Close Encounters of the Third Kind
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Close Encounters of the Third Kind

132 min (special edition) | 137 min (director's cut) | 135 min (original version)
Drama | Sci-Fi
IMDB rate:
Steven Spielberg
Won Oscar. Another 16 wins & 33 nominations
Country: USA
Release Date: 1977-12-25
Filming Locations: Mobile Civic Center, Civic Center Drive, Mobile, Alabama, USA
Budget: $19,400,870
Gross: $15,693,175 (USA) ( 1980)
Gene Dynarski
Gene Dynarski
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
Richard Dreyfuss
Roy Neary
François Truffaut
Claude Lacombe
Teri Garr
Ronnie Neary
Melinda Dillon
Jillian Guiler
Bob Balaban
David Laughlin
J. Patrick McNamara
Project Leader
Warren J. Kemmerling
Wild Bill
Roberts Blossom
Philip Dodds
Jean Claude
Cary Guffey
Barry Guiler
Shawn Bishop
Brad Neary
Adrienne Campbell
Silvia Neary
Justin Dreyfuss
Toby Neary
Lance Henriksen
Merrill Connally
Team Leader
George DiCenzo
Major Benchley
Amy Douglass
Alexander Lockwood
Mary Gafrey
Mrs. Harris
Norman Bartold
Ohio Tolls
Josef Sommer
Larry Butler
Michael J. Dyer
Himself (as Rev. Michael J. Dyer)
Roger Ernest
Highway Patrolman
F.J. O'Neil
ARP Project Member (as F. J. O'Neil)
Phil Dodds
ARP Musician
Randy Hermann
Returnee #1 Flt. 19
Hal Barwood
Returnee #2 Flt. 19
Matthew Robbins
Returnee #3 Flt. 19
David Anderson
Air Traffic Controller
Richard L. Hawkins
Air Traffic Controller
Craig Shreeve
Air Traffic
Bill Thurman
Air Traffic
Roy E. Richards
Air East Pilot
Gene Rader
Eumenio Blanco
Daniel Núñez
Federale (as Daniel Nunez)
Chuy Franco
Luis Contreras
James Keane
Radio Telescope Team
Dennis McMullen
Radio Telescope Team
Cy Young
Radio Telescope Team
Tom Howard
Radio Telescope Team
Richard Stuart
Truck Dispatcher
Bob Westmoreland
Load Dispatcher
Matt Emery
Support Leader
Galen Thompson
Special Forces
John Dennis Johnston
Special Forces
John Ewing
Dirty Tricks #1
Keith Atkinson
Dirty Tricks #2
Robert Broyles
Dirty Tricks #3
Kirk Raymond
Dirty Tricks #4
Bennett Wayne Dean Sr.
Scientist (uncredited)
Basil Hoffman
Longly (uncredited)
J. Allen Hynek
Himself - Smoking Pipe at Landing Site (uncredited)
Monty Jordan
Special Forces Commander / Helicopter Pilot (uncredited)
Shay McLean
Speaking Child Extra (uncredited)
Stephen Powers
UN Observer (uncredited)
Howard K. Smith
Howard K. Smith (uncredited)
Did you know?
The federal agent-types on stage with Lacombe during the auditorium scene where he teaches the hand signals were real federal agents. Similarly some of the extras who played scientists in the end sequence were real scientists.
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The film originally ended with the version of When You Wish Upon a Star used in the film Pinocchio (1940), but it tested negatively in previews and was cut. That is why Roy Neary was trying to convince his family to see that film together just before the blackout. The song remains incorporated in the John Williams score, though. A toy can also be heard playing the song's melody right before Roy rips off the top off his sculpture.
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At one time there were three editions of the film. There was the original edition, then the director's edition and for TV they put both of these editions together so that it could be shown over two nights. All three editions together could be bought either on VHS or DVD.
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The latitude and longitude would not be in China were the longitude read as a negative number. Coordinates are referred to as if they were on a Cartesian coordinate system where zero is at the center of the " + " representing the Prime Meridian and the Equator. Anything west of the Prime Meridian is negative, all the way to 180W/180E. Anything south of the Equator is negative. If the coordinates expressed in the movie were positive, then it would be a geographical error. If the longitude were "minus", that is, stated as 44.5903, -104.7153, without the "N" and "W", they would be at Devil's Tower.
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The American flag patch on the uniforms of the volunteers at the end of the film are backwards. The camera pans down the row of volunteers in their jumpsuits and each has a flag patch on their right shoulder with the stars on the left side of the flag. When a flag patch is worn on the right shoulder, the stars should be on the right side of the flag with the stripes pointing to the left.
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The scene where the Muncie police cars are chasing the UFOs shows them driving in mountains and through tunnels, and cross into the state of Ohio. Muncie has no mountains, no tunnels, and is not that close to Ohio. There is another county between Muncie and the Ohio state line. The Indiana Toll Road is about 200 miles north of Muncie, paralleling the Michigan state line.
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Roy Neary: I know this sounds crazy, but ever since yesterday on the road, I've been seeing this shape. Shaving cream, pillows... Dammit! I know this. I know what this is! This means something. This is important.
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Ronnie Neary: Roy, what did it look like?
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Roy Neary: Well they're not moon burns, goddamnit.
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Any recommendations for other movies that feature positive encounters with aliens?
Most movies with alien encounters have featured hostile aliens, e.g., The War of the Worlds (1953), Invaders from Mars (1953), Earth vs. the Flying Saucers (1956), Fire in the Sky (1993), and Independence Day (1996). However, there are a handful of alien encounter films in which the aliens are friendly. Examples include The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951), E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), It Came from Outer Space (1953), Starman (1984), Cocoon (1985) and The Abyss (1989).
How much sex, violence, and profanity are in this movie?
For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Close Encounters of the Third Kind can be found here.
What is 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind' about?
Indiana electrical lineman Roy Neary (Richard Dreyfuss), while on the way to investigate a power outage, experiences a close encounter of the first kind when his truck stalls, he is bathed in light, and he sees UFOs flying through the night sky. Neary is not alone in that others all over the world are having similar experiences. Soon after, they begin to sing, play, or chant a five-tone melody and become obsessed with a mountainlike image that they either draw pictures of or sculpt in mashed potatoes, shaving cream, clay, dirt, etc. Meanwhile, government agents around the world have a close encounter of the second kind, discovering physical evidence of otherworldly visitors in the form of military airplanes that went missing decades ago and suddenly re-appearing in the middle of the Mexican desert. All of these experiences eventually lead to a close encounter of the third with aliens.
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Photos from cast
Carl Weathers Gene Dynarski
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