Jaws 2
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Jaws 2 (1978) More at IMDbPro »

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The following FAQ entries may contain spoilers. Only the biggest ones (if any) will be covered with spoiler tags. Spoiler tags have been used sparingly in order to make the page more readable.

For detailed information about the amounts and types of (a) sex and nudity, (b) violence and gore, (c) profanity, (d) alcohol, drugs, and smoking, and (e) frightening and intense scenes in this movie, consult the IMDb Parents Guide for this movie. The Parents Guide for Jaws 2 can be found here.

The Great White shark that terrorized Amity Beach four years ago was destroyed, and people are no longer afraid to go back in the water. However, police chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) hasn't forgotten. When two SCUBA divers and two waterskiers go missing, a dead killer whale with huge bite marks is found on the beach, and a photograph of a shark's eye surfaces, Brody realizes that another Great White has come to the waters off Amity Island. This time, Mayor Larry Vaughn (Murray Hamilton) is sympathetic with Brody's concern but, as he is deeply involved with real estate developer Len Peterson (Joseph Mascolo), who is building an upmarket beachfront resort in Amity, the mayor doesn't want to make any noise unless it can be proven that a shark is actually the cause.

Jaws 2 is the movie sequel to Jaws (1975), which was based on the 1974 novel Jaws by American author Peter Benchley. However, the movie was novelized (1978) by American author Hank Searls based off an earlier screenplay by American screenwriters Dorothy Tristan and Howard Sackler. The final screenplay for Jaws 2 was written by Carl Gottlieb and Howard Sackler. It was followed by Jaws 3-D (1983) and Jaws: The Revenge (1987).

Most of them do. The Brody family -- Police Chief Martin Brody, his wife Ellen (Lorraine Gary), and their two sons Michael (Mark Gruner) and Sean (Marc Gilpin) -- are still living in Amity. Deputy Hendricks (Jeffrey Kramer) is still working for Brody. Larry Vaughn is still mayor of Amity. Shark expert Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) does not return, although Brody does put in a call to him and learns that Hooper is on the research vessel Aurora in the Antarctic Ocean and won't be within radio range until next spring. Shark fisherman Quint (Robert Shaw) does not return, but the wreckage of the Orca, the fishing boat that Brody, Hooper, and Quint used in Jaws, is shown on the ocean floor in the opening scenes where it's being explored by two SCUBA divers.

It is not absolutely necessary to see the first film as Jaws 2 is a completely self-contained story, though the first film does introduce many of the characters that appear in Jaws 2.

It is assumed that Jaws 2 begins four years later, evidenced when Brody is fired as police chief, and he bemoans, 'Four years shot to hell!' In Jaws, Brody was spending his first summer on the island and was in his first year as Amity's Police Chief, though it was made clear in the first film that he and his wife had bought their house there in the fall of the year before.

It seems far-fetched, but it is logistically possible. Great whites tend to favor coastal areas rather than open seas, and one of those coastal areas is the New England/Atlantic coast of the United States. According to a study by the International Shark Attack File, analyzing the period from 1876 to 1994, the Atlantic coast accounts for three percent of great white shark attacks worldwide. Source. Therefore, it is conceivable that, four years after the Amity shark attack as portrayed in Jaws, a second great white could enter the same waters, especially if the food supply was ample.

No, there is no evidence to support this. Chief Brody asks shark expert, Dr Lureen Elkins (Collin Wilcox Paxton), whether it's possible that sharks, like whales and dolphins, can communicate with each other, but she dismisses the idea. However, Brody's question intimates that the shark from Jaws and the shark from Jaws 2 are in cahoots with each other. Searls' novelization of Jaws 2 implies that the shark in Jaws 2 is actually the female mate of the shark in Jaws. However, novelizations of films are not actually canon, and this is highly unlikely anyway since sharks do not take mates. A male shark wishing to mate will simply grab a female, hold her by biting her fins, and then move on. Sharks do not form a family unit. In fact, newborn sharks risk being eaten by their own mothers if they don't skedaddle quickly. The great white's gestation period is between 11-14 months, but the great white in Jaws was killed four years earlier; although in the novelization the shark was killed two years earlier, that would still be far too long.

