Artistic influences ? Spielberg, ET and Michelangelo

Creation of ET
Did you know that ET’s famous movie poster was based on Michelangelo’s creation of Adam ?
Creation of ET
Did you know that ET’s famous movie poster was based on Michelangelo’s creation of Adam ?

E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial is one Steven Spielberg’s most famous most famous movies and I still think it should have won an oscar instead of Gandhi. Doing a quick Google search shows that Sir Richard Attenborough who won 8 Oscars ( Including Best Picture and Best Director ) for Gandhi agrees:

Steven Spielberg’s ET was an “an infinitely more creative and fundamental piece of cinema” than Gandhi.

Critics of the movie immediately picked up on Christian themes like the resurrection and the finger touching scene which is so reminiscent of Michelangelo’s Creation of Adam from the Sistine Chapel.

It was even spoofed in the Simpsons:

Rev. Lovejoy: I remember another gentle visitor from the heavens, he came in peace and then died, only to come back to life, and his name was… E.T., the Extra-Terrestrial. (cries) I loved that little guy.

Steven Spielberg has joked about it and denied there was any kind of religious undertone to the movie. “If I ever went to my mother and said, ‘Mom, I’ve made this movie that’s a Christian parable,’ what do you think she’d say? She has a kosher restaurant on Pico and Doheny in Los Angeles”

According to Spielberg biographer Joseph McBride, Universal Pictures tried to appeal directly to the Christian market, when they made the poster reminiscent of Michelangelo’s The Creation of Adam from the Sistine Chapel and a logo reading “Peace”.