Greatest Film Scenes
and Moments

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)


Written by Tim Dirks

Title Screen
Movie Title/Year and Scene Descriptions

E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial (1982)

In Steven Spielberg's classic and popular magical fantasy movie myth about an alien creature and its friendship with a telepathic boy:

  • in the opening scene set near a suburban development, a group of extraterrestrials (after landing), who were exploring in a California forest, were surprised by a crew of botanists (one named Keys (Peter Coyote) with a set of jangling keys); one of the aliens (later named E.T.) was left behind and abandoned on Earth after its alien spaceship took off - it was a wise creature from outer space 3 million light years away
  • after returning home with a take-out order of pizza from a delivery, young 10 year-old Elliott (Henry Thomas) discovered something in his backyard's dark gardening tool shed; he casually tossed his softball into the shed and it was playfully thrown back out to him at his feet; he ran into the house, where his disbelieving divorced single mother Mary (Dee Wallace) and older brother Michael (Robert MacNaughton) quickly dismissed Elliott's claims when they only found odd-shaped tracks in the dirt
  • later that night at 2 am and unable to sleep, Elliott returned to the backyard with a flashlight and entered the adjoining cornfield next to the house, where he saw the strange tracks again and moved some stalks aside; when he shined his light on the creature, they both shrieked at each other on first viewing - both equally and identically scared
  • the next day after school while riding his bicycle into the woods high up above his house, Elliott scattered bits of Hershey's Reese's Pieces (like small, round, and colorful pills) on the forest ground, possibly to locate, feed and befriend the creature or to lead the hungry creature to his home with the sweet path of chocolates

Elliott's Divorced Single Mother Mary (Dee Wallace)

Elliott's Annoying Older Brother Michael (Robert MacNaughton)

Elliott's Younger Sister Gertie (Drew Barrymore)
  • that evening at the dining table, Elliott engaged in another argument with his family - they thought he was again imagining things in the backyard and had only seen an iguana, or a stray alligator, or "maybe it was a pervert or a deformed kid or somethin'...maybe an elf or a leprechaun" - Elliott lashed out at the teasing of Michael: "It was nothin' like that, penis breath!"; his mother cautioned: "If you see it again, whatever it is, don't touch it. Just call me and we'll have somebody come and take it away"; Elliott was fearful: "But they'll give it a lobotomy or do experiments on it or somethin'" - a foreshadowing
  • later that night as Elliott slept outside on the patio, he finally got a glimpse of the short creature backlit from the light of the toolshed; the creature with two elongated fingers returned some of the Reese's Pieces that were in the forest - a symbol of friendship; Elliott quietly lured the alien into the house using the Reese's Pieces as bait to move him into his bedroom and ultimately into his closet filled with stuffed animals
  • in a profoundly simple scene when Elliott feigned illness and stayed home from school the next day, he used objects in his bedroom to introduce his 'alien' world and culture to the creature, a world of materialism and violence
  • after school was out, Elliott revealed his secret stray friend, the "goblin," to his disbelieving brother, who was dumbfounded by the creature; Elliott's younger impish blonde-haired sister Gertie (Drew Barrymore) also had her first startling, face-to-face look at E.T. during Elliott's reveal to his brother; the creature craned its neck up in fear and she emitted a loud-pitched scream - the alien reacted by belching out a horrifying moan in imitation; after calming down and being amazed by E.T., both his siblings promised to keep the creature a secret from their mother and others; the next day, E.T. cleverly hid amongst the stuffed animals in Elliott's bedroom closet to avoid being detected by his mother

