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The Behind the Scenes Pics of the Day will be… riiiigghhhttt… heeerree.

Ahoy, squirts! Quint here with today’s Behind the Scenes Pic!

There’s been an influx of ET images submitted over the last three months and you’re seeing a few of them pop up here. I couldn’t be happier about that since ET was a massive, massive part of my childhood. Hell, it was a massive, massive part of any kid my age’s childhood!

You’ve seen some ET pics and you’ve seen some great forced perspective and miniature work… now here’s this great image of the brilliant Dennis Muren setting up a legitimately iconic image.

Thanks to Chris Handschuch for sending this one along. I believe the image was put online by Vanity Fair, but don’t quote me on that. Click to embiggen!



If you have a behind the scenes shot you’d like to submit to this column, you can email me at

Tomorrow’s behind the scenes pic has no parachute!

-Eric Vespe
Follow Me On Twitter


Click here to visit the complete compilation of previous Behind the Scenes images, Page One

Click here to visit the complete compilation of previous Behind the Scenes images, Page Two!

Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 9, 2011, 8:49 p.m. CST

    First Penis Breath!!!

    by boba_rob

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 9:12 p.m. CST

    I don't think I've ever even seen this entire movie

    by Kammich

    I was born in 1989... my sisters loved this movie growing up, but I never cared for its over-sentimentality. When I was 6 or 7 years old my favorite alien movies were "The Thing" and "Alien," so the cuddly little reese's pieces guy wasn't my cup o' tea. Thats a very cool BTS pic, though. I've seen it before, I can't remember where. A Spielberg documentary, I think.

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 9:13 p.m. CST

    That's an incredible shot

    by Lucky13

    Nice work, Quint.

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 9:20 p.m. CST

    Didn't Spielberg remove the "penis breath" line...

    by BeeDub

    ...from his "improved" version of the film? I heard that somewhere, don't know if it's true.

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 9:30 p.m. CST


    by SeXX ED

    ... and I want the original theatrical version on Blu-ray, Steven.

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 9:30 p.m. CST

    "Penis Breath" is still intact

    by lochkray

    However, the halloween night line, from mom to Elliots older mother, "you aren't going out as a terrorist" was changed to "you aren't going out as a hippy." That was also made, long before 9/11

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 9:31 p.m. CST

    "older brother", sorry

    by lochkray

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 9:31 p.m. CST

    Backdrop question

    by bass

    Is that the San Fernando Valley? Looks like it, with the picture being taken from the Encino hills looking towards where the 405 heads off to Valencia. I can't figure out what that diagonal road near the top is though.

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 9:33 p.m. CST


    by Rebeck2

    You sound very proud of the fact that you don't "get" this movie - no doubt, because you never actually sat and watched the fucking thing from start to finish...kind of a requirement to reviewing a film - but it just makes me feel a little sad for you. There's nothing wrong with emotion in movies, buddy. Doesn't mean you're a "fag". And I love THE THING to death, but the two movies are not mutually exclusive. (idiot) Nothing like the macho bravado of the AICN nerds...

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 9:34 p.m. CST

    Amazing Shot

    by PaddyIrishman

    Never would I looking at the movie have ever considered how they created this shot or even realised on what scale. As a computer animator, I truly feel sad for this lost art.

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 9:38 p.m. CST

    I always wonder if they knew they were creating iconic shots..

    by alienindisguise

    or if was just a job to most of them?

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 9:45 p.m. CST

    Great movie

    by vondamage

    They should never, ever change anything about it. LA suburbs, 80's classic...

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 9:53 p.m. CST

    Spielberg has stated he won't allow any changes to his films from now on...

    by Nasty In The Pasty I'm assuming we'll get unmutilated version of E.T., Jaws and the Indiana Jones films on Blu-Ray eventually. We got all three major versions of CE3K on Blu, so I'm hopeful. Still not selling my DVD copy of the theatrical cut until I have confirmation, however. And the "Penis Breath" line was still in the 2002 "special edition" version of the movie.

