20 Things Most People Don’t Know About E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.
This article is based on "Weird Facts That You Didn't Know About E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial" and "E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial - IMDB". If you're interested in reading more, check out the links at the bottom of the article.
3/19 A 2'10" tall stuntman wore the E.T. suit for most scenes though a young boy named Matthew who didn't have legs was used for a few shots, including the scene in the kitchen. A professional mime wore E.T. gloves for closeups of it's hands.
4/19 Harrison Ford played the principal of Elliot's school but all his scenes were cut in post-production.
5/19 Most of the adults in the film, other than Elliot's mom, were shot from the waist down. Steven Spielberg shot most of the film from eye-level of a child to make it easier for the audience to connect with Elliot and E.T.
6/19 Other titles such as "Upon a Star", "E.T. and Me", and "The Landing" were considered before settling on E.T. Producers worried though that people wouldn't understand what the initialism stood for so added "The Extra-Terrestrial" at the end just to make sure.
7/19 The nurses and doctors in the hospital scene are real medical professionals. Steven Spielberg asked them to work unscripted as though it was a real situation to make the scene more natural.
8/19 The film was the highest grossing movie of 1982, beating Rocky III and Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
9/19 Screenwriter Melissa Mathison asked Harrison's Ford children for suggestions of what E.T.'s powers should be. They suggested telepathy and telekinesis but surprised Mathison by also saying the power to heal.
10/19 E.T. is voiced by a variety of people and animals, but one main voice was used in the end: Pat Welsh. Welsh was an elderly Californian woman whose chain smoker was perfect for the role. She recorded E.T.'s lines over a period of nine-and-a-half hours and was paid $380.
11/19 Foley John Roesch used a wet shirt covered with jello to make the sound of E.T.'s walk.
12/19 Steven Spielberg directed E.T. while simultaneously producing Poltergeist. It is said that E.T. represents suburban dreams while Poltergeist represents suburban nightmares.
13/19 The image of E.T. flying on Elliot's bicycle is the logo for Amblin Entertainment.
14/19 The film was shot roughly in chronological order to achieve convincing emotional performances. It allowed the kids to more realistically bond with E.T. as the film progressed.
15/19 E.T.'s puppeteers were kept away from the set to maintain the illusion that E.T. was a real alien.
16/19 The film received nine nominations for Academy Awards and won four: Best Original Score (John Williams), Best Sound Mixing (Robert Knudson, Robert Glass, Don Digirolamo and Gene Cantamessa), Best Sound Editing (Charles L. Campbell and Ben Burtt), and Best Visual Effects (Carlo Rambaldi, Dennis Muren and Kenneth Smith). While it was nominated for Best Picture it lost to Gandhi.
17/19 A wax replica of E.T. can be seen at six Madame Tussauds.
18/19 For the 20th anniversary re-release John Williams conducted a live performance of the score at the premiere.
19/19 Steven Spielberg considered making a sequel called E.T. II: Nocturnal Fears in which Elliot and his friends would be kidnapped by aliens and need E.T.'s help. In the end he decided that the film was more meaningful as a stand alone.
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