starring Dee Wallace, Henry Thomas, Peter Coyote, Robert MacNaughton
screenplay by Melissa Mathison
directed by Steven Spielberg
by Walter Chaw Young Elliot (Henry Thomas) discovers an alien castaway in his garden shed and lures it into his closet with a trail of candy. He introduces it to his little sister, Gertie (Drew Barrymore), and his older brother, Michael (Robert MacNaughton), pledging them to the "most excellent" promise of secrecy to prevent his siblings from sharing the creature's existence with their frazzled mother (Dee Wallace), recently divorced. Soon, government scientists, led by the starry-eyed Keys (Peter Coyote), catch the scent of Elliot's discovery, necessitating a desperate race to return it to its kind.