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.


Trivia: After this movie, young Cary Guffey got to play the part of an alien himself - in the Italian movies "Uno Sceriffo extraterrestre - poco extra e molto terrestre" (English title: "The Sheriff and the Satellite Kid", 1979) and its sequel "Chissà perché. capitano tutte a me" ("Everything Happens To Me", 1980); both with the Italian actor Bud Spencer.


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

Trivia: Bright lights were used during the scene where little aliens were standing outside the mothership. This was because Spielberg wasn't too happy about the alien heads the children were wearing, because they did look fake and they sort of looked like Casper the friendly ghost.

Larry Koehn

Trivia: The aliens that come out of the ship at the end of the movie were played by 7 year old girls and the scene had to keep being re-shot because their fake alien heads weighed 5 pounds each.

Leonard Hassen

Trivia: The only close-up of all the aliens in CE3K was a mechanical one called "Puck." Puck can be seen smiling at one point. Steven Spielberg was handling the hydraulics to create the smile.

Larry Koehn

Trivia: When the aliens release the humans from the mothership, we see a man walking towards it wearing a goatee and pipe. He is Dr. J Allen Hynek. He coined the term Close Encounters of the Third Kind. Hynek also worked for the Air Force debunking UFO reports.

Larry Koehn

Trivia: Richard Dreyfuss was paid a million dollars to reprise his character in the 1980 "Special Edition" where you can see him standing inside the spaceship. In the current DVD edition, that scene was cut.

Larry Koehn

Trivia: When Barry is being kidnapped by the aliens, somebody pulls him out of the house by the dog's entrance in the door. The person who pulls him is his real mother.

Dr Wilson

Trivia: The base station next to Devil's Tower was shot in Mobile Alabama.

Larry Koehn

Trivia: This was the only film Francois Truffaut acted in without also directing.

Cubs Fan

Trivia: When the mother ship arrives at Devil's Tower, an upside down R2 D2 can be seen on the rim of the ship as it appears in front of Gillian. This is confirmed by Douglas Trumbull who did the special photographic effects.

Trivia: Richard Dreyfuss' first encounter with the UFO was created by his truck being put on a turntable and rotated 360°.


Trivia: Real air traffic controllers were used in the opening sequence.


Trivia: Holds the record for most cinematographers on a production.


Trivia: The last scene to be filmed was the opening scene in the desert.


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

Question: Why wasn't this movie titled 'Close Encounters of the Fourth Kind'? It involved abduction of humans by aliens.

Answer: At the time the film was made a close encounter of the third kind covered all contact between humans and aliens. The terminology has changed and it was only in the early eighties that it was decided to introduce a new level and abduction was the fourth kind.


Answer: Also I would consider that "abduction" has a negative connotation and "contact" is less threatening.

More questions & answers from Close Encounters of the Third Kind

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