MovieChat Forums > Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) Discussion > This movie ended perfectly and Roy's mot...

This movie ended perfectly and Roy's motivations were justified


First of all, let me say... I was lucky enough to see this in the theatre in 1977 and it remains, in my opinion, to be the greatest film ever made.

Secondly, there is a lot of talk (even from Spielberg himself) about how wrong it was for Roy Neary to abandon his family at the end. Spielberg has said he probably would have rethought the ending after having had kids of his own. WRONG!!! It's Roy's very decision to leave all that is earthly behind in order to take the trip of a billion lifetimes that makes the film so iconic.

The Special edition was unnecessary. What we don't see in in CE3K is what makes the film so incredibly powerful.

Just my two cents.

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Spielberg has said he probably would have rethought the ending after having had kids of his own. WRONG!!! It's Roy's very decision to leave all that is earthly behind in order to take the trip of a billion lifetimes that makes the film so iconic.



Okay, but can we acknowledge that this trip was no favour to the children (especially the two younger ones) who were now going to suffer the heartache of not having Roy in their lives?

The Special edition was unnecessary. What we don't see in in CE3K is what makes the film so incredibly powerful.



I like the interior shots well enough. However, Columbia should've given Spielberg more money for some of the effects. But, yes, nothing they presented was likely to surpass what your own imagination could visualize. That's also why I would not ever want to see a sequel to this movie. The morality of his leaving aside, there isn't any need to see what becomes of Roy. The guy is off on an awesome adventure. Enough said.




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I do think that Roy's compulsion to enter the Unknown, while understandable, does leave a heavy moral burden on his shoulders, i.e., his wife and kids still love him, even though they think he's gone psychotic. When Roy stepped aboard the ship, he crossed a line of no return. While he's in space - perhaps for years of "earth time" - he will have likely undergone colossal mental and perhaps physical changes. He can only return to his family - IF he does return - an aged and "mutated" person. "Aged" would be bad enough, but perhaps deep space flight keeps one young, in which case, it might be Roy who has stayed young, while his wife has aged and his children become adults with lives of their own. So...Roy's decision was in a sense noble, fulfilling, and glorious - but with possibly lasting traumatic effects on those he left behind... in a strange way analogous to The Exorcist, wherein Damien Karras follows the Glory at the expense of his impoverished, isolated, sick mother... Great decisions sometimes cause great pain and may not show great responsibility.

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Great decisions sometimes cause great pain and may not show great responsibility.
Very true. I find Roy's situation and compulsions analogous to that of the early European naval explorers who may have been gone for years at a time from their families and who indeed frequently perished in pursuit of their dreams of discovery.
So...Roy's decision was in a sense noble, fulfilling, and glorious - but with possibly lasting traumatic effects on those he left behind ...
Yes, but in this seminal tale of an ordinary man placed somewhat unforgivingly in extraordinary circumstances, a man definitely has to do, what a man has to do.🐭

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I think you're nuts. He's no hero. Anyone who sees Roy as a hero...

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I totally agree.

I remember when the Special Edition came out and the hype about finally seeing the inside of the Mothership. The we got that sixty seconds of Roy walking up the ramp, looking up and seeing what looked like shadowy figures high above looking down at him, then Roy is engulfed in a shower of white light. I was so disappointed. My whole family's consensus was, "that's it??"

Spielberg was right to dump it. What people imagine on their own is better.

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I think I always took it as he was just gonna make a quick jaunt around with them, much like Barry did. But I think even Spielberg himself has said no he's going off for a long while - and it's a thing about the story he regrets now. :(

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It didn't seem like he had a very happy life, at least not to me. And his family was already coming apart as a result of his perceived craziness after the UFO incident. His wife took the kids and left. The way I saw it, he didn't really have much left of his life on Earth by the end, so he took the opportunity to go on an adventure of, as you aptly put it, a billion lifetimes.

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That's really interesting that having kids made him regret it, mainly because many of Speilberg's films (definitely this one) make a statement about childhood/being childlike. Roy wandered off into the unknown with the innocence and naivety of a child, following only his own curiosity and imagination. Being aware of the responsibilities he had as an adult would have been untrue to his character.

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Well said.

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