According to the best available information, perhaps a thousand or so 40 1/2” (V) unsigned copies were printed and distributed for free to Universal employees. This version is usually exactly 40.5” vertical OR (less commonly) 40 3/8” but NOT 40 1/4” (which is the known fake). Although rare, they are frequently sold in major movie poster auctions for $1000+.

Unfortunately, someone printed unauthorized reproductions of the 40.5” original. Fortunately, they are relatively easy to distinguish.

First and foremost, the fakes are 40.25” vertical on typical “thin” movie poster paper.  Originals are NEVER that short.

Second, the fakes are printed on heavy luster paper commonly found at copy shops.  If you’ve handled many originals, you will instantly know that the paper is “wrong.”

Third, the reprints are SUBSTANTIALLY DARKER than the original.  Some of the detail was lost in the digitization process.  This makes it relatively easy to distinguish them visually.  On the original you will see far more “light spots” coming through the trees.  Because the reprint is darker and has lost some details, there are noticeably fewer “light spots” and they are smaller in size.

In 2009 I unwittingly bought one of these 40.25” fakes for $350 from an Ebay seller with 100% positive 500+ feedback, so you cannot rely solely on dealer credibility when purchasing this poster.  I did obtain a refund and later purchased an original 40 3/8” version, so I am able to make direct comparisons between them.  See the pictures below.

According to the best available information, a very small number of 41” (V) posters were printed and apparently given and exchanged among film executives, including Steven Spielberg.  All of these 41” versions are signed with notes.  They are almost impossible to find and, indeed, were not believed to exist until recently.  In the last four years I have seen two of them for sale on eBay, one being sold by a consignor of William Malone, a director/friend of Steven Spielberg’s.  I have seen one in person.  Below are pictures I took in London of a 41” copy owned by APF member Marklawd that Steven Spielberg signed with a note to “George” (apparently not George Lucas).

41” copy owned by Marklawd

Zoom picture of signature & note

Always check out the light spot in the smaller tree on the left of the poster. It is very indistinct and faded on the fake but very prominent on the original 40.5”:

The negative photos (using Inverse in Photoshop) also show the light spot differences clearly:

The beautiful E.T. Moon/Bike one sheet movie poster is one of the rarest and most valuable movie posters of the modern era.  According to the best available information, relatively few were printed, although the exact number is unknown.  There are two legitimate versions of this poster (41” and 40.5”) and one common 40 1/4” “Kinko’s special” fake.


40.5” RARE VERSION & 40.25” FAKE