E.T. 40th Anniversary Screening to Open TCM Film Fest 2022

For the past two years, Turner Classic Movies has had to resort to at-home editions of its annual Classic Film Festival. In 2020, barely after the pandemic began in the US, it had a weekend of programming on the cable network. Last year, the programming grew to include HBO Max as well. Both displayed the best of what makes TCMFF such a beloved staple of the festival circuit. But for 2022 (hopefully, please world), the Classic Film Fest returns to Hollywood, from April 21-24. And the film fest has chosen quite the movie to open the festivities: a 40th anniversary screening of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial.

Elliott (Henry Thomas) and E.T. stand in the forest, looking up at the extra-terrestrial's family ship in the Steven Spielberg movie about to celebrate its 40th anniversary.

Steven Spielberg’s 1982 sci-fi masterpiece has touched audiences for 40 straight years. It’s still one of the most beloved and treasured movies in Spielberg’s long and storied career. E.T. will kick off the 13th edition of the TCM Classic Film Festival with the theme “All Together Now: Back to the Big Screen.”

Mr. Spielberg himself will be in attendance for the opening night screening, along with producers Kathleen Kennedy and Frank Marshall.

“I was 15 years old when E.T. came out and what was true then remains so today; the film continues to speak to both children and adults. And it’s fair to say that this is the most influential family film since The Wizard of Oz,” said Ben Mankiewicz, TCM primetime anchor and official host of the TCM Classic Film Festival. “When Steven Spielberg started work on E.T., he didn’t imagine he was making a movie with mass appeal. We don’t get to say this often, but boy was Spielberg wrong.”

E.T. 40th anniversary graphic.

E.T. is the perfect example of a modern classic movie that combines both innovative direction and heartfelt performances,” said Pola Changnon, general manager of TCM. “This film is beloved by millions around the world and we’re honored to have it open our festival.”

The rest of the lineup for TCMFF 2022 will roll out in the coming months. For more information on the festival, visit the official site.

Kyle Anderson is the Senior Editor for Nerdist. You can find his film and TV reviews here. Follow him on Twitter!

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