Made with inspiring awe and meticulous attention to detail, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Steven Spielberg’s Oscar-nominated, critically acclaimed sci-fi, is one of the most spectacular movies he has made, on par with the 1975 Jaws and the 1982 E.T. Perhaps Spielberg’s greatest achievement is to make a warm, likable sci-fi feature, deviating in spirit, tone, and ideology from the dark, noirish sci-fi films that dominated the 1950s and Cold War mentality. This trend would continue with E.T.
Close Encounters of the Third Kind was written and directed by Spielberg and produced by Julia Phillips and Michael Phillips, who a year earlier had produced Scorsese’s masterpiece, Taxi Driver. Spielbergs first film after Jaws, which made him the hottest filmmaker in Hollywood, Close Encounters of the Third Kind was nominated for eight Oscars. Though made the same year, Spielberg’s awe-inspiring sci-fi fable has held much better than Star Wars due to his sublime crafstmanship, which benefits from sharp imagery and F/X, and engaging story and charcaters, well-acted by Richard Dreyfuss and others.