Things That Bring Back Memories – E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial #MondayMemories 6

Things That Bring Back Memories

For this week’s “Things That Bring Back Memories” post, I am going to pick something in the topic of “MOVIES” and go with ” E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial “.  This movie was released in 1982, and was one that I think almost everyone enjoyed.  I can’t believe that it’s been over 30 years!!

” E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial ” was one that had some great animation, and a truly great story that went with it!  I remember in about 3rd grade dressing up as E.T.!  My Mom sewed me a costume from scratch and my Dad made the heart and finger actually light up with wiring that connected to batteries.  I could so kick myself for not holding on to that amazing piece of art!!

If, for some reason, you are of an age that makes it difficult to remember the ” E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial ” movie, here’s a preview of what it was about:

Did you ever watch the ” E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial “ movie when you were younger? or have you seen it on TV or Netflix later in life?  Let me know what you thought of it, and if you have any memories of it in your life!

More Info on the Movie:

Extra-TerrestrialE.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is a 1982 American science fiction-family film co-produced and directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Melissa Mathison, featuring special effects by Carlo Rambaldi and Dennis Muren, and starring Henry Thomas, Dee Wallace, Robert MacNaughton, Drew Barrymore and Peter Coyote. It tells the story of Elliott (Thomas), a lonely boy who befriends an extraterrestrial, dubbed “E.T.”, who is stranded on Earth. He and his siblings help it return home while attempting to keep it hidden from their mother and the government.

The concept for the film was based on an imaginary friend Spielberg created after his parents’ divorce in 1960. In 1980, Spielberg met Mathison and developed a new story from the stalled science fiction/horror film project Night Skies. It was shot from September to December 1981 in California on a budget of US $10.5 million. Unlike most motion pictures, it was shot in rough chronological order, to facilitate convincing emotional performances from the young cast.

Released on June 11, 1982 by Universal Pictures, E.T was a blockbuster, surpassing Star Wars to become the highest-grossing film of all time—a record it held for eleven years until Jurassic Park, another Spielberg-directed film, surpassed it in 1993. It is the highest-grossing film of the 1980’s. Critics acclaimed it as a timeless story of friendship, and it ranks as the greatest science fiction film ever made in a Rotten Tomatoes survey. In 1994, it was selected for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as being “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.  It was re-released in 1985, and then again in 2002 to celebrate its 20th anniversary, with altered shots and additional scenes.

In a California forest, a group of alien botanists collect flora samples. When government agents appear on the scene, they flee in their spaceship, leaving one of their own behind in their haste. At a suburban home, ten-year-old boy named Elliott is trying to spend time with his fifteen-year-old brother, Michael, and his friends. As he returns from picking up a pizza, he discovers that something is hiding in their tool shed. The creature promptly flees upon being discovered. Despite his family’s disbelief, he leaves Reese’s Pieces candy to lure it to his bedroom. Before he goes to sleep, he realizes it is imitating his movements. He feigns illness the next morning to stay home from school and play with it. Later that day, Michael and their five-year-old sister, Gertie, meet it. They decide to keep it hidden from their mother, Mary. When they ask it about its origin, it levitates several balls to represent its solar system and then demonstrates its powers by reviving a dead chrysanthemum.


At school the next day, Elliott begins to experience a psychic connection with the alien, including exhibiting signs of intoxication due to it drinking beer, and he begins freeing all the frogs in his biology class. As the alien watches John Wayne kiss Maureen O’Hara in The Quiet Man, Elliott kisses a girl he likes; but he goes too far and is sent to the principal’s office.

The alien learns to speak English by repeating what Gertie says as she watches Sesame Street and, at Elliott’s urging, dubs itself “E.T.” He reads a comic strip where Buck Rogers, stranded, calls for help by building a makeshift Extra-Terrestrialcommunication device and is inspired to try it himself. E.T. receives Elliott’s help in building a device to “phone home” by using a Speak & Spell toy. Michael notices that his health is declining and that Elliott is referring to himself as “we.”

