7.6/10
173,159
415 user 222 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
1,490 ( 134)
Won 1 Oscar. Another 14 wins & 38 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

More Like This 

The Abyss (1989)
Adventure | Drama | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A civilian diving team is enlisted to search for a lost nuclear submarine and face danger while encountering an alien aquatic species.

Director: James Cameron
Stars: Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Michael Biehn
Drama | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A highly advanced robotic boy longs to become "real" so that he can regain the love of his human mother.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Haley Joel Osment, Jude Law, Frances O'Connor
Jaws (1975)
Adventure | Drama | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

When a killer shark unleashes chaos on a beach community, it's up to a local sheriff, a marine biologist, and an old seafarer to hunt the beast down.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss
Contact (1997)
Drama | Mystery | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

Dr. Ellie Arroway (Jodie Foster), after years of searching, finds conclusive radio proof of extraterrestrial intelligence, sending plans for a mysterious machine.

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Stars: Jodie Foster, Matthew McConaughey, Tom Skerritt
Action | Crime | Mystery
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

In a future where a special police unit is able to arrest murderers before they commit their crimes, an officer from that unit is himself accused of a future murder.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Tom Cruise, Colin Farrell, Samantha Morton
Duel (TV Movie 1971)
Action | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

A business commuter is pursued and terrorized by the malevolent driver of a massive tractor-trailer.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Dennis Weaver, Jacqueline Scott, Eddie Firestone
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A black Southern woman struggles to find her identity after suffering abuse from her father and others over four decades.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Danny Glover, Whoopi Goldberg, Oprah Winfrey
Munich (2005)
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

Based on the true story of the Black September aftermath, about the five men chosen to eliminate the ones responsible for that fateful day.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Eric Bana, Daniel Craig, Marie-Josée Croze
Action | Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A young English boy struggles to survive under Japanese occupation during World War II.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Christian Bale, John Malkovich, Miranda Richardson
Action | Sci-Fi
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 4.5/10 X  

In a post-apocalyptic Texas, a band of warriors fight against a fascist regime that is trying to take control of all surviving population.

Directors: Joe D'Amato, George Eastman
Stars: Al Cliver, Harrison Muller, Daniel Stephen
Adventure | Sci-Fi | Thriller
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.5/10 X  

As Earth is invaded by alien tripod fighting machines, one family fights for survival in this sci-fi action film.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, Tim Robbins
Amistad (1997)
Drama | History
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

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.

Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Djimon Hounsou, Matthew McConaughey, Anthony Hopkins
Edit

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
Edit

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:

Close Encounter of the First Kind - Sighting of a UFO. Close Encounter of the Second Kind - Physical Evidence. Close Encounter of the Third Kind - Contact. WE ARE NOT ALONE See more »

Genres:

Drama | Sci-Fi

Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
Edit

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 »

Edit

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 »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

Maurice White of the band Earth Wind And Fire cited the movie as inspiration for the writing of the group's hit song Fantasy. See more »

Goofs

Laughlin identifies the signal being received as representing a Latitude and a Longitude for a rendezvous location. He identifies the first number as a longitude, as it is above 90 degrees. In professional geography; which the missing pilots and, therefore, the aliens must have known, coordinates are given with Latitude first. See more »

Quotes

Claude Lacombe: [to Roy Neary] I envy you.
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

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.
See more »

Connections

Referenced in Dawson's Creek: Detention (1998) See more »

Soundtracks

She'll Be Comin' 'Round the Mountain
(uncredited)
Traditional
Whistled by a UFO observer
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more »

User Reviews

Strong emotional core that avoids Rockwell-esque sentimentality
24 January 2003 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

When the whole area suffers a full blackout, electrician Roy Neary is called out to service some poles suspected of being down. Sitting in his truck trying to find directions he is suddenly caught in a bright light and the electric's on his truck fail. Shortly it passes and he sees a craft pass overhead. At the same time nearby a woman pursues her young son who has wandered out in search of the lights that have been calling to him. Both adults are left wanting to know the truth and filled with half-ideas and images that haunt them – when Gillian Guiler son is taken, this becomes even more important to them. Meanwhile the military, led by investigator Claude Lacombe uncover planes and ships that have been missing for decades and uncover hidden codes and signals in the mysterious crafts.

I am currently ploughing my way through Speilberg's Taken on BBC2 so I thought I'd give this classic another view just to remind myself how good Speilberg and aliens can be. The plot is perfect for any UFO nut – the government are behind everything and know of everything. The story unfolds really well – the three main stories complimenting each other and giving the film a sense of pace. The strand with Lacombe following events all round the globe is the least personal (and thus least involving) but it is enticing us for the climax of the film. Neary's soul searching maybe does go on a little too long but the emotion in the family situation is intense and his frustration and sense of confusion is very real. Although the thrid strand has less screen time the abduction of the child is a powerful scene and the emotion is well brought out.

The special effects are very good but the glue of the film is the emotional telling. This is Speilberg doing well – he never really gives into his American Apple Pie style sentimentality and the film keeps moving along and has a real emotional heart to it. The climax of the movie always sort of messes me up and I find it best not to question it's logic on any level for fear of holes opening up all over it – but it does have a sense of childlike wonder to it, which I guess Speilberg was trying to get across.

As usual Dreyfuss does well under Speilberg and he is mostly responsible for keeping the emotion in his character realistic without being all syrupy and sickly. Truffaut is OK but it's impossible to see him as anyone but Francis Truffaut and his character suffers as a result. Garr and Dillon are both strong female characters for different reasons and the support cast are generally very good (including a good handful of the Dreyfuss family).

Overall this film never gets me as one of the greatest sci-fi's of all time, but it is certainly a very good film that takes `real' people as it's driver and not flashy effect shots. That `Taken' seems to be slipping into Norman Rockwell type mawkishness is good enough reason to revisit CE3K.


30 of 53 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 415 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page



Recently Viewed