- Acting of Lead Performers
- Acting of Supporting Cast
- Music Score
- Title Sequence
- Historical Importance
- Would You Recommend?
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A Psychological Odyssey
The categorization of this movie as "horror" means, to me, that the categorizer hasn't seen the picture. It conveys a superficial impression of science fiction, but it's not SF. The emphasis in the story is on the emotional experiences of the characters, especially the Richard Dreyfuss character, Roy Neary, whose obsession with the UFOs fuels the main story line: his psychological odyssey from his ordinary existence to the unknowable world beyond. When I first saw it in 1977, this picture left me haunted with sadness, as if I'd seen an allegory of something else. Six years later, when my father died, I was unexpectedly reminded of Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Until tonight, I hadn't seen the movie again. It didn't look as good on the smaller screen, and it deserves a first class restoration, because it's an extraordinary visual-aural experience. But it does lend itself to allegory, and it still reminds me of separation and loss.
Amazing even after all these years!
I love this film and it never ceases to thrill me! There is a madness and a joy to the story that makes your fantasy come true. Would I go with the aliens to their home? You bet I would! The only thing that rankles me in the film is Teri Garr's character. A wife this far over the edge needs therapy! Richard Dreyfuss is superb as the spaceship-burned husband who wants to find out what's going on with all the magical lights seen in the night. The musical score by the enormously talented John Williams is stunning and very much adds to the film. Lest we forget, CGI was in its infancy in 1977 and Spielberg decided it was far too expensive to use here. Instead, he went with visual imagery that is just first-rate for a sci-fi film. My favorite story about this film is that it was entirely written by Spielberg and his inspiration was a meteor shower he had witnessed as a child with his father. Spielberg, subsequently, has a lifelong love of "what's out there?" How cool is that!
- John Jackman
This is a favourite movie of mine but I always find it is incorrectly tagged as Sci-fi or as it is listed on TCM at Feb 2013 in Horror or other categories. I believe it to be a suspense story as it is a mystery and also a story of redemption. The character Roy is beset with troubles not of his own making that drives him to try to find where and what has been implanted in his mind. The characters fumble and stumble toward what is their destiny and I find this to be the compelling part of the story. The space/alienns setting is merely a vehicle for the telling of the story..The special effects are outstanding for the time and still are in absolute awe striking impact when the mothership arrives on top of the mountain. I always enjoy the story and the effects and watch it almost everytime it is on television.
Good not great.
Let's get the good parts out of the way. For its era, this film has wonderful special effects. Acting is solid. Nice music, and the aliens are okay. Sort of try-outs for ET. So to me this a good but not great SF film.I just don't find the Richard Dreyfuss character compelling and the script seems like some mishmash of 1970's pseudo-mysticism and UFO speculation combined with a little of the Day the Earth Stood still. Okay after an hour I got it, aliens are visiting Earth. But we have had a hundred movies on this theme. I prefer SF that either is either good adventure (The Thing) or speculation (2001) or good fun (Forbidden Planet) this movie is just a lot of special effects and actors standing around trying to look "awe struck". Still I must admit it is pretty good and entertaining for first time viewers. Minor classic of its era, must viewing for SF fans.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind
- Dashiell Barnes
Spielberg's epic sci- fi follow- up from "Jaws." Dreyfuss gives a great performance as a man obssesed with alien messages, as is Dillion who earned an Oscar nomination as a mother whose son is kidnapped by aliens. The special effects add to the film, but they do not get in the way of the overall story. A masterfully created film from a genius named Spielberg. I give it a 4.5/5.
"Close Encounters" Poor Film Quality
- Mike Cloud
Last night's broadcast of "Close Encounters" appeared to be an unrestored print. The picture was not sharp at all. I checked to be sure I was watching TCM in HD. Still my favorite sci-fi movie.
Why is this movie so muddy?
I've seen films from the 1940's that look absolutely gorgeous on my wide screen HDTV. Why is this piece of film history not up to par? It needs to be digitally cleaned up so that it is crisp and clear and distinctive. Until that time, this movie is a disgrace because no one has put in the time to move it into the 21st century.
What a pleasant relief when this film came out and for a change the aliens were not only not malicious, bloodthirsty murderers, they were sweet and decent folk, probably far more intelligent and ethical than we. I don't know why exactly, but the recent movie HUGO left me with similar feelings of well-being and satisfaction.
comment by Ben Mankewics
He just commented that Close Encounters was Spielberg's first movie (1977). Duel has always been understood to be his first (1971). Produced by Dean Martin, starred Dennis Weaver and an old Peterbilt truck.
Close Encounters of a 3rd Kind
- Tom Sills
Why is this sci-fi classic being rated by TCM as a horror film?
Simply One of the Best
- Stephen F
Close Encounters of the Third Kind is simply one of the best films ever made. Spielberg manages to walk the line of storytelling and special effects without a single misstep. Don't let the lack of phasers and space battles turn you off to this one. Never has a film produced a story so human that the line between science fiction and fact become so blurred.
My Last Review got lost--
- Bill Watkins
--maybe a spaceship captured it and took it to bad dialogue-land! "Oh my God" is a phrase that must go away with all the bad "spaceships" in film that arrived in the 1970's--namely, bad language and looser morals. Kubrick would have had silence as the ship passed overhead of that man and the mountain "base," but modernized Spielberg goes with "Oh My God--" cliched, bad and offensive to someone who actually believes in a power called "God," and his ten commandments, one of them being: Please don't use my name in Vain-- WWW:)!!!!
The classic feel-good scifi film
Hard to believe that it is now over 30 years ago that this film was made and released. It STILL holds the same sense of fascination for me now that it did then. Richard Dreyfuss, in my opinion, delivers a tour-de-force. His child-like wonder is only matched by Cary Guffey's! Between Dreyfuss' determination and Spielberg's optimism, this movie remains my favorite. And Barry opening the door to see what's outside is as good as it gets...