There are films that mark the cinema with an indelible imprint, such as the case of “ET” which celebrates its fortieth anniversary in 2022 while it has still not aged a bit (ok, maybe a little). We offer you the opportunity to list some hidden things, some errors and some little secrets around the film, to have a good reason to see it again on this fortieth anniversary.
The hidden details
1. ET recognizes Yoda
In this passage AND sees a kid dressed as Yoda and reacts excitedly by saying “home”, which is pretty heavy-handed. You might think it’s a very small wink but in reality it suggests that the extraterrestrials lived in the same universe, which is finally the case because George Lucas decided to integrate extraterrestrials of the species of ET in his prelogy. A nice exchange.
2. There is a scene where Elliot is drunk
During a scene where AND and Elliot are in full telepathy while the kid is in class, AND empty a few cans of beer in the fridge and we see Elliot in class who is starting to get tipsy. It’s not really a hidden detail, but showing drunk children in a children’s film is cool.
3. ET’s voice can be seen in the film
During the Halloween scene where we see through his eyes (the same scene where we meet Yoda) the little extraterrestrial sees a woman disguised as a zombie pass by carrying a dog which he looks at insistently. This is Debra Winger, the actress who simply lends her voice to the character in the film.
4. Steven Spielberg is one of the Doctors Who Resurrect ET
In the famous scene where we resuscitate AND we can see one of the doctors with a beard, it is none other than Spielberg who makes a small cameo, a small directorial appearance in his own film as we often see elsewhere. It makes them laugh.
5. Harrison Ford makes an appearance (which was cut)
A deleted scene shows the school principal played by Harrison Ford, not only a pal of director Spielberg but also at the time the husband of Melissa Matheson, the screenwriter of the film. Quite surprisingly it was decided to cut the scene but you can see it on the video below.
The secrets around the film
6. ET’s powers were found by Harrison Ford’s children
Melissa Matheson, the screenwriter, had asked the kids of her future companion Harrison Ford what powers they would give to the extraterrestrial. They answered fairly basic stuff like telepathy or flying away but they also found ET’s ability to heal others, which surprised the screenwriter who decided to keep the concept.
7. Drew Barrymore and Henry Thomas impressed in their own way during auditions
During her casting Drew Barrymore who was 6 at the time started telling Spielberg that she was not an actress but a drummer in a rock band whose members painted their faces, which surprised Spielberg in terms of ‘imagination.
Henry Thomas completely upset Spielberg since he went into total improvisation and started crying during the casting. You can watch the video, we hear the voice of the famous director say at the end “Ok kid, you have the part”.
8. Spielberg and Matheson started writing a sequel that was scrapped
We were to follow Elliot, a little older, who was being attacked by aliens who looked like ETs and more angry and violent. A good bullshit idea that probably would have killed the soul of the first film, so luckily they preferred not to.
9. According to the screenwriter ET is neither male nor female
In reality, according to its very first version of the scenario, ET would be closer to a plant than another form of life, so it has no assigned gender. An aspect of the character that ultimately remained in the final version since we do not know his name or gender.
10. Reese’s candy sales skyrocketed
Basically the little extraterrestrial had to eat M&M’s and Spielberg had gone to solicit the company which refused. And we can tell you that the brand missed a golden opportunity because it’s finally Reese’s who agreed and the film skyrocketed sales for a long time.