I thought they were too nice at the end. It was more interesting when it appeared they had sinister intentions in the early part of the movie.
they didn't like it at all
The key word is assholes. Probing minds want to know.
Just watched it for the first time in years yesterday and happy to say it holds up quite well. Still very intense in the early scenes (particularly the child abductio) and the finale is still riveting and beautiful.
So look with care for the shape of a square
Can you fiiiiiiiiiinnnnd it?
Typical power bottoms.
The aliens weren't tormenting people they were welcoming them. It was the US/French government that was trying to deny access to the people the aliens really wanted to see.
What I can't get over is why Roy Neary had to become an alien hybrid to board the mothership. It was confusing, did all the abductees have to change form in order to survive in there?
I agree r4. Holds up damn well, so does Mr. Mom.. or maybe it is just me in my 40's age.
I never thought the aliens were assholes. They were peaceful in a kidnapping kind of way ;).
r7, what are you talking about... Roy didn't change form.
Teri Garr and François Truffaut should have been Oscar nominees over the awful Leslie Browne and Mikhail Baryshnikov.
Yes he does, r10. When the little aliens select him the French guy tells Roy how much he envies him, the little aliens place their hands upon Roy and in the next shot he's been transformed into a hybrid of a human and the spider alien. He says goodbye to the Frenchman with the handjive and a smile before the spaceship takes off.
[quote]Teri Garr and François Truffaut...
Had a thing during the shooting.
[quote]Yes he does, [R10]. When the little aliens select him the French guy tells Roy how much he envies him, the little aliens place their hands upon Roy and in the next shot he's been transformed into a hybrid of a human and the spider alien. He says goodbye to the Frenchman with the handjive and a smile before the spaceship takes off.
Granted, it's been a few years since I've seen the movie, but I recall seeing Roy (in human form) walk onto the ship. Did I miss something? The alien greeting the French guy was just an alien.
The spider alien was on the ship; that's supposed to be Roy? Are you sure? Is there a link?
I've seen the movie at least twice, R12, and I never saw anything like that.
No, the spider alien is the leader, r14. Roy is a hybrid. I guess it's possible the alien is just an alien, but I've lived with my interpretation since 1977 and the people I saw it with had the same impression. It just makes more dramatic sense that Roy would say goodbye as an alien.
I've never noticed what R12 is saying and I've watched this movie many, many times over the years.
Such a weird discussion. Roy doesn't turn into any kind of hybrid when he's boarding the mothership at the end.
Attached is a youtube link that shows the last 30 minutes of the original version of the film. Fast forward to about minute 24 to see Roy (in normal human form) being escorted aboard by several of the shorter aliens.
For more evidence against the case of Roy going alien mutant, the Special Edition of Close Encounters shows a few minutes of what Roy sees when he is actually inside the craft. He is clearly shown to be the same person while he inside watching the ship prepare to launch.
This clip isn't as high quality as the previous one, but it shows the 'Special Edition' ending where we see what Roy (still in human form) sees as he boards the mothership.
This is the last vision we have of Roy, so I don't see where the alien hybrid idea comes from.
Thank you R18 & R19. All that hybrid stuff was confusing.
I've actually had a real close encounter.
As a child, I walked into my darkened bedroom, wide awake, to see those creatures with the big head/eyes waiting for me. After the intial terror, which only lasted a second or two, I became very sleepy, happy, and laid down for whatever they wanted to do to me.
I have no further memory of it.
That's fascinating. Do you think it was a factor in your eventual gayness? I remember when I was little and went to bed and there was a tremendous flash and I woke up feverish with all the electic things in the room inexplicably running(fans, lights, etc) even though it was winter and had no recollection of turning the things on.
thanks for the reply. I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one here.
I don't think it has had any effect on anything other than I have a problem going to dentists and hairdressers--I feel smothered and powerless.
I am open to the possibility that I had a major DMT release in my brain that produced intense hallucinations that night--problem is, is that I was wide awake (I don't sleepwalk) and I stood right next to one. I literally could have reached out and grapped its thin little arm, which looked more like a skinny helium balloon than any kind of arm.
Their arms were very long, thin, and spindly, but seemingly delicate.
They were able to control my brain because I went from abject terror to giddy fearlessness.
They were lined up around my bed waiting for me, staring at me like cats with gigantic, wrap-around eyes, as I opened my bedroom door.
Oh, I almost forgot, I don't like being penetrated.
I'm a lesbian
[quote]I never thought the aliens were assholes. They were peaceful in a kidnapping kind of way.
Regarding Barry's abduction, IIRC, it was implied in the book that the reason the aliens took him was because they "misunderstood" his xylophone playing at the start of that scene, reading it as some sort of distress call and were coming to his "rescue." (Another interpretation was that snatching him was simply insurance that his mother would answer their invitation and make the journey to Devil's Tower.)
TCM is going to show the movie this Friday evening. I don't think they use the 'Special Edition' with the shots inside the mothership at the end.
Update on TCM. Any idea on the version of the film they're showing?
The last few times TCM's shown it, they've the regular edition, which is the best IMO.
I'm watching it now and I have the same question as the OP.
I just saw the part when they take the kid. WTF was the point in doing that to the poor woman?
So she ends up going to wherever the fuck they are. Why?
Melinda Dillion was very good as the distraught mother. In retrospect, Richard D should have dialed it down a notch.
I loved the Aliens' song!
I never understood that either R29. I guess they wanted Roy to have company when he went to see them so they took Jillian's kid and she was forced to go too.
I had mama issues, I was young, I didn't really think it through, I just thought it would be cool for the kid to get abducted and sucked out the door like that.
I was young the first time I saw this, and always thought that Roy was the alien at the end.
Especially with the version of him going into the spaceship.
