss my 48 year old ass! Movies are the one common denominator that, when done well, have the power to break down self-imposed walls of gender expectations and manhood measurement. A totally absorbed audience will howl with laughter at a sword wielding would-be assassin's quick demise versus a fedora wearing archaeologist, they will be in total awe of a seemingly real dinosaur attacking at will, they will collectively enjoy and “get” Kirk's "I don't like to lose", they will imagine together the incredible adventures Roy Batty must have had, near the shoulder or Orion, they will unite in a total sense of awe at how Lucas created entire fictional worlds so full of wonder and adventure that we would see ourselves joining the Rebels and kicking some imperial butts. As an audience, we have gasped in anger at the mother pouring detergent in her daughter's meal and yes, we did cry together, at the sight of a dying old alien, with his young human friend weeping at his side. Thank you sirs, words may not have been spoken better about that magical year of 1982. Rob

  • ...and it's great.I'm 36 and holy moly did he bring back memories of not only 82' but I think most kids lives from that era.Kind of like Steven did with his film E.T. Thanks and good job Nordling! Sincerely, kenchun24 (from the future) P.S. Spielberg's are a really good writer.

  • Times change and so do we.