You can always tell when a movie is a hit by its merchandising. Walking through aisles of the local department store are a dead give away. Such was the case in 1982, when E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, directed by Steven Spielberg, dominated everything from kid’s lunch boxes, to beach towels, to electronic gizmos in the toy aisle that beckoned us to “phone home.”
E.T.’s appeal to the heart coupled with the realistic character of the boy—Elliot made it a sure-fire blockbuster. Forgoing the usual wait until a movie hits the bargain bin, as soon as it became available on VHS, I bought a copy. It still haunts the VHS collection, which has dwindled to a group of a half-dozen classics.
About once a year a truly memorable movie hits the theaters, but there was a glut that year, each one interesting in its own right. The classic poster for Tootsie featuring Dustin Hoffman, still evokes a giggle. Personally, I can’t forget the Russian Tea Room scene when Michael Dorsey, as Dorothy Michaels confronts his agent George Fields (Sydney Pollock).
30 years later the lines:
George: “You are psychotic.”
Dorothy (Michael): “No, I’m not, I’m employed,” are still hilarious.