Correction: The night that Elliott's on the chaise lounge waiting in the backyard with the flashlight, in the 1982 version we only see the crescent moon in just one wideshot, so it cannot be said "the position of the moon...doesn't move during that time" since there's nothing to compare it to, and in the 2002 version the moon has actually been edited out completely in that shot.
Corrected entry: When the kids enter the shed, the lid on the garbage can swaps from straight to tilted, between shots.
Correction: In the first shot, when Tyler walks into the shed and kneels down, the lid is askew with its left side higher than the right, and it remains askew in the following shots.
Corrected entry: Mike and Elliot hijack the van holding E.T. and abandon it in a park, which is shown to be a significant distance from their home. When the Feds and Elliot's mother (Mary) finally show up at the now abandoned van, Harvey, the family dog, is shown waiting for them at the rear of the van. How did Harvey get there? He didn't go in the van with Mike and Elliot. If you look carefully at Mary's car when she is backing out of the driveway, you see that there is no dog, only Mary and Gert. Even if Mary did take the dog, it is shown being there before they arrive at the park.
Correction: When Michael drives the van onto the playground and stops, in the shot from behind the three boys on their bikes we actually see Harvey, the dog, between Greg and Steve. Earlier, when Michael steals the van he stops to tell his three friends to bring his and Elliott's bikes and to meet up at the playground, so we can surmise that Harvey went along with Steve, Tyler, and Greg (and the extra two bikes) to the playground, and when all the boys took off with ET they presumably told Harvey to stay put and wait at the van.
Corrected entry: By the railing, ET picks up all of the candy. A shot later a new Reese piece appears on the rug.
Correction: ET does not pick up all of the candy. In the shot from behind Elliott, when ET's fingers are pulling the bunch of Reese's Pieces from the carpet towards the wood floor, we see one of the candies jump away from ET's fingers and remain on the carpet (zoom in if necessary). Then after it cuts to Eliott's reaction shot, in the next shot of ET stepping up, we see that one piece of candy which remained on the carpet and another piece on the wood floor.
Correction: Mary doesn't get "dark paint" on her cheek when she hugs Elliot. When Mary's standing at the fridge door speaking to the police officer, she's still wearing her Halloween dress and the mark on her right cheek is the black heart (part of her Halloween makeup), which is still on her cheek when she sits Elliott down on the kitchen seat.
Corrected entry: When the kids walk to the shed to check out what Elliot saw, one makes a sound to scare the mother, but she jumps out slightly before the sound is heard.
Correction: While walking to the shed Greg's holding a large knife, and just as they stop at the shed Greg quickly leans toward Mary and makes the noise, which startles her. There's absolutely nothing odd or revealing about Mary's reaction to Greg.
Corrected entry: When Elliot and his brother are driving to the park to rescue E.T. there are two men riding along in a plastic tube connected to the van. There are two black ropes inside of this tube in which the men are trying to use to approach Elliot. When Elliot unhooks the tube from the van the ropes continue to hang from the back, and drag along the street. In the next scene the ropes have disappeared.
Correction: You can see the ropes falling on the street when Eliott removes the last pin.
Corrected entry: When Michael is about to reveal E.T. to Mary ("Remember the goblin?"), the camera dollies back through the hallway, past a large potted plant. The plant is moving because the camera (or the crewmember operating the camera) brushed against it.
Correction: There are several better explanations for the slight movement of the plant including the characters brushing past it or a breeze.
Corrected entry: Phases of the moon - when Elliot first goes to the backyard to find ET, the moon phase is either the first or last 1/8. The next night, there is no moon (okay, so maybe it was a different time of evening). But then the next day, when the kids are taking ET to the mountain, the moon is full. The moon never goes from 1/8 lit to full in 2 or 3 days.
Correction: Several days/nights pass between the night Elliot brings E.T. into his room and Halloween (when they take him to the forest), not one. There's the day Elliot fakes being sick and the night the kids show him the map of the solar system, followed by the day Elliot goes to school. The night the agents eavesdrop on Michael and Elliot in the garage suggests the passage of time (first, the agents needed time to bug the neghborhood; second, Michael's concerns about E.T.'s well-being indicates some time has elapsed).
Corrected entry: When Elliot and his brother are searching in the garage for items to help ET create his "phone", the garage door is obviously closed, and they are using flashlights to see what they are looking around for. However, right outside, the government agents are spying on an open garage that has all the lights on. They go back and forth to the kids (dark garage) and agents (open, lit up garage) a few times.
