Close Encounters of the
Third Kind, 1977 Steven
In this film, the conventions
established in the 1950s flowering of
sc-fi films are turned upside.
Although drawing on these 1950
classics, Spielberg creates a completely
different type of sci-fi film.
The reference to the third kind of close encounter is explained as follows:
Close Encounter of the First Kind - Sighting of a UFO; Close Encounter of the Second Kind -
Physical Evidence and Close Encounter of the Third Kind – Alien Contact.
1. How does the film open and how is this different to the films we have seen so far? The
location is the Sonara desert, Mexico.
2. How does Spielberg change the convention of keeping science fiction films inside the
3. Why did he select Mexico for the very first scene?
4. What do they find and how does this link to the popular mythology about the Bermuda
Triangle and World War II?
5. What happens at the Indiana Air Traffic Control Centre, Indianapolis?
6. What happens in Muncie, Indiana, concerning the little boy Barry Guiler?
7. How does his mother, Jillian Guiler, respond to this?
8. Where do we find Roy Neary in Muncie, Indiana and what does his wife Ronnie tell him
after the phone call?
9. What happens to Roy and how is this similar to what happened to Barry?
10. What do Barry and his mother see on Crescendo Summit in Muncie, Indiana?
11. What does Roy decide to do?
12. What has happened to Roy both physically and emotionally and what does he do with his
13. What happens in the Gobi Desert, Mongolia?
14. How do Gillian and Roy meet?
15. What does Roy realise about the shape Barry is making?
16. Why did Roy lose his job?
17. What happens in Dharmsala, India? What does Claude Lacombe do?
18. What happens at the Goldstone Radio Telescope (Station 14)?
19. What happens to Barry at his home?
20. Immediately following this scene, how does Major Benchley attempt to explain events at
the press conference?
21. What newspaper heading does Roy read and what is he doing at the time?
22. What are officials beginning to prepare in Wyoming?
23. What is happening to Roy and what does Ronnie do?
24. What does the television news describe about the disaster in Wyoming that both Roy
and Gillian see or hear and what connection do they make?
25. How do Roy and Gillian find each other at the military road block?
26. What do Roy and Gillian find at Devil’s Tower?
27. What significance is given to the following combination of notes?
Start with the tone. (Pinkish-red) – G; Up a full tone. (Orange) – A; Down a major third. (Purple) – F; Now drop an octave.
(Yellow) - F (an octave lower); Up a perfect fifth. (White) – C
28. What happens next?
29. Who comes out of the spacecraft initially? (Clue: Frank Taylor, Lieutenant J.G., United
States Naval Reserve, 064199, Harry Ward Craig, Captain United States Navy, 043431,
Matthew McMichael, Lieutenant, United States Naval Reserve, 0909411)
30. What is the significance of the appearance of the aliens?
31. What does Roy do?
32. What is the significance of the end music ‘When you Wish Upon A Star?