Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) Other movies recommended for you
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Plot: Roy Neary sets out to investigate a power outage when his truck stalls and he is bathed in light from above. After this, strange visions and five musical notes keep running through his mind. Will he find the meaning of the visions, and who - or what - placed them in his mind? Runtime: 132 mins Release Date: 15 Nov 1977
For my taste, the first hour and a half of this movie is the greatest stretch of filmmaking ever. Up until Roy and Jillian reach the "dark side of the moon" on Devil's Tower, this movie is perfect. No, it's beyond perfect -- it's sublime. It takes me to a level of bliss that no other movie can do.Many critics and viewers -- including a number on this site -- don't like this movie at all. Those who do like it almost uniformly like the final sequence, the "alien landing," the best. For me it is the rest of the movie that is the most remarkable. Some of my <more>
favorite sequences:1. The blinding flash of light that ends the opening credits and leads us to a sandstorm in Sonora Desert, Mexico -- Present Day, with various team leaders, Bob Balaban, and Francois Truffaut speaking three languages as they find a whole bunch of old Navy planes lost in the Bermuda Triangle and an old geezer who saw something very strange. "El sol salio a noche. Y me canto," he keeps saying. Translation: "He says the sun came out last night. He says it sang to him." Then Balaban translates for Truffaut: "Il dit que le soleil etait venue ici hier soir, et qu'il chantait pour lui." Then Balaban disappears in a cloud of dust. The mystery created in that sequence is incredible -- the greatest opening of all time, if you ask me. Trivia note: that sequence was the last Spielberg filmed before the movie's release. The shooting script opens with Indianapolis Flight Control, but Spielberg decided he wanted a new opening and shot this after production had wrapped. Supposedly this sequence was inspired by the Iraqi prologue in the Exorcist.2. Roy's first encounter with the aliens in his power company truck -- a brilliantly conceived and edited sequence. I love the dolly in to Roy's window as he pants in shock in the shadows, then the comedy of his reaction when the lights in the truck come back on.3. The "sky speeders" disappearing into the clouds over Muncie, followed by lightning and then the lights of the city coming back on, bit by bit. Spielberg's use of miniatures here is breathtaking -- as it was in 1941 and as it is later in CE3K when the UFO believers gather again to await another encounter and the lights from the government helicopters move toward them across the plains below.4. The entire sequence of Roy going crazy. This was controversial with critics -- Pauline Kael, who loved the movie generally, hated Roy throwing the bushes into the kitchen -- and Spielberg actually cut the entire digging up the garden sequence from the so-called "Special Edition." To me, though, this is the absolute heart of the movie. Ask people what they remember from CE3K and the first thing they'll say is "mashed potatoes." To my mind, the garden sequence is one of those magical moments that is so funny and so sad it's just perfect. I believe every second of it, every time. The reactions of the kids are perfect -- the oldest son is big enough to be angry, while the middle says, "Dad, when we're finished with this can we throw dirt in my window?" In the dinner sequence, little Sylvia has arguably the best line in a movie full of them -- "I hate, I hate these potatoes. There's a dead fly in my potatoes." An ad lib, of course. In recent years, Spielberg has expressed concern with the fact that Roy leaves his family to pursue the aliens, and has said that if he were to make the movie over again, he would change that part. To my way of thinking, if you take that out, there is no movie. What this movie is really about is Roy's obsession, and that, I think, is why it has such a hold on me personally. This movie is about what it's like for a person whose life has lost its meaning suddenly finding there is a really important purpose, and pursuing that purpose at all costs. Is it right for him to turn his family's life upside down and ultimately leave them behind to do that? No. But his obsession is understandable, I think, and the purpose Roy finds is something a lot of people would like to feel. Also, it's clear that Roy is not