We Are Not Alone: The Close Encounters of the Third Kind Quiz

By: Maria Trimarchi
Image: tmdb

About This Quiz

Have you ever looked at something, and it seems crazy? Then you looked at it again, and it's not so crazy after all? And have you noticed something a little strange about dad? See how much you know about the sci-fi classic "Close Encounters of the Third Kind."

With what does Roy Neary create his first Devils Tower sculpture?

Roy sculpts his first Devils Tower in a handful of shaving cream.

What's the name of the ship found stuck in a dune in the Gobi desert?

Scientists discover the steamer ship, the SS Cotopaxi, stuck in the sands of the Gobi desert.

Which real-life person was the fictional character of Claude Lacombe based on?

François Truffaut played the role of "Claude," but the character was based on French ufologist Jacques Vallée.

Where is Devils Tower located?

Devils Tower National Monument is in Wyoming.

Which president named Devils Tower a national monument, the first in the U.S.?

It was President Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt who named Devils Tower as the first national monument, in 1906.

Who was Steven Spielberg's first choice for the role of Roy Neary?

Richard Dreyfuss wasn't Spielberg's first choice for the role. He got the role after Steve McQueen passed on it.

How is Justin Dreyfuss, who plays the character Toby Neary, related to his on-screen father, Richard Dreyfuss, off-screen?

Justin Dreyfuss is his nephew.

Who auditioned for the Veronica 'Ronnie' Neary role, losing out to Teri Garr?

Meryl Streep auditioned for the role of Ronnie, but Spielberg was set on Teri Garr after he saw her in a coffee commercial.

What did the first UFO Roy sees look like?

Roy tells Ronnie it looked like an ice cream cone.

How many commandments does Roy tell the kids they can watch of the four-hour long movie "The Ten Commandments?"

Roy told them "they'd only watch five commandments."

What does Roy's son think his dad's half-burned face looks like?

Roy's son describes his dad's face like "a 50-50 bar" (also called a "creamsicle").

What does Ronnie and Roy's daughter, Silvia, say just before Roy begins making his Devils Tower mashed potato sculpture at dinner?

Silvia exclaims, "There's a dead fly in my potatoes." It wasn't planned, and Spielberg left it in.

What song does the Neary's music box play?

The song on the music box is Jiminy Cricket's song from Disney's "Pinocchio," "When You Wish Upon a Star."

What five sol-fa tones does the Air Force use as a way to communicate with the aliens?

You may have been introduced to the "sol-fa" method of naming notes from "The Sound of Music's" Do-Re-Mi ("Doe, a deer, a female deer..."), and Do-Re-Me-Fa-So-La-Ti-Do. The five notes played in an attempt to communicate with the aliens in "Close Encounters" are Re Mi Do Do So.

What was the film originally known as?

"Close Encounters" was originally known as "Watch the Skies," a reference to the 1951 film "The Thing From Another World."

ABC's Howard K. Smith appeared as the news anchor when CBS wouldn't allow which American broadcast journalist to have a role in the movie?

When CBS wouldn't let Walter Kronkite appear, ABC's Howard K. Smith did.

What does the old man in the desert say the sun did?

"El sol salio anoche y me canto," says the old man. Translated, he says the sun came out last night, and it sang to him.

The scientists decode the series of pulses broadcast by the UFO as a longitude and latitude. What are the coordinates?

The geographical coordinates decoded by the scientists were 40°36'10" N, 104°44'30" W.

In real life, where do those coordinates point to?

In the movie, the coordinates 40°36'10" N, 104°44'30" W refer to Devils Tower in Wyoming. If you used them in real life, you'd find yourself just outside Fort Collins, Colorado.

Which child is abducted by aliens?

Barry Guiler is taken from his home by the aliens.

Why does the U.S. Army say they're evacuating the area around Devils Tower?

The military says it's because a toxic nerve gas spilled during a train wreck.

Which "Rocky" actor and former pro football player played the role of military police?

You may have recognized Carl Weathers from his role as "Apollo Creed" in the Rocky movies.

Which Johnny Mathis song starts playing on the record player when Jillian tries to save Barry from being taken by aliens?

The record player starts playing "Chances Are," sung by Johnny Mathis.

Which actress went on to play the mother in "A Christmas Story?"

Melinda Dillon, who played Jillian Guiler, played the role of Mother Parker, Ralphie and Randy's mom in "A Christmas Story."

Who has Spielberg called his "onscreen surrogate"?

Spielberg has commented that Richard Dreyfuss is his "onscreen surrogate."

Which member of the Grateful Dead made a cameo as part of the chanting crowds?

Jerry Garcia was among the chanting crowds in the filming done in India.

What former professor of astronomy founded the Center for UFO Studies and established a way to classify how we make contact with aliens?

J. Allen Hynek introduced a way of categorizing the types of UFO encounters we have, such as a "close encounter of the first kind" and so on. He coined the title of the film "Close Encounters of the Third Kind." In the movie he makes a cameo smoking a cigar at the landing site.

What instrument is used as the voice of the mothership?

Steven Spielberg and John Williams chose the tuba as the voice of the mothership, which was played by Jim Self.

Who were among the people returned to Earth by the mothership?

On December 5, 1945, a group of 5 U.S. Navy bombers, known as “Flight 19,” disappeared in the Atlantic Ocean near the Bermuda Triangle. The pilots were among those returned by the mothership.

Which "Star Wars" robot can be seen hitching a ride on the underside of the mothership?

Look on the underside of the mothership for a cameo from "Star Wars'" R2-D2.

What kind of synthesizer was used to communicate with the UFOs?

The ARP 2500 was introduced in 1970. It was the first synthesizer Tonus, Inc. made and was used in "Close Encounters of the Third Kind."

Who is the musician playing the synthesizer in an effort to communicate with the UFOs?

Phil Dodds, the ARP technician sent to the set to install the ARP 2500 synthesizer, was also the one who played it.

With which director did Steven Spielberg bet 2.5% of the movie's revenue?

Directors Steven Spielberg and George Lucas wagered 2.5% of "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" for 2.5% of "Star Wars" (which came out the same the same year).

Where is the model of the mothership spacecraft housed today?

The model of the mothership is part of the Rockets and Missiles exhibition at the Smithsonian Institution's Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Center in Virginia.

Of the eight Academy Awards it was nominated for, the movie took home an Oscar in which category?

The film was nominated for eight awards, including Best Supporting Actress, Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best Original Score, Best Art Direction/Set Decoration, Best Sound, Best Visual Effects and Best Cinematography. But it won just one: Best Cinematography, by cameraman Vilmos Zsigmond.

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