ET the extra-terrestrial: curiosities about Steven Spielberg’s film

ETelephone home“: If you don’t have a heart of stone (or if you lived a childhood without the joy of great cinema) it is impossible not to be moved by thinking about ET the extra-terrestrial. Steven Spielberg’s film accomplishes 40 years and it is always a masterpiece.

Premiered at the Cannes Film Festival on June 26, 1982 and then released in American cinemas on June 11 of the same year, ET the extra-terrestrial It is one of Steven Spielberg film most beautiful: there is all the love for adventure, hope for the future, curiosity for the different and not fear.

There is also a bit of Italy in the film: the alien protagonist was drawn by Carlo Rambaldi (also author of King Kong and the Xenomorph of Alien).

On the occasion of the 40th anniversary of ET the extra-terrestrial go back to the room: opened the International Exhibition of New Cinema in Pesaro, where to inaugurate the 58th edition (18-25 June). Waiting for it to return to cinemas even for those who do not attend festivals, here are 10 curiosity about ET the extra-terrestrial that you (perhaps) do not know.

# 1. Carlo Rambaldi drew ET as a cat

At first glance it doesn’t seem like it, but Carlo Rambaldi designed ET inspired by the muzzle of a cat. Above all, the big eyes remain of the feline: for Steven Spielberg it was essential that the alien had an aspect capable of creating empathy and for this reason the gaze was fundamental.

#2. ET’s voice is from a housewife

There voice of ET it was found by chance by the sound designer: he was in a shop to buy a camera and he heard about it Pat Walsh, a Californian housewife who smoked two packs of cigarettes a day. She had the right deep, hoarse tone that Spielberg was looking for.

# 3. Henry Thomas made Steven Spielberg cry

Henry Thomas is Elliot, the child protagonist who finds ET in his garden and protects him. Steven Spielberg was convinced to choose him for one simple reason: the day of his audition, Henry Thomas made him cry.

At the time he was 10 and to find the right emotion and cry, the actor thought of his dog, which has just passed away.

# 4. Drew Barrymore auditioned for another movie

While he was busy with the pre-production of ET., Steven Spielberg was also working on the horror film Poltergeist. The very young Drew Barrymore she auditioned for the lead role of Carol Anne (later went to Heather O’Rourke), but the director cast her instead for that of Gertie, Elliot’s younger sister.

# 5. Doctors and nurses are not actors

In the dramatic scene where ET is sick, the doctors and nurses are not actors, but real medical personnel. Steven Spielberg wanted as much realism as possible and asked to treat the alien exactly like any patient.

# 6. The scene with Harrison Ford was cut

This is perhaps a real shame. Harrison Fordwhich he had shot with Steven Spielberg the year before Indiana Joneshad a small cameo in ET, but it was eventually cut during assembly. He was the principal of Elliot’s school.

# 7. ET’s name is Zrek

Given the great success of ET., Steven Spielberg and the screenwriter Melissa Mathison wrote a nine-page treat for a sequel: ET 2: Nocturnal Fears. This time around Elliot and his friends are kidnapped by hostile aliens and ET must save them. The big revelation is that the ET’s name is Zrek!

# 8. ET was shot in chronological order

To fully capture the emotions of the young protagonists, Steven Spielberg shot ET the extra-terrestrial in chronological order, in order to reach the climax when the boys say goodbye to the alien.

# 9. Henry Thomas took Elliot’s sweatshirt

Henry Thomas took home the now iconic red sweatshirt that Elliot wears in many scenes in the film, including the iconic one where ET flies bicycles.

# 10. Tom Meighan of Kasabian bought one of the bikes

Tom Meighan, Kasabian frontman and huge fan of the film, spent $ 12,000 on one of the original bicycles of ET the extra-terrestrial.

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About David Martin

David Martin is the lead editor for Spark Chronicles. David has been working as a freelance journalist.

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