A power company employee is zapped in his truck
by a flying saucer. The experience turns him into a rabid UFO enthusiast,
driving his wife, with their children, away from him.
Haunted by a mental image that he trys to reproduce in shaving cream,
mashed potatoes and mud, he fears he's losing his mind. But when
he encounters a single mother who has been painting pictures of
the same image, he knows he's not alone.
Despite numerous obstacles, the power employee and the single mom
make it to the site of a government built alien landing strip. After
incredible appearances by various kinds of UFO craft, several types
of aliens come out and meet mankind. Ultimately, the power guy is
the only human chosen to journey back with the aliens to their planet.
Writer, Director Steven Spielberg's, CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD
KIND, at its best, provides one of the most thrilling Sci-Fi experiences
ever put on celluloid.
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS is the only Sci-Fi film to truly capture on film
the awe and wonder of what it might be like to encounter space aliens
one on one. This is the closest most of us will get to actually
meeting space folks, and while you're watching it, the experience
feels very real indeed.
Richard Dreyfuss ("Jaws"), is an electrical company worker
whose truck gets zapped by a flying saucer, sunburning half his
face, even though the encounter is at night. After his baptism in
alien contact, an excited Roy wants more. Dreyfuss' performance,
particularly in non verbal scenes of him reacting to beautiful UFO's
or wonderful aliens, is stunning. His expressions of joy and wonder
are so powerful, they make Kevin Costner's "blissing out while
staring at the wheat" expressions, in "Field of Dreams"
look pretty weak by comparison.
Teri Garr ("Tootsie"), provides able support as Roy's
conventional wife, who hangs in there for awhile, even though she
thinks her husband is going nutty. However, because Garr's character
bails out, her role is ultimately overshadowed by that of Melinda
Dillon's ("Absence of Malice"), single mother character,
who is haunted by images of something that doesn't make sense, until
she runs into Roy. Her inability, near the end of the film, to go
down and actually meet the aliens, is heartbreaking and honest at
the same time.
The Special Visual Effects, by Douglas Trumbull, are both beautiful
and dream-like. Although many of the UFO shots look much more like
colored lights than solid objects, they create a beautiful, if stylized
impression of alien space craft that linger in the memory, thanks
to Director of Photography, Vilmos Zsigmond's luminous screen imagery.
John Williams classic Score perfectly complements the great Sci-Fi
visuals. Once you've seen the film, listening to the Score alone
brings all the fantastic images flooding back into your consciousness.
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS is a big, groaning table heaped full of alien encounter
goodies, that should be very watchable for most Sci-Fi fans. Bon
If you liked CLOSE ENCOUNTERS you may enjoy COCOON, ET, and/or STARMAN.