Close Encounters of the Third Kind is a 1977 science-fiction movie written and directed by Steven Spielberg. It stars Richard Dreyfuss, François Truffaut, Bob Balaban, Melinda Dillon Teri Garr and Cary Guffey. The movie has impressive visual effects and a distinctive score composed by John Williams.
The movie plot has two basic threads. Roy Neary (Dreyfuss) experiences a close encounter of the second kind and becomes obsessed with aliens, much to the dismay of his family. He begins making endless models of a distinctive plateau. Elsewhere Jillian Guiler (Dillon) loses her son Barry (Guffey) to aliens in a tense light and electrical display at her home. When the feature Neary is modelling appears on televison he and other obsessive head towards the site, he meets up with Guiler en route. Elsewhere in the world the pace of alien activity is increasing, signs of 'famous' disappearances and alien abductions from the past are returning to Earth and being examined by Claude Lacombe (Truffaut) and other experts. The obsessives and the experts eventually meet up at Devils Tower in Wyoming for the final light show extravaganza.
It was the first major movie to introduce the strong trend of benign or even kind aliens, a sharp departure from the 'evil monster' style of many earlier films. It introduced a number of 'alien' styles which have been recycled as fact into popular culture - alien abduction, small and thin aliens ("greys"), the style of UFOs as covered in lights rather than the disc shapes more popular in the 1950s and 1960s and so on.
The movie has been revised numerous times, notably for a 132-minute "special edition" reissue in 1981 and again for a 137-minute "collector's edition" in 1988.