Spielberg’s Twin Blockbusters
People born in early and mid June are Geminis, “the Twins.” They’re driven to explore a little bit of everything and be ahead of the crowd.
E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982) and Jurassic Park (1993) are twins that were “born” (read: released in cinemas) on the same day in mid June, the work of the same parent, Steven Spielberg. And by all accounts, they were both way ahead of the crowd. E.T. is the story of Elliott, a lonely boy who happens upon an extraterrestrial, who is dubbed “E.T.” Elliott befriends the lonely alien, and helps him avoid falling into the hands of the government, so he can return home.
The films was another spectacular smash for Spielberg, who had already notched up a series of directorial blockbusters, including Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind and Raiders of the Lost Ark. Both a critical and box-office hit, E.T. went on to become the highest-grossing film of all time until the Spielberg lightning struck again, with Jurassic Park.
Jurassic Park tells the story of an amusement park gone terribly wrong, when man attempts to re-create the time when dinosaurs roamed the earth. The innocent child frequently emerges in Spielberg films; a sense of wonder and awe accompanies the fantastical, which is often shown through the eyes of a young person. In these films, harrowing challenges are overcome, with an optimistic ending providing a neat wrap-up to a satisfying, cautionary tale.
In addition to selling millions of movie tickets, these films fueled a cottage industry that included toys, video games and theme rides, making Spielberg enormously wealthy. But the legacy of his work—including these two Geminis—is how the cinema can become the ultimate canvas for sharing dreams and fantasies. All Spielberg asks is that you suspend the limitations on your mind for just a moment, and give yourself over to the magic that awaits.