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  • Writer's pictureEllis & Gareth

Scene Standoff: Mission Impossible vs. E.T.

The incredibly tense hanging heist scene from the first Mission Impossible vs. the moment where E.T. and Elliott fly across the moon in E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial.

If you've clicked on this wondering what's going on, then click on the link here to read the rules of the Scene Standoff:

Hanging Heist - Mission Impossible

In recent times when you have Tom Cruise in your movie you know there's going to be crazy stunts executed with expert style. But this was the first in that trend. As Cruise's Ethan Hunt plans a heist under extreme circumstances, he's got to keep his cool to complete the mission.

- Gareth's scene

Across the Moon - E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial

Elliott and his newfound alien friend are escaping some bikers that are hot on their tail. And in a moment of glorious triumph, E.T. makes the bike fly and takes Elliott on a ride through the night sky, and across the moon.

- Ellis' scene


Ellis - italics

Gareth - bold


Well I recently rewatched Mission Impossible and this scene is tense as you dare.

It really is!

It's wrongly referenced a lot because you imagine the scene with the iconic theme music; but the whole thing is completely silent. Everyone is great in that scene!

With E.T. the performances aren't especially revolutionary from an acting perspective. But the actual execution of the scene is mind-blowing.



The across the moon sequence is the pivotal scene in E.T. That moment epitomises their friendship and shows the title characters' abilities.

And you wouldn't have that famous logo of that famous studio that I can't remember.

The logo for everything!

For Mission Impossible, it's pivotal to the plot. And if you took it out, the film wouldn't be anywhere near as good.



Like you said Mission Impossible is mis-referenced all the time. Both of these are major pop culture references however.

This scene in Mission Impossible is referenced to this day in films.

I'm thinking of Shrek 2.

E.T. in general has loads of memorable quotes but not this scene.

Again, that across the moon shot is still referenced a lot in film and television.

But you can't reference either in everyday life.


POPULARITY (using Letterboxd for reference)

So E.T. has an average rating of 3.9, which is surprisingly low.

Yeah I thought it would be higher. Well Mission Impossible is at a 3.5.

To be fair, I wasn't massively blown away by Mission Impossible.

Yeah you rated it a 3/5.

We both gave E.T a 4/5.



I'm struggling to pick a scale here...any ideas?

What about a scale of action movie stars? So your top end is Bruce Willis, bottom end is Eddie Murphy.

So what would you give this scene in E.T?

In my opinion, that shot is one of the most iconic images in film history. So I'm going with one of, if not the most iconic action hero: Arnold Schwarzenegger.

Yeah you can't mess with him. I'm going to go with Jason Statham. A bit of an Arnie wannabe. So E.T. is more iconic.

MISSION IMPOSSIBLE - Jason Statham E.T.- Arnold Schwarzenegger



Mission Impossible 3-1 E.T.

There's not many shots that are more iconic than this one from E.T. The Extra Terrestrial. Even if you outrageously haven't seen the 80's film you have definitely seen this literally uplifting moment in which the two lead characters glide across the front of a full moon. It would be interesting to learn just how much director Steven Spielberg believed in this shot when he first watched it back.

And to take out a scene like the hanging heist from Mission Impossible is a testament to how utterly brilliant the moment is. Perhaps Mr Cruise has a chance to return with this scene as one of our wildcard picks! There's still loads of scenes to get through, so subscribe to the site and be alerted when the next Scene Standoff is released.

Current Standings: G - 4 E - 5



E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial available now on NowTV and Sky Cinema

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