E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (The 20th Anniversary)

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (The 20th Anniversary)

John Williams’ score for E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is not only about exterior action, but also internal emotion. He uses a harp throughout the soundtrack to convey a sense of childlike wonder and pure love. The gentle patience of “I’m Keeping Him” perfectly captures a tone of radiant trepidation, while “Toys” is delicate and heartfelt in ways we barely notice when it’s playing behind a scene. The rippling piano of the end credits instantly conjures the movie’s climactic bicycle ride, leaving us with a lasting sensation of childhood discovery.

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