Roy Neary (Dreyfuss) is your average husband and father until a "close encounter" with an alien force begins to induce ongoing erratic behavior. Roy feels compelled to mold clay (and a few other things) into the same weird shape, and soon is moved to travel cross-country in search of a structure that resembles that shape. Once he reaches his destination, he learns he's not alone — that a whole cross-section of humanity has been touched similarly and now find themselves all in one place, awaiting an alien visitor who's summoned them there.
This classic science fiction entry boasts Spielberg's trademark epic sweep, and one of Dreyfuss' shining moments as the afflicted Neary. French director Truffaut is on-hand in a rare acting turn as scientist Claude Lacombe, and Melinda Dillon excels as bewildered mother Jillian, whose young son (in a petrifying scene) has already gone up in the aliens' spaceship. Don't miss this peerless spellbinder.