Dungeons & Dragons in E.T. (movie)





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    Dungeons & Dragons in E.T. (movie)

    This week, multiple times in at least three different threads, someone has mentioned that D&D was shown in the movie E.T. This mention has been given as an example that D&D was in the mainstream during the 80s.

    I think that thought is rather stretching the situation. For those who haven't seen E.T. in a long time, or have never seen it, here is the "D&D in E.T." bit:

    [ame=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XH7pABfm1HQ]YouTube - Dungeons & Dragons in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial[/ame]

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    The game was tunnels and trolls. I think they couldn't get the rights to D&D.

    But, how is that a stretch? Thats a huge amount of film time.

    Is the portrayal of the kids playing realistic, basically.

    Is the treatment of technical details of the game realistic...if you expect it to be more so, you may not see a lot of big hollywood movies.
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    it was tunnels and trolls in the movie.

    although, if you get the 20th anniversary dvd you will learn that the child actors actually did play D&D.

    they mentioned D&D in the movie Taps starring timothy hutton, tom cruise, sean penn, george c scott, etc...in 1981
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    How would you classify the OD&D Gary Gygax tribute in the recent Futurama movie (Bender's something or other, can't remember title). that was relatively mainstream and quite recent at that...

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    Hmmm. Cant view the video here at work. I remember the Erol Otis Basic set cover from a theatrical viewing.

    Is it possible that the D&D was replaced by T&T on the video version due to legal issues?

    Does anyone have an early videotape copy to check?

    OK. finally saw the clip. That was not how I remembered it. The part where the kid says "game master" looks dubbed.
    Looks like a CGI re-write.
    Last edited by ExploderWizard; Friday, 4th December, 2009 at 02:26 AM.

  • #6
    Quote Originally Posted by Bullgrit View Post
    This week, multiple times in at least three different threads, someone has mentioned that D&D was shown in the movie E.T. This mention has been given as an example that D&D was in the mainstream during the 80s.

    I think that thought is rather stretching the situation. For those who haven't seen E.T. in a long time, or have never seen it, here is the "D&D in E.T." bit:
    I don't see the stretching. Maybe people are remembering it as being more common place than it was, but there was also a D&D cartoon, TV commercials for D&D, and a number of D&D like products available at toy stores.
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    The book version of E.T. actually went into a little more detail -- with the mother even thinking it would be nice to have a portable hole to crawl into.
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    Quote Originally Posted by ExploderWizard View Post
    Hmmm. Cant view the video here at work. I remember the Erol Otis Basic set cover from a theatrical viewing.

    Is it possible that the D&D was replaced by T&T on the video version due to legal issues?

    Does anyone have an early videotape copy to check?
    I could have sworn it was D&D originally in theaters too. I seem to recall him saying 'Dungeon Master' (not 'Game Master') in the movie as well, but I could be remembering wrong after all these years. It wouldn't surprise me if it was pulled for the video, considering how TSR was back in those days.

    They couldn't get the rights to use M&Ms in the movie either, and so Reese's Pieces candy was born.
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    But, how is that a stretch?
    First, theres no mention or showing of D&D. Second, only D&D players would recognize the table talk as vaguely D&D-like; to 99% of the U.S. population, it was gibberish. (And as has been said above, it wasnt even actually D&D, anyway.)

    Reeses Pieces, Speak and Spell, and Coors beer had better representation in the movie.

    I just think speaking of that scene in E.T. as an example of D&D in the mainstream in the 80s is stretching the evidence further than it can be reasonably stretched. I think it is more wishful memory (and accepting of a myth) than actual truth.

    (By the way, notice all the smoke in the scene. It looks like middle-age men playing poker.)

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    On a related note, don't forget the movie Cloak & Dagger in which one of the lead roles (played by Dabney Coleman) was the RPG character of the film's primary protagonist (played by Henry Thomas). I think the early scenes in the movie that show the tabletop version of the Cloak & Dagger game being played were a pretty obvious nod to Top Secret.
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