Watch: Everything you didn't know about Close Encounters of the Third Kind

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Nov 16, 2017, 5:00 PM EST

Steven Spielberg's Close Encounters of the Third Kind opened in limited release (NYC) 40 years ago today with a fanfare and fan frenzy that reverberated far into the cold reaches of the cosmos.


Starring Richard Dreyfus, Francois Truffaut, Teri Garr, and Melinda Dillon, it was released amid a worldwide epidemic of interest in flying saucers, reported sightings of glowing lights in the night, and conspiracies of secret governmental UFO factories.

As one of Spielberg's most memorable movies, it still inspires a pure childlike wonder and remains engrained in popular culture nearly as much as another little sci-fi picture released in 1977 and directed by his buddy George Lucas.

Watch the skies and descend into SYFY WIRE's ultimate tribute to Close Encounters of the Third Kind on its milestone birthday in the video above and tell us if you see obscure national monuments in your plate of mashed potatoes come this Thanksgiving!