A Pictorial History of the Movies: 1982 – E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial

I tried really hard not to go Spielberg-centric, but the man actually has managed to have his films be the most representative film of their respective years a bunch of times.

It’s really hard to argue when films become critically, commercially, and culturally successful as his have.

And, at this point, with us being almost to the home stretch, I’m not going to fight it.

I can understand someone going Tootsie here. I can even understand An Officer and a Gentleman. Blade Runner, I’d say is a bad choice. Because Blade Runner was considered a giant failure when it came out. And to this day, there are still too many cuts of that movie. So I can’t see how it can represent a year. I can definitely see someone making a case for Porky’s or Fast Times at Ridgemont High. Maybe even 48 Hours.

But… when you get back to E.T., I don’t see how that’s automatically the choice.

This movie actually topped Star Wars for highest-grossing movie of all time. Star Wars has since pulled ahead due to rereleases and such, but this movie made a shit ton of money in 1982.

Plus, it’s E.T. It’s a staple of all of our childhoods, and I just can’t see how this isn’t automatically the film that best represents 1982.

Ask almost anyone who was alive in 1982 what movie they think best represents that year to them. It’s E.T. That movie was number one for something like 15 weeks. It was in theaters for a full YEAR.

Plus, look at the Pic of the Day. Is there any image from the rest of 1982 that’s as iconic as that one?

There’s really no other choice. This movie is the one that led to the rest of those 80s sci fi fantasy films. You don’t get Gremlins, Batteries Not Included, Mac and Me, Short Circuit or any of those movies without this.

This movie has had more of a lasting impact on our culture than anything else from 1982. There’s no other choice. Spielberg just owned the 80s.


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