Close Encounters of the Third Kind

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.

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)

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.

Sacha Premium member
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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: 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
More trivia for Close Encounters of the Third Kind

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

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

David Laughlin: Have you recently had a close encounter?

More quotes from 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.

raywest Premium member

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?

KINGOFNY

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?

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.

pierpp

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

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