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This Meant Something! Harry and the Rolling Roadshow at Devil's Tower for CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND!!!

Devil’s Tower, Wyoming.

I never dreamt I’d be here. Actually, I never stopped dreaming of being here. We’ve come 1,246 miles in the last 30 hours. We’ve driven through endless valleys, mountain passes, amber waves of grain. The sheer endurance test of that drive has been wearing on Dad and I like you just can’t imagine.

As we began our approach, we began the discussion… “I hope it isn’t small.” “I hope this isn’t just an also ran, behind Monument Valley.” “I hope we can get close.” As we drove our endless drive, the miles seemed to be elongating, our eyes constantly searching the horizon for IT. But the road always seemed to dart behind a bluff, dodge behind a hill. About 14 miles away – off in the distance, I saw it for a glimpse, and it was gone.

The entire approach we were listening to the final 4 tracks from John Williams’ soundtrack to CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND. From the second of that first glimpse – I began to cry. Not a sad cry. Not any sort of feeling other than absolute happiness. As Williams’ music continued to soar, our eyes continued to scour the horizon for another glimpse. How do you hide a giant rock thrust out of the very bosom of the Earth? I don’t know, but whoever designed these roads… they understood presentation and dramatics, because after that first view… you don’t see it again till you’re close. By then, Dad and I were bawling… cascades of tears rolling over the biggest bestest smiles of the trip.

The nephew in the backseat asleep. I was his age when I first saw this stunning work of nature. The Indians may believe a bear clawed the grooves into it, others may be here solely out of Teddy Roosevelt’s decree making it the first National Park of the United States. Me? I’m here because Steven Spielberg made me dream. Not of a galaxy far far away, but of this place. And the dream of something magical, intelligent and otherworldly wanting to meet us. We human beings. Why would they bother? Why would they care? Why at Devil’s Tower. Maybe it was there way of giving Roy one last wonderful look at Earth. Maybe they wanted to come and see it.

But right now as I type this, right beside me is Devil’s Tower. There’s large hawks or eagles swooping above it as clouds dance all around it. There’s tourists aplenty here. From all over the world. Are they here to see CLOSE ENCOUNTERS? I don’t know, but it is just magnificent. I’m just gonna sit here for awhile and look at it. WOW. There must be 40 or 50 birds swooping around the top. This is beautiful.. I love being a geek. I love that being a geek brought me here. That I’m looking at this. Feeling so wonderfully at peace. Again… I wish you could be here. Whoever, wherever you are, I wish you were here. Watching as the clouds bath this tower in shade, only to again bathe it in sunlight. My cel phones don’t work here, I can’t log in to the net. I can write though. There’s 43 big birds of prey up there… just counted them. Never seen these types of birds flocking like this. Wow. I’m going to set the computer down now. I need to just feel this wind, smell this air and watch the world come to life. I’ll be back in a few hours. Wish you were here.

You know the saying… “Careful what you wish for?” About 10 minutes after I typed the above many of you found me. From Pennsylvania, New Orleans, Los Angeles, Burbank, Denver, Minnesota and parts unknown. I was there, door open to DEVIL’S TOWER. I’d just put on the last 3 tracks of the Soundtrack, and I was relaxed, zoning out looking at the tower… watching the Prairie Falcons swarm about – and just enjoying the peace and quiet and the majesty of this thing… But the music, the damn music… While it was taking me to the seventh plane of Geek nirvana – Williams’ tune was calling geeks off the tower. I look down from the top of the tower and there’s a Los Angelino there to chat with me, then… in short order, one from the East Coast… both with wives… Suddenly there were friends from New Orleans. There were suddenly 7 fellow geeks basking in the communal geek glory that is Devil’s Tower.

As Father Geek and my Nephew returned from their trek, Dad tells tale that whilst on the backside of the Tower, he was approached by a fellow asking, “You’re Father Geek, Right?” Being identified as Father Geek on the backside of a National Monument took him by surprise, but that was nothing. Turns out, this geek was from Austin. Not only that, but this fellow has served Dad & I BBQ at one of our fave Austin eateries. This slimy mud pile of a planet we call Earth is entirely too small.

We flee the tower base to go grab supper, the restaurant at base’s end had closed though. I took this opportunity to shop for knick-knacks while Papa-San and Nephew-San went in search of food. I wound up getting a DEVIL’S TOWER yoyo and a little Snow globe. But I took my root beer and decided to sit on the front porch and just stare at DEVIL’S TOWER. And reflect on the day that brought me here.

We started today in Bozeman, Montana – drove like a bat out of hell through Billings, Montana – then down into Wyoming. At one point, just outside of Hardin, Wyoming – we suddenly were stuck in what seemed like an endless traffic jam. We saw ambulances, cop cars – and folks up here tend to just turn off their cars and just walk up into the traffic accident scene to see what was a going on.

