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.
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
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 »
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 »
Nearly 40 years later still a landmark in sci-fi cinema.
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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