5 comments on “Close Encounters of the Third Kind

  1. Wonderful piece. This is one of my favourite films and arguably my favourite Spielberg film (even though there are several candidates for that crown – ie. Jaws, E.T., and Indiana Jones). I just think it is a work of art from start to finish with Richard Dreyfuss’ best performance. I also love how Spielberg rekindles the sort of childhood innocence seen in E.T.’s young characters in the adult Roy Neary. It is all about that sense of imagination and I love it because of that.

  2. Like Dan – I thought your piece was wonderful. I’ve only seen this film twice in my life – the original theatrical run – and I think I saw it on TV. Now I’m going to get ahold of the Blu-ray asap.

    When I think of the film – I always think first of that iconic shot when the little boy has opened the door of the house and is facing those lights with the camera well behind him.

    Your reference to Dreyfuss as Roy approximating a grown up Elliot from E.T. seems so perfect conceptually. Thanks for the fine read.

  3. When this film came out in ’77, I was living in Denver and saw it in the most incredible theater whose name I can’t remember; but it was huge and round (almost like an old Cinerama theater) and actually had stadium type seating. When the lights went out and the music started the mini-footlights outining the bottom of the screen almost looked like we were in a spaceship. It was an incredible beginning to what turned out to be one of the 10 most thrilling movie experiences of my life. A kind of schism developed that year between devotees of STAR WARS and CLOSE ENCOUNTERS…I was one of the latter. I even drove up to Devil’s Tower after seeing it.
    I was so glad that Spielberg finally did away with the Special Edition ending…no need to try to compete with the other SciFi movie…make sure to see his combined version which adds a few scenes to the original. I do disagree with the assessment of JULIA which was also an excellent film and one of my favorites that year…but there was some Hollywood hostility to Spielberg at the time for being a “wunderkind”–more Hollywood nonsense…but Close Encounters was (and Is) my #1 of 1977.

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