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Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Close Encounters of the Third Kind – 1977
We are not alone
Director
Steven Spielberg

Writers
Hal Barwood
Jerry Belson
John Hill
Matthew Robbins
Steven Spielberg

Producers
Clark L. Paylow
Michael Phillips

Cast
Richard Dreyfuss- Roy Neary
Fran├žois 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 (as Warren Kemmerling)
Roberts Blossom – Farmer
Philip Dodds – Jean Claude
Cary Guffey – Barry Guiler
Shawn Bishop – Brad Neary
Adrienne Campbell – Sylvia Neary
Justin Dreyfuss – Toby Neary
Lance Henriksen – Robert

Review by Jack Gattanella

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
Fantastical fantasy,

Steven Spielberg’s Close Encounter’s of the Third Kind is a true masterpiece in the sense. He has terrific visual effects (the early stages of ILM), great characters and one famous French director in the movie (Francois Truffaut). Story revolves around 2 characters who are starting to feel odd things. That is UFO’s they are feeling, and the two characters are Richard Dreyfuss and Melinda Dillon. They make great acting in this film that may go slow at points, but has one of the most spectacular ending in history. Kudos to Spielberg, and his first ever alien vision. A+

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

Review by Wayne Malin

Fantastic,
A utilities worker named Roy Neary (Richard Dreyfuss) has an encounter with a UFO (in a great scene). After that he begins to have ‘visions’ of a mountain. Also a single mother (Melinda Dillon) and her young son also have their home ‘investigated’ by aliens while they sleep. They also start to have visions of the same mountain. It seems UFOs and strange appearances are happening all over the globe. Naturally the government tries to cover it up. Why are the aliens here and what do they want?

The same year George Lucas released “Star Wars” this movie came out. While “Star Wars” was about warfare and destruction this film is a very gentle, lyrical movie about a peaceful encounter with aliens. The government DOES try to cover everything up but, unlike later movies, they have no interest in destroying the aliens–only to make contact. That’s a very positive message…but this movie has serious problems.

The human characters are never fully realized. Dreyfuss and his wife (Teri Garr) seem to have a very dysfunctional marriage with three truly obnoxious kids. You don’t like any of them. As for Dillon we know NOTHING about her–just that she’s a single mother. That’s it. This is writer-director Steven Spielberg’s fault–he doesn’t develop any of his characters. But this was one of his first movies so it can be forgiven. Also there are gaps in logic and numerous scenes in which three or four people are talking at once making it impossible to figure out what’s going on. And WHY is the TV ALWAYS going at Dreyfuss’ house? It is needed in one sequence but most of the time it’s just more annoying background noise.

That aside this film is great. The sequences with the aliens are used sparingly until the end–which makes sense. And the special effects are just superb–they even work by today’s standards! The last half hour or so at Devil’s Tower, Wyoming is just jaw-dropping. The acting is actually pretty good. Dreyfuss and Dillon are very good (considering they’re just reacting to nothing) but Garr is whiny and annoying. Also French director Francois Truffaut does a rare acting role here. Vilmos Zsigmond did the astounding cinematography (the nighttime scenes are just beautiful) and John Williams added a great score. And the tune used with the aliens was a BIG hit in 1977! Worth seeing for the special effects and some truly great sequences. Just ignore the lousy “dramatic” scenes with Dreyfuss and his family. Try to see it in a theatre. I give it a 9.

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