Our car has developed a peculiar eccentricity on the trip. Every time you turn it off – you must open the hood, jiggle the battery cables – as someone in the car turns the ignition. This results in… The car starting. Well, we were over-heating and due to slight movements… we were going crazy. You don’t drive a car at 85 mph in 99-102 degree heat without there being some sort of overheating possibility, specially when you’re stuck idling with no air. We decide to drive down the shoulder to the ditch, engage 4 wheel drive, and return back to Hardin, I’d found an old Crow Reservation Road that would take us past the accident… and hook us back into 90. Without missing LITTLE BIG HORN!

I’m a huge fan of THEY DIED WITH THEIR BOOTS ON and LITTLE BIG MAN and the Custer legend, fact… and just never thought I’d be upon the battlefield. The stones mark where they fell, and folks… Let me tell you. They were fucked. You go to the field and you can just see – TRAP written all over it. Seeing the stone where Custer fell… well, it was the sort of thing that really made you time trip. I was playing the 7th Cavalry theme over and over in my head on the way to the field… but once there, I started humming Steiner’s Indian theme that he wrote for THEY DIED WITH THEIR BOOTS ON – and started alternating between 7th Cavalry and that cool as hell Indian theme. Just like in the film.

Explaining to my nephew that this was where “the white man got his just deserves” was hard. History is really abstract to a 5 year old that can’t grasp that when his Grandpa was a kid there was no Disneyland or Cartoon Network. Trying to explain – real real history is even harder. I suppose I should show him Flynn’s film when we get back to the world, at least then he can quasi-picture the legend of what I was trying to get across. Just explaining that the Indians were not the bad guys and that the white people weren’t the bad guys, but that progress and understanding sometimes has a cost in human lives… well that’s a bit heady for a 5 year old. The end result had him pretending that Grandpa had hair and that he’d scalped Grandpa… Hilarity of demonic laughter.

Around this point, I was found again. Folks driving up to chat and talk and thank me for making AICN, for telling them about CLOSE ENCOUNTERS at Devil’s Tower, that they’re really loving my reports. I’m used to folks coming up to me, but I’ll never be used to the praise. Or how nervous some get before talking to me. I knew this would happen at this location. This is, by far, the geekiest of the Rolling Roadshows. The founder of the STAR TREK COMMUNICATOR, a Star Wars fanzine and the Official LORD OF THE RINGS fan club magazine – drove up from Denver. He’s a fan of the site, but even more so – he loves CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND and makes the pilgrimage from Colorado to here often, but this is the first time he’ll have seen the film in this location. He and his wife are absolutely thrilled. Another couple came from Burbank and want me to renew their wedding vows tonight. Believe it or not, this isn’t the first time this has happened… and it won’t be the last, I’m sure.

By the time Dad returns with the small Buffalo Burger – they’re all off to go play at DEVIL’S TOWER.

After we eat – there was a short time where the sun was still way high in the sky – and as redheads, we decided to sit it out on this deck. My nephew was wanting to change into his Alien shirt he bought at Roswell, since the aliens were coming tonight – so he went to change in the car, while “grampa” helped him. About this time, I noticed two Wyoming Deputies giving Dad and our car the “stink-eye”. I asked if we could help them with something. Turns out that in Hewitt (or some such town) they had received a report of Child Endangerment / Possible Abduction… (I shit you not) We get given the 5th Degree by these two Officers. Separate Questioning. We point to the Alamo Drafthouse truck and ask them to go talk to them about whether or not this child belongs with us. We give them my Sis’ phone number, physical address. Meanwhile… Kubla is trying to rack the police officers with his skull ball he got at Disneyland from the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN ride store. It’s kinda adorable, but openly hostile all at the same time. Dad’s an old school Hippie that can’t stand Imperial Entanglements, whereas I have generally no problems with this sort of thing. Soon, we’re small talking about New Orleans, Crowd Control in Emergency Situations, what would you have done differently had you been in charge… you know, that sort of thing. After they find that neither Dad nor I have any criminal record – they let us go, we tried to get them to take my nephew and put him in jail if only just for the night, but their balls hurt too much from their brief encounter.

After this, I head over to the screening. Just about everyone saw the two Police Men interrogating us – so the story spreads quickly. The term, “I see you picked up a couple of new fans” becomes a catch phrase. The officers didn’t get “Adult Endangerment” when we asked them to arrest the child, I suppose they don’t get much humor in these situations, but dammit – The Nephew is so far from endangerment it isn’t funny. Although his bug-phobia has him convinced that flies will hurt him, and I try to convince him that flies only eat people after they’re dead. Not before. Somehow this isn’t comforting.

