Steven Spielberg thinks E.T. is pretty much a perfect movie.
Steven Spielberg is often considered one of the best film directors to ever come to Hollywood. And with 19 Oscar nominations (three currently pending for The Fabelmans) and three Oscar wins (for Schindler’s List and Saving Private Ryan), who can argue? While making the promotional rounds before the Academy Awards this month, Spielberg joined Stephen Colbert on The Late Show and announced that he considers E.T. to be his most perfect movie.
The clip above from The Late Show features Steven Spielberg with Stephen Colbert in what was marketed as Spielberg’s first-ever late-night TV interview. In the interview, Colbert discusses Spielberg’s career with the famous director and asks him if there is anything he wishes he could go back and tell his younger, less experienced self. In response, Spielberg says that there are always things he notices while watching his older work, which is why he doesn’t watch his own movies very often.
Steven Spielberg compared himself to Gloria Swanson in Sunset Boulevard, saying that he was very different from Swanson’s character, Norma Desmond, who is an older actress that Hollywood has spit out of the industry, forcing her to revel in her glory days and watch her old films on repeat. Instead, Spielberg often cringes when watching his own features because he can always find something he tried to do that didn’t work or think of something different that he wishes he could have done.
Despite not being a fan of watching his own work, Steven Spielberg still occasionally watches his own movies, especially at the time when his children were kids and wanted to watch his more kid-friendly movies like E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982). Of course, Spielberg would want to be present when his children were watching not only one of his best films but possibly the best family science-fiction film ever made.
It was from watching E.T. with his kids that Steven Spielberg realized he wasn’t as critical of this film as he was of his other work. In fact, the director admitted on The Late Show that E.T. is a “pretty perfect” movie. The Jurassic Park director expanded that he’s made a handful of films (about five or six) that he is willing to watch again, though he doesn’t normally do so. Unfortunately, he didn’t elaborate on what those other films were.
Funnily enough, E.T. was the movie that convinced Steven Spielberg that he wanted to be a dad in the first place. Prior to making the science-fiction feature, Speilberg had been convinced that he was too busy with his career to become a dad. But, after interacting with the kids in the cast on set, he changed his mind; the director now has seven kids and six grandkids.
Steven Spielberg is currently making the rounds to promote his movie The Fabelmans, which has been nominated for three Academy Awards: Best Director, Best Picture, and Best Original Screenplay. The Fabelmans is loosely based on Spielberg’s own life, including his interactions with his parents and how he became involved with film in the first place.