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 9:57 p.m. CST


    by Rebeck2

    It's because you have a lump of coal where your heart should be.

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 9:59 p.m. CST

    That's beautiful.

    by blackwood

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 10:05 p.m. CST

    Kammich - you saw Alien and the Thing at age 6 or 7?

    by BubbaDestructo

    Those 2 films would traumatize me if I saw them at that age. Either you had an unusually high tolerance to horror/gore/adult language/themes at that age, were forced to view them (and were subsequently traumatized) or you have your age that you saw them wrong. 2 of the best movies ever, though!

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 10:23 p.m. CST

    lol, rebeck

    by Kammich

    you really took that comment and ran with it, didn't you? wasn't trying to be macho, not in the slightest. this is the same message board where I routinely talk about openly weeping during movies like "The Fountain." I clearly was not "reviewing" the film, nor making any attempt to. nor was I strictly comparing the movie to "The Thing" or "Alien." if you polished your reading comprehension instead of jumping at the chance to call someone names on the internet, you may have realized that I was simply musing on the fact that I grew up on a different brand of alien films. chiiillll oooout, ya fuckin' boob. @bubbadestructo My dad was a terrible influence when it came to movies. some of the very first movies I ever remember watching were "American Werewolf in London," "Lost Boys" and "Jaws." I only really remember being traumatized by one scene in "Alien," the part where Yaphet Kotto(i think?) flashes the light over the Xenomorph lifts its head up, teeth bared, claws extended and screeches. that part terrified me as a kid.

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 10:30 p.m. CST


    by dukeroberts

    The "terrorist" line and the shotguns were removed, or more appropriately, "replaced" for the 2002 theatrical re-release. On the DVD, you get both versions and the "terrorist" line and shotguns are still in the original. Yay! I've never watched the 2002 re-release version.

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 10:37 p.m. CST

    I wand a BTS where they cgi-add the walkie talkies

    by KilliK

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 10:40 p.m. CST

    Yeah same here,that movie didnt do much to me either.

    by KilliK

    Nice movie but i probably saw it in the wrong age.

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 10:46 p.m. CST

    The last image in the film

    by proevad

    is probably my favorite Spielberg image. Everything that was godlike about Spielberg during that time period is captured in a simple close up of a little boys face, while William's score soars in the background. Magic. Standing O at Cannes from what I hear. Just doesn't happen.

  • And that scene you mention from Alien still scares me to this day!

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 10:54 p.m. CST

    Theatrical Version on DVD?

    by Shubniggorath

    Wifey brought home an ET DVD a while back and having grown up on this movie, I am still scarred by the CGI crap ET of the re-release. I won't watch ET again until I get my hands on that original cut.

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 10:59 p.m. CST

    Loved this movie...

    by ufoclub1977

    From the way there was a single mother, to them playing D&D, to the clothes, to the obscene, dickish attitude of the kids, it all reflected the reality of my life and friends at that age. And then the incredible dynamic action shots and score derived from something so simple as kids hijacking a van and then leading a chase on BMX style bikes. Not to mention the incredible detail, personality, and mood of the creature itself (the eyes dialating, the lifelike heartbeating organs). This was the only movie I ever saw where the entire packed audience got up on its feet and clapped towards the end when the bicycles flew to safety. Saw this 5 times alternating with Poltergeist that summer of '82. Greatest summer of my childhood, riding bikes to different neighborhoods, trying to make our first super-8 movies... seeing the uncensored "The Exorcist" for the first time on beta. E.T. was a great experience for me as a 7th grader. And by that time I was already a fan of Excalibur, The Exorcist, and The Shining. Shit I even had already both those novels... and the positive, innocent vibe of the core of ET didn't bug me. Just a different kind of great movie. Ghandi was a great movie, but just a bio pic in the end. ET should have won best picture.

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 11 p.m. CST

    The theatrical version is only on the 2-disc DVD set

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    Although you can still get it relatively cheaply, I'd wait for the Blu-Ray at this point. The single-disc release that came later only had the 2002 "walkie-talkie" version.