After rescuing Tina and sending Mike, Timmy, and Polo back to shore, Chief Brody locates the other teens and Sean drifting near Cable Junction, a small rocky island housing an electrical station. He tries to get close to them, but the shark attacks and his boat crashes on the rocks. Using the rope from a rescue raft, Brody tosses the teens one end and ties the other to a set of trawler hooks as he plans to pull their boats over using the winch. However, the hooks get snagged on a high-voltage electrical cable on the seabed, and the shark attacks again, knocking mostly everyone except Sean and Jackie into the water. The teens frantically swim towards the island; everyone makes it, though Lucy is injured. As the shark begins attacking Jackie and Sean's boat, Brody tries to distract the shark by banging on the cable with an oar. It works, and the shark heads towards Brody, its mouth wide open. However, when it tries to take a bite out of Brody, it bites down instead on the electrical cable and is electrocuted. In the final scene, Brody rescues Jackie and Sean, and the three row back to the island to join the other teens and await pick up.

Research is still being gathered as to what attracts sharks, but two things seem to be emerging as most important...sound and color. Sound is one of their greatest attractants, e.g., irregular sounds (like Chief Brody pounding on the electrical cable), the sounds of swimmers or wounded fish flailing in the water, the sound of an aircraft plunging into the water, etc. Sharks also appear to be attracted by certain colors, especially light colors like yellow, white, and silver and by glinting metals. Many divers maintain that clothing, fins, and tanks should be painted in dull colors to avoid shark attacks. One group of experimenters, noticing the sharks' preference for a certain shade, dubbed the standard life jacket color 'yum-yum yellow.' Whether sharks are actually attracted by the smell of blood is not known. Blood may only be a by-product of wounded individuals flailing in the water.

Hanks Searls wrote the novelization for Jaws 2. In 1977 Searls had begun writing his novel based off a screenplay by screenwriters Howard Sackler (who had contributed uncredited rewrites to the Jaws screenplay in 1974) and Dorothy Tristan, who was married to John D. Hancock, the first director chosen to film Jaws 2. After Hancock and Tristan were fired from the project, Searls, who was well into his manuscript by that point, had no choice but to continue working off of the abandoned screenplay. The novel therefore is based on that first screenplay by Sackler and Tristan.

- The opening to the novel and the film are nearly identical.

- The water-skier scene in the novel and the film are nearly identical, except the boat is operated by a male in the novel and a female in the film.

- The "half-eaten killer whale" scene is not in the novel.

- The period of time between events differs. In the film, 4 years have passed between the death of the first shark and the events in Jaws 2. In the novel, 2 years have passed.

- In the film, Len Peterson, a real estate developer, has begun construction on a new beachfront hotel on Amity for the purpose of expanding Amity into a luxurious seaside resort. In the novel, the character is named Pete Peterson and he is also a real estate developer, but the project being constructed is a new casino that the locals describe as hoping to turn Amity into "the Las Vegas of the East".

- In the film, despite the attacks of the first film, Amity has seemingly suffered no real economic downturn and appears to be as vibrant and bustling as it was 4 years ago. In the novel, Amity has suffered through economic hardship, to the point that Peterson's casino is seen as a godsend that will help keep Amity from going bankrupt.

- In the film, Peterson is Ellen Brody's boss and a potential romantic rival for Martin Brody. There is no such plotline in the novel.

- The cast of teenage characters like Mike Brody, Sean Brody, Larry Vaughn Jr., Andy, Bob Burnside and Jackie are present in both the film and the novel with changes.

- The infamous "the shark attacks a helicopter" scene is present in both works. In the film, a helicopter sent by Brody to rescue the teens is attacked by the shark and sunk. In the novel, the Navy is running a routine exercise by dragging a sonar ball through the water. The shark attacks the sonar ball, snagging the helicopter and sending it into a freefall. It crashes into the ocean, with the shark attacking and killing the co-pilot (it is implied that the pilot died on impact).

- The "shark photo taken by the diver's camera" is present in both works. In the film, Phil Fogarty develops the film found in the camera while Brody is present. When the photo comes out, Brody sees the snout and eye of the shark and attempts to use the photo to convince the town selectmen that there is another shark off the shores of Amity. In the novel, local pharmacist Nate Starbuck develops the film and sees the shark in one of the photos, becoming convinced that Brody lied about the first shark dying and that Brody, Mayor Larry Vaughn and the town selectmen are conspiring to cover it up. Starbuck decides to keep the photo and use it to blackmail Brody and Vaughn.

- In the film, Brody shoots up the beach after mistakenly believing he saw a shark in the water, then later confronts the selectmen at the Town Hall with the "shark picture". After a testy exchange and outburst he is fired by the selectmen. There is no such scene in the novel and Brody does not lose his job.

