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Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

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After an accidental encounter with otherworldly vessels, an ordinary man follows a series of psychic clues to the first scheduled meeting between representatives of Earth and visitors from the cosmos.

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'Close Encounters of the Third Kind' at 40

Celebrate the 40th anniversary of Steven Spielberg's cultural phenomenon Close Encounters of the Third Kind with a look at images from the film.

See our Close Encounters gallery

Won 1 Oscar. Another 14 wins & 37 nominations. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
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Claude Lacombe (as Francois Truffaut)
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Wild Bill (as Warren Kemmerling)
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Shawn Bishop ...
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Justin Dreyfuss ...
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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:

We are not alone See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

 »
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Details

Official Sites:

Country:

Language:

| | |

Release Date:

14 December 1977 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

CE3K  »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Gross USA:

$132,088,635

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$303,788,635
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

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

Sound Mix:

(70 mm prints)| (35 mm prints)

Color:

(Metrocolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The working title was "Watch the Skies," the closing words from The Thing from Another World (1951). These words also can be heard in the cartoon that wakes Neary. See more »

Goofs

When Jillian has caught up to Barry on the highway and almost gets hit by Roy, a shot shows the two up close with the background out of focus, but the stars in the background sky are in sharp focus. See more »

Quotes

David Laughlin: Who flies crates like these anymore?
Project Leader: No one. These planes were reported missing in 1945.
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 »

Connections

Featured in Precious Images (1986) See more »

Soundtracks

The Square Song
(1970)
Words and Music by Joe Raposo (as Joseph Raposo)
Published by Jonico Music, Inc.
Courtesy Pickwick International, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

 
Nearly 40 years later still a landmark in sci-fi cinema.
4 July 2017 | by See all my reviews

Four years before Lucas and Spielberg teamed up on Raiders, their biggest movies of the year came out. Lucas had Star Wars, which broke records and stayed in theatres for years, and Spielberg, fresh off the success of Jaws, had Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Both of those movies were the first by these directors to be mixed in Dolby Stereo 70mm and were advertised heavily on TV. It was close encounters which became the first mainstream movie to get a director's cut when it was reissued in 1980 as the Special Edition with an alternate ending before Spielberg retooled it in the late 90s for home media release as his definitive cut. All three versions are on Bluray, with a possible 40th anniversary reissue coming later this year. As for the movie itself, it's very well done, and dramatic. The locations in the film are very exotic and real, and the music is well done.


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