We are not alone

“Have you recently had a close encounter?”

David Laughlin

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Release Date: December 14, 1977

In the night skies over Indiana, working-class power repairman Roy Neary (Richard Dreyfuss) has an extraordinary encounter with a strange spacecraft while out on a repair call. Recurring visions of a mountain fuel an increasing obsession that drives him to an emotional breaking point, and a painful break with his wife (Teri Garr) and family. Desperate to understand what he has experienced, he finds an ally in Jillian Guiller (Melinda Dillon), a single mother who believes her son has been abducted by extra-terrestrials. Meanwhile an international group of scientists led by French linguistics expert Claude Lacombe (François Truffaut) search for a breakthrough in human-alien communication. Their collective, global quest culminates in a remote Wyoming rendezvous and an event of unequalled importance in all of human history, an event where we finally discover that we are not alone in the universe.

With revolutionary special visual effects by Douglas Trumbull (2001: A Space Odyssey), John Williams’ unforgettable score, and winning performances by Dreyfuss, Garr, Dillon, Bob Balaban, and legendary film director Truffaut, Close Encounters quickly joined Spielberg’s previous picture, the unprecedentedly successful Jaws, as one of the most popular films of all-time upon its release in late 1977.

Spielberg would reedit and shoot additional sequences—including one of Roy Neary’s experience inside the Mothership, for a 1980 theatrical rerelease of Close Encounters of the Third Kind The Special Edition. Displeased with the Columbia Pictures-mandated sequence, however, the director would once again revisit his classic film again in the 1990s to reedit what he considers his definitive director’s cut.

Close Encounters of the Third Kind was nominated for eight Academy Awards, winning for Best Cinematography by Director of Photography Vilmos Zsigmond (The Sugarland Express).

About the Film

About the Film

CAST
  • RICHARD DREYFUSS,
  • MELINDA DILLON,
  • TERI GARR,
  • FRANÇOIS TRUFFAUT,
  • BOB BALABAN,
  • CARY GUFFEY
DIRECTOR
  • STEVEN SPIELBERG
SCREENWRITER
  • STEVEN SPIELBERG
PRODUCERS
  • JULIA PHILLIPS,
  • MICHAEL PHILLIPS
CINEMATOGRAPHER
  • VILMOS ZSIGMOND
PRODUCTION DESIGN
  • JOE ALVES
EDITOR
  • MICHAEL KAHN
COMPOSER
  • JOHN WILLIAMS
AWARDS
  • ACADEMY AWARDS: BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY (VILMOS ZSIGMOND); SPECIAL ACHIEVEMENT AWARD FOR SOUND EFFECTS EDITING (FRANK E. WARNER)