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Close Encounters of the Third Kind--Collector's Edition (two discs) [DVD] [1978]

Price: £9.97 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over £10. Details
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Close Encounters of the Third Kind--Collector's Edition (two discs) [DVD] [1978] + 2001: A Space Odyssey [1968] [DVD] + Contact (Special Edition) [1997] [DVD]
Price For All Three: £20.01

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Product details

  • Actors: Richard Dreyfuss, François Truffaut, Teri Garr, Melinda Dillon, Bob Balaban
  • Directors: Steven Spielberg
  • Writers: Steven Spielberg, Hal Barwood, Jerry Belson, John Hill, Matthew Robbins
  • Producers: Clark L. Paylow, Julia Phillips
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English, French, Hindi, Spanish
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 16:9 - 2.35:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: Sony Pictures
  • DVD Release Date: 25 Jun 2001
  • Run Time: 131 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (187 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00005951D
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 11,749 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)


Product Description

DVD Special Features
Disc One:
Widescreen "Collector's Edition" version
Disc Two:
1977 "Watch the Skies" featurette
Making of Documentary
14 Deleted Scenes
Original Theatrical Preview Trailer
Special Edition Trailer

Animated Menus
Dolby 5.1
2.35:1 ratio enhanced for 16:9 widescreen TVs
Subtitles: English, Czech, Hungarian, Icelandic, Hindi, Hebrew, Dutch, Bulgarian, Turkish, Danish, Swedish, Finnish, Greek, Norwegian, Arabic, Polish


Released in 1977, Close Encounters of the Third Kind was that year's cerebral alternative to Star Wars. It's arguably the archetypal Spielberg film, featuring a fantasy-meets-reality storyline (to be developed further in E.T.), a misunderstood Everyman character (Richard Dreyfuss), apparently hostile government agents (long before The X-Files), a sense of childlike awe in the face of the otherworldly, and a sweeping feel for epic film-making learned from the classic school of David Lean. Contributing to the film's overall success are the Oscar-winning cinematography from Vilmos Zsigmond, Douglas Trumbull's lavish effects and an extraordinary score from John Williams that develops from eerie atonality à la Ligeti to the gorgeous sentiment of "When You Wish Upon a Star" over the end credits.

Not content with the final result, Spielberg tinkered with the editing and inserted some new scenes to make a "Special Edition" in 1980 which ran three minutes shorter than the original, then made further revisions to create a slightly longer "Collector's Edition" in 1998. This later version deletes the mothership interior scenes that were inserted in the "Special Edition" and restores the original ending.

On the DVD: CE3K is packaged here with confusing documentation that fails to make clear any differences between earlier versions of the film and this "Collector's Edition"--worse, the back cover blurb misleadingly implies that this disc is the 1980 "Special Edition" edit. It is not. A gorgeous anamorphic widescreen print of Spielberg's 1998 "Collector's Edition" edit occupies the first disc: this is the version with the original theatrical ending restored but new scenes from the "Special Edition" retained.

The second disc rounds up sundry deleted scenes that were either dropped from the original version or never made it into the film at all--fans of the "Special Edition" can find the mothership interior sequence here. The excellent "making-of" documentary dates from 1997 and has interviews with almost everyone involved, including the director speaking from the set of Saving Private Ryan. Thankfully the superb picture and sound of the feature make this set entirely compelling and more than compensate for the inadequate packaging. --Mark Walker

Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By G. D. Oliver on 24 Mar 2009
Format: Blu-ray
I watched this film on a daily basis when I was a young teenager during holidays (I did have friends as well!!) So I know this film inside out from scenes and dialog and everything in between.
This conversion to Blue-ray is fantastic and at such a good price you cannot do anything but buy this masterpiece.
Fantastic film now in HD at unbeatable value - a must buy!!
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43 of 46 people found the following review helpful By The Kinniburgh Kid on 3 Jan 2008
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I can still remember getting excited watching this for the first time.

It's still a great movie, classic Speilberg (loads of subtle domestic detail) and interesting to think how much of recent popular culture has its roots in this movie. Without this would we have had X Files, a new Dr Who or any number of non-combat, alien contact movies and TV series? Probably not.