Anyway, I decide to sit way off to the side of the screen, so that I get Devil’s Tower in its full glory and the screen. It isn’t like I need a full on perfect screening of the film. I’m here to see Potato sculpture next to the real thing. The living room sculpture next to the real thing on TV next to the real thing off screen. I love those sorts of moments.

As the sun begins to dip, Tim calls a start to the Mashed Potato Sculpting Contest. They’ve got 4 minutes – and they have to run from the table in front of the screen over to the Mashed Potato factory that the Drafthouse created on site – and then back to the front table to sculpt.

The contest was hilarious. Minneapolis Wendy’s Slave (aka Husband) won the contest. But, I’m betting that Wendy drilled him for 3 weeks on Mashed Potato sculpting. She’s exacting. But who could argue with the results.

After that – it was time for the trailers.

We started off with STARSHIP INVASIONS – a hilariously awful trailer for a very tongue in cheek flick that I know of only one huge fan for.

Then began the run of Spielberg.

The Trailer for E.T. came on. If you wonder why I tend to take photos of Titles rather than images from films – it’s because – Titles tend to be stagnant images – that on a 2 second handheld exposure… have the least chance of being shaky or blurry. I’m very happy with these shots. E.T. instantly got my nephew geeky – his mom collects E.T. stuff. But he claims she’s never shown him the movie. Sheesh Mom!

Next was RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK – at this point I was beginning to go into geek overload. You see – as I sat here, I realized that where I’m sitting… this is where the helicopters that were trying to take Dreyfuss far away were sitting in the film. Some of my best friends have arrived and they’re getting very charged up. Tom Joad (and wife) and Babyface Nelson.

Then came JAWS – red trailer – must be Eastman stock – but damn it’s strange to have clashing iconography. Seeing Robert Shaw huge beside Devil’s Tower… I mean, it was just cool.

Then came time for the film. After snapping the pic of the title, it was Camera down and complete focus on the experience at hand.

This was a religious experience.

First, this was the original 1977 35mm Film Print. Which I haven’t seen projected since Capital Plaza when I was 5 – same age as my nephew. I love this version of the film. I love how Teri Garr is shown putting up with an awful lot till it’s finally enough, in the Special Edition, her leaving him is kinda bitchy on her part. Here, it’s completely understandable.

My nephew is riveted every time the Aliens or their craft are on screen. But also almost every moment of that scary child and Richard Dreyfuss. He keeps looking at the screen and looking up, and during the big mother ship sequence – his jaw was just hanging and he kept asking me quietly, “When the ship coming? I wanna ride in the space ship!” There’s a part of me that wonders what the Prairie Dog town about 30 yards in back of the screen, what that local population is thinking of all of this. Are they laughing, cuz they know when the ship is coming back for them?

This was Dark Side of the Moon… no moon. No clouds. You could see every powdered dot of the Milky Way. You could see satellites moving across the night sky. And you could see the midnight black silhouette of DEVIL’S TOWER.

The emotion of this screening is not nearly calculable. Sitting with a bowl of mashed potatoes at Devil’s Tower watching CLOSE ENCOUNTERS OF THE THIRD KIND… It’s kinda the greatest non-sexual thing ever. I didn’t want to leave. I knew we had to leave the location, but I wanted to just sit in the darkness and watch the sky and dream of something non-us out there.

This was about as perfect as humanly possible. We had a crowd of about 160 or so for this, mostly from parts far from here. They all came for a reason, a love for the film, a desire to connect with something special. There are folks here for wedding anniversaries, birthdays and just the wild hair of it all. Me, I’m here to see one of the greatest geek films of all time in the most perfect circumstance.

This one, this one was magic. Thank you Tim, thanks Steven!

Tonight, I’m in Colorado Springs, Colorado at the base of Pike’s Peak after a day wandering around the Garden of the Gods. Tomorrow is Canyon City, Colorado and CAT BALLOU in the town it was shot in. I can’t wait. I have a very deep love for that film. But more than that, I’m looking forward to that suicidal train trip that’ll have my nephew making skid marks! This is going to be awesome! I really wish you were here.

Readers Talkback
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  • Sept. 5, 2005, 3:37 a.m. CST

    lucky bastards

    by CuervoJones

    I envy you

  • Sept. 5, 2005, 4:55 a.m. CST

    Night Skies

    by reni

    H, that's beautiful. Now what's round the other side of the tower? Where does the mothership land? Or was that movie trickery fucking with me..?

  • Sept. 5, 2005, 5:26 a.m. CST

    I don't have to remember my name and password...

    by Batutta browser automatically remembers them and inputs them for me...And I get laid on a regular basis.

