MovieChat Forums > Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) Discussion > The two most moving, realistic moments w...

The two most moving, realistic moments were...


1) the son's reaction realizing his father was cracking up, and the father's reaction to this

and

2) the reunion scene at the train station


I first realized Spielberg was a genius with "Jaws" but not as a master of suspense, but humanity. I still feel one of the best scenes in cinema is the scene in "Jaws" is the impromptu visit with a bottle of wine to the Brody household when the sheriff got home after a trying day including the other best scene the widow's slap. But while that slap was shocking, the quiet intimacy of the gathering of three with a bottle of wine is for me at least, absolutely mesmerizing.

Back to "Close Encounters" - I also loved the chemistry between Richard Drefyus and Melinda Dillion - theirs was a true adult relationship showing the love that comes from mutual understanding, from bonding over shared, traumatic experiences.

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1) the son's reaction realizing his father was cracking up, and the father's reaction to this


I'm also always amazed and moved by this scene every time I watch it. Those are real tears from that kid. In reading a book about the making of the movie, I learned that in that scene, the kid was thinking about his dog that had recently died. Makes it that much more poignant.

My Top 5 Movies: "Dazed & Confused", "Close Encounters", "Vertigo", "Melancholia", "Rushmore"

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The poor kid's dog had recently died? That's gut-wrenching. And yes, that was a very powerful scene. I also agree with the wine bottle scene in Jaws and the widow's slap. And Spielberg was a deft hand at creating solid realism with scenes that involved many characters interacting - just look at the scene in Jaws in Brody's office where he tosses the stuff at the window to get Hendricks's attention. Actually, Jaws is a perfect movie, it's all terrific. Close Encounters is not perfect, but it's pretty darned terrific and there are some solidly realistic scenes in it too.

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And yet Dreyfus’ character simply walked away from those kids without so much as a contemplative moment. For me this was a really terrible ending. It was all about the awe and wonder of this exciting first contact with extraterrestrials. Roy Neary’s last 36 hours with his kids was him creating terror and complete tumult in their lives. His daughter was like 2 years old. At the end of the final scene, there his is walking right past these Earthlings being returned after being taken 30-40 years earlier. He never once considers these implications on his own children.

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I think that's a good observation on his skill. He's very much in touch with what mainstream Americans think and feel.

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