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Which version of Close Encounters of the Third Kind should I watch?


Which version of Close Encounters of the Third Kind should I watch?  

16 members have voted

  1. 1. Which version of Close Encounters of the Third Kind should I watch?

    • Original (1977)
    • Special Edition (1980)
    • Collector's Edition (1998)


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So, I haven't seen this movie yet. I did a little research on it beforehand and saw that there are three different versions.

Which one would you guys recommend?

 

And how was the music treated in these three films? For example: Do the additional seven minutes of new footage in the 1980 version have a new Williams score, or did Spielberg use music from the original film?

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1 hour ago, Michael Grigorowitsch said:

And how was the music treated in these three films? For example: Do the additional seven minutes of new footage in the 1980 version have a new Williams score, or did Spielberg use music from the original film?

The SE adds some scenes back into the Theatrical (and slightly changes the order of some others), and the CE removes one scene from the SE.

 

Two of the scenes the SE adds have score, one newly written and recorded by JW (this is the scene that was removed in the CE), the other is scored by an assembly of pieces he already recorded for the TE. Also, one scene that was added back splits a cue JW wrote for the TE in half, it fades out then after the scene's done it fades in and continues.

The TE replaces his original recorded intended credits with an assembly of other pieces; the SE restores his intended credits; the CE goes back to the TE's assembly.

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I usually watch the CE. There's some stuff in it (like the ship scene) that I like that I think wasn't in the TE. I don't think the "inside" scene necessarily ruins the finale, but I do think it's unnecessary and better not included, so I haven't watched that version in forever. But if I read the recent comments right, the SE actually has proper score during the credits? I generally consider the credits part of a film, but much, much more so with CE3K and the music that's still ongoing during the mothership launch, and the music edits in the TE/CE are absolutely harmful. If I'm understanding correctly that the SE doesn't have that problem, the inside scene may be much smaller of the two evils.

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I grew up with the theatrical cut. The end credits are a sore spot but I’m used to them. I listen to the score way more than I watch the movie and thats the experience I truly treasure.

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I am not a huge fan of the other changes or I would totally agree. But in order to get to the credits I have to wince through all those others first. There’s no perfect option for this film, unfortunately. I guess everyone’s mileage is different for what’s more important overall. There are specific things I really like in the theatrical cut but I can’t remember what they are. One of them involves the introduction of Roy and the music box, I know that but I can’t remember how each cut is different.

 

I just remember that when I last watched all three, I decided that overall the theatrical cut had the least problem.

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I recently purchased the blu-ray, then I instinctively watched the Original cut.

 

I have good instincts.

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I'm considering the feasibility of replacing the credits music in the CE with that from the SE (it's just music anyway, it should be doable without recompression or quality loss), but so far I'm failing to rip the Blu (not sure if it's the disc or the drive; I haven't had any issues ripping other Blus, but it's been a while).

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Oh, man! To watch CE3K for the first time! I’m jealous!

 

Start with the theatrical cut, it’s the “less is more” cut of the movie, in spite if it not being the shortest cut (it’s 135 min).

 

Then, if you liked what you saw, watch the director’s cut (or as you’ve specified in the poll, the “CE”). You can almost consider it a 137 min bonus feature and you’ll have fun spotting the differences.

 

If you’re still hungry for more, finish with the special edition (132 min).

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Okay, the poll is close for the Director's Cut, but those who recommend watching the original version have strong arguments for it. So I'll watch the original version, and if I like the film or am interested in more, I'll watch the 1998 version. I probably won't watch the Special Edition.... 

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At the inverse of Lucas, Spielberg admitted to making mistakes and recanted... Poor old George...

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A friend of mine had the DVD (blu-ray?) of CE3K, avd it came with a visual overview of the changes, very nifty. It was called A View From Above: Feature Comparison.

 

It wasn’t included in my BR, nor my 4K, however. : (

 

Googling yields very few results but there seems to be two versions (differences seem to be graphic only), I’m guessing it’s the DVD- and the BR-versions that are slightly different.

 

Nobody here happens to have a hires scan of the thing, no?


 

Spoiler

DVD-version:

4807B448-DB51-46B9-B944-182663EC58BB.jpeg

 

BR-version:

DDED565D-4B1C-4C74-AB63-68B259843F61.jpeg

 

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16 hours ago, Michael Grigorowitsch said:

I'll watch the original version, and if I like the film or am interested in more, I'll watch the 1998 version. I probably won't watch the Special Edition.... 

 

Be sure to report back and let us know your impressions! :)


Thanks @blondheim, there are plenty of articles chronicling the changes. I was really just interested in the “official” one.

 

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4 minutes ago, rough cut said:

 

Be sure to report back and let us know your impressions! :)


Thanks @blondheim, there are plenty of articles chronicling the changes. I was really just interested in the “official” one.

 

Whoops, sorry. Didn’t mean to imply that your fingers didn’t know how to Google :lol:

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I prefer the original theatrical cut, since I saw the movie in this form several times in the cinema. I also like, that it has a bit more humor in it, e.g. the "train wreck" scene in the introduction of the Nearys, and the scene where Neary throws plants and garden stuff through the window into the house. I thinks those are missing or shortened in later versions.

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10 minutes ago, Gurkensalat said:

the scene where Neary throws plants and garden stuff through the window into the house. I thinks those are missing or shortened in later versions.

It is.

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Two additional follow ups to CE3K that I can highly recommend:

Bob Balaban's diary about his experience on the film: "Spielberg Truffaut and Me"

https://www.amazon.com/dp/184023430X/

 

Who Are You People? Directed by Jonathan Robinson

Documentary on the extras who were part of the Alabama film shoot.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078GSHGPX

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3 hours ago, lairdo said:

Two additional follow ups to CE3K that I can highly recommend:

Bob Balaban's diary about his experience on the film: "Spielberg Truffaut and Me"

https://www.amazon.com/dp/184023430X/

 

Who Are You People? Directed by Jonathan Robinson

Documentary on the extras who were part of the Mississippi film shoot.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B078GSHGPX


Not to be THAT guy, but it’s Alabama, not Mississippi. 😉

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3 hours ago, tranders65 said:


Not to be THAT guy, but it’s Alabama, not Mississippi. 😉

 

No, quite right to point it out. I was thinking of the Raiders Adaptation! Anyway, fixed my original post. Thanks.

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