100% All-Natural Content
No Artificial Intelligence!

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

The long-lost deleted scene from E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL with Harrison Ford as Elliott's principal!

Shortly after E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial came out in 1982, I heard something very interesting: that among numerous scenes that were filmed but deleted from the final print, there was a cameo appearance by Harrison Ford. He plays Elliott's principal, in a scene that takes place after Elliott goes nuts in the science lab. When Steven Spielberg re-released the movie in 2002 he re-incorporated a lot of the previously deleted material, but Ford's appearance wasn't among the additions. The story is that Spielberg wanted E.T. to be a movie about the children, and the principal's office scene lingered too long on the adults.

So for a quarter-century, I've always been intrigued by this scene. I never thought I'd ever get to see it. And then this morning word reaches me that the deleted Harrison Ford cameo from E.T. the Extra-Terrstrial is on YouTube!

Here it is...

Some thoughts here: I find this to be a fascinating sequence! No audience would fail to recognize Harrison Ford's voice and gestures in this scene. But did you notice how not once do we actually see Ford's face? The focus is still on Elliott and how he's perceiving his predicament. The principal is handled much like how Charles Schulz treated the adults in the Peanuts cartoons (minus the "wah-wah-wah-wah" sound effect).

Whatever Spielberg believed about this scene taking the focus away from the children, I couldn't help but think that it emphasized Elliott's conflict with the adult world that much more. The way this scene is shot, the principal - by taking away what identifies him most as a human, instead becomes an impersonal presence of authority - however soothing his words are - that reinforces this adult mindset that Elliott and the other children are coming to be set against.

Take note also of the very beginning of this clip, as the school nurses apprehend Elliott. Maybe you're wondering: "What's Elliott doing here?" I've seen photos of this over the years but again, this is the first that I've actually seen real footage of it. If you look at the board and the walls, Elliott is drawing what looks to be a diagram of circuitry. This is more of E.T.'s mental influence on Elliott: E.T. had taken apart Gertie's Speak & Spell and he was sending his thoughts about the electrical workings to Elliott, who responded by drawing them on the school walls.

I'd love to see this stuff implemented in a new edition of E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial at some point.


qemuel said...

Interesting to see this. I knew it existed, just never figured I'd see it. Thanks for posting! :)

Anonymous said...

Just out of curiousity, was wondering if you had ever seen this before.


Chris Knight said...

Saw that a LONG time ago, but had never seen it on YouTube. Thanks!! :-) Gonna post about it right now.

Unknown said...

These scenes were on the 1996 laserdisc. Unfortunately Universal did not include them on any of the 2002 DVD sets of E.T. (one would have thought the 4-disc gift collection would be the one to included them on, but alas!) If E.T comes out on Blu-Ray, I would hope the studio puts them on there - and the entire documentary that was on the laserdisc as well!