On Halloween, Michael and Elliott dress E.T. as a ghost so they can sneak him out of the house. Elliott and E.T. ride the former’s bike to the forest, where E.T. makes a successful call home. The next morning, Elliott wakes up in the field, only to find E.T. gone, so he returns home to his distressed family. Michael searches for and finds E.T. dying in a ditch and takes him home to Elliott, who is also dying. Mary becomes frightened when she discovers her son’s illness and the dying E.T., just as government agents invade the house. Scientists set up a medical facility there, quarantining Elliott and E.T. Their link disappears and E.T. then appears to die while Elliott recovers. A grief-stricken Elliott is left alone with the motionless E.T. when he notices a dead chrysanthemum, the plant E.T. had previously revived, coming back to life. E.T. reanimates and reveals that his people are returning. Elliott and Michael steal a van that E.T. had been loaded into and a chase ensues, with Michael’s friends joining them as they attempt to evade the authorities by bike. Suddenly facing a police roadblock, they escape as E.T. uses telekinesis to lift them into the air and toward the forest.

Standing near the spaceship, E.T.’s heart glows as he prepares to return home. Mary, Gertie, and “Keys,” a government agent, show up. E.T. says goodbye to Michael and Gertie, as she presents him with the chrysanthemum that he had revived. Before boarding the spaceship, he tells Elliott “I’ll be right here,” pointing his glowing finger to his forehead. He then picks up the chrysanthemum, gets on the spaceship, and it takes off, leaving a rainbow in the sky as everyone watches it leave.


Some of the Characters:

Extra-TerrestrialHenry Jackson Thomas, Jr. (Elliot) was born  September 9, 1971, as an only child in San Antonio, Texas, the son of Carolyn, a homemaker, and Henry Jackson Thomas, a hydraulic machinist.  He attended East Central High School in San Antonio and Blinn College in Brenham.  Thomas is of Welsh descent.  He is an American actor and musician. He has appeared in over 40 films and is best known for his role as Elliott Taylor in Steven Spielberg’s E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982). He is also known for his roles in films such as Cloak & Dagger (1984), Legends of the Fall (1994), and Gangs of New York (2002). Among Star Wars fans, he is well known as the narrator of three Star Wars: X-Wing books: Rogue Squadron (1996), Wedge’s Gamble (1996), and The Krytos Trap (1996).

Extra-TerrestrialRobert MacNaughton (Michael) was born December 19, 1966.  He is an American actor, best known for his role as Elliott’s brother Michael in E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, for which he won a 1982 Young Artist Award as Best Young Supporting Actor in a Motion Picture. MacNaughton also played the lead role of Adam Farmer in the 1983 film I Am the Cheese, based on the young adult novel by Robert Cormier.  Born in New York City, MacNaughton primarily worked in the theater, both before and after E.T., performing with the Circle Repertory Company, where he originated the role of Buddy Layman in Jim Leonard’s The Diviners. MacNaughton performed with Kevin Kline in Henry V at the New York Shakespeare Festival in Central Park. He played Hally in Athol Fugard’s Master Harold and the boys for South Coast Repertory, and has also performed with the Long Wharf Theater and Seattle Repertory, among many others. His TV appearances include Dennis Potter’s Visitors for the BBC, Vietnam War Story for HBO, Newhart, and Amen, among other TV movies.  MacNaughton retired from acting in 2002. Since then, he has worked as a mail carrier in Phoenix, Arizona and Jersey City, New Jersey.  In 2013, MacNaughton came out of retirement to perform in two films, Kamal Ahmed’s Laugh Killer Laugh (co-starring his wife, actress Bianca Hunter) and Damien Leone’s Frankenstein vs. The Mummy.

Extra-TerrestrialDrew Barrymore (Gertie) was born February 22, 1975 in Culver City, California, to actors John Drew Barrymore and Jaid Barrymore. Her father came from a long show-business legacy, as the son of actors John Barrymore and Dolores Costello, while her mother was the daughter of Hungarian immigrants. Since melting audiences’ hearts – at the age of six – in Steven Spielberg’s beloved sci-fi blockbuster, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Drew Barrymore has emerged as one of the most endearing and talented actresses of her generation.  Despite a troubled and much-publicized adolescence, and a string of “bad girl” parts in lurid crime dramas such as Poison Ivy (1992), Barrymore’s star was officially on the rise during the mid-1990’s, with notable appearances in Boys on the Side (1995), Woody Allen’s Everyone Says I Love You (1996), and the game-changing horror hit Scream (1996).  In 2009, Barrymore – whose production company, Flower Films, has spawned several lucrative features – made her long-awaited directional debut with the comedy-drama Whip It (2009), emerging as “a sensitive director who knows how and when to let an emotional moment linger on the screen” (TIME).  Alongside a recurring guest spot – as the voice of Jillian – on the cult animated series Family Guy (1999), recent acting roles have included Everybody’s Fine (2009), Going the Distance (2010), Big Miracle (2012), Blended (2014), and Miss You Already (2015).

