Interestingly, Lord Attenborough, of all people, agrees. In a recent interview with BBC Radio Five, he admits that E.T.
was robbed, being an infinitely more creative and fundamental piece of cinema than his own winning film!
"[Business partner] Diana and I went to see E.T. in Los Angeles shortly before all the awards and we used language, when we came out, to the extent of saying that we have no chance E.T. should and will walk away with it.
Without the initial premise of Mahatma Gandhi, the film (Gandhi) would be nothing. Therefore it's a narrative film but it's a piece of narration rather than a piece of cinema. As such. E.T. depended absolutely on the concept of cinema and I think that Steven Spielberg, who I'm very fond of, is a genius. I think E.T. is a quite extraordinary piece of cinema."