- In the film, after the water-skier scene, Brody has an almost obsessive notion that there is another shark in the waters off Amity, going so far as shooting up the beach when he mistakes a school of bluefish for a shark. In the novel, Brody adds up all the occurrences (missing divers, missing water-skier, exploded boat, missing NAVY pilot, Andy panicking while SCUBA diving) and suggests that if he didn't know better he would think that there was another shark off Amity, not believing there is a shark until he literally sees it with his own eyes (while helping Tom Andrews search for the missing Navy sonar ball).

- In the film, while deep-sea diving for lobster, SCUBA instructor Tom Andrews runs into the shark, panics, surfaces too quickly and suffers an embolism. In the novel, Mike, Andy, Vaughn Jr., etc. are diving in search of the missing Navy sonar ball when Andy encounters the shark, panics, surfaces too quickly and suffers an embolism.

- In the film, the teenagers go day-sailing to the lighthouse then decide to go further, eventually winding up at Cable Junction. In the novel, the town of Amity sponsors a boat race that the town's teens enter. In both versions the shark attacks the caravan of boats.

- In the film, Brody commandeers the police boat to search for the group of day-sailing teens. In the novel, Brody accompanies Tom Andrews on a search for the Navy's missing sonar ball. Andrews becomes a victim of the shark, leaving Brody to try to find the caravan of boats on his own.

- In the climax of the film Brody finds the teens afloat toward Cable Junction and attempts to rescue them with the winch on the police launch. The shark attacks and Brody inadvertently pulls up the main Amity power line. Brody lures the shark to him and it gets electrocuted when it attempts to attack Brody and instead bites into the line. In the novel, Brody finds the teens afloat toward Cape North and pulls the boat alongside them. He transfers them aboard and realizes that Sean is still missing. He finds Sean and Mike, jumps into the water in an attempt to secure a line to Sean's boat. Brody spots the shark and jumps into the water in an attempt to distract it. He succeeds but barely escapes with his life. Back aboard the boat, Brody and the teens pull up the anchor and find the main Amity power line tangled on it. In a frenzy, the shark attacks the boat. The boat is quickly sinking and Brody and the teens are resigned to being killed by the shark. Suddenly the shark bites into the power line and is electrocuted.

- "Sammy The Seal", a major subplot of the novel, is completely omitted from the film. A vacationing NYPD sergeant named Jepps shoots a seal on the beach, leading Brody to arrest him. As the water-skier / exploding boat incident occurred at roughly the same time, Brody (mistakenly) surmises that a stray shot from Jepps' gun may have pierced the boat's gas tank, igniting the fuel and exploding the boat. Brody inadvertently sets off a firestorm when he later finds out that Jepps is politically connected in Albany and that his arrest and prosecution may derail the plans for the Amity casino.

- In the film, Harry Meadows, owner, editor and publisher of The Amity Leader is completely omitted from the cast of characters. In the novel, he prints Brody's version of events about the seal shooting, implicating Jepps in the possible demise of the water-skier and boat pilot in the paper. Meadows later regrets his actions, chastises Brody for jumping to conclusions with little to no evidence (after a ballistics test conclusively proves Jepps had nothing to do with the boat explosion), and tries to convince Brody to change his story after Jepps hires a high-priced lawyer who is threatening to sue him and put the paper out of business for spreading lies about his client.

- Shuffles Moscotti, a Long Island Mafia capo and one of the main antagonists in the novel, is completely omitted from the film. Moscotti's plotline also serves as a major subplot in the novel: Peterson is so underfinanced that he cannot get a legitimate loan to move forward on the Amity casino project so he turns to the New York Mafia Families to loan him the money, in exchange for their becoming "silent partners" in the casino. Peterson, later (as well as Vaughn, Meadows and the selectmen) implores Brody to drop the attempted murder charges against Jepps. While the others cite the political snag in Albany and possible harm to Amity's economic well-being, Peterson confides in Brody that he is more concerned about potential retribution by the Mafia against Brody should the casino project fall through.

Jaws is considered THE benchmark shark attack movie but, following Jaws, there have been a number of similar movies. You may wish to take a look at ¡Tintorera! (1977), Cyclone (1978), L'ultimo squalo (The Last Shark) (1981), and Deep Blue Sea (1999). There is the Shark Attack franchise featuring Shark Attack (1999), Shark Attack 2 (2000), and Shark Attack 3: Megalodon (2002). More recently, there is Open Water (2003), The Reef (2010), Sharktopus (2010), Shark Night 3D (2011), and 2-Headed Shark Attack (2012).


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