Presented in a nice, but unfussy box, the three discs come with a booklet and fold out timelines so you can see what is different about the three versions without having to sit and watch them all with a stopwatch.

In fact, the new cut is the best - more build up, but less (in fact, none) of inside the mothership. Speilberg admits it was a mistake to put that in the Special Edition.

On a good 5.1 system with the volume turned up the musical "chat" between the synth guy and the mothership is even more schoolboy-exciting than I remember it being 30 years ago.
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82 of 89 people found the following review helpful By Ted Nalbantian on 20 Feb 2008
Format: Blu-ray Verified Purchase
I had never seen 'Close Encounters' before, so my purchase of the Blu-Ray release was something of a blind buy except, other than a positive review I glanced through on highdefdigest. I don't even know anyone that has seen it, so was getting curious because of the revenrential terms in which the film is described. Having just finished watching it about 15 minutes ago, however, let me just say wow. If you haven't seen the film it's very intense and has aged incredibly well. The special effects don't break the immersion (as happens sometimes with older effects-laden films) and the acting is great. I was totally sucked into the scenario... I read in the supplementary material included that Spielberg believed at the time that UFO contact had really happened in the 20th century, which makes sense since there is an amazing sense of realism to it. This is definitely not the recent 'War of the Worlds' film or 'Independence Day'. Basically, if you have not seen the film before you will not be disappointed by it; you can afford to blind buy this one.

For people who have already seen 'close encounters', I should mention that this includes three versions of the film, all three of which are in 1080p... the theatrical version, special edition, and director's cut. There is lots of printed material (a booklet and a small timeline poster) showing what the differences are between the various cuts. For £14, you get more than you do with a lot of Blu-Rays costing £25.

Picture quality is a huge pleasure to behold. The film is definitely nicer in high def. I was really impressed at how good it looks for its age. While not every scene is a showcase of what 'high definition' is, anyone could see the difference between this and standard def DVD. 100% recommended on picture quality.
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19 of 21 people found the following review helpful By Mr. S. M. Baggley on 5 Jun 2008
Format: Blu-ray
I'm a recent convert to Blu-ray, but so far have been a little disapointed with the film catalogue available, as the technology has been available for a couple of years now. However, this disc is an exception to that problem.

To start with, there's not much that needs to be said about the film itself that hasn't already been said, and most people must have seen a version or two by now, so I'll concentrate on the BR release.

To start with this is better value than most BR releases to date price-wise, and the main film disc is well presented and neatly put together. The animated menus are stylish, easy to use & neat. But what is a bigger surprise is just how much you get for your money. The package includes all 3 versions of Close Encounters, and all 3 are seamlessly put together on one disc. Also, you can select a menu which highlights every minute difference between all 3 while you watch, for real Close Encounter buffs.

The biggest shock of all is the second disc though. Normaly the extras tend to be a little cut-price on Blu-Ray, with a cheaper SD DVD second disc. So I was a little shocked to find the extras disc seems to be full HD BR too, running at 1080 (for me). Not only that, but for very lucky people with a better HD television, this release is recorded at very high-def 1920*1080. I'n not even sure if my PS3 can handle that resolution, but my TV certainly can't. No matter though as picture and sound are generaly good, but to be fair the film shows it's age slightly in darker night shots, with a little graining sometimes.

But overall, even without the cheaper price, this is easily the best value BR release I have seen to date. I just hope we can get more releases of this quality, and soon.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Second Skin on 22 Feb 2009
Format: Blu-ray
I agree with one of the other reviewers, who stated that the quality of this disc was not quite up to scratch. It could be my equipment, (I play discs on PS3, on 40 inch Sony Bravia 1080p TV, with good quality hdmi leads...) but it looks unsatisfactory in places, a little too grainy. I suppose I'm comparing it to the recent Bladrunner release, which looks amazing, and perhaps that has given me too high an expectation. But a film like Close Encounters deserves to look amazing, so maybe just a bit more effort could have been made. I got a nicely packaged version of the disc, with all the trimmings, but all I actually wanted was for the film to look tip top, which it didn't all the time. The film is 5 stars of course, and it still looks better than a DVD version, but as this is supposed to be high definition, just 4 stars for the blu ray......
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