Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Continuity mistake: When Ronnie rescues Roy from the bathtub, a rope next to him disappears between one frame and the other.

Sacha Premium member

Continuity mistake: When Roy is driving to Devil's Tower he is about to crash against two cars. From the opposite angle the cars are different.

Sacha Premium member

Continuity mistake: Roy meets Jillian and then walks away to look after Barry. In the next shots with the kid, Roy's hair is longer and messed up.

Sacha Premium member

Continuity mistake: In India, Claude asks the Guru where the sounds came from, while a huge crowd walks along the desert. When a man in blue addresses the crowd to ask them, the crowd on the right side is gone, and the ones on the left aren't walking but standing perfectly formed like an army.

Sacha Premium member

Continuity mistake: In Jillian's house, when the aliens launch the floor vent it lies on the right side, half a meter away from the hole. A frame later it's lying skewed on the hole. Should the aliens have moved it, a sound would've been heard.

Sacha Premium member

Continuity mistake: When Ray first arrives at Devil's Tower and stops the station wagon, the broken fence post resting on the hood changes positions between shots. In the view of him through the wind shield, the post is lying straight, parallel to the length of the wagon. In the next shot, it is suddenly at an angle, even though the car hasn't moved. (01:21:30)

Jean G

Continuity mistake: When Roy is shoveling dirt through the window he leaves his shovel on the wheelbarrow. When he comes back three seconds later, the shovel is in a different position.

Sacha Premium member

Continuity mistake: When Roy says to Ronnie, "I saw something last night that I can't explain.," and he bridges his arms across the door frame his forearms are parallel to the ground. In the following shot, when Ronnie straightens up, Roy's forearm points upward. (00:36:15)

Continuity mistake: Roy's first encounter is with a ship that comes up behind, goes overhead and briefly reappears in front. When it's glimpsed passing above, it's moving towards him as if it came from ahead.

Dristarg

Continuity mistake: After Roy fills their kitchen with shrubs, bricks, soil, and chicken wire, Ronnie takes their three kids out of the house and into their station wagon. She tells her kids to lock the doors, but the driver's side door lock is up (unlocked). When Roy walks around the driver's side to speak with Ronnie, the driver's side door lock is now down (locked). (01:10:05)

Dr. Thomas

Continuity mistake: Barry is leaving his house, going towards the trees. Jillian looks out her upstairs window and Barry as well as the immediate area surrounding him are drenched in bright direct light, as if from a spotlight mounted on the side of the house. However, from an outside angle of the scene he is not bathed in light, and neither is the area he is in.

Kit Sullivan

Continuity mistake: The pattern of shaving cream on Roy's face changes during the scene in which he gets fired.

manthabeat Premium member

Continuity mistake: When Barry is taken from the house, just before that happens we see a grate get blown out of the floor and it lands on its side. In the next scene the grate is back in the hole, but at an impossible angle, even if it fell in.

Continuity mistake: Roy is about to run Barry over with his truck and stops on the side of the road. The position of the papers on the dashboard changes between shots.

Sacha Premium member

Continuity mistake: Ronnie says "It's one of those things" and Roy follows her with his hand filled with shaving foam. In the next angle the amount of foam on the right hand is bigger.

Sacha Premium member

Continuity mistake: The mashed potato that Roy serves himself swaps from stiff to creamy between one shot and the other.

Sacha Premium member

Continuity mistake: When Richard Dreyfuss is building the model of the Devil's Tower in his living room, behind him in the sliding glass doors you can see that it is raining, and when he turns around and walks to the door to look out, it is now sunny, and people are out side mowing the grass and children playing. (01:15:40)

Continuity mistake: When Jillian's kitchen goes wild, the heater's lids fly off and reveal some red foam which ends up breaking and making a hole. A frame later from a new angle the foam is fixed.

Sacha Premium member

Continuity mistake: When Roy and Jillian meet, the redness on Roy's face keeps darkening or lightening randomly between shots.

Sacha Premium member

Continuity mistake: When Barry walks outside the house and his mother calls him, from the shots inside she is surrounded by curtains moved by strong air. From the opposite angle the curtains are gone.

Sacha Premium member

Factual error: The aliens broadcast a series of pulses which are decoded by the scientists to be a longitude and latitude. In degrees:minutes:seconds, the longitude is 104:44:30 and the latitude is 40:36:10. These numbers are what the computer display shows and are what the scientists say (except for one slip-up in the hallway early in the scene where 104:40:30 is said). The scientists grab a globe and declare these coordinates are in Wyoming. Everybody and his brother (and the aliens) then proceed to show up at Devils Tower, Wyoming. However, Devils Tower is at around longitude 104 deg 44 min and latitude *44* deg 36min, not the *40* deg 36 min pulsed out by the aliens. If everyone had gone to 40 deg 36 min, they would have ended up in Colorado, more than a couple hundred miles south of Devils Tower, Wyoming. (00:46:23)

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

Join the mailing list

Separate from membership, this is to get updates about mistakes in recent releases. Addresses are not passed on to any third party, and are used solely for direct communication from this site. You can unsubscribe at any time.

Check out the mistake & trivia books, on Kindle and in paperback.