  • Now it's just a bunch of pasty geeks in a computer lab

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 11:21 p.m. CST

    Absolutely beautiful

    by Proman1984

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 11:35 p.m. CST

    My fav shot yet!

    by dead youngling

    Gorgeous with the lights in the back. Go 80s!

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 11:37 p.m. CST

    Shotguns to clip boards&walkie's?The Lucas influence

    by the_shitweasel_with_a_quizzical_brow

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 11:39 p.m. CST

    But it was magical! i keep thinking of smarties/M&Ms

    by the_shitweasel_with_a_quizzical_brow

  • Sept. 9, 2011, 11:40 p.m. CST

    Great shot

    by swanstep

    Never guessed that that was a model shot... that *had* to be real LA as the back-drop. Amazing stuff.

  • Sept. 10, 2011, 12:35 a.m. CST

    Erase the Reese's Pieces. Replace with veggies

    by Dookie_Lumpkins

    Let's be sensitive to people with diabetes and digitize over the candy with carrot sticks

  • Sept. 10, 2011, 1:01 a.m. CST

    That's a fucking creepy picture...

    by HB_Dad

    ...giant dork attacks alien in the valley

  • Sept. 10, 2011, 1:06 a.m. CST

    How incredibly COOL IS THIS?!!!!!! GREAT PIC!

    by Mennen

  • Sept. 10, 2011, 1:12 a.m. CST

    It looks like Photoshop you'd see on The Chive

    by RedBull_Werewolf

    with random Internet phrase of the moment added as a caption, It would be followed by 10 pictures of girls and boobs Oh the chive, how I love thee

  • Sept. 10, 2011, 2:08 a.m. CST

    Holy CRAP! I had no idea that was a miniature!

    by D.Vader

  • Sept. 10, 2011, 3 a.m. CST

    An all-time classic

    by one9deuce

    I was born in '72, and for anyone around my age that loves film we had the most amazing movie watching childhood possible. Every year had a classic or two released. Some years, like '82, had multiple classics. It was an awesome time. Great genre films are few and far between now.

  • Sept. 10, 2011, 3:33 a.m. CST

    Hated GANDHI for winning over E.T. at the Oscars

    by BenBraddock

    I was really rooting for The Beard's masterpiece. Was so pissed off when Nastasja Kinski announced GANDHI as the winner of Best Film. Though when I finally saw GANDHI years later I had to admit it was a well-made movie - if not a little stuffy and obvious Oscar-bait. Anyway, look forward to showing my kid E.T. on Blu!

  • Sept. 10, 2011, 3:33 a.m. CST

    Oh and doesn't E.T. sport Williams' best ever score?

    by BenBraddock

    Surely no debate there?

  • The picture quality on the DVD release of Close Encounters was absolutely abysmal. Endless grainy swirls/pixel crawl. And I imported the US version. I knew then that DVD would never live up to the hype we were fed back then. The Bluray version is excellent I have to add.

  • They have no soul.

  • Sept. 10, 2011, 6:32 a.m. CST

    Greatest movie ever made.

    by ChickenStu


  • Sept. 10, 2011, 6:36 a.m. CST

    I know nothing.....

    by JaNath

    ...'Cos I never would have thought this was a model shot in the movie. When I buy my boys M&M's, we call them 'ET chocolates'. Still makes me cry and I'm 40. That is all.

  • Sept. 10, 2011, 6:42 a.m. CST

    I so wanted a BMX when I saw this as a kid.

    by Nerfee

    And to live in a big house in a sunny 'burb.

  • Sept. 10, 2011, 7:27 a.m. CST

    Ever notice the score is a reworking of the 'Psycho' score?

    by Lone Fox

    Specifically the 'stabbing' strings music accompanying the final bike chase. Also when Michael is followed by a car and kicks through the dustbins. And that image is amazing. It never even entered my head that it wasn't just a regular valley shot.

