7.6/10
175,048
423 user 223 critic

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

Trailer
2:32 | Trailer
Roy Neary, an electric lineman, watches how his quiet and ordinary daily life turns upside down after a close encounter with a UFO.

Director:

Steven Spielberg
Reviews
Popularity
1,274 ( 517)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 14 wins & 38 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Richard Dreyfuss ... Roy Neary
François Truffaut ... Claude Lacombe (as Francois Truffaut)
Teri Garr ... Ronnie Neary
Melinda Dillon ... Jillian Guiler
Bob Balaban ... David Laughlin
J. Patrick McNamara ... Project Leader
Warren J. Kemmerling ... Wild Bill (as Warren Kemmerling)
Roberts Blossom ... Farmer
Philip Dodds ... Jean Claude
Cary Guffey ... Barry Guiler
Shawn Bishop Shawn Bishop ... Brad Neary
Adrienne Campbell ... Silvia Neary
Justin Dreyfuss Justin Dreyfuss ... Toby Neary
Lance Henriksen ... Robert
Merrill Connally ... Team Leader
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Storyline

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 Huggo

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Now There Is More (USA 1980 special edition re-release) See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The iconic five-note melody was a chance arrangement that both composer John Williams and director Steven Spielberg happened to like out of hundreds of different permutations. The tone was later used in Moonraker (1979) and again in the cue line in Star Tours (1987). See more »

Goofs

While preparing for the evacuation, the military speaks of clearing 360 square miles, which would involve from 35,000 to 50,000 people. Later, a news report states that 200 square miles are being evacuated. Devils Tower is centrally located in Crook County, with an area of 2858 sq. miles and a population of 5887, and is over 15 miles from the nearest city. 200 sq. miles would be a circle of 8 miles radius. 360 sq. miles would be a radius of 11.5 miles. The actual population of the evacuated area would likely be less than a few hundred people, not 35 to 50 thousand. See more »

Quotes

[Roy's wife does not believe how he got the burns on his face]
Roy Neary: Well they're not moon burns, goddamnit.
See more »

Crazy Credits

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 »

Alternate Versions

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Something's Happening in Room C241 (2012) See more »

Soundtracks

When You Wish Upon a Star
(1940)
Words: Ned Washington/Music: Leigh Harline
© 1940 Bourne Co.
See more »

User Reviews

My brief review of the film
19 January 2005 | by sol-See all my reviews

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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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English | French | Spanish | Hindi

Release Date:

14 December 1977 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

CE3K See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$1,767,758, 3 September 2017

Gross USA:

$135,189,114

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$306,898,466
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

(Special Edition) | (Theatrical Original) | (Director's Cut)

Sound Mix:

70 mm 6-Track (70 mm prints)| Dolby (35 mm prints)

Color:

Color (Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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