Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Coming Attractions: CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND SPECIAL EDITION (1980) Theatrical Trailer

Today we've got the theatrical trailer for the controversial (at least, among some Star Kids) 1980 "Special Edition" theatrical presentation of Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters Of The Third Kind. Now that I have the Blu-ray with all three of Spielberg's different CE3K cuts, it's fun to watch the different versions and compare them. In particular, I love watching Richard Dreyfuss' hair inexplicably change length - and style - when he boards the Mothership in this alternate version!

"Now there is more..." Indeed.


  1. Indeed his hair was amusing. I love all three versions and have yet to pick one as my favorite. Anyone have a favorite?

  2. My favourite is actually the 3rd version...

    Because it combines the best stuff from the original theatrical version with the cooler additions from the SE, but thankfully drops the utterly unnecessary mother ship interior ending.

    (But alas, there are still some cool scenes from the original theatrical version which Spielberg didn't restore to the final version.)

  3. Just another director messing with his film over and over...

    I thought the idea of adding the interior shots was a good one, until I saw what Spielberg created for that special edition. It was pretty lame and it took away the mystery of the ending. Ultimately, it was a disappointment and even Spielberg regretted the additions.

  4. Apparently it was the studio that insisted on adding some mother ship interior shots... and in order to get the funding to add the other shots Spielberg wanted, he had to agree to it.

    But yeah, the people who give Lucas a hard time about messing with Star Wars forget that Spielberg was already doing it to CE3K years earlier.

  5. You know another funny thing on re-edits is that as much as people like to bitch about Lucas, he also did it with American Graffiti years earlier. Universal had gone against GL's initial cut and took the film out of his hands and had it edited by another film editor and then released it. After the success of Star Wars he was able to re-edit it to his liking, putting back scenes Universal had removed. BTW he did the same for THX-1138 with Warner Bros in 1977. The movie was re-released in 1978 and that's the version available since.

    Years later he had ILM add a more photogenic sunset and new title sequence at the beginning thus in essence creating his first special edition.

    From a certain point of view.


  6. Dreyfuss looks a lot thinner after he enters the mothership, too. The Special Edition was my original introduction to this great film, so I have a certain fondness for it despite its flaws. I couldn't see Close Encounters in the theater because my parents figured (rightly) that it would be too scary, even for a kid who was already into UFOs (although that didn't stop me from having some CE3K merchandise). I had to wait until the movie came to television, and that happened in 1981 when the Special Edition ran on Showtime.

  7. I think the 1980 Special Edition is the best version. People rag on it now purely because Spielberg himself did and they want to appear to be as "artistically mature" as he is (neither him nor they are convincing), but the fact is the interior of the mothership does not ruin the sense of mystery at all because you don't really see much of the aliens inside it. If anything, it just adds to the wonderment, with this vast chamber full of even more lights. It wasn't necessary, but it helps because this is a film with a fairly thin story that relies on its visuals to give it that sense of wonder. The Special Edition also cut out the ridiculous scene of Roy shoveling dirt into his kitchen window, which was frankly too silly for words. The 1998 Collectors Edition reinstated that scene and deleted the mothership interior so it was a step backwards.