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Scott Ventura >> Movie Commentary >> September 1998 >> Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Movie Commentary by Scott Ventura


Scott's Rating:
4 / 5
Times Seen:
Viewing Date:
September 1998
IMDB Name:
Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
Steven Spielberg
drama, sci-fi
MPAA Rating:


Close Encounters is uninterested in most of the details of the aliens that come to Earth. It chooses instead to focus on the human side of the experience of first contact. As a man burning with desire to be present at the crucial moment, Richard Dreyfuss finely treads the line between sanity and insanity. Teri Garr sinks her teeth into the role of his wife who is unable to comprehend the madness. Their interchanges are so real as to be painful to watch.

Gentle Approach

Excepting the plight of the Neary family, Close Encounters provides a fairly optimistic look at the way this kind of thing might really play out, including the attempted government cover-up. It is far less dire than The Day the Earth Stood Still, and nowhere near as politically charged as Contact. The notion that music can be used as a universal language is encouraging, and those five notes became famous enough to be used as a joke in movies like Moonraker. It is, in the end, a work of fantasy the likes of which have made Steven Spielberg a household name.

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Copyright 1998-2002 by Scott Ventura. All rights reserved.