  • Sept. 5, 2005, 6:57 a.m. CST


    by Gungan Slayer

    again, there he is having a hell of a time, and I'm just sitting here. Nice pics harry

  • Sept. 5, 2005, 7:38 a.m. CST

    One day.

    by Fat Beach Bum

    The pictures are great. One day I hope I cam make the drive from FL, to Devil's Tower.

  • Sept. 5, 2005, 7:49 a.m. CST

    Utterly jealous

    by Banky the Hack

    The only words I have...

  • Sept. 5, 2005, 7:58 a.m. CST

    Fuck Tha Police...

    by aint_it_cruel?

    really fucking sad that a Grandfather and Uncle got hassled by the PIGS.

  • Sept. 5, 2005, 8:02 a.m. CST


    by NubtheSquirrel

    Dude, you have knocked this entire series out of the park! I only wish I had the time and the money to do the entire journey. Sadly, I was moving from Los Angeles to Fort Worth at the time. Oh well. Keep it up and I can't wait to read the next part! Thank you for this!

  • Sept. 5, 2005, 8:41 a.m. CST

    Do they sell these posters?

    by Atomik Steve

    I want some of the posters from this series really bad. I looked on the Alamo Drafthouse site, but didn't see any links to buy. Does anyone know?

  • Sept. 5, 2005, 8:46 a.m. CST

    "They belong here more than we."

    by Nordling

    Oh man. I wish I was there. That shot of Devil's Tower as the film plays was beautiful. Awesome.

  • Sept. 5, 2005, 9:05 a.m. CST

    Thanks for that, Harry...

    by rastar

    I'm from Sydney Australia and I went there in 2002 to see Devil's Tower for myself. It was the highlight of the entire trip, and we saw 12 National Parks! I'm almost 34 and Close Encounters changed my life as a child. It is still a huge influence on me and always will be. Thanks for your great description - "a religious experience" is exactly what it was for me! -- On the same trip, we visited film locations used in "Back to the Future" (Doc Brown's house), the houses from "E.T." and "Poltergeist", and various National Parks used in films like "Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade" (Arches) and "Butch Cassidy" (Zion)... Can't wait to do it again next year! *Sean.*

  • Sept. 5, 2005, 9:31 a.m. CST

    You cried?

    by Samuel Steamer

    I was in awe when I went there too but you cried? That's kind of odd. Oh well. Great write up.

  • Sept. 5, 2005, 9:37 a.m. CST

    Really, this should be made into a documentary.

    by IAmJack'sUserID

    Is Devil's Tower as large as it seems. As large as it is in my dreams....uh. Nevermind.

  • Sept. 5, 2005, 9:40 a.m. CST

    Of all the Roadshows this one is the coolest

    by moviemaniac-7

    Nuff said.

  • Sept. 5, 2005, 9:42 a.m. CST

    great place, if you haven't been there seriously just get in

    by trevorfactor

    when my wife and I went we got there at night and all we could see was the silouette of the tower so we pitched our tent facing the tower, made food and went to bed. when we woke up thee next day it was the colors that really took my breathe away. We were in a recessed spot of land and thier was a wall of red rock surrounding us. What a truly perfect day. We met Jack our tent neighbor and ate breakfest with him. He was traveling accross country with nothing but a tent and the clothes on his back to go see his son who was in jail for selling 990 hits of acid to an undercover. The guy litterally lived off mcdonalds dollar menu and the kindness of others. I smoked some kickass weed with him and we brought him to the tower with us. We didn't climb it but we had our fun on the rocks watching climbers fall. Harry you've just earned some extra cool points for choosing this as one of your stops. salute to you sir and hope you have a safe return

  • Sept. 5, 2005, 10:12 a.m. CST

    sounds cool

    by jrbarker

    I wish I could have been there.

  • Sept. 5, 2005, 10:34 a.m. CST

    Yeah, the emotion thing i never quite got

    by Fearsme

    I love movies, and watching some of the movies i loved in my childhood make me smile, but i don't really get weepy. I'm not faulting him for it. He's a passionate guy. Though i would like to one day read "I saw Ernest Goes to Camp at Camp Heenawkeh, and when Ernest fell from the ladder... i wept"

  • Sept. 5, 2005, 10:56 a.m. CST

    man, i wish i could have been there...

    by mansep

    my eyes are getting teary just from reading this, and imagining what it must have been like. but i'm not jealous... i'm happy for everyone that was able to go. Things as cool as this are extremely rare.

