Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) is an American science fiction drama movie that is about 135 minutes long. The movie was filmed in several locations including India, Colombia, Mexico and other locations in the United States. Writer and director Steven Spielberg (Saving Private Ryan (1998), Schindler’s List (1993), A.I. Artificial Intelligence (2001), Catch Me If You Can (2002)) did a phenomenal job bringing us this UFO movie. Spielberg developed a deal with Columbia Pictures for a science fiction film in late 1973. Writer Paul Schrader, John Hill, David Giler, Hal Barwood, Matthew Robbins, and Jerry Belson contributed to the screenplay although Spielberg received sole credit for the script.
Close Encounters is about everyday blue collar worker Roy Neary, who lives in Indiana and how his life changed after he had an encounter with an unidentified flying object (UFO). The movie started by introducing us to Claude Lacombe (François Truffaut - The 400 Blows (1959), The Last Metro (1980), Jules and Jim (1962), Shoot the Pianist (1960)) is a French scientist in the Sonoran Desert. Claude and his American interpreter/mapmaker David Laughlin (Bob Balaban - Moonrise Kingdom (2012), The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014), Ghost World (2001)) found Flight 19. Flight 19 is Grumman TBM Avengers that were missing for over 30 years. Skip forward, Roy Neary (Richard Dreyfuss - Jaws (1975), American Graffiti (1973), Piranha 3D (2010)) is an electrical lineman. There is a massive power outage in Indiana and Roy is investigating one of them and encounters a UFO after it flew over his truck and burned his face a little with its bright lights. Roy pursues the UFO’s along with three police cars but they were not fast enough. Roy’s wife, Ronnie (Teri Garr - Tootsie (1982), Dumb & Dumber (1994), Young Frankenstein (1974)) is not happy with her husband’s fascination with UFO’s. Jillian is also fascinated by UFOs and is soon terrorized by a UFO in her home as it abducts Barry.
Claude and his team continue investigating UFOs as well as some experts from the United Nations because of increasing UFO activities. After a few more events, Ronnie takes her three children and leaves Roy because she cannot handle his fascination with UFOs anymore. Roy and a few others that had the same vision as Roy goes to the site where an alleged train wreck near Devils Tower has occurred leaking toxic gas. Dozens of UFOs appears as Roy and Jillian (Melinda Dillon - A Christmas Story (1983), Magnolia (1999), Harry and the Hendersons (1987)) makes their way to the train wreck site. The mother UFO ship lands and releases a huge amount of people from different eras including the missing pilots from Flight 19. The abductees have not aged since they were abducted. The aliens only selected Roy to join them on their travels to the galaxy.
The screenplay made the movie to be an extraordinary watch regardless of the average acting and not so good camera work. I gave this movie a seven because the storyline was unique in that time era, and it took a lot of effort to pull off the special effects including lighting effects to make this an astounding movie. The actors could have given a more convincing performances except for lead actor Richard Dreyfuss, who did a great job with this role.
About Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
Starring: Lance Henriksen, Bennett Wayne Dean Sr., J. Patrick McNamara, Richard Dreyfuss, Bob Balaban, Josef Sommer, John Dennis Johnston, Bill Thurman, Robert Broyles, Teri Garr, Basil Hoffman, Carl Weathers, Roberts Blossom, George DiCenzo, Daniel Núñez, Monty O'Grady, Howard K. Smith, Randy Hermann, Richard Stuart, Melinda Dillon, Hal Barwood, Bob Westmoreland, Philip Dodds, Matthew Robbins, Matt Emery, Cary Guffey, Galen Thompson, Shawn Bishop, David Anderson, John Ewing
Director: Steven Spielberg
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