acting entirely of his own free will -- he has been "commanded" subliminally to make his way to Devil's Tower.I am not aware of any other movie -- or book, or any other source, for that matter -- that portrays 70s suburban life so accurately. The street, the house, the cars, the toys, the furniture -- it is like an archeological document. And the way the kids act, and the family conflicts -- to my way of thinking, they are all portrayed with unerring accuracy and realism. Some have contended that Ronnie is unflatteringly portrayed, but to me that's not fair. She can't be blamed for reacting the way she does to Roy -- many people in her shoes would. Garr's performance is brilliant; she and Dreyfuss are magical together. Melinda Dillon, too, is brilliant in her role. In the shooting script, the sexual attraction between Roy and Jillian was more overt, but Spielberg wisely downplays it in the finished film. It's only hinted at, although it is there.The actual "alien landing" sequence, in my opinion, is a letdown. It's brilliantly photographed and realized, but once Roy and Jillian make it to the dark side of the moon, the primary tension in the story is gone. If I could edit this movie, I'd take a major pair of shears to the final sequence, cut it down to maybe half its current length. I do get choked up when I see Roy in his red suit at the end of the line of astronauts, though, and Jillian wiping tears away as she clicks away with her Kodak.As with the original Star Wars, my other all-time favorite movie, I have a problem with the way this picture has been hacked and altered from its original release through various special editions. I understand it's possible to watch the original 1977 cut on the DVD, and I'm glad of that. That original version is the best. I first got to know this movie on ABC in the early 1980s, when it was shown with all the original and Special Edition footage edited together. Personally, I don't think the special edition footage adds much even the Gobi desert sequence, which is an interesting concept that was in the shooting script, stands out because it was obviously shot by a different DP and doesn't have Truffaut in it .Anyway, I will always cherish this movie. "You tell Crystal Lake we're going to candlepower in ten minutes!" "Zey belong here more zan we." "There's always some joker who thinks he's immune." "You can't fool us by agreeing with us." "What the hell is going on around here? Who the hell are you people?" "Ronnie, everything's fine. All this stuff is coming down."
Aliens in Muncie make for Spielberg's Best Film Ever (by WriterDave)
Steven Spielberg has made huge popcorn blockbusters that gross more money at the box office i.e. "Jaws," "Raiders of the Lost Ark," or "Jurassic Park" and are more exciting on a visceral level. As he as aged and matured as a director, he has also made movies that are more important and will hold a more solid place in the chronicles of film as an artistic document of history i.e. "Schindler's List," "Saving Private Ryan," and "Munich" . For my money, his best film will still always be "Close Encounters of the Third <more>
Kind." This film is Spielberg's humanistic and heartfelt answer to Kubrick's intellectual and cerebral look at man's first contact with life from elsewhere in the universe in his 1968 opus "2001: A Space Odyssey.""Close Encounters" came early on in Spielberg's career, made in 1977, and has all the hallmarks of his later films played just right before he became so self-referential. Here we have his typical bag of tricks long before they became so typical: familial strife, coming to terms with something bigger than oneself that challenges the male protagonist's view of the world around him, little kids in jeopardy, superb build up of suspense, fantastic visual effects, and a memorable score from John Williams. From the first UFO sightings in Muncie, Indiana to the fantastic finale at Devil's Tower in Wyoming, this is grand entertainment. Lots of films have emulated this movie to varying degrees of success, from Robert Zemeckis' earnest "Contact," to the shameful scam that was M. Night Shymalan's "Signs," and even Spielberg himself recently did the dark natured flip-side to benevolent alien encounters with his remake of "War of the Worlds" which makes a fantastic double-feature with this . However, nothing compares to this true original. No other film has made me want to believe in aliens more, and I'll never look at a plate of mashed potatoes the same again.
