***We're looking for contributors***

Carlo Rambaldi: ET Geppetto / Oscar Winner Dies

Carlo Rambaldi ETCarlo Rambaldi: E.T. creator, three-time Oscar winner dies. Special-effects designer and mechatronics expert Carlo Rambaldi, best known as the creator of the alien E.T. in Steven Spielberg's 1982 blockbuster E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial, died Friday, August 10, in Lamezia Terme, a town in Calabria, in southern Italy. According to reports, Rambaldi, who was 86, had been ill for quite some time.

Rambaldi's three Academy Awards for Visual Effects were for John Guillermin's King Kong (1976, non-competitive Oscar, shared with Glen Robinson and Frank Van der Veer), a widely panned but moderately successful remake of the 1933 classic, with Jessica Lange replacing Fay Wray as the heroine; Ridley Scott's horror sci-fier Alien (1979, shared with H.R. Giger, Brian Johnson, Nick Allder, and Dennis Ayling), considered a classic both for Scott's direction and for the film's still-impressive special effects and production design; and E.T. (shared with Dennis Muren and Kenneth Smith), a cultural phenomenon to this day.

Carlo Rambaldi: 'E.T.'s Geppetto'

“Carlo Rambaldi was E.T.'s Geppetto,” said Steven Spielberg, referring to Pinocchio's father. “ All of us who marveled and wondered at his craft and artistry are deeply saddened by the news of his passing.”

Born on Sept. 15, 1925, in Vigarano Mainarda, a small town located between Bologna and Venice in the northern Italian region of Emilia-Romagna, Rambaldi graduated from Bologna's Academy of Fine Arts in 1951.

According to the Carlo Rambaldi IMDb page, his first (uncredited) film creation was a dragon in Giacomo Gentilomo's Sigfrido (1957), inspired by the legend of Siegfried. Since then, Rambaldi continued to sporadically work on Italian movies of the '60s and early '70s – e.g., Piero Schivazappa's Femina ridens / The Laughing Woman (1969), Giorgio Ferroni's La notte dei diavoli / Night of the Devils (1971), and Paul Morrissey and Antonio Margheriti's Andy Warhol's Frankenstein / Flesh for Frankenstein (1973).

In 1975, Rambaldi's visual effects in Dario Argento's Deep Red (1975) reportedly caught the eye of legendary Italian producer Dino De Laurentiis. The following year, Rambaldi became known as the creator of the giant ape in King Kong, a megabudget release produced by De Laurentiis in Hollywood.

Rambaldi would continue working on Hollywood (or part-Hollywood) productions for another decade. In addition to Alien and E.T., his most notable efforts include Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), Richard Fleischer's Conan the Destroyer (1984), and David Lynch's critical and box office misfire Dune (1984).

Rambaldi was also responsible for the bizarre creature in Andrzej Zulawski's 1981 psychological horror drama Possession.

Carlo Rambaldi vs. CGI

An old-school mechatronics master, Carlo Rambaldi remained unimpressed by digital techniques. “Digital costs around eight times as much as mechatronics [a mix of mechanical and electronic engineering],” Rambaldi was quoted as having once said in the Rome daily La Repubblica. “E.T. cost a million dollars and we created it in three months. If we wanted to do the same thing with computers, it would take at least 200 people a minimum of five months.”

Steven Spielberg / Carlo Rambaldi quotes via The Washington Post / The Associated Press.

Carlo Rambaldi: ET Geppetto / Oscar Winner Dies © 2004–2018 Alt Film Guide and/or author(s).
Text NOT to be reproduced without prior written consent.

Leave a comment about 'Carlo Rambaldi: ET Geppetto / Oscar Winner Dies'


Don't waste time and energy disagreeing with and/or being deeply offended by the presentation of factual information.

On the other hand, it's perfectly okay to disagree with and/or, if you're so inclined, to be deeply offended by the views & opinions (and/or likes & dislikes) found on this site. And to let us know about any omissions or, heaven forbid, errors.

Just bear in mind that *thoughtfulness* and *at least a modicum of sanity* are imperative.

In other words: Feel free to add something reasonable & coherent – AND fact-based – to the discussion.

Abusive/bigoted, trollish/inflammatory, baseless (spreading misinformation, whether intentionally or not), spammy, and/or just plain deranged comments will be zapped and offenders may be banned.

And finally, links found in comments will generally be deleted.

Most recent comments listed on top.

1 Comment to Carlo Rambaldi: ET Geppetto / Oscar Winner Dies

  1. daniel clavette

    He is truly best itialian special effect artist of all time an d i ave 5 movies that he work at such as king kong(1976) ,king kong lives .alien (1979),silver bullet,et the xtra terrestrial and there are best film he as done and i hope to ave many other novies that he work at and also he is the best monster ,alien maker of all time r.i.p wilyou will awayls be remeber.