Throwback Thursdays: Happy Birthday E.T.!

E.T. The Extra Terrestrial Movie Poster

I’m not sure how “nerdy” this post is but I was inspired after the John Williams concert, where he showed / accompanied the last reel of the movie, E.T. The Extra Terrestrial. In his introduction to the segment he mentioned that this year marks the 30th anniversary of this classic film so I figured talking about E.T. would be a great topic for Throwback Thursdays.

When Mr. Williams told us that is was the 30th anniversary of E.T., I immediately thought, wow that makes me feel old. But as I watched the clip and got lost in the amazing score by John Williams I felt like a kid again and that’s what makes E.T. so beloved by fans of all ages.

E.T. and Elliot

Even with its sci-fi elements, at its core E.T. is a film about a friendship, however unlikely. Spielberg crafted a story that tugged at your heartstrings and made you forget that E.T. was even an alien. I think it also does a great job of showing how kids are more open and accepting of the unknown than adults. Over the years, films have done their best to capture the essence of E.T., exploring similar themes; The Goonies, Monster House, Super 8 and even the newest ParaNorman. All of these films feature kids acting like kids, forming unbreakable friendships and of course getting into some crazy shenanigans along the way.

Interesting facts about E.T. (thank you Wikipedia):

  • Steven Spielberg was inspired to make this movie from the imaginary friend he had after his parent’s divorce
  • The film was shot in (almost) chronological order to help the young actors bond with E.T. and illicit the most emotional responses
  • It was shot so that the adults were not shown from the waist up for the first half of the film
  • Held the record for highest-grossing film for 10 years
  • Spielberg auditioned hundreds of boys for the role of Elliot, which finally when to Henry Thomas who auditioned in an Indiana Jones costume (adorable!)
  • E.T. was voiced by Pat Welsh an elderly woman from California who smoked 2 packs of cigarette a day giving her voice that perfect raspy sound
  • Mars Incorporated thought that E.T. was so ugly that they refused to let them use M&Ms in the movie, so they used Reeses Pieces instead and now Hershey’s laughs and counts their money, while sitting in a swivel chair and stroking a cat laughing maniacally, “BWAHAHAHA”
  • STOP RIGHT THERE: Spielberg cut a scene with HARRISON FORD as Elliot’s headmaster!!! WHY STEVEN WHY?!
  • Want more? Check out E.T….

Also while I was researching E.T. for this post I found the original trailer, which I think is hilarious:

To end, Happy Birthday E.T., you have brought us 30 years of tears, laughter and wonder. You are timeless, although 30 years from now kids will probably be confused as to why E.T. couldn’t just “phone home” on his iPhone.

I will leave you with performance at John Williams which I dare you to not get chills from while watching.

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