Spielberg Takes You Into A Realm Beyond the Known (by jhclues)
Strange things are happening around the world; things that challenge the imagination and open the mind to possibilities almost beyond imagining. Things that only director Steven Spielberg can explain, which he does in his monumental epic of man's encounter with alien life, `Close Encounters of the Third Kind.' Planes lost in WWII suddenly appear in a Mexican desert; a long lost ship turns up in the middle of the Gobi Desert; and in Dharmsala, Northern India, hundreds of people are gathered together, singing--a short `tune' that consists of a mere five notes, over and over, <more>
repeatedly. When they are asked where they heard this tune, the throng, as one, dramatically thrust their hands into the air and point to the sky. And, indeed, in the skies all around the world, strange things are happening. And even as these events are transpiring, one evening in Muncie, Indiana, the city is suddenly blacked out by an inexplicable power outage. Roy Neary Richard Dreyfuss is at home when it hits, and he is called in by the power company for which he works, then sent out in the darkness to an unfamiliar location. Lost, he sits in his pick-up truck at a railroad crossing, studying a map, when all at once he notices a `disturbance' around him. Mailboxes along the side of the road are clanging open and shut by themselves; then things inside his truck begin to move, subtly at first, then erupting and flying about as if caught up in a tornado--and then just as suddenly his truck is engulfed in a blinding light. He leans out the window for a look, but it's too bright and he has to pull back. Then just as abruptly, it all stops-- the disturbance, the light-- everything. And he looks out the window again; but this time he sees something. And though he doesn't realize it at the time, at that moment, his life changed forever.In this wonderfully realized, highly imaginative film that is extremely well crafted and presented by Spielberg, he takes you along with Roy in the days that follow that strange occurrence in Muncie. Roy becomes lost in thought, drifting, unable to focus on anything, much to the consternation of his wife, Ronnie Teri Garr . But he can't help himself; something-- an image-- has begun to form in his mind. He has no idea what it is or what it means, but it becomes an obsession, and slowly it begins to take shape: First in a handful of shaving cream, then in a plate of mashed potatoes, which he piles up and begins to sculpt with his fork, while Ronnie and his kids look on in bewilderment. But he can see it in his mind, and it's like a mountain-- a mountain shaped like a `tower.' And Roy isn't the only one. Around the world, others are being drawn to the same image in their minds, and it's a force that compels them, pushing them on to find whatever it is, a power so strong in cannot be denied or refused. They know only one thing: Whatever it is, it's important, and they have no choice but to follow where it may lead. And it becomes a great adventure, one in which they discover what Man has long suspected: We are not alone.Richard Dreyfuss is perfectly cast as Neary, a regular guy-- he could be your neighbor or the man who comes to install your phone-- and gives a thoroughly convincing, introspective performance while creating a character with whom it is easy to relate and through whom you are able to share this unique adventure. Garr does a good job, as well, as Ronnie, the wife concerned with her husband's sudden and seemingly bizarre behavior, someone with whom you can certainly sympathize. Dillon delivers, too, as the single mother who suddenly finds herself caught up in these inexplicable and extraordinary events, and also turning in a memorable performance is the young Cary Guffey, as Barry, Jillian's son, who makes his own connection with the other-worldly visitors. The supporting cast includes Francois Truffaut Lacombe , Bob Balaban Laughlin and Lance Henriksen Robert . An uplifting, positive motion picture, `Close Encounters of the Third Kind' is thoroughly entertaining, as well as thought provoking. Spielberg draws you in as few filmmakers can, with a great story and with characters who are readily accessible and with whom it is easy to identify-- all of which adds up to an absorbing, memorable and enjoyable experience, and a perfect example of the real magic of the movies. I rate this one 10/10.
