Friday, November 29, 2019
Thanks to Xfinity, I now know I've been wrong about E.T. for 37 years....
So when I saw this movie as a kid,* I just assumed that somewhere out there is an original cut which features a scene immediately following the last one in which Elliot, his family and friends, and all of the scientists who witness E.T. fly off into space are immediately executed by the government and buried in a landfill surrounded by "Dangerous Toxic Chemicals, Do Not Enter" signs. His house is condemned as a biological hazard as the word is spread that Elliot and his family were the carriers of some exotic, highly infectious disease which caused their quick death and evaporation of their bodies along necessitating the leveling of their home and the total destruction of every trace of their existence.
According to this commercial, I was completely wrong in my premise. Turns out that Elliot and Friends were simply forced to sign a myriad of documents agreeing to stay silent about what happened over the course of three days in the autumn of 1982 with a very subtle warning that it's not at all hard to be Disappeared if they ever step out of line. Elliot grew up to be an adult and got married and had kids, which is about as much proof as anyone would ever need that he never mentioned the little Alien who lived in his bedroom and who he once dressed up and took trick or treating on Halloween to anyone, and certainly not to any girls. He got over the trauma of being threatened with a brutal death at the hands of The Establishment so well that he managed to become a perfectly ordinary, perfectly boring Suburban Dad with 2.5 kids and an SUV.
Thanks for the clarification, Xfinity- though I suspect that I'm actually right about the Deleted Scene, and test audiences just thought it was kind of a downer way to end a family film, and Spielberg got cold feet and agreed to the last-minute edit.
*Ok, I was 18. That's still a kid. Shut Up.