E.T.'s Deleted Scene Was So Creepy, It Would Ruin The Movie's PG Rating

E.T.'s Deleted Scene Was So Creepy, It Would Ruin The Movie's PG Rating
Image credit: Legion-Media

In the past 40 years, we've seen a lot of deleted E.T. footage. We're happy this one never made the cut.

Heralded as one of the greatest family films of all time, Steven Spielberg's E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial holds up as an iconic piece of cinema from a decade filled to the brim with kid-friendly blockbusters.

One deleted scene might have changed that.

E.T. - rated PG - was released in 1982, two years before the advent of the 'PG-13' rating following complaints about so-called 'family-friendly' films like Gremlins and Temple of Doom, which featured content inappropriate for young audiences. E.T. features alcohol, frightening scenes, and language that might have led to PG-13 consideration if it were released a year later.

Still, none of this compares to the most infamous deleted scene, which audiences didn't even know had been filmed until 2012. That year, two photographs were published in a book, titled E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial: From Concept to Classic. One photo was from the actual scene; one was a behind-the-scenes shot in between takes.

The scene in question happened after Dee Wallace's Mary reads Peter Pan to Drew Barrymore's Gertie, sending her off to bed. Mary herself then goes to bed, sleeping completely naked - face-down. Donning a bathrobe, E.T. stands above her as he watches the naked woman sleep. He then sets a couple of Reese's Pieces next to her resting head.

Notably, the scene called for an M&M to be placed on her pillow; but the studio couldn't get the rights.

Whatever Spielberg was going for, the scene just ends up seeming creepy. While nothing inherently inappropriate occurs in the scene, it's just a step too far in a film meant for (and starring) children.

Originally, all we knew about the scene was from an original shooting script. It reads, 'E.T.'s head rises on its long neck to peer down at MARY's sleeping figure. Mary turns over, and E.T. can see her naked back.' The script notes read that Melissa Mathison, E.T.'s screenwriter, 'wanted to imply, with the scene, that E.T. had a crush on Mary.'

In the 40 years since its release, E.T. has had several deleted scenes come to light. One of the most famous features a cameo by Harrison Ford - who'd just starred in Spielberg's Raiders of the Lost Ark - as Elliot's principal. You only see him from the back and hear his voice; we never see his face.

But the bizarre scene of E.T. watching Mary sleep has never come to light, with no answers given as to why it was scrapped.