  • Sept. 10, 2011, 7:35 a.m. CST

    That's amazing. I always thought that was 'real'

    by steve

    Very cool.

  • Sept. 10, 2011, 7:48 a.m. CST

    great pic

    by fat_rancor_keeper

    I always thought that shot was real as well- that's awesome Ironically I believe the ET in that shot was later replaced with a CG ET. The only instances of CG ET working for me where dark silhouette distance shots...particularly the one with him running in the beginning. In the original it was pretty obvious he was just being pulled on a track as there was no attempt to have him move up and down a bit. Other than that I prefer the original movie in every way.

  • Sept. 10, 2011, 9:03 a.m. CST

    E.T. does not exist in this dojo

    by thepoohguy

    Never saw it, never will. I remember being a kid when it came out, but no one in my family wanted to go see it, and we didn't have a lot of money back then. All my friends used to be in shock because I had "never seen E.T." Now it's a mission of mine to never see the movie.

  • Sept. 10, 2011, 9:05 a.m. CST

    Hey Janath

    by thepoohguy

    M&M's not in the movie. Reese's Pieces are. Never saw it and even I know that.

  • Sept. 10, 2011, 9:20 a.m. CST

    This is reality, Greg

    by Derek

    I'm still having trouble wrapping my head around that image....every time I watched E.T. I was convinced that an actual-sized E.T. was looking down at an actual-sized suburb. The set designers really did an amazing job.

  • That house they live in is fuckin' HUGE.

  • Sept. 10, 2011, 9:38 a.m. CST

    Spielberg is still a dick for removing the "terrorist" line and

    by Grammaton Cleric Binks

    replacing the pistols with walkie talkies.

  • Sept. 10, 2011, 10:14 a.m. CST

    Simply : wow.

    by Se7en

    Amazing. Did not know that was fx.

  • Sept. 10, 2011, 10:19 a.m. CST

    The house

    by dukeroberts

    Their dad had some very well-paying job. The father was to have been played by Harrison Ford. They either shot one scene and it was destroyed or planned it and never shot it. I can't remember if it was a flashback scene or if he was going to be on the other end of the phone. This is a great shot. I absolutely love this movie and do not understand how someone could not like it or could not even want to see it. It dumbfounds me. ("dumbfinds"?) I was extremely angry when E.T. lost the Oscar to Gandhi too. Gandhi is well-made but is sooooo boring. In hindsight, I wonder if the voters who are still living would change their minds, along with robbing Saving Private Ryan as well?

  • Sept. 10, 2011, 10:51 a.m. CST

    Harrison Ford

    by HapaPapa72

    I remember hearing that he was in it in some small part, and I could've sworn it was a close-up on Harrison's patented quizzical stare when Keys is listening to Elliott and his brother from the government van. And @benbraddock: Yeah, the score is magic. "End Credits" music alone can reduce me to tears if I've had enough beers!

  • Sept. 10, 2011, 12:02 p.m. CST


    by J-Dizzle

    And yes it did traumatize me, however I have to thank Sigourney Weaver undressing all the way to her underwear for giving me my first boner.

  • Sept. 10, 2011, 12:16 p.m. CST

    Spielberg on Special Editions

    by electroaddict

    there's going to be no more digital enhancements or digital additions to anything based on any film I direct.... When people ask me which E.T. they should look at, I always tell them to look at the original 1982 E.T. If you notice, when we did put out E.T. we put out two E.T.s. We put out the digitally enhanced version with the additional scenes and for no extra money, in the same package, we put out the original ‘82 version. I always tell people to go back to the ’82 version.

  • Sept. 10, 2011, 12:23 p.m. CST


    by dukeroberts

    I could have sworn that Spielberg said Ford was to play the dad in one scene. I believe he said it in an interview, possibly on the E.T. DVD? I'm not saying you're wrong, I'm saying that's what I thought I remembered him saying. I will find it and report back.

