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USA, 1977, 137 Minute Running Time
Genre/Subjects: Classic, Family Friendly, Sci-Fi
Program: Contemporary World CinemaLanguage: English
DIRECTOR: Steven Spielberg
Producer: Julia Phillips, Michael PhillipsEditor: Michael KahnScreenwriter: Steven SpielbergCinematographer: Vilmos ZsigmondPrincipal Cast: Richard Dreyfuss, Francois Truffaut, Teri Garr, Melinda Dillon, Bob Balaban, J. Patrick McNamara
Our inaugural Jack Gilford Award for Comedy recipient, Bob Balaban, will do a Q&A after this special anniversary screening!
Steven Spielberg followed Jaws (1975), his first major box-office success, with this epic science fiction adventure about a disparate group of people who attempt to contact alien intelligence. Roy Neary (Richard Dreyfuss) is an electrical lineman who, while out on emergency repairs, witnesses an unidentified flying object, and even has a "sunburn" from its bright lights to prove it. Neary's wife and children are at first skeptical, then concerned, and eventually fearful, as Roy refuses to accept a "logical" explanation for what he saw and is prepared to give up his job, his home, and his family to pursue the "truth" about UFOs. Neary's obsession eventually puts him in contact with others who've had close encounters with alien spacecraft, including a single mother whose son disappeared during her UFO experience, and a French researcher (famed director Francois Truffaut) who believes that we can use a musical language to communicate with alien visitors. His theory is put to the test when a band of government researchers and underground UFO enthusiasts (including Neary) join for an exchange with alien visitors near Devil's Tower, Wyoming.
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