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Jaws 2 (1978) Poster

(1978)

Trivia

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Marc Gilpin (Sean Brody) claims that when they were shooting one of the scenes on the makeshift raft of wrecked yachts, they were being circled by a real hammerhead shark. All the actors were scared and began to scream and holler at the production crew who were filming that particular scene from a distance. The crew were oblivious to the danger and assumed the actors were simply 'in character' and gave them the thumbs up!
On the Brodys' front porch is a flower planter painted bright yellow. It is one of the barrels from the first Jaws (1975).
In one of the boat scenes a young man is seen reading a book: "Jaws" by Peter Benchley.
Ellen Brody tells her husband that Matt Hooper called to say he was on the Aurora. This is a reference to the first film. In the first film, Hooper turned down the opportunity to study on the Aurora in favor of studying the shark that was terrorizing the beach then.
The first sequel to actually use the number "2" in its title, as opposed to Roman numerals.
Roy Scheider did not originally want to appear in Jaws 2, but had recently left the production of The Deer Hunter (1978), which led to conflicts with Universal Pictures to whom he was locked into a multi-film contract with. The studio agreed to forgive his leaving The Deer Hunter (1978) if he did Jaws 2, which they would count as the two remaining films of his contract with them. Scheider agreed to the terms, but was resentful of his involvement from the onset and clashed frequently with director Jeannot Szwarc.
Many scenes had to be shot in the fall/winter months. As such, the actors had to suck ice cubes prior to takes to avoid having their breath seen on camera.
Steven Spielberg and Richard Dreyfuss were approached to direct and star in the sequel but production on Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977) was running behind and they declined to participate.
The movie's main tagline "Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water..." became one of the most famous and popular taglines in motion picture history. The blurb has frequently been spoofed and referenced in both social vernacular and in other movie promotions as well.
In a deleted scene, after the copter sinks, the shark attacks the pilot underwater. The sounds of the pilot screaming and the copter being damaged are the exact same sounds from Jaws (1975) when the shark attacks the shark cage and Hooper.
The picture was the all time highest-grossing sequel ever in history until Rocky II (1979) was released the following year in 1979.
The name of the small rocky island with an electrical relay station on it was "Cable Junction" island. This was actually an artificially constructed set which caused numerous problems during filming. The island was made from plastic / fibre-glass material and was set on two barges. The surface of it was so slick and slippery that it was difficult to traverse it or even grab hold of it. This resulted in numerous retakes having to be shot, many actors slipping and falling off it constantly. Due to once not being anchored down properly, it once drifted away in the ocean, and the production had to go out and tug it back. In The Making of 'Jaws 2' (2001) DVD documentary, director Jeannot Szwarc recounted the day when he was informed that his island set was "on its way to Cuba".
Jeannot Szwarc and Roy Scheider did not get along, so producer David Brown asked them both to air their differences, but it resulted in a physical confrontation, which the smaller but more athletic actor had the upper hand. It ended with the director;s promise that he would spend as much time directing the star as the child actors.
This marks the last film of Mark Gruner's (Mike Brody) acting career.
The camera operator used a cowboy saddle to be on top of the shark in a few scenes.
The helicopter used in aerial shots belonged to real life ex-army pilot Jerry M. Baxter. It was hired while he was running a crop-dusting business, after the filmmakers fancied a helicopter attack and spotted this one as perfect for the job. Baxter was also not only hired to fly it, but was asked to play the part of the Harbor Patrol pilot as well. In addition, he also built the full scale model that was capsized by the shark using salvage parts, and sold it to Universal at the film's completion.
Due to difficulties with weather and environment, most of the movie was filmed in and around Fort Walton Beach, Florida on the Northwest Panhandle. Many ocean scenes were actually shot in the Choctawhatchee Bay. "Cable Junction" was actually a floating set that was constructed for the film and kept docked at the Shalimar Yacht Basin when not needed and could be seen from the Garniers Bayou Bridge with its faux beacon flashing at night. Interior shots of the teen hang-out where they play pinball were filmed in the original location of the Hog's Breath Saloon on Okaloosa Island. This business relocated to a new facility in Destin, Florida in recent years after the first site proved very susceptible to hurricane damage. The original building was still vacant and derelict in January 2005.
When shooting originally began (with John D. Hancock as director), Amity was envisioned as a near ghost-town, with boarded-up stores, crumbling facades on buildings and an economy in shambles after the events of Jaws (1975). Hancock quickly ran into problems: First, the residents of Martha's Vineyard, where the film was being shot, refused to allow permission for their stores and houses to be boarded up. Secondly, his dailies