  • but it's actually "just deserts"... the confusion lies because in this sense the word "desert" is pronounced the same as "dessert", but "desert" with that pronounciation is a noun which means an action deserving punishment or reward. I guess saying "just deserves" avoids the confusion! ... English lesson over! :)

  • Sept. 5, 2005, 1:31 p.m. CST

    Thanks, Harry, for the memories...

    by Moonwatcher

    of the movie and the landmark. Seeing CEOT3K just a few months after Star Wars was easily the greatest movie year of my life - I sat thru it twice the first time, and five times while on break from school. I've also been to Devil's Tower twice with my family, and it is no exaggeration to say that both experiences were "religious." I still remember standing on the spot where Dreyfuss and company first spotted the helicopters coming after them, and for some damn, silly reason it filled me with pride and awe. If I could have picked one place to enjoy your roadshow, this would have been it. As it is, I'll have to be satisfied with your tantalizing pictures and wonderful play-by-play. Thanks, Harry - I couldn't be there, but at least someone was there who really appreciated the moment.

  • Sept. 5, 2005, 1:40 p.m. CST

    I'm not the being lover of Sci-Fi films to be hoest with you

    by Vim Fuego

    but Close Encounters is possibly my favourite film of all time. I saw it for the time Lord knows how many years ago, but I was enthralled throughout. I remember wondering at the time if Devil's Tower actually existed or was it a set. I hope to see it one day.

  • Sept. 5, 2005, 2:39 p.m. CST

    Hey Harry!

    by Rebeck

    Where's your DVD roundup for this month??? That's my favorite feature on this site. How else would I know what obscure films to add to my Netflix queue? C'mon...we're depending on you!

  • True CEOTTK is slow and to me boring, The special Edition is better but still too slow for me But I still love scenes from the movie, I love the car lights scene The Researchers finding stuff, The UFO chase and The final encounter But head and tails above that is the Devils Tower. I mean what could have caused such a freaky thing I thought it was a movie fake but to go there and watch CEOTTK pass through little Big Horn and meet other Geeks That would still bring me to Geek heaven.

  • Sept. 5, 2005, 4:01 p.m. CST

    I was there. It was a blast. But it wasn't the original 19

    by Karl Hungus

    The first big clue that it wasn't the 1977 theatrical version is the inclusion of the Gobi Desert sequence, which was shot specifically for the 1980 Special Edition. When I got home, I watched Spielberg's final "Collector's Edition" cut that was released on LD and DVD. That's the version we saw but I can't blame Harry for being confused. The print was scratchy as hell, as if dragged through Muncie gravel by Roy Neary's truck. But the sound was great, literally causing the earth beneath us to rumble. And yes, watching the film with the eerie praire sentinel of Devils Tower overlooking us was, well, surreal and total geek bliss. What a fantastic night!

  • Sept. 5, 2005, 4:14 p.m. CST

    This travelling roadshow thingy...

    by DocPazuzu probably the coolest thing I've ever heard of. Naturally I have been completely unable to attend. Curse my heinous fate!

  • Sept. 5, 2005, 4:53 p.m. CST

    Which edition is generally regarded as best??

    by CloneRangerUK

    I vaguely remember watching the original & Special Edition years ago, but only sat down recently & watched it properly, when it was on Channel 4 (I think) in the UK, which was the Collectors Edition & I got into it (got it?) a lot more & enjoyed it more than when I saw it when I was a wee lad. Coulda been the fact that as a kid I got fidgity with the pace & as an adult I can now follow it easier & appreciate it more, or mabye the Collectors edition is just better paced & holds your interest more? What do you think - which edition do you guys prefer?

  • Sept. 5, 2005, 5:21 p.m. CST

    Spandex, Why Don't YOU Go Out And Live Life

    by Rebeck

    And stop posting on a talkback and putting your misplaced anger onto Harry. Yeah, go smell the fucking flowers, dude. Write a aong about it. Then bungi jump to your death. This is a MOVIE SITE, ASSHOLE.

  • Sept. 5, 2005, 5:23 p.m. CST

    Write A SONG

    by Rebeck

    Typo... ASSHOLE.

  • Sept. 5, 2005, 5:37 p.m. CST


    by rotten666

    I don't post to much anymore, but I have to reply to this cunt Spandex. Yes, I know he is a useless troll with no life looking to get a rise out of people. It makes me laugh when he tells Harry to get off his ass and see the world. Ummmmmm.....Isn't that exactly what he's doing? The roadtrip sounds awesome, wish I could be there. I drove cross country to my new home in Seattle and Devils Tower was by far the most impressive sight I saw on the trip, maybe even in my life. Good for you harry. As far as Spandex, your a useless little twit who slings insults knowing he will remain hidden due to the anonymous nature of the net. Do us all a favor: if you have nothing to add to the discussion, fuck off.

