Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

Director: Steven Spielberg
Starring: Richard Dreyfuss, François Truffaut, Teri Garr

A lineman encounters a UFO and becomes obsessed with learning more at the cost of his job and his marriage.

On the the heels of Steven Spielberg's big splash (no pun intended) with Jaws came another hit that helped cement his reputation as a first-rate director. You don't usually see this sort of take on alien encounters in film, so this is a nice change of pace. Similar to Jaws, this movie takes its time establishing the characters and the atmosphere leading up to the climax. Viewers with short attention spans may lose interest before the payoff, but if you have the patience to appreciate the careful craftsmanship that goes into it. There's something about Spielberg's early films that succeed in wonderfully juxtaposing the ordinary and the extraordinary. Were the UFOs not real, this would just be a domestic drama about a man losing touch with reality while the life he knew falls apart around him. I find it interesting that Spielberg himself says he couldn't make a movie like this nowadays, so I'm glad he did it when he was younger. I'd also be remiss if I didn't give a nod to the memorable score by John Williams. I'm sure that even if you haven't seen the film yet, you'd recognize the infamous five tones. Anyway, this is a well-crafted, iconic film that's well worth watching.

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