Did You Know?

Extra-TerrestrialMost of the E.T.’s full-body puppetry was performed by a 2′ 10 tall stuntman, but the scenes in the kitchen were done using a 10-year old boy who was born without legs but was an expert on walking on his hands.

Steven Spielberg shot most of the film from the eye-level of a child to further connect with Elliot and E.T.

The young actors found the E.T. puppet’s eyes too far apart to comfortably look E.T. in the eye when they had to act with it. The actors solved the problem themselves by selecting a single eye to look at for every scene.

At one point during filming, Drew Barrymore was consistently forgetting her lines, annoying Steven Spielberg to the point where he actually yelled at her. He later found out that she had reported to work with a very high fever. Feeling guilty, he hugged her and apologized repeatedly as she cried and cried. He then sent her home – with a note from her director.

The highest grossing film of 1982. It became the most successful movie in film history until Steven Spielberg beat that record with Jurassic Park (1993), released on the same date 11 years later, June 11. In a strange coincidence, the next film to snatch that title was Titanic (1997), only for James Cameron to also outdistance himself with Avatar (2009).

E.T.’s voice was provided by Pat Welsh, an elderly woman who lived in Marin County, California. Welsh smoked two packets of cigarettes a day, which gave her voice a quality that sound effects creator Ben Burtt liked. She spent nine-and-a-half hours recording her part, and was paid $380 by Burtt for her services. Burtt also recorded 16 other people and various animals to create E.T.’s “voice”. These included Spielberg; Debra Winger; Burtt’s sleeping wife, who had a cold; a burp from his USC film professor; as well as raccoons, sea otters and horses.

In the Halloween scene where E.T. sees a child in a Yoda costume and seems to recognize him suggest that they are from the same Galaxy. In Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace (1999), in the galactic senate scene where all the senators are on their feet shouting, you can see in the lower right corner E.T. species among the senate pods.

Corey Feldman was originally scheduled for a role in E.T., but over the course of a script re-write, his part was eliminated. Steven Spielberg felt bad about the decision and promised Feldman a part in his next planned production which turned out to be Gremlins (1984).


Thanks for stopping by today.  Please be sure to leave a comment, if this show meant something to you, too.  Or to just let me know what you think of the story in this post!   TigerStrypes claims no credit for any images used on this post, unless otherwise noted.  Images in this post are copyright to their respectful owners. If there is an image appearing on this blog that belongs to you and do not wish for it appear on this site, please email us with a link to said image and it will be promptly removed.  Thanks and have a great day!!

Notify of
Oldest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
8 years ago

You know, I remember watching this movie as a child, but I don’t really remember much of it at all! Time for a rewatch!

Thank you for sharing with us at #MommyMeetupMondays!

Rebecca Swenor
Rebecca Swenor
8 years ago

E. T. was the movie to see back then in the theaters. I really can’t believe it has been over 30 yrs. and at that time it was my favorite movie. We are going to have to watch this again. Thanks for sharing the information.

valmg @ Mom Knows It All

I loved that movie, I’ve probably seen it a good dozen times! I was 15 and graduating high school when it was released.

Liz Mays
8 years ago

I really love that movie, even now. It just tugged at my heart back then and still does!

8 years ago

I was in my 30’s when that movie came out–YES I went to see it and YES I loved it as did all my friends!! The phrase ET GO HOME often passes through my brain even to this day. ET was such a gentle soul everybody loved him.

sharon martin
8 years ago

I totally loved ET, I don’t think anything will ever beat that movie, it’s hard to believe it was so long ago.