  • Sept. 5, 2005, 6:21 p.m. CST

    The various editions...

    by Karl Hungus

    My favorite remains the original 1977 version but not just because it was merely the first, which is often the kneejerk reaction of a lot of so-called "purists." I actually think the latest "Collector's Edition" gets a lot of stuff right. But it also adds a lot of unneccessary filler (the Air Force press conference) at the expense of other character-building moments (the power station scene.) I sort of enjoy the "new" Gobi Desert scene even though it's a rehash of the opening Sonora sequence (and is also missing Lacombe's always-welcome presence). I also like the bit with Neary freaking out in the shower but, again, it's just one more way to show what we already know: Roy's losing his mind. On the whole, I ignore the 1980 Special Edition because of the big "inside" reveal at the end but it's not terrible. I think all three versions of CE3K are quite watchable. But the original cut remains my favorite.

  • Sept. 5, 2005, 6:37 p.m. CST

    Oh dear......

    by Vim Fuego

    Those 2 posts are just wrong diddly wrong.

  • Sept. 5, 2005, 7:53 p.m. CST

    HOME ALONE in SpandexAvenger's bedroom!

    by Vim Fuego

    Sorry. Couldn't resist it.

  • Sept. 5, 2005, 8:35 p.m. CST

    I'm sure you do,

    by Vim Fuego

    but isn't it past your bedtime? BTW where the feck is everyone else? They're not trying to download that fake Superman trailer are they?

  • Sept. 5, 2005, 8:52 p.m. CST

    Sounded like a laugh

    by proper

    "I roll,You drive" strategy?.They should of had some fake dead livestock on the roadside and gas masks and mashed potato as freebies.They should apply this "drive here drive there watch the film" gimmick to Smokey the Bandit,The Hitcher and Duel.That might make you cry.Remember,you don't win a raffle if you don't buy a ticket.

  • Sept. 5, 2005, 9:21 p.m. CST

    As Groundskeeper Willy would say: "Och good comeback!"

    by Vim Fuego

    BTW It's Shepherd not Shepard.

  • Sept. 6, 2005, 3:29 a.m. CST

    gotta love the inflatable screen

    by cornstalkwalker

    has to be one of the best inventions in cinema.

  • ...and also wondering if that makes a whole lot of goddamn sense, too much sense, the kinda sense that wakes you at night and makes you scream.

  • Sept. 6, 2005, 8:33 a.m. CST

    Cat's Bayou?

    by CoffeeAndCinema

    The movie is Cat Ballou, titled after the main character's name. I live in Colorado and was able to attend last night. Not many people showed up, so it was really an intimate setting. The Drafthouse people were having fun feeding doritos to a miniature donkey. I'm sure Harry will post about it soon.

  • Sept. 6, 2005, 9:13 a.m. CST

    Global Road Show

    by Darth Busey

    Suggestions for next year: "Godfather II" in Lake Tahoe, CA. "The Shawshank Redemption" in Mansfield, OH. "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly", in Andalucia, Spain. "L.A. Confidential" at the Lovell Health House, Los Angeles, CA. And a "Raiders of the Lost Ark" and "Star Wars" double-feature in Tunisia.

  • Sept. 6, 2005, 10:20 a.m. CST

    E.T.,jaws, raiders, close encounters....those were the good days

    by silverdog

    then the tommies came (hanks and cruise) and spielberg lost it....

  • what a great idea and great reports. Reading each one of them makes you feel like you are there. i personally would love to have seen the once upon a time in the west screening. This also seems to be a stand out.I travelled through 5 states of america last year in summer and had a fantastic time, but to see movies along with it would have been even better.

  • Sept. 6, 2005, 10:30 a.m. CST

    Vim Fuego

    by speed

    i was talking to brian today and he said throw vim out of the band because he is too angry and too cross....classic stuff! did you know the dvd of all 39 eps of comic strip presents are now on dvd. i gotta get me some of that.

  • Sept. 6, 2005, 10:35 a.m. CST


    by Hate_Speech

    I don't understand why. Weird.

  • Sept. 6, 2005, 11:25 a.m. CST

    Anyone who was there also notice this?

    by Bang!_Your_Dead

    Like some people that were also there mentioned above, hearing the chirping of insects around us completely added to the mood. Yet my favorite moment in the whole event was this. Harry probably missed this too cause he was sitting so far off to the side, but I was almost front center. During the last scene at Devil's Tower, when more then 4 ships start to show up. There is a quick shot in the night sky where the space ships form the Little Dipper in the sky and then break apart. Right when that happened, I looked just barely above the screen, and there it was in the clear night sky looking back at us. Now that was mind blowing. My friend next to me also noticed this, truely a great geek moment.

