Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Continuity mistake: Before Roy takes the top of the clay-mountain off, the model has smooth sides. When he is about to tear it, it swaps to striped sides.


Continuity mistake: The film starts in Muncie Indiana. There is a scene in the hills near the town. There are NO hills near Muncie, it's flat as a board. (00:24:30)

Continuity mistake: During the scene at the landing site the number of people on the landing pad varies dramatically from shot to shot.

Continuity mistake: When Richard Dreyfus has his first UFO encounter at the railway crossing, all the gauges in his truck go wild and the contents of the glove box comes flying out. After the encounter finishes, and the vehicle's power comes back, Dreyfus starts the engine and drives off. Miraculously, the interior of the truck has tidied itself and restored the glove box contents to their proper place. (00:21:30)

Continuity mistake: Jillian's hair keeps swapping from messy to brushed and back to messy during her climbing down the rock and after hugging her son.


Continuity mistake: In Jillian's home, after the record player starts to play, she holds Barry against her right shoulder. A frame later he's on her left shoulder.


Continuity mistake: As the mom and her son run into the kitchen of their house for safety the appliances start to shake. In the first scene with the stove, all of the pans are shaken off the top, but when they come back for a close up there are pans back on top. (00:56:00 - 00:57:00)


Continuity mistake: Roy is stalled in his truck at the railroad track. We see the mailboxes behind him burst open and all the mail comes flying out. Next shot, from inside the truck, the mailboxes are closed. Then another outside view shows them open again.

Jean G

Continuity mistake: While Roy watches Barry make the mud mountain, its top is flat, but a frame later it's taller and peaked.


Continuity mistake: After Roy makes a mountain with the mashed potato, the bowl has food coming out. Two seconds later, after Roy talks to his family, the food is gone, despite no one having touched the bowl.


Continuity mistake: When Roy first encounters the alien ship at the railroad crossing, when the bright light comes on, he leans out of the truck window, and the right side of his face is exposed to the light. Therefore, it is the right side of his face that should have been burned. Subsequent shots show that the left side of his face is burned. (00:21:00)


Upvote valid corrections to help move entries into the corrections section.

Suggested correction: Roy shields the right side of his face with the hand holding the torch so that it's not exposed. His left side is not covered so it gets burnt.

How could the left side of his face get burned, if it's not exposed to the light?.


Continuity mistake: In the alien departure scene at the very end of the film, a solitary alien exits the mothership and approaches Francois Truffaut, who extends his right hand directly towards the alien and makes the Five Tones hand gesture. The camera cuts to another angle half-way through the gesture, and we see that Truffaut is now looking sharply to his right, over his extended arm, and smiling broadly at the alien as he completes the hand gesture. Apparently, Truffaut's body and extended arm pivoted 90° away from the alien mid-way through the 2-second gesture.

Charles Austin Miller

Continuity mistake: While Roy and a crowd are gathering on the side of the road waiting for the aliens, a group of old men play cards on a table packed with food and drinks. When the angle changes (when Jillian meets Roy) one of the men has vanished and the table is empty.


Continuity mistake: In Sonora, a man introduces himself as a cartographer and walks 5 meters away from a crowd. When the angle changes he's barely half a meter away from the crowd.


Continuity mistake: While being blinded by the UFO, Roy grabs his flashlight from the round part next to the ligh bulb. Half a second later he is grabbing it from several centimeters below.


Continuity mistake: During the meeting between people and the Government the stuff on the table keeps moving between shots: the bowls that the guy slides trough the table, the tray with a glass bottle, and the book in front of Roy.


Continuity mistake: When Roy wakes up his wife to tell her about the UFOs, the pink tissue paper in the box behind swaps from lying flat to standing up between shots.


Continuity mistake: In Sonora, the scientist walks towards some Mexican officers standing by a stone wall, and a wooden fence is ahead. A frame later, they're standing next to an iron spring and a wicker basket that have appeared out of nowhere.


Other mistake: One visual that has always bothered me that I could not find in your list were the scenes when the mother ship first appears. It's enormous scale appears to dwarf Devil's Tower and the whole surrounding area actually, but when it moves over to the "landing strip" area and begins to rotate 180° (right-side up?), it suddenly seems to shrink to a much smaller size and mass during the slow revolution. On its originally-seen scale above/behind the tower, one would think that either the great ship's outer prongs would have been torn off, or more likely the impromptu landing site and most of Devil's Tower would have been destroyed as the huge craft rotated itself. The visual scales just do not stay consistent throughout the film's climactic final act.

More mistakes in Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Project Leader: He says the sun came out last night. He says it sang to him.

More quotes from Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Trivia: If you have a trained eye you can see Darth Vader's ship and R2D2 from Star Wars, and several other bits of Spielberg-Lucas memorabilia.

More trivia for Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Question: Did anyone else see the reflection of an alien's face in the window of the pickup truck as Dreyfus puts up a map against the window right before all the electrical stuff goes out in the car?


Chosen answer: I own the original (not special edition) DVD and I can always freeze the film and point out to people where the alien is and they see it too, but I can never see it when it's on TV or on my friends VHS copy, maybe it's just a 'gift' for the DVD owners?

More questions & answers from Close Encounters of the Third Kind

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