'Close Encounters of the Third Kind' Returning to Theaters for 40th Anniversary

The landmark Steven Spielberg film is being remastered for 4K.
Columbia Pictures/Photofest

Movie audiences are getting another close encounter.

Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind is hitting theaters for one week beginning Sept. 1 in honor of the film's 40th anniversary. Sony Pictures has remastered the director's cut in 4K for theaters in the U.S. and Canada. It will have its world premiere in the Venezia Classici section of the Venice Film Festival.

Close Encounters, released in December 1977, stars Richard Dreyfuss as a line worker who has a close encounter with an alien intelligence and feels drawn to a wilderness area where something important will soon happen. The film also stars Melinda Dillon and François Truffaut.

The film earned $303 million worldwide on a $20 million budget and was nominated for eight Oscars, winning best cinematography and a special achievement award for sound effects editing. 

The film was released on the heels of Star Wars, making 1977 a very good year for sci-fi. The Hollywood Reporter's original review was so positive that it even suggested the film could match George Lucas' masterpiece: "To get to the bottom line with minimum delay, Close Encounters of the Third Kind is a terrific movie, with every possibility of equaling the box-office popularity of Star Wars." 

Here's the trailer Sony has released in preparation for the restoration:

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