Film Lists

Close Encounters of the Nice Kind: friendly ET’s in movies

Tony Black, as Close Encounters returns to our screens, looks at the friendlier ET's in movies...


The year of my birth saw the year loveable E.T. struggled to “phone home” in Steven Spielberg’s heartwarming tale of a lonely boy named Elliott, who befriends a stranded alien creature and along with his friends attempts to keep him secret from his family and the US government, aides ET in his efforts to return to his home planet. Though not the same story as Close Encounters, in some respects you could consider E.T. a companion piece to his 1977 picture, focusing on an alien visitor who is more in danger of human forces than the reverse. That seems be a common thread across these ‘kindly alien’ stories – the real bad guys are us, quite often.

Spielberg told this story with his usual eye for family friendly visuals – who can forget ET and Elliott cycling past the moon?

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