Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
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Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Richard Dreyfuss, Francois Truffaut, Teri Garr
Close Encounters of the Third Kind ranked # 64 on the American Film Institute's Top 100 American Films list.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) is a science-fiction movie about UFOs, written and directed by Steven Spielberg. It stars Richard Dreyfuss, Francois Truffaut, Bob Balaban, Melinda Dillon, Teri Garr, and Cary Guffey. The movie has visual effects by Douglas Trumbull and a score composed by John Williams.
Close Encounters was perhaps the most important science fiction movie up to that point to introduce benign or even kind aliens, a sharp departure from the 'evil monster' style of most earlier films. It popularised a number of motifs, most of which were drawn from earlier, purportedly genuine UFO encounters: alien abduction, small and thin aliens ("greys"), and UFOs covered in lights rather than the disc shapes more popular in the 1950s and 1960s, and so on. The moral contradiction between the aliens' "benevolence" and the forced abductions they conduct is left unexplored.
The movie has been revised numerous times, notably for a 132-minute "special edition" reissue in 1980 and again for a 137-minute "collector's edition" in 1988 (see List of films recut by studio for details on these alternate versions). The Special Edition features several new character development scenes, the discovery of a lost ship, the Cotopaxi, in the Gobi Desert, and a view of the inside of the mothership. The interior of the mothership is deleted from the "Collector's Edition" (Spielberg added this scene as a concession to be allowed to make the Special Edition. He decided it was a mistake and removed it in the later edition).
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