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
During the scene in which the power goes out at a McDonald's restaurant, the song "More Than a Feeling" by Boston can be heard coming from a car radio. This song appeared on the band's self-titled debut album in 1976 which, coincidentally, featured a huge saucer-shaped spaceship on the cover. See more »
Shadow of camera on the screen door of the farm. See more »
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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