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Jaws is a 1975 American thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and starring the late Roy Scheider as Chief Martin Brody, the late Robert Shaw as Quint, Richard Dreyfuss as Matt Hooper, Lorraine Gary as Brody's wife Ellen and the late Murray Hamilton as Mayor Larry Vaughn. It is an adaptation of the 1974 novel of the same name by the late Peter Benchley, who himself wrote the film's screenplay along with Carl Gottlieb and portrayed the Interviewer in the film. The novel was also inspired by the infamous Jersey Shore shark attacks of 1916. The novel and film are about a giant killer shark roaming the seas, attacking beachgoars on a fictional Massachusetts summer resort town called Amity Island.

Plot[]

When a young woman is killed by a shark while skinny-dipping near the New England tourist town of Amity Island, police chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) wants to close the beaches, but mayor Larry Vaughn (Murray Hamilton) overrules him, fearing that the loss of tourist revenue will cripple the town. Ichthyologist Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) and grizzled ship captain Quint (Robert Shaw) offer to help Brody capture the killer beast, and the trio engage in an epic battle of man vs. nature.

Why It Rocks[]

  1. The first summer blockbuster and was just the beginning of a bright future for Steven Spielberg after several years of being unknown to the public.
  2. Amazing and suspenseful score by the legendary John Williams, and was actually his second collaboration with Spielberg, the first being the 1974 film The Sugarland Express. Williams later won an Academy Award for Best Original Score in 1976. (see below)
  3. The shark terrified many audiences, just like King Kong. It further proves on how scary the shark animatronics were and how incredibly realistic it looked.
  4. Great acting, especially from Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, and Richard Dreyfuss. The other actors were also really good.
    1. Roy Scheider is great as Chief Martin Brody.
    2. Robert Shaw as Quint is excellent.
    3. Richard Dreyfuss does a pretty good job as Matt Hooper.
  5. Memorable characters, especially the aforementioned main ones.
  6. The setting is pretty scary.
  7. The story, despite taking some liberties, follows the plot's key elements of the original novel and was written by Peter Benchley, the author of the novel. It also feels like a remake of the 1954 pre-code 3D monster film Creature from the Black Lagoon; they both feature the main protagonists on a boat hunting an underwater creature and a woman swimming with something watching her from underneath the water. The two films were both distributed and produced by Universal Pictures.
  8. Speaking of Benchley, he makes a nice cameo in this movie as an interviewer.
  9. The opening scene is great and really scary. It's also shown in the film's poster.
  10. Great dialogue (eg. Quint's first lines; "Y'all know me. Know how I earn a livin'. I'll catch this bird for you, but it ain't gonna be easy. Bad fish. Not like going down the pond chasin' bluegills and tommycods. This shark, swallow you whole. Little shakin', little tenderizin', an' down you go. And we gotta do it quick, that'll bring back your tourists, put all your businesses on a payin' basis. But it's not gonna be pleasant. I value my neck a lot more than 3,000 bucks, chief.)".
  11. Memorable quotes like "You're gonna need a bigger boat" and "Smile, you son a of a bitch". The line "You're gonna need a bigger boat' has been referenced and/or parodied several times in movies and TV shows, and is also misheard as "We're gonna need a bigger boat".
  12. Epic ending climax during the battle between Brody and the shark.
  13. Quint's gruesome death provides excellent entertainment for splatter fans.
  14. The cinematography is great.
  15. Excellent directing by Steven Spielberg.
  16. Great pacing.
  17. The poster by Roger Kastel is well drawn and later became one of the most iconic movie posters of all time.
  18. There's a nice reference to Spielberg's 1971 film Duel; when the shark blows up, the same sound effect in Duel when the truck falls of the cliff is heard.
  19. This film helped inspire many filmmakers, from Eli Roth to Bryan Singer.
  20. There's a really cute scene in the movie where Brody and his son Sean mimic each other by touching themselves in the face.
  21. Really good sound mixing by Robert L. Hoyt, Roger Herman, Earl Madery and John R. Carter, which won them an Oscar (see below).
  22. The film is also responsible for popularizing the entire killer animal movie genre and paved the way for other movies of the same genre such as Orca and Alligator.

Bad Qualities[]

  1. You don't get to see the shark that often, due to the mechanical sharks not working.
    • However, this is sort of a good thing since it makes him more intimidating and scary.

Reception[]

Box office[]

The film opened with a $7 million weekend and in two weeks, it recouped its $9 million production costs. In just 78 days, it overtook Francis Ford Coppola's The Godfather released in 1972 as the highest-grossing film at the North American box office, sailing past that that motion picture's earnings of $86 million to become the first film to earn more than $100 million in the US gross rentals. It's initial release ultimately brought in $123.1 million in rentals. The two theatrical re-releases in 1976 and 1979 brought its total rentals to $133.4 million. In December 1975, the film entered overseas release and its international business mirrored its domestic performance. It broke records in Japan, Mexico, New Zealand, Singapore, and Spain. By 1977, the movie was the highest-grossing international release with worldwide rentals of $193 million, equating to about $400 million of gross revenue; so, it surpplanted The Godfather.

Jaws became the highest grossing-film of 1975 and the hightest-grossing film of all time until Star Wars was released almost two years later.

Critical response[]

The film currently holds a 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes based on 79 reviews, with an average rating of 9.2/10. The site's critical consensus says "Compelling, well-crafted storytelling and a judicious sense of terror ensure Steven Spielberg's Jaws has remained a benchmark in the art of delivering modern blockbuster thrills." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 87/100, based on 20 reviews, meaning “universal acclaim”. On Common Sense Media, the film has a rating of 5/5 stars and the film also got an 8.0/10 on IMDb.

Accolades[]

Jaws won three Academy Awards (Best Film Editing for Verna Fields, Best Original Dramatic Score for Williams, and Best Sound Mixing for Robert L. Hoyt, Roger Herman, Earl Madery, and John R. Carter). It was also nominated for Best Picture, but lost to One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Williams also won the Grammy Award for Best Score Soundtrack, the BAFTA Award for Best Film Music and the Golden Globe Award.

Trivia[]

  • In the novel, Brody has three sons; Michael, Sean, and Martin Jr. While in the movie, Brody has two sons; Michael and Sean.
  • This film is rapper Ice Cube's favorite movie.
  • Spielberg named the shark "Bruce" after his lawyer Bruce Raymor.
  • Many people have criticized the film's PG rating due to Quint's gruesome end. However, keep in mind, this film was released before the PG-13 rating was introduced in 1984, almost a decade after Jaws

External Links[]

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