As the American Civil War continues to rage, America's president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves.
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
Eliott Keener was supposed to have a role as one of the people being evacuated from Devils Tower, but all of his shots were cut out, except one where you can briefly see his elbow. See more »
When the little aliens initially start coming down the ramp - 3 different aliens slip/slide/stumble their way down. The first one is to the left, then when it cuts back there's one in the middle & then right before the scientist starts asking Roy questions about his blood type, etc. - you'll see the longest shot of an alien that lost its footing & slid all the way down the ramp. 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 »
A final version of "Close Encounters" was released to video in 1998 (and then on DVD in 2001) as "The Collector's Edition". It is basically Spielberg's final 137-minute re-edit of the original version plus some sequences from the 1980 "Special Edition". It contains.....
The Neary family's alternate longer introduction.
The 5-second flyover of the power company truck.
The scientists discovery of the freighter in the Gobi desert is included.
The scene where Roy Neary argues with his wife and locks himself in a shower.
The Air Force base press conference scene has been restored from the original version.
The scene where Roy throws dirt, plants and bricks through his kitchen window has been restored from the original version.
This version does not contain the mothership ending from the "Special Edition", and retains the original 1977 end title music.