Theatrical Release: November 16, 1977
The film was shot in India, Alabama, and Devil's Tower National Monument in Wyoming.
CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND is number 64 on the American Film Institute's list of Americas 100 Greatest Movies.
The small, lithe aliens were played by young girls who Steven Spielberg believed were more graceful than boys.
A close encounter of the first kind is when a UFO is sighted. Close encounters of the second kind involve the discovery of physical evidence, and close encounters of the third kind are contact with extraterrestrials.
Although actor Richard Dreyfuss won the Oscar for Best Actor that year, he got it for THE GOODBYE GIRL, not for CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND.
The laserdisc features interviews with Spielberg, composer John Williams, and special effects man Douglas Trumbull, as well as previously edited material.
In 1980, Steven Spielberg issued a reedited version of the film entitled THE SPECIAL EDITION. He shortened some scenes and added a sequence at the end showing the interior of the mother ship.
Estimated budget: $20 million.
When CLOSE ENCOUNTERS was released in 1977, it quickly became Columbia Pictures' most profitable film, eventually taking in $166 million at the domestic box office and $338 million worldwide.
Because Spielberg really wanted the story to surprise spectators, he kept a closed set during production and requested that the actors stay mum about the film's content.
One working title of the film was WATCH THE SKIES.
Academy Awards Best Sound Effects Editing 1977
Academy Awards Best Cinematography 1977 Vilmos Zsigmond Hungarian Director of Photography