Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

30 corrected entries

(4 votes)

Corrected entry: When Roy starts collecting supplies to start his sculpture, he throws things through the kitchen window, breaking it. After he's done, he uses a ladder to climb through the same window, which he then slam shut behind him. It went from closed and broken to fixed and opened within a matter of frames.


Correction: This has already been submitted and corrected. The window over the sink is already open when Roy starts throwing shrubbery inside. It is a vase sitting by the window that falls and shatters.

JC Fernandez

Correction: Nowhere on the Guinness Book of Records site is there a listing for loudest film ever created. Besides which, the volume setting in a theater has more to do with how loud a film is.


Corrected entry: At the beginning of the movie, Barry is going down the stairs to look for the aliens. He is holding a flashlight, but in the next shot his hands are empty.


Correction: You may be mistaking the lightbeams on the walls and floor as coming from Barry, but it's the aliens. In fact, it's the appearance of the lights on the walls of the stairwell that prompts Barry to investigate downstairs. At no point do you see Barry carrying a flashlight.

JC Fernandez

Corrected entry: Throughout the shots of Roy speeding to catch up with the UFO all of his truck's exterior lights are on, but in the shot where he sideswipes the guardrail the truck's roof lights and tail lights are off. (00:24:20)

Correction: This is consistent with the UFO affecting the electrics of his vehicle, such as it stalling when the UFO first came close, and the lights flashing on and off when nearby. Not a mistake.

Corrected entry: In the scene where the abducted Earthlings are released from the alien mothership, the pilots of the TBF/TBM Avenger torpedo bombers all give their ranks as "captain." However, a Navy captain is equivalent to an Army/Marine Corps/Air Force colonel and the pilots are way, way too young to have attained this rank. Based on the insignia on their uniforms, they were really Navy lieutenants. (02:02:45)

Correction: Actually, only one returnee (Harry Ward Craig) identifies himself as a captain and he is notably older than the others.

JC Fernandez

Corrected entry: When Barry is being kidnapped by the aliens, the persons who pulls him outside the house by the dog's entrance in the door is his real mother. You can see her hands - not very alien-like.

Dr Wilson

Correction: Even by freeze framing, you can't see any hands pulling the boy, human or alien.

JC Fernandez

Corrected entry: In the scene where Roy joins the rest of the potential travelers, they all wear jumpsuit uniforms. Each suit has an American flag displayed on the right shoulder sleeve with the stars on the left upper quadrant of the flag. By tradition, this is the way the flag is displayed on the left shoulder sleeve; on the right sleeve the stars should be in the right upper quadrant to represent the way the flag would appear if the wearer was moving forward, not retreating.

Correction: There are no uniform traditions for interstellar travelers, American or otherwise.

JC Fernandez

Corrected entry: Only the pilots reported in and Avenger bombers also had two enlisted men as crew members: the radio operator and the ball-turret gunner.

Correction: There were at least dozens of people coming off the ship. We didn't witness everyone reporting in.

JC Fernandez

Corrected entry: When Richard Dreyfuss first sees the UFO at the railroad tracks,he leans out of his window,to look up at the craft. His right side is facing up, so it should be that side of his face that's burned, however his left side is the burnt side. (00:21:15)

Correction: We see that he covers his right side with his hand, but not his left side, so only his left side is exposed to the light and gets burned.

Corrected entry: The Richard Dreyfus character, having seen flying saucers, is haunted by this vision of a rock (Devil's Tower in North-eastern Wyoming). Then he sees it on TV and has to go there - he jumps into the family station wagon, roars out of the driveway, and we get a close up of the Indiana license plate. Next we see him in Wyoming south of Devil's Tower supposedly having driven straight through, yet he seems to have stopped off long enough to pick up Wyoming license plates.

Correction: When Dreyfus sees Devil's Rock in the news, his wife has already left him and taken the kids away using the family station wagon (roaring out of the driveway). At that point he doesn't have his car anymore. When Neary looks up from the map and nearly crashes into cars evacuating from the "toxic area", he ignores the soldier telling him he's going the wrong way. The soldier in frustration kicks the passing car. Neary says "it's a rental"

How did he get from Indiana to Wyoming? Very doubtful he happened to rent a car in Indiana with Wyoming plates loosely pinned to the grill.

Corrected entry: At the end of the film, when those people dressed in red leave the 'church' on their way to the spaceship, watch the blonde woman just in front of Roy Neary (Richard Dreyfuss). She is not wearing any sunglasses, but after a shot of a walking Roy you see the group walking again, and now she's wearing sunglasses, just like the rest of the group. (02:09:44)

Correction: We don't see the woman the entire time. She could have put on her sunglasses when she didn't have them on previously.

Corrected entry: As Ronnie backs out of the driveway, she knocks a Big Wheel across the road. She takes off as Roy falls off the hood and lands beside it. It disappears after he stands up and the angle changes.