Correction: I may be mistaken here, but I believe the government agents were combing the neighborhood. The van was parking in front of a home with an open garage, not necessarily the home they were monitoring. The agent switches channels on the radio before discovering Elliot and Michael's conversation. They he realizes that he has found something and start to listen more closely. The van doesn't appear to move during that time. Besides, why park in front of a house that you are monitoring? That would only arouse suspicion.
Corrected entry: The federal agents find ET's communicating device in the woods (as evidenced by the lead investigator's question of Elliot as to the purpose of the device). In a later scene, Elliot returns to the woods and the device is still there. It has not been taken by the federal agents, and it is not being monitored. It is of course inconceivable that the federal agents would not take the device or monitor and protect it.
Correction: Obviously, they were monitoring it, because Keys figured out that the device was "doing something". He just didn't know what it was doing, but he knew it had been doing something. Just because they didn't have someone around the device at all times doesn't mean they weren't monitoring it. Also, if the device was a communicator, then why disturb its function? More aliens may come in response to the device. For the government agents; the more aliens, the better.
Corrected entry: When E.T. and Elliot are flying through the air on his bike, E.T. is wrapped up in his Halloween costume. From the time they get on the bike to the time they land, E.T.'s facial view goes from being completely covered to partially covered (wrapped all around his head and chin) to having the cover just hanging off the top of his head. It would have been impossible for E.T. (his arms wrapped in the costume) or Elliott (managing the bike/handlebars) to rearrange his sheet.
Correction: Impossible? I think not. Elliot and E.T. were flying through the night sky on Elliot's bike. It evident from the shots that a breeze is blowing at them. A breeze could have easily rearranged the sheet numerous times before they land.
Corrected entry: Elliot first encounters E.T. in the shed behind his house and in the cornfield by his house. Why is it that the next day, Elliot went to the exact place where E.T.'s spaceship had landed the night prior in the woods and laid down Reeces pieces? How could he have known that's where E.T. had landed when he saw E.T. by his house?
Correction: You imply that Elliot went there deliberately, a fact that is not stated or implied in the film. The next day Elliot was exploring the woods and placing candy out for the alien, the alien he had seen the night before. The fact that he ended up in the exact place where the ship landed was merely a coincidence.
Corrected entry: When the boys take off in the air on their bikes it is day time, but when they land, it's night time. It cannot be that far from Elliot's house and neighborhood to the woods because they walked or rode bikes there on Halloween night. There therefore is not enough time to go from day time to night time in the time it takes them to get to the wooded area. Also, Elliot's mother started her drive to the site in her car when it was still light, and she arrived when it was dark.
Correction: The distance from Elliot's home to the woods might not be as far a distance from his house to the "bald spot," which is where E.T.'s ship landed in the beginning of the movie. Even on Halloween, it takes Elliot from sundown to after the moon has risen to make it to that specific place in the forest.
Corrected entry: When Elliot goes to wash the dishes at the beginning, he turns on the water, and in only about two or three seconds, massive amounts of steam start rising up. Sink water never heats up that fast.
Correction: It can, if the hot water had been running shortly before and the water in the pipes is still hot.
Corrected entry: During the dinner scene at the beginning of the film, Drew has half a hamburger on her fork. The next time you see her the hamburger is full.
Correction: She turned her fork between shots, so that the uneaten side is now facing the camera.
Corrected entry: After several minutes of the boys evading the federal agents on ther bikes, ET uses his telekenetic powers to make the boys and bicycles fly into the air (when they are confronted with the roadblock, with agents with either guns or walkie-talkies, depending on the version). If he really had those powers, however, one would think he would have used that earlier, rather than having the boys jump dirt mountains and evade cars.
Correction: Two possible explanations: 1) E.T. only uses his powers when absolutely necessary (perhaps to avoid drawing unwanted attention to himself), as when the terrain in the woods becomes too rough for Elliot to ride or when the group runs into the roadblock, or 2) Dramatic license on Spielburg's part, meant to maximize the action on the ground and keep the audience in suspense.
Corrected entry: E.T. is noticeably alot larger than Elliot's bicycle basket. How in the world did he fit?
Correction: The wire metal basket was replaced with a milk crate. By assuming a fetal position, E.T. could fit inside, albeit not very comfortably.
Corrected entry: Because of September 11, Steven Spielberg made the decision to remove guns from the federal agents and replace them with walkie-talkies. These changes were done for the re-release of E.T. in 2002.
Correction: Not so. Spielberg gave the FBI agents walkie-talkies because he always thought it was ridiculous that they were chasing these kids on bikes with guns.