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.
In 1935, Indiana Jones arrives in India, still part of the British Empire, and is asked to find a mystical stone. He then stumbles upon a secret cult committing enslavement and human sacrifices in the catacombs of an ancient palace.
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
After a while, François Truffaut found the long shoot tiring and he was frustrated over not being able to get on with his own directing work. He also got a good dose of Hollywood reality, noting to Teri Garr that for the $250,000 it cost to do a single helicopter shot, he could make an entire movie. Still, the experience gave him good insight into what it takes to act in film. All in all, Truffaut respected Steven Spielberg for his outward calm, patience and good humour and found that despite his own relative lack of experience in front of the camera (having acted only twice in his own movies), "several times during the shooting [Spielberg] made me...come out of myself. Thanks to that, I discovered a real pleasure as an actor." Truffaut also added, "In the face of overwhelming hardships and innumerable complications that would, I suspect, have discouraged most directors, Steven Spielberg's perseverance and fortitude were simply amazing." See more »
When Ronnie is reading through the newspaper and cuts out an article about the UFOs that have been seen in the sky, she is wearing silver nail polish. In the next shot when she is telling Roy to put the self-tanning lotion on, the nail polish has gone. It is possible that the newspaper clipping shots were filmed much later than the rest of the scene as it contains a review of Star Wars from May 1977 (principal photography for Close Encounters took place in summer 1976). See more »
[over a loudspeaker at The Dark Side of the Moon]
Could we have the lights in the arena down 60 percent, please... 60 percent.
[the lights go down and running lights turn on one at a time up the runway]
I don't think we could have asked for a more beautiful evening, do you? Okay, watch the skies please... We now show uncorrelated targets approaching from the north-northwest.
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Near the end of the credits it starts to reads as follows: "During the filming of all animal sequences, H.L. EDWARDS, Veterinarian of Gillette, Wyoming, was in attendance at all times to aid the filmmakers and the anesthetist in proper treatment of the animals used, and at no time were the animals harmed or mistreated in any way." See more »
The Criterion Collection 3-disc Laserdisc released in 1990 featured both the 1977 Theatrical & 1980 Special Edition cuts. The theatrical however held onto the '80 Special Edition shot of a shadowed spaceship flying over Roy's truck. This was requested by Steven Spielberg while overseeing the disc's production. The 1980 cut can only be viewed on players that could have re-arranged the disc's chapters from the end of the disc to earlier on, requiring a 5-second pause between chapters. See more »
A perfectly fascinating piece of science fiction fantasy, it is visually impressive, well written and well directed. The film has certain moments that can be described only as classic, however the overall film is quite imperfect. There are some really striking flaws such as poor dialogue recording, an ending that is by far too roundabout, and in fact a whole end section that is not nearly as interesting as the beginning of the film. Either way, there is still however a lot to appreciate in the experience, including the spectacular sound effects, which won the film a special achievement Oscar.
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