Movie Nut

Correction: Actually the tricycle is in the shot at 1:14:55 - 1:14:56. It is behind a tree to the very left of the screen and you can see the right rear tire and the back of the seat.

Corrected entry: In the scene where Roy is building the tower in his house, the TV shows Days of Our Lives, then an ABC News break. Days of Our Lives was an NBC soap.

Correction: There's a subtle time cut when the shot switches from Roy back to the TV. You can see Roy's cleaned up the beer can and casserole dish from the top of the television. If you listen carefully to the Budweiser jingle, you can hear where two different audio tracks were spliced together. So we're hearing the first part of the Budweiser ad during "Days of Our Lives"; and then the second part of the same ad, but airing on ABC.

JC Fernandez

Corrected entry: When Richard Dreyfuss and his family are having breakfast, there is a milk carton from "Giant Food" on the table. "Giant Food" is a regional Washington D.C. area chain. The milk would have had to been shipped in to appear on the table. (01:01:15)

Correction: And so it was shipped. While Giant Foods is a regional mid-Atlantic grocery chain, it's also a dairy supplier to a wider area.

JC Fernandez

Corrected entry: When the little boy is sleeping and he gets awakened by the strong wind, his toy monkey turns on, and then his toy record player turns on and then his remote control cars turn on. If his house was hit by an electromagnetic disturbance, wouldn't ALL of his electronic toys turn on at once, instead of one toy turning on right after another?


Correction: Since the phenomenon is never explained, it can happen any way the filmmakers decide. And it's consistent throughout the movie - Roy in the car: flashlight, car and radio don't turn off/on at once; Jillian and Barry in the house: lights, vacuum, mixer, stove don't all operate at once.

JC Fernandez

Corrected entry: In the desert at the landing site, I noticed that when the big alien ship comes and everyone screams and runs for cover, you can hear a bunch of women's voices shrieking and screaming. But there are no women there - except the one that came to get her little son, and SHE doesn't scream at all.

Correction: Only one person runs for cover and there is no screaming or shrieking (female or otherwise) when the mothership appears.

JC Fernandez

Corrected entry: When Roy and Jillian are driving to Devil's Tower, they see all the downed animals on the side of the road. In the shot where you see the cars' tires passing by the animals, you can see the ear of one of the animals move. (Technically, the animals aren't dead, they have been gassed with a heavy sleep agent. But it breaks the illusion of the animals supposed to be appearing dead). (01:25:15)

Correction: 1)Since the animals are not dead, any slight movement they have is not considered a mistake. 2) In this shot, the camera angle is from the bottom of the car, so the main characters wouldn't have seen this, and slight movement from a moving vehicle would be hard to spot anyways. 3) When the car is driving by the animal in question, the tires pass close to it, so it could even be the wind from the vehicle that caused the flap of the ear to move. At best this is a character mistake due to the military's poor choice in selecting an effective enough sleep agent.


Not only that, but when you're asleep, you still move/twitch. Same for animals.

Corrected entry: In the Gobi Desert scene the camels are Dromedarys (one humped) from Arabia not Bactrian (two humped) from the Gobi Desert region.

Correction: It is surely possible for nomadic tribes to have camels from other regions. There are Arabian horses nowhere near Arabia, German Shepherds nowhere near Germany, etc. Domesticated animals tend to move around and be sold a lot.

Corrected entry: Just before Lacombe is introduced to the committee, they play the audio tape where they recorded the large group of men singing the five tones. But the notes they're singing on that tape are a full step lower than the original singing.


Correction: The recording was cleaned up and enhanced for clarity and it might have changed because of this.

Correction: If the octave the 5 notes are in is too high for their vocal range, they'd have to pitch it lower to be able to sing it.

Corrected entry: When the scientists decode the pulses broadcast by the aliens, Mr. Lacombe puts on a set of headphones and starts to play the notes on the piano in front of him. Numbers are written on the keys, ranging from 1 - 5, so he knows in which order he must play them. (00:46:35)

Correction: Since LaCombe probably wasn't a piano player, they obviously setup the piano so anyone could play the signal tune.

William Bergquist

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: If everything's ready here on the Dark Side of the Moon... play the five tones.

More quotes from Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Trivia: Spielberg wanted to use the music When You Wish Upon A Star from Disney. It can be barely heard in the original film score in 1977. John Williams later put a very clear version in the closing credits in the Special Edition version and in the current DVD and CD.

Larry Koehn

More trivia for Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Question: Why were the aliens abducting people and why did they bring them back?

Answer: It wasn't definitively answered, but it appears the aliens took people in order to learn more about humans. It's unclear if all those who were returned had originally gone willingly, but the intent was not to keep them indefinitely or harm them, and they were returned to Earth, albeit many decades later. At the end, after the aliens had made contact, a new group of humans, including Roy, went with them voluntarily.


More questions & answers from 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.