  • Sept. 10, 2011, 12:24 p.m. CST

    I was around 6 when I got the Alien action figure...

    by vetepalapinga

    ..which was about 10inches or so big. I hadn't seen the movie, but when I saw the toy I just had to have it. Everyone's different. I started watching all kinds of R rated horror movies when I was 11 (less rough stuff like Alien & Poltergeist sooner than that) and loved every minute of it. Oh and I loved ET when I was I kid. I dont get the urge to see it- but if its on tv once every blue moon I try catching the ending credits for the music. How it starts with the piano is fantastic. How can one man come up with so many good scores?

  • Sept. 10, 2011, 1:46 p.m. CST

    Harrison Ford DID play the school principal in a deleted scene

    by Nasty In The Pasty

    You can see it on that excellent making-of documentary included on the 1996 laserdisc (which was never ported to DVD). It might even be on YouTube somewhere. At the time he was married to/dating E.T. screenwriter Melissa Matheson.

  • Sept. 10, 2011, 2:12 p.m. CST

    ET was my first movie.

    by pr0g2west

    I was born July 82. My mom was pregnant with me when she saw it in theaters. So I heard the entire film in utero. Thats probably why I have an affinity with John Williams scores.

  • Sept. 10, 2011, 2:19 p.m. CST

    et would have been so much better

    by mick vance

    with the song by neil diamond, "ET the lizard creature and me." that song fucking rocks!

  • Sept. 10, 2011, 3:08 p.m. CST

    Miniature and Matte Painting Goodness!

    by scott c

    That's no photo background, -just a perfectly executed matte painting. Favorite shot in the whole show.

  • At no point in any deleted scene, or in any incarnation of the script, does Elliott's father appear.

  • Sept. 10, 2011, 4:56 p.m. CST

    Undisputable fact:

    by DocPazuzu

    If you don't choke up when E.T. says "I'll be right here" at the end just before the John Williams score soars, you have no heart and walk the Earth as a soulless ghoul.

  • Sept. 10, 2011, 6:53 p.m. CST

    Oh, it's Dennis Muren in that shot.

    by Lakewater

    An ILM veteran. Dude's a legend!

  • Sept. 10, 2011, 7:29 p.m. CST

    Born In 74

    by Robbiemc9

    Kammich your childhood sounds exactly the same as mine. I was raised on Jaws, The Deep, Alien, Close Encounters etc... Fond memory of my childhood was when my parents left my sister to baby sit me when I was about 8 and she thought it would be funny to show me The Exorcist! I was traumatised beyond belief but loved it all the same. ET was the first movie where we had to line up around the block to see it. I remember getting 2/3 through the movie and thought "thank god its dead already!", only to be dissapointed. I just wanted ET to Alien bite Drew every time she screamed. That boy was a terrible actor too and looked like he should have been in special ed. Just waaaaayyyyy too sappy and cutsey for my taste at that young age. I still watch it though but usually drive my friends nuts by slagging the shit out of it all the way through.

  • Sept. 10, 2011, 8:39 p.m. CST

    Wish Lucas would get Steven's attitude

    by lock67ca

    Now that Steven's changed his tune on tampering with his films, I wish he'd hit George over his goddamn head and tell him to wake the fuck up.

  • Sept. 10, 2011, 9:13 p.m. CST

    The Thing

    by LarkStew

    I think I was 10 when I first saw The Thing, my friend's family had one of the first vcrs and they left me and him alone on a Saturday with a stack of video nasties. What are two 10 year old boys going to do? Yeah we watched a load of them and I don't think I slept for three months afterwards. And I never really got ET either. I watched the movie, read the book, but it just never took with me. I think I'm more of a spaceships and robots kind of guy.

