1977's Close Encounters of the Third Kind is a remarkable film. It's even more remarkable when you realize that this was Steven Spielberg's third theatrical film and the follow up to the first huge summer blockbuster, JAWS in 1975. No sophomore slump here. Spielberg (in his first and only solo written screenplay) tells of ordinary people inexplicably drawn to Devil's Tower in Wyoming after experiencing a close encounter with UFOs. Richard Dreyfuss is excellent as Roy Neary, Melinda Dillon is very good as Jillian Guiler, who joins Dreyfuss in his quest for answers and to find her son Barry who has disappeared in a close encounter. Famed director Francois Truffaut and Bob Balaban provide great support, as do fantastic cinematography and one of John Williams all-time classic scores. The special effects were groundbreaking in 1977 and still hold up beautifully today. Seeing this for the first time (at that Metrocenter movie theatre above the ice rink at 16 years old!) this movie blew me away. It STILL does. The first 20 minutes of the film draw you in and never let you go. The Director's cut we just watched on BluRay kept some of the added scenes from the 1980 "Special Edition" but thankfully cut the unneeded footage of Dreyfuss entering the mothership. Some things are better left to the imagination and the inside of the ship certainly qualifies. Turn down the lights, turn UP the sound system and have a close encounter with an early Spielberg masterpiece. In my all time top 100 and an A+.
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