But just in case you really are from another planet and have no clue just what the hell I'm talking about, the year was 1977, the director was Steven Spielberg, and the movie was Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Per the film, there are three kinds of alien contact, two of which nobody really cares about. The third kind is the close, personal relationship forged between man and alien when a person gets abducted... and, well, that's the focus of most of this film.
Roy Neary (Richard Dreyfuss) starts out as an angry father in a job he doesn't seem to care for all that much, all of which is changed when some friendly aliens give him a sunburn and give his town a lightshow that puts concert pyrotechnics to shame. This experience makes Roy a little off-kilter; he begins sculpting shapes he's never seen, having the feeling that he should be going somewhere soon.
In the meantime Claude Lacombe (François Truffaut) is going about the globe picking up planes and ships that disappeared a half century ago, and he finds them in the middle of the desert, to boot. And with mysterious fly-bys happening to modern day aircraft around the world... well we don't need rocket scientists to figure out what's going on.
Close Encounters is really such a simple movie that it doesn't warrant a helluva lot of discussion. Were it not able to hit our cultural pressure points so well, it probably would have faded off the of cinematic map -- but Spielberg is nothing if not adept at punching our buttons and making us puppets in his hands, and Close Encounters is no exception. While, storywise and on filmmaking levels, Close Encounters might not be the greatest film ever, I'll be damned if when you're watching the aliens communicate through music, you don't feel like it is.
Genre: Sci fi/Fantasy
Run time: 137 mins
In Theaters: Sunday 25th December 1977
Box Office Worldwide: $303.8M
Distributed by: Sony Pictures Releasing
Production compaines: Columbia Pictures Corporation, EMI Films, Julia Phillips and Michael Phillips Productions
Contactmusic.com: 4 / 5
Rotten Tomatoes: 96%
Fresh: 44 Rotten: 2
IMDB: 7.7 / 10
Director: Steven Spielberg
Screenwriter: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Richard Dreyfuss as Roy Neary, François Truffaut as Claude Lacombe, Teri Garr as Ronnie Neary, Melinda Dillon as Jillian Guiler, Bob Balaban as David Laughlin, J. Patrick McNamara as Project Leader, Warren J. Kemmerling as Wild Bill, Roberts Blossom as Farmer, Philip Dodds as Jean Claude, Adrienne Campbell as Sylvia Neary, Justin Dreyfuss as Toby Neary, Lance Henriksen as Robert, Merrill Connally as Team Leader, Cary Guffey as Barry Guiler, Shawn Bishop as Brad Neary, George DiCenzo as Major Benchley, Amy Douglass as Implantee, Alexander Lockwood as Implantee, Eugene Dynarski as Ike, Mary Gafrey as Mrs. Harris, Josef Sommer as Larry Butler, Carl Weathers as Military Policeman, Bill Thurman as Air Traffic, Norman Bartold as Norman Bartold, Michael J. Dyer as Himself, Roger Ernest as Highway Patrolman, F.J. O'Neil as ARP Project Member, Randy Hermann as Returnee #1 Flt. 19, Hal Barwood as Returnee #2 Flt. 19, Phil Dodds as ARP Musician, Matthew Robbins as Returnee #3 Flt. 19, David Anderson as Air Traffic Controller, Richard L. Hawkins as Air Traffic Controller, Craig Shreeve as Air Traffic, Roy E. Richards as Air East Pilot, Gene Rader as Hawker, Eumenio Blanco as Federale, Daniel Nunez as Federale, Chuy Franco as Federale, Luis Contreras as Federale, James Keane as Radio Telescope Team, Dennis McMullen as Radio Telescope Team, Cy Young as Radio Telescope Team, Tom Howard as Radio Telescope Team, Richard Stuart as Truck Dispatcher, Bob Westmoreland as Load Dispatcher, Matt Emery as Support Leader, Galen Thompson as Special Forces, John Dennis Johnston as Special Forces, John Ewing as Dirty Tricks #1, Keith Atkinson as Dirty Tricks #2, Robert Broyles as Dirty Tricks #3, Kirk Raymond as Dirty Tricks #4, Bennett Wayne Dean Sr. as Scientist (uncredited), Basil Hoffman as Longly (uncredited), J. Allen Hynek as Himself - Smoking Pipe at Landing Site (uncredited), Monty Jordan as Special Forces Commander / Helicopter Pilot (uncredited), Stephen Powers as UN Observer (uncredited), Howard K. Smith as Howard K. Smith (uncredited)