Close Encounters of the Third Kind begins with strange events occurring all over the world. People see strange lights and phenomena. The film focuses on a team of researchers led by Frenchman Claude Lacombe, an American Roy Neary, Jillian Guiler and her young son, Barry. A large UFO to the horror of his Mother abducts Barry.
Many people become obsessed with the UFOs and have visions of Devil’s Tower in Wyoming, USA. Roy’s wife and kids leave him when he becomes obsessed with sculpting the monument. He uses mashed potatoes, potting soil, and anything he can get his hands on to recreate his vision. (I think of this scene every time that I eat mashed potatoes.)
Jillian and Roy join forces to try and get to Devil’s Tower. The U.S. government has declared the area uninhabitable. Roy, Jillian, and many others feel “invited” to the area and proceed anyway. The U.S. military in a makeshift base detains them. During an evacuation, they escape, and enter the landmark where they witness amazing things.
They see communication with the UFOs through beautiful music written by John Williams. They also witness the return of missing people that appear to not have aged. Jillian happily reunites with her son, and Roy decides to leave this world when he joins a group of explorers that will depart with the alien ship.