In 1982, Steven Spielberg's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial was released. It captured so many imaginations and made children and adults alike look up and wonder if anyone is out there. Going against the grain with alien visitation movies, Spielberg once again made the visitors friendly as he did with the 1977 classic, Close Encounters of the Third Kind. The alien in the movie who we came to love and care about became stranded on our planet so befriends a child (Elliot) who helps him return home.
The film began shooting in September 1981. The project was filmed under the cover name A Boy's Life, as Spielberg did not want anyone to discover and plagiarize the plot. The actors had to read the script behind closed doors, and everyone on set had to wear an ID card.
Spielberg shot the film in roughly chronological order to achieve convincingly emotional performances from his cast. In the scene in which Michael first encounters E.T., his appearance caused MacNaughton to jump back and knock down the shelves behind him. The chronological shoot gave the young actors an emotional experience as they bonded with E.T., making the quarantine sequences more moving.
Spielberg ensured the puppeteers were kept away from the set to maintain the illusion of a real alien. For the first time in his career, he did not storyboard most of the film, in order to facilitate spontaneity in the performances.
According to Spielberg, the memorable scene where E.T. disguises himself as a stuffed toy in Elliott's closet was suggested by colleague Robert Zemeckis, after he read a draft of the screenplay that Spielberg had sent him.
Here are 45 rare and amazing behind the scenes photos from the making film E.T.
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