This wonderful classic captured the hearts of people around the world. I think we all remember reaching for the tissues when the young Elliot lost his friend.
Directed by Steven Spielberg, it tells the story of a young boy named Elliott who is struggling to cope with his parents' divorce. He lives with his single mother, older brother and younger sister. His life gets more interesting when he discovers an alien life-form that was left behind after coming to Earth to study our planet.
His attempts to hide the creature fail and eventually the government learns of his existence.
E.T. resonated with so many people because it took you though a range of emotion in a short period of time. From wonder and amazement at the friendship the boy and the alien grow, to the fear, and anger of the government nearly killing E.T., to the sadness of their final goodbye.
This landmark movie is something we can still take away a lot from decades later.
It Was Inspired By The Divorce of Steven Spielberg's Parents
This instant classic was an amalgam of ideas that Spielberg had. The movie mogul had planned to make a movie called Growing Up that was based on his childhood memories of disappearing into his imagination as a way to deal with his parents' divorce. He also had the idea for Night Skies, an alien-themed project about a family coming face-to-face with hostiles from another planet.
These ideas melded into one that we know of as E.T. If the movies often feels heartbreaking, it's because it's meant to. Spielberg made sure that he infused his own experiences into the story and atmosphere of the movie.
Night Skies also morphed into the Spielberg-producted movie, Poltergeist.
Drew Barrymore Lied To Be Cast
Drew Barrymore originally auditioned for the role of Carol Ann, the young girl at the center of Poltergeist. That role went to Heather O'Rouke, but the young actress left an impression when she fibbed that she was in a rock band called the Purple People Eaters and had world-class culinary skills.
When she was called for a casting session for E.T. she continued her silly lies.
"I was a dry-witted, lying, thieving six-year-old, and I just wanted to win the job and go on an adventure. And I wanted to make the most of it. So after my made-up tales and small talk that was larger than life, I was mostly directing it to Steven because I knew that he was buying it.”
Luring E.T. With Candy
Elliot was originally supposed to lure E.T. into the house with M&M's, but Mars Incorporated turned down the request to use their candy. Instead Reese's Pieces were used and thanks to the movie, its sales surged 65%.
Where did they get the alien's face from? A mashup between Carl Sandburg, a pug and Albert Einstein. Who would have thought?
E.T. Was Performed By A 10-Year-Old With No Legs
All the puppetry was performed by a 2'10" stuntman, with the exception of the scenes in the kitchen. Those were done by a 10-year-old boy who was born without legs but was an expert at walking on his hands.