E.T. Movie Behind The Scenes

Making E.T.

E.T. Picture
Elliot and E.T. try to make a getaway


Go behind the scenes on the 1982 Family movie starring Henry Thomas, Drew Barrymore, Robert MacNaughton More Cast

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Thanks to Emily
Henry Thomas, who plays Elliot, didn't even have an agent at the time! When he auditioned for the role of Elliot, he did a sensational job and immediately after, Spielberg offered him the part... Right there! An older Henry Thomas says that was the quickest audition he ever had and you can watch it on the 20th Anniversary Special Edition DVD.
Thanks to Brian
The movie car builders at Customs By Eddie Paul in El Segundo, CA were contacted to create the custom Ford van used in the E.T. rescue scene.
Thanks to Greg
Spielburg cast Drew Barrymore for the role of Gertie when she was originally auditioning for "Poltergeist".
Thanks to Greg
Harrison Ford was cast as Elliot's school headmaster, but the scene was cut from the film because Spielberg felt that Ford, being one of the biggest stars in the world at the time, would distract people from the story and beauty of the film.
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Scriptwriter Melissa Mathison (Harrison Ford's wife) was cast in a small role as Elliot's teacher. She was so nervous performing that her hands shook too much and her small part also found itself on the cutting room floor.
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E.T's voice was done by Pat Walsh and Debra Winger.
Thanks to Trevor Ou Tim
The BMX bicycles used in the movie were all made by Kuwahara. The half white/maroon model which was ridden by Elliot was designated the E.T. Kuwahara. This film sparked off many kids at the time to get BMX's, making the sport a craze of 80s. I don't think the Kuwahara company exists any more. The sport died out for a while, but now has found new life again.
Thanks to J.R. Weber
Originally, Elliot was supposed to lure E.T. with M&Ms, but the M&Ms/Mars company wouldn't let the filmmakers use their product, so the candy was changed to Reese's Pieces.
Thanks to Stephanie
Foley artist, John Roesch, used a wet t-shirt stuffed with Jello for the sound of E.T.'s walk.
Thanks to David Jones
Shooting began on September 8, 1981, and finished in December 1981. Also, the scenes are mostly seen in the same order as they were shot.
Thanks to Steven Murray
The scene where Elliot tells Gertie 'Only little kids can see him' (referring to E.T), Drew Barrymore added the line 'Gimmie a break' on the spot, it wasn't in the script. She did a few ad-libs in the movie.
Thanks to Steven Murray
Stephen Speilberg liked the movie "The Howling" a lot and was very impressed by actress Dee Wallace. Thats why he gave her the role as the kids mother, Mary.
Thanks to Steven Murray
Drew Barrymore (Gertie) believed that E.T was real throughout the entire shoot, talking to him at times. Therefore her acting was increased when she thought he was dying or leaving etc.
Thanks to Steven Murray
'Poltergiest' and 'E.T' were filmed at the same time and the cast used to hang out together. Especially the children from both movies.

Next Section: Deleted Scenes

Deleted Scenes

There are often scenes cut from the final version of a movie. Sometimes these will have been seen by preview audiences, or be included in Blu-ray or DVD extras etc.

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Next Section: Alternate Versions

Alternate Versions

Sometimes, there will be several versions of a movie floating about on cable, tv or video etc. Other times, a Director may release a special cut of the movie on Blu-ray or DVD.

Aw, man.. We don't know of any alternate versions of "E.T.". If you know better, please add one for others to enjoy. It's quick & easy
Jump To: Filming Locations
1982 Universal Studios
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