  • Sept. 10, 2011, 10:51 p.m. CST

    i was 12..i cried...magical film..fuck you.

    by FleshMachine

    if you dont agree

  • Had Return of the Jedi on VHS, recorded from HBO. when I was 4 and 5 I watched it every other day (so much my parents made me wear headphones!) . On the recorded tape, however, was also ALIENS. Aliens was before ROTJ, so almost ANY time I wanted to watch ROTJ, I pretty much had to watch the final showdown of ALIENS. Always scared me. It was unavoidable cuz I had to manage the rewinding/fast-forwarding of the tape. That was rough. I remember years later wanting to watch Aliens with friends (the mid90s when there were all the awesome Aliens toys). I thought to myself, "I've watched the ending of this movie plenty of times, it's not scary anymore." But once we started watching I discovered that I very unfamiliar with the scary moments in the beginning of the movie (Ripley's nightmare stands out in my memory in particular). That was a bad decision. It was pretty unpleasant.

  • Sept. 11, 2011, 1:49 a.m. CST

    They cut out the rape scene

    by Queefer Sutherland

    Apparently a janitor wanders in to where E.T. is being held captive and when the feds take a break, the janitor gives his best to E.T. Spielberg had second thoughts and took it out. In fact, these days he won't even admit to the scene's existence. But it was filmed, I have that confirmed. Sick shit. Spielberg must have been going through a rough patch about then.

  • Sept. 11, 2011, 3:09 a.m. CST

    Hey, "ThePoohGuy".......

    by JaNath

    .......Well done for knowing something about a film you've never seen. Must make you feel all warm and superior inside. Here in the UK we don't have 'Reece's Pieces' or many other morbidly-obese causing sweets (Yeah, sweets, not 'candy', numbnuts). So, right or wrong, M&M's are ET Chocolates in this house. You've never seen ET? And you visit a movie website? Jesus.

  • Sept. 11, 2011, 3:12 a.m. CST

    A point about 'Never knew it was an FX shot'

    by JaNath

    Me either. Life-size ET in front of a real cityscape. If made today, even The Beard would CGI a shot like that, and you would know it was CGI, an and you would think it was pretty and all but that would be it. Do you think there will ever be a time when shots like this come back or is it all lost forever? Caught some of Aliens on the box the other night and marvelled at the scale of the model shots. More real somehow. That is all.

  • Sept. 11, 2011, 4:09 p.m. CST

    Uh, janath?

    by one9deuce

    Who cares if you don't have Reeses Pieces in England, they are Reeses Pieces in the movie, period. And WTF, are you saying there aren't a shit ton of "morbidly obese" causing candies in England? I've never been there, and I'm 100% sure you're wrong. And yeah, it's "candy" since the point of reference for this is an American movie.

  • Sept. 12, 2011, 4:21 a.m. CST

    My friend lives around the corner from the Elliot's house

    by Playkins

    It's in Tujunga. You'd never recognize it if you didn't know the address though. There's also a trail that goes behind the house if you want to see where Elliot stood outside with the flashlight looking for E.T. (I've walked it hiking, not just to spy) but it doesn't look like it does in the film, either. It's got a pool now. The family that's there now is really nice, but they're not very nice if you knock on the door and want to see inside. I stood out back looking through their window one night. They didn't see me. I watched them for an hour. They had fried chicken and mashed potatoes. The inside of the house doesn't look like it did in the movie, either. I couldn't find Elliot's room. It was dark, and I didn't want to wake anyone up. I sat in the closet for awhile, even though it wasn't Elliot's and didn't have the stuffed animals. But I stood there most of the night, very quietly.

  • Sept. 12, 2011, 7 a.m. CST

    E.T. represents Elliot's childhood innocence.

    by Crawing

    If you don't agree, watch it again from that perspective and you'll see what I mean. Brilliant pic BTW.

  • Sept. 12, 2011, 8:14 a.m. CST


    by ZodNotGod

    This movie is very special to me. I can't watch it a lot because it's so damn emotional, I mean that in the best way. From the POV of ET representing a stray pet, it destroys me. When I was coming up, I'd always bring home strays; I remember finding our cat Sam near death, 6 weeks old, weak and starving. The perfect film really, Thomas is beyond good. He rips your heart out, makes you laugh. A typical kid. Anyone who dislikes this flick, needs to be avoided and deemed untrustworthy.

  • Sept. 12, 2011, 9:38 p.m. CST


    by proevad