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November 16 in Sci-Fi History: 40 Years of Close Encounters

Contributed by
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Zac Hug
Nov 16, 2017

It was on this day in 1977 that audiences first sat in front of the Steven Spielberg-directed, Richard Dreyfuss-, Teri Garr-, and Melinda Dillon-starring, John Williams-scored marvel known as Close Encounters of the Third Kind, which had a limited release in New York City (and in L.A. on November 18) before going wide on December 14. 

 

It was made for $20 million dollars. It had Francois Truffaut as a French government scientist. It has a musical number, sort of.

 

If you haven’t seen it in a while, it’s worth pulling up and sitting down with. Remember the ending sort of famously just happens, but it’s the price of growth for an artist who would go on to make E.T.

 

Today is also the birthday of Darwyn Cooke (1962-2016). He was a writer and artist of DC: The New Frontier and also did incredible work on both Catwoman and The Spirit. During his career, Cooke earned 13 Eisner Awards and five Joe Shuster Awards.

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The original Penguin, Burgess Meredith, was born in Cleveland, Ohio on this day in 1907.

 

The incredible Missi Pyle was born on this day in 1972 in Houston, Texas.

 

And finally, today is also the birthday of Martha Plimpton, who was born on this day in 1970 in New York City. She runs an excellent Twitter feed; tell her we sent you when wishing her well.

 

Tomorrow: The Star Wars on Christmas.