Elliott's Introduction of the Creature To Brother Michael

Gertie's Scream at Seeing E.T. in Elliott's Bedroom
  • explained the location of his home in the universe to the three children by levitating and rotating several spheres (five different colored objects - three pieces of fruit and two eggs) like the planets in the solar system; E.T. also healed Gertie's sick and wilting, potted geranium plant and caused it to bloom
  • while everyone was at school, E.T. had amusing experiences with suburban living after leaving the bedroom and sampling items from the refrigerator, such as an old container of potato salad; he became drunk after drinking from a pop-top can of Coors beer, experimented with a Speak 'n' Spell learning toy, and watched TV and read a Buck Rogers comic strip; he came up with the idea of building a space communicator from various spare components to transmit a message to his alien homeland
E.T.'s Funny Experiences With Suburban Living
  • at school in Elliott's school biology science lab in cross-cut parallel scenes, Elliott shared a symbiotic, extra-sensory telepathic or mentally-bonded relationship with his new friend; he decided to save the frogs from being chloroformed and dissected, with the help of young blonde classmate (Erika Eleniak), by letting them escape from their glass jars and tossing them out the window - the scene ended with Elliott kissing the girl - imitating a scene in John Ford's The Quiet Man being watched simultaneously by E.T. on television
Elliott Liberating the Frogs in Science Lab and Kissing the Blonde Girl
  • after quickly learning to speak with Gertie's help, E.T. delivered his famous line of dialogue - pointing to the heavens and indicating: "E.T. Home Phone," but then was corrected by Gertie with the right word order: "E.T. Phone home," as he pointed to the window with his long finger; she added: "He wants to call somebody"
  • Elliott accidentally cut himself on the sharp jagged edge of a circular saw blade - and exclaimed: "OUCH!"; Elliott held out his bloody, red-glowing finger into the air, as E.T. repeated the word "Ouch" and demonstrated his magical powers for the first time by reaching out with his white glowing finger and healing Elliott's injury - in the next room, Mary read the magical tale of Peter Pan to Gertie as a bedtime story; in his closet home and possessed with super-intelligence, E.T. began to build a message-making transmitter to contact his alien brethren for rescue
  • in a humorous Halloween trick-or-treat scene, E.T. was draped with a white sheet and wearing oversized clown shoes over his three-toed feet, pretending to be Gertie dressed as a goblin; from his POV, E.T. looked out through his eye peep-holes, seeing Mary dressed as a leopard-cat woman - and other ghouls, monsters, skeletons, and aliens
Soaring Into Sky With E.T. On Bicycle on Halloween
  • there were two magical, transcendent soaring bicycle scenes exhibiting E.T.'s telekinetic powers while sitting in Elliott's handlebars' basket - first with Elliott photographed and silhouetted against a giant silvery moon in the night sky - with Elliott's scream of delight at the view, enhanced by John Williams' score
  • due to depression, poor diet, and homesickness, the effects of gravity on E.T.'s body were taking their toll, with tears in his eyes, Elliott sensed that E.T. would be leaving him soon - one of the most touching scenes in the film; soon after, E.T. was discovered moaning and dying in water next to a flowing stream in the forest, weakened with a pale white color; his health was rapidly worsening and deteriorating; both Elliott and E.T. experienced the same physical symptoms and were expiring together as a result of their symbiotic relationship
  • the household was inundated with government men who quickly sealed off the area and set up a medical unit to examine and help Elliot and E.T.; both Elliott and E.T. were stretched out on long tables alongside each other within another quarantined and plastic-enclosed room; in an overwrought sequence, as E.T.'s life faded away, Elliott lost his telepathic connection to E.T. and miraculously came back to full life
  • while viewing his friend for the last time, Elliott's heart-felt love revived his friend; E.T.'s red heartlight glowed through the glass window within the lead, tomb-like container and he was resurrected; Elliott knew that he must help his friend to escape from the cold and hostile government workers and scientists so that he could return home; they devised a plan to return E.T. to the forest
  • covered with a white blanket, E.T. was placed into Elliott's bicycle basket and they all raced off on their bicycles; in a second instance, the kids escaped on bicycles from ominous adults and a resurrected E.T. lifted them off the street and over a police barricade (with armed officers in the original version) to fly away toward the forest, as the alien space ship descended into view there
  • in a touching, goodbye ending, E.T. left his earthbound friends; E.T. bid farewell to all of his friends at the rendezvous site before returning home in his spaceship; he offered advice to young Gertie: "Be Good", followed by her good-bye kiss on E.T.'s forehead; his finger then glowed as he lifted it and touched Elliott's forehead: "I'll be right here"; the film's last line was spoken by a tearful Elliott to E.T.: "Bye"
Elliott's Tearful Farewell to E.T.

Alien Spaceship Landing in California Forest

Elliott's First View of the Alien Creature in Cornfield

Elliott to Brother Michael: "It was nothin' like that, penis breath!"

Elliott's Second Backlit View of Alien in His Backyard

The Alien's Return of Reese's Pieces to Elliott

The Three Childrens' Amazement at the Alien

The Alien Avoiding Being Seen by Elliott's Mother in Closet Filled with Stuffed Animals

ET Pointing and Speaking: "E.T. Home Phone"

Elliott's "Ouch!" and the Healing of His Cut Finger

E.T. Hidden Under Sheet

E.T.'s Halloween Costume Peep-Holes

E.T. Near Death in Forest

Elliot's Symbiotic Deterioration

E.T.'s Death in Government Quarantined Lab

E.T.'s Rebirth and Resurrection

Elliott's Flying Escape with E.T. on Bicycle From Authorities


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