  • Sept. 6, 2005, 11:32 a.m. CST


    by Vim Fuego

    I wondered if someone would recognise where my ID came from. I did know that the Comic Strip Boxset was out, yes. I want to buy it obviously, but it's a bit difficult to justify the purchase at the moment when you've got a 7 month pregnant wife. I will probably get it at Christmas. "Vim Feugo?!? What sort of name is that anyway!?!"

  • Sept. 6, 2005, 11:43 a.m. CST

    What about Sammo Hung?

    by MechaTruffautMk2

    This was great and all, but why does nobody mention Sammo Hung? What's all this about a new Gobi Desert scene and such; why isn't anybody talking about the part where Sammo is endowed with the power of the monkey king and flies around fighting the ring-swinging minion? Or when Sammo's arm is taken over by a voodoo doll and then he kicks everybody's ass in the restaurant. Really, let's get some proper discussion of the film going without all this bullshit about devils, towers and what have you. On that note, shouldn't this screening have been held in Hong Kong? WTF?

  • Sept. 6, 2005, 1:36 p.m. CST

    Cry while looking at Iraq. Not a rock.

    by HypeEndsHere

    there is something strangely insidious going on. it's quite prevalent for people to show a failure in the expression of feelings by associating them with pop culture. it's why kids these days laugh during The Exorcist. they are uncomfortable and can't quite express it. it's why chimpanzees sound like they are laughing when they are nervous. it's why people associate the themes to movies based on actual events to the actual events themselves. it's why everyone's an armchair historian (sure, YOU saw that it was a trap, Harry. I guess you're a better tactician than a general.) in any event, i can't wait for Harry to be attacked by a shark and instead of yell for help, he quietly goes down humming Stravinisky's Dance of the Adolescents.

  • Sept. 6, 2005, 1:46 p.m. CST

    absolutely my favorite film of all time

    by ufoclub1977

    this one was relgious for a third grader obsessed with ufo's in 1977 in the lower middle class suburbs. where can i get a transfer of the 1977 print which lacks the shadow passing over the truck? (I don't like that addition that for some reason is left in all video versions)

  • Sept. 6, 2005, 2:42 p.m. CST

    Bob Denver dead..long live Gilligan!

    by Jugs


  • Sept. 6, 2005, 3:23 p.m. CST

    Hey Trevorfactor...

    by Kentucky Colonel

    It's been over a year for me, man. Come on out to DC with some of your kind bud and help a brother out. Weep not for CE3K, weep for the dead and the dying in New Orleans. Personally, I would have had a huge shit-eating grin, not some weepy fag-boy tears. Goosebumps, check! Tears...only for my New Orleans buddies. Who's got the herb (let's go raid Gilligan's stash!)

  • Sept. 6, 2005, 3:28 p.m. CST

    by topcad

    Sheesh.. I got geeked out just reading this.. glad you had fun Harry.

  • Sept. 6, 2005, 3:29 p.m. CST

    Dear Mr. Speilberg,

    by Ace Hunter

    Please remember the "pre-millineum" films you used to make and find that magic again. From "Duel" to "Saving Private Ryan", there was a sense of true love of films. "Post-millineum" Speilberg has phoned it in with the Kubrick-wannabe "A.I." to the mediocre "War of the Worlds". Don't get me started with "The Terminal". The only hope for the Speilberg fan is Indy 4. Don't let me down, Steven. I got no spit.

  • Sept. 6, 2005, 4:13 p.m. CST

    "Devils" PLURAL

    by EriamJH

    Love the movie and location -- jealous I wasn't there. Been there a few times, but would have loved to have seen the movie there, too. Love the poster and the write up, Harry, however I would fire your proofreader as the correct spelling for our first national monument is "Devils Tower" without the apostrophe. Didn't you read the plaque or the brochure when you were at the park? Didn't you check for details? Damn you all for thinking you know your country...

  • Sept. 6, 2005, 5:06 p.m. CST

    I went to this and GOONIES in Oregon

    by slone13

    Needless to say, it was amazing. My ladyfriend and I dragged our asses all the way from New York for these two films and it was worth every penny and minute. Everything Harry has written has been spot on, too. I can't stress enough how awesome it was. Thank you, ROLLING ROADSHOW. And thank you, Harry, for letting me know about this in the first place. (Harry, I was gonna go up and say 'hi' to you when I saw you sitting in the stands at GOONIES and then again at Devils Tower but I figured you probably got enough of that...) Thanks again.

  • Sept. 6, 2005, 5:09 p.m. CST

    by EriamJH

    ARGH!!! And it's "Little Bighorn" NOT "Big Horn" you first time visitor! You'd think the sponsors from the "Al Eh Moe" Drafthouse would understand battlefields. (Still jealous of your roadtrip, of course!)