The kid's abduction (cute kid, btw) was over-the-top quasi SUSPERIA kind of horror with everything turning into a house of horrors. The scene is great but when you see the cute aliens at the end the abduction scene doesn't make any sense. It was just Spielberg showing off. I mean, no alien abduction was ever that intense in the annals of ufology.
I don't think it holds up well. Just a couple of scenes but the bulk of it is outdated. Heck it was outdated in the 80s. And that mashed potato scene is one of the worst ever made in the history of cinema. The big problem, like so many Spielberg films, is the ending. It's uplifting but anti-climatic. All the chaos and tumult for what? What's next? Did they show up to change humanity? Will they come back and show themselves to the world? Nothing.
Spielberg said that he was naive when he made the film and it shows.
Spielberg came to regret the Special Edition scenes which showed Fairyland. I mean, the inside of the ship.
was abduction thing would never get made today...too Etan Patz....that scene freaked me out as a kid.
Spielberg loved that abduction scene so much he pretty much replicated it five years later in "Poltergeist." I mean Tobe Hooper.
that's true r38...I never thought of that...at least the one in Poltergeist makes sense. Why did he have such a thing for kids being taken? His childhood was pretty stable, no?
Spielberg is an odd straight guy with arrested development
Spielberg is an incredibly talented filmmaker who produced beautiful films that shaped my mind as a kid. Some of you people hate everything.
Julia Phillips' "You'll Never Eat Lunch In This Town Again" is a chaotic, indulgent, bloated book, but the chapters about how this movie was made are interesting. If a good (& ruthless) editor had tightened those up into an organized account of the process, it could have been fascinating.
[quote]The scene is great but when you see the cute aliens at the end the abduction scene doesn't make any sense
I preferred the earlier scenes when the aliens seemed like they might have sinister intent, the warm and fuzzy aliens just doesn't work for me. I usually just watch the first half of this movie because the ending hits the wrong note.
Roy DID get changed. When inside the ship, the sparkling light comes down o him. The next thing you know, the small alien walks outside the ship, and makes the hand gesture that he leared from the scientists. The scientists look at him knowing that he is Roy. While we don't see an actual transformatio of Roy, we are lead to believe it is him.
Wow, that's interesting R44, never thought of that at all and I've seen this movie millions of times. Now I want to see it again just for that.
coming up on TCM at 8:00
Just a note - TCM never plays the special edition with the extra footage of the inside of the mother ship.
The film holds up very well, specially considering it was done without all the computer generated shit used today.
Back when Spielberg didn't talk down to the audience so much. He was so talented, now everything is a Hallmark version of whatever genre he's working in.
It makes absolutely no sense to assume that Roy is changed into an alien.
None of the other abductees, which are released before any aliens come out of the ship, have been turned into aliens.
None of the other "astronauts" going into the ship are turned into aliens.
The "Roy" alien is seen prior to Roy going into the ship.
Don't know where this crazy internet meme got started.
And may I just add that those who think the last alien is Roy have missed some very important connections / meanings in the film.
It is touching that the final alien "learns" and repeats, not only the musical hand gesture, but a smile from the humans.
Some of the scientists are wearing sunglasses -this mimics the alien eyes. Some humans have expressions of child-like wonderment - this mimics the child abducted and the small, child-like aliens.
And the final falling sparkling lights in the extended cut mimic what Roy saw when he was standing, face tilted upward and crying, in the shower.
If you think Roy got turned into an alien, then you missed the entire gest of the film. You are also a moron.
Roy does not get turned into an alien!!
You pointed out some interesting things, r51. I'm a long-time fan of the film, but was only previously conscious of some that you mention.
The new ideas include the childlike wonderment which is most notable on the face of the guy that plays the organ music (or whatever that 'instrument' is). His expression is reminiscent of the faces of the smallest aliens.
And the shower of sparkling light inside the mothership - I never would have connected that to Roy's tears.
R44 must be on mushrooms or something because that absolutely didn't happen.
One flaw of the movie are the badly chosen extras who are the "shepherds" picked to board the alien flight. The mature blonde lady obviously gave one of the producers (or Spielberg?) a good time to be featured in that shot. And there's an older lady who looks uncannily like Betty White. And they all look stupid in those sunglasses.
Just got home from a special screening this weekend of "Close Encounters" at Film Forum here in NYC as part of its Summer Sci-Fi Series. So nice to see it on the big screen again after all these years of watching it on TV (either on cable or my own DVD). Still just as moving and spectacular as it ever was.
How sweet of you to refer to any screen at the Film Forum as a big screen.
LOL, true, R55. I should've said the "not really big screen but big only compared to my TV screen" at the Film Forum.
Btw, though far from sold out, there were quite a few people in attendance (at least more than I was expecting). Nice to see the film is still somewhat of a draw after all these years (even at a tiny venue like FF).
Spielberg has admitted he was hugely scarred by his parents' divorce. I always assumed his obsession with child abduction scenes was his way of getting back at his parents subconsciously--in effect, showing them what would happen if they didn't pay enough attention to him by showing Barry getting kidnapped (in CEOTTK) and Robbie getting attacked and Carol Ann getting kidnapped (in Polergeist).
It's fun to re-read this thread. R44 was such a wacko.
Poltergeist still holds up fine too, I have no idea why they decided to remake it.
I met and have the DVD signed by Richard Dreyfuss. He agreed it's a great movie.
Even though both movies were from the same year, for whatever reason I did not find Dreyfus even remotely attractive in THE GOODBYE GIRL but thought he was kinda hot in CLOSE ENCOUNTERS. Weird, I know.
Who was little Barry's daddy?
Was Jillian just some bar-fly floozy?
She was a widow, R64.
I love the part were they go cross country on that huge Ford.