MOVIE TRIVIA …
E.T.: THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL 1
1. At the auditions, Henry Thomas thought about the day his dog died to express sadness. Director Steven Spielberg cried, and hired him on the spot.
2. ET's face was modelled after poet Carl Sandburg, Albert Einstein and a pug dog.
3. Most of the film is shot from the eye-level of a child to further connect with Elliot and E.T.
4. When it was test-screened at the Cannes Film Festival as an unofficial entry, it received a standing ovation that eluded most of the official entries.
5. E.T. riding in the basket on Elliot's bicycle flying in front of the moon has become the trademark image of Amblin Entertainment.
6. The script was largely written whilst on location filming for Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) during filming breaks. Steven Spielberg dictated the story to screenwriter Melissa Mathison who was there with her then-boyfriend and future husband Harrison Ford.
7. Steven Spielberg is reported to have spent $100,000 digitally removing guns from the 20th Anniversary re-release of the movie in 2002. He regretted using the scene and said he would remove it if he ever re-issued the film.
8. Almost 10% of the $10.5 million budget went on the alien creature puppets and related animatronics.
9. Elliot's last name is never mentioned.
10. With the exception of Elliot's mom, no adults' faces are shown until the last half of the film.
11. This script was being developed at Columbia at the same time as another script about an alien visitation. The studio did not want to make both, so the head of the studio had to choose which film to make; he decided to let ET go and make Starman (1984). ET was then made by Universal Pictures.