  • Sept. 6, 2005, 8:05 p.m. CST

    oh how odd i thought that bells did go clang

    by slappy jones

  • Sept. 7, 2005, 10:58 a.m. CST

    When there's no more room in the mall...

    by Karl Hungus

    Great idea, Knobules. I'd go to PA for a DAWN OF THE DEAD Rolling Roadshow. Some other West Coast ideas: the Van Nuys dam for ESCAPE FROM NEW YORK. Puente Hills Mall for BACK TO THE FUTURE. The Fox Plaza tower for DIE HARD. Chinatown, San Francisco for BIG TROUBLE IN LITTLE CHINA.

  • Sept. 7, 2005, 12:36 p.m. CST


    by wackynephews

    What an odd thing to say! God help me if I cannot figure out why someone would cry over seeing something that was in a movie? Just because I don't turn into a blubbering idiot at the sight of something I saw in a movie I love doesn't make me some unfeeling monster or less of a geek, it just means I have a life outside of my passion for movies that actually causes me to feel emotions for real people and not characters or things I see on the big screen.

  • Sept. 8, 2005, 3:42 p.m. CST

    There was only official 1977 Video release on Laserdisc

    by TRON

    Criterion Laserdisc released 2 versions of the 1977 release on laser in 1990. To answer to ufoclub1977....... a note sheet that was included with the laser box set reads the following.......This laserdisc presents the original edition of Close Encounters with one shot from the Special Edition that was included at Mr. Spielberg's request (Side 1 , chapter 8, frames 33962- 34118) This was the scene that you mentioned with the UFO shadow. The cut footage to include this shot was 3 - 5 seconds of Roy Neary driving his truck up an off ramp and entering a tunnel. As much as I can remember........To answer your question, Speilberg prefered this small alteration out of the entire 1977 release. Just be thankful that he is not as notorious as Lucas for changing things around. There were even small trims cut from the laserdisc release that are included at the end of each disc in the set. One that I remember is a brief scene of everyone having a scuffle trying to get off of the helicopter. Every other print just shows a long shot of the three running towards Devils Tower. Recommendation ,,,,get the Laserdisc, transfer to the PC and get a good program and edit your own version. I did it ages ago and made a complete version from all trims and Special Edition scenes. 1977 Version 135 minutes Special Edition 132 minutes Collectors Edition 137 minutes Complete Edit 145 minutes Unfortunately I edited this on Hi-8 and then transfered to VHS years ago. One day I will transfer the box set to DVD and re edit in my PC. If you happen to have a 2 DVD set of Close Encounters the higher quality deleted scenes were shown in the 77 print. The scenes containing specs and scratches were never in any version.

  • Sept. 8, 2005, 9:35 p.m. CST

    Fucking pigs...

    by SK909

    See... I'm the type of person that, if that happened with the pigs, it would ruin my whole night. I'm sure at some point, I'd see the tower behind the screen and forget, but I'd definitely dwell... big dweller. I just hate that kind of thing, where anyone with any fucking sense can tell what's really going on, but they have to dicks just because that's what they are. It's just unnecessary harrassment... oh, and they've ALWAYS had some kind of call for the area you're in for the exact same thing they're accusing you of. Happened to my girlfriend and I once, but I had a card my tow truck driver uncle gave me that, for some unknown reason, got me out of a lot of shit that regular PBA cards didn't. It was some other association, the president of which was a CIA agent. No idea where he got it... one time, the officer even asked me if I was undercover law enforcement. Anyway... I'm from NJ, where the police are the absolute fucking worse... so it's all necessary. Glad you had a good time at The Tower... love the photos.

  • Sept. 10, 2005, 8:59 p.m. CST


    by TheMostHorrible

    Tool! Hypocrite! What could you have done with the time and energy you spent typing that post! Did you give blood? Did you write a poem? Did you spay a cat? No, TOOL, you didn't. But you know what? That's okay. (When you do what you love, it MATTERS.) Furthermore it's more than ok for Harry to follow his bliss on up to Devil's Tower. Some perspective: Harry has a job, and a giant website, and a book and a name and a rep and fans and friends and probably more pussy than anybody knows. Fer the luvva- he has his hands on John Carter of Mars! (the story, not the my knowledge.) That was a dream of mine from way back, and now he's doing it! His dad seems to have the resources and the desire and the good sense to go on an awesome trip with his son and grandson; a trip of which I am quite covetous. What IF every minute of every day of Harry's life IS film related? How does that make every minute of every day of his life meaningless? It totally matters. It's all worthwhile and you are in no position to judge. Okay, I feel better now. I am sorry I yelled.