In 1839, the revolt of Mende captives aboard a Spanish owned ship causes a major controversy in the United States when the ship is captured off the coast of Long Island. The courts must decide whether the Mende are slaves or legally free.
Two parallel stories are told. In the first, a group of research scientists from a variety of backgrounds are investigating the strange appearance of items in remote locations, primarily desert regions. In continuing their investigation, one of the lead scientists, a Frenchman named Claude Lacombe, incorporates the Kodály method of music education as a means of communication in their work. The response, in turn, at first baffles the researchers, until American cartographer David Laughlin deciphers the meaning of the response. In the second, electric company lineman and family man Roy Neary and single mother Jillian Guiler are among some individuals in Muncie, Indiana who experience some paranormal activity before some flashes of bright lights in the sky, which they believe to be a UFO. Roy becomes obsessed with what he saw, unlike some others, especially in some form of authority, who refuse to acknowledge their belief that it was a UFO in not wanting to appear crazy. That obsession ... Written by
In the scene where Ronnie cuts out a newspaper article about the UFO sightings, the night after Roy's first glimpse of the UFOs, an article on Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) appears on either side of the UFO article. See more »
Toward the end of the movie, when Jillian and Roy are at Devils Tower and the mother ship is descending, Jillian has her jacket tied around her waist. The jacket is present the whole time she is hiding in the rocks, watching what is going on the landing field. But in the next scene that she is in, when she is walking across the field to reach Barry, the jacket is gone. Of course, she could simply have left the jacket on the rocks, or it simply fell off during her descent into the landing area. See more »
[at press conference to discuss UFOs]
I saw Bigfoot once!
[everyone in thr room reacts. The Farmer stands up]
Sequoia National Forest, 1951! It made a sound that I would not want to hear twice in my life.
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In the 1980s special edition, the new musical edition features the end credits different, then the fades into well after the end credits to the black screen. See more »
The version of Close Encounters that you've seen on TV or video may not
be the best version. For years I had watched a TV version of the film
that combined parts of the theatrical cut and the special edition and I
felt like it was decent, but somehow it seemed edited by an amateur. I
chalked it up to a 70s approach towards special effects movies that
lingered too much on visuals without having a plot. Decades later I
finally watched the 1977 version on Blu Ray and realized it really was
a much better film. Apparently, Mr. Spielberg was pressured to finish
the film quickly and he wanted to spend more time on some scenes but it
looks like the studio pressure was a gift. The 77 version of the film
is more coherent and enjoyable. If you read the reviews that say the
Richard Dreyfus character is obnoxious and unlikable, chances are that
the reviewer saw the special edition (or a TV version that adds footage
from that version into a poorly edited version of the film). Whichever
version you watch, the character does have family problems but in the
77 version, you have scenes of Dreyfus on the job, some shorter scenes
of him having a meltdown at home, and the pace isn't as slow because of
Spielberg (or someone?) reshuffling other scenes to add the pointless
Gobi Dessert sequence. Basically, it isn't just the fact that some
scenes are a little shorter or longer, its the placement of those
scenes. Brian De Palma once got a complaint that the pool hall scene in
Carlito's Way was too long. But he said if felt longer because it was
missing some shots that would make it more suspenseful. He added those
shots, showed it to the studio, and they thought it was a shorter
scene. Spielberg is usually great at creating suspense, but sometimes
he messes it up. His original cut of Close Encounters got it right.
It's the only version that I think really qualifies the film as a
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