A terrific movie about alien contact. (by barnabyrudge)
Close Encounters Of The Third Kind is a film about aliens landing on earth, but instead of descending into the usual laser-gun confrontations between humans and aliens, this one dares to remain "peaceful". It is a film about contact, not conflict. It is also a wonderfully thoughtful film and a prime example of compelling story-telling. If there is a weakness with Close Encounters Of The Third Kind, it is that the director Steven Spielberg occasionally allows sentimentality to enter into the proceedings, but in truth it is a very minor weakness and it doesn't significantly spoil <more>
this tremendous movie experience.Several missing aircraft turn up over 30 years after they were reported lost. More baffling still is the fact that they vanished over Florida but have turned up, in pristine condition and without pilots, in the middle of Mexico. Other weird things happen: an aeroplane pilot reports a near collision with a brightly lit spacecraft; a Navy warship missing for decades is found in the desert; thousands of Indians report a light in the sky which "sang" to them; and across America there are scores of inexplicable UFO sightings. Electrician Roy Neary Richard Dreyfuss is a normal family man who sees one of the UFOs. Soon after, he is tormented by a vision apparently implanted in his mind by the aliens. His torment becomes obsession as he tries to figure out the meaning of a hill-like shape that has become embedded in his mind. As his marriage collapses, he desperately tries to find answers and is finally gratified when he discovers that the picture in his head is trying to tell him where to go in order to witness an extra terrestrial landing.The fact that Roy Neary is just an everyday guy cast into the most incredible of circumstances gives this film a real human dimension. Roy could represent any one of us - you, me, your next door neighbour, your father, whoever. Spielberg tells his story very carefully, adding clues and more layers of mystery before actually revealing where the story is heading. It is probably the most controlled and skillfully paced of Spielberg's '70s films. The ending, featuring the alien arrival, is a technical tour-de-force, but it works well on an emotional level too because the viewer has grown to know Roy and has been drawn into his quest for answers. John Williams provides yet another legendary music score - including an iconic five-note tune which the aliens and humans use to communicate with each other. Close Encounters Of The Third Kind is a classic sci-fi film, as fresh and absorbing now as it was back in 1977.
Another Memorable Spielberg Hit From the '70s (by ccthemovieman-1)
This is probably considered "a classic" by now, along with a few other 1970s Steven Spielberg movies. At the time of its release almost 30 years ago, the special-effects in here were astounding to view....and still hold up! They are still fun to watch.The scenes in the beginning of this movie and at the end, are indelibly imprinted in my memory cells as well as millions of others. Who can ever forget that opening scene in the farmhouse when the little boy Gary Guffey is kidnapped or that ending with the gigantic spacecraft hovering over Devil's Hole in Wyoming, or the sound <more>
sequences emitted by the scientists trying to communicate with the aliens? There are many, many memorable scenes in this film - probably its biggest attribute.To me, the only uncomfortable scene is the yelling match with Richard Dreyfuss and his family. The only message I didn't care for also involved Dreyfuss' character, who is "envied" at the end. Funny, I don't see a man who thoughtlessly leaves his family beyond as someone to be envied. Overall Dreyfuss looked more like a "Doofus" in here.There are other credibility problems in here, too, but overall it's extremely interesting storytelling, great colors and special-effects and just about everything that director Steve Spielberg is noted for in his successful box-office films which translates to one crucial factor: entertainment.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind is the story about a man who has a close encounter with aliens. However, no one seems to believe that it really happened except a woman who's son was abducted. They both have a similar vision apparently put in their minds by the aliens, and they set off together to go meet up with the aliens one more time.I've never been a huge Spielberg fan. Sure, he's made some good movies, but I just never saw anything real great about most of his movies. That is, until I saw Close Encounters of the Third Kind. This movie had me so entranced in the story that <more>
the 2 hours and 15 minutes flew by. I'm not even a big sci-fi type of guy. The cinematography, acting, music score, and directing are all top-notch. The special effects, although obviously sub-par by today's standards, were phenomenal when released in 1977 and is still good enough to not make the movie look cheesy by today's standards.
Spellbound and groundbreaking classic science fiction picture by the great Steven Spielberg (by ma-cortes)
It's a clever sci-fi in which our protagonist Richard Dreyfuss isn't the typical nutty scientific , but an ordinary man who causes a rift with his wife Teri Garr and works in a local electrify company . Dreyfuss and a mother Melinda Dillon whose son Cary Guffey is abducted , contact an UFO mystery which leads to a location where rare events are happening . Dreyfuss is excellent confronting mysteries and bizarre problems that achieves ultimately resolve .This phenomenal Sci-Fi packs thrills , emotion , suspense and wonderful frames . Impressive images continue in crescendo <more>
until the riveting finishing , a long twenty-minutes sequence that is really imposing . Sympathetic performances from the main cast , such as Richard Dreyfuss , Gary Guffey and Melinda Dillon . Cary Guffey's acting was so good that they only ever had to do one or two takes of each shot he was in . He became known as One-Take Cary on the set, and Steven Spielberg had a t-shirt printed up for him with the phrase written on it . Stanley Kubrick was so impressed by Cary Guffey's performance that he wanted him for the role of Danny Torrence in The shinning 1980 . The picture obtained Academy Award for the rousing cinematography Vilmos Zsigmond and cameramen William A. Fraker and Douglas Slocombe , Sound effects and was nominated : support actress Melinda Dillon , music score John Williams and other technicians Oscars . Extraordinary soundtrack by maestro composer John Williams ; the iconic five-note melody was a chance arrangement that both John Williams and Steven Spielberg happened to like out of hundreds of different permutations . Fascinating especial effects were realized by specialists as Douglas Trumbull , Richard Yuricich and Dennis Muren . Filming was realized with rigid security rules , circumstances that originated an enormous interest when it was exhibited in 1977 Christmas . Spielberg admired to Francois Truffaut and contracted him to play an important role as a scientific along with Bob Balaban . Truffaut saw as Spielberg directed very fine to children and suggested him that he would make one film featured for them and he subsequently made E.T. Steven Spielberg has stated that absolutely nothing in his life has been more difficult than editing the final 25 minutes of Close Encounters of the Third Kind . This enchanting movie , magnificently written by Spielberg , contains his usual references to Pinocho Carlo Collodi , his preferred book . Rating : Awesome , above average.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (by jboothmillard)
This was another great box office success for Oscar, BAFTA and Golden Globe nominated director Steven Spielberg Jaws, Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial, Schindler's List, Saving Private Ryan , the first being Jaws. This is a really good story showing how powerful belief can be, and also giving an idea of Spielberg's childhood past. The only actor I recognised was Richard Dreyfuss as Roy Neary, one o the many people looking out for beaming, humming and flying crafts going around his area. Basically many crafts were flying around, and then obviously the big mother <more>
ship came to contact with us. Also starring BAFTA nominated François Truffaut as Claude Lacombe, Teri Garr as Ronnie Neary, Oscar nominated Melinda Dillon as Gillian Guiler, Bob Balaban as David Laughlin, J. Patrick McNamara as Project Leader, Warren J. Kemmerling as Wild Bill, Roberts Blossom as Farmer, Philip Dodds as Jean Claude, Cary Guffey as Barry Guiler, Shawn Bishop as Brad Neary, Adrienne Campbell as Sylvia Neary, Justin Dreyfuss Richard's nephew as Toby Neary and Lance Henriksen as Robert. A magical story with nice aliens and a nice story. "We Are Not Alone", a good slogan for a good classic extra-terrestrial idea. He obviously did it well again with E.T. It won the Oscar for Best Cinematography, and it was nominated for Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Visual Effects, Best Film Editing, Best Music for John Williams, Best Sound and Special Achievement Award for Frank E. Warner sound effects editing , it won the BAFTA Best Production Design/Art Direction, and it was nominated for the Anthony Asquith Award for Film Music, Best Cinematography, Best Film Editing, Best Screenplay, Best Sound and Best Film, and it was nominated the Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture - Drama, Best Original Score and Best Screenplay. Steven Spielberg was number 56 on The 100 Greatest Pop Culture Icons, the film was number 31 on 100 Years, 100 Thrills, it was number 81 on The Ultimate Film, it was number 58 on 100 Years, 100 Cheers, and it was number 64 on 100 Years, 100 Movies. Very good!
This movie is as good as it was the year it came out. The story is still original and the acting is as good as any today. Sure the special effects are not as good as today, but they are fine. You can see it again or for the first time and have a delightful, suspenseful time. So curl up with your blankets and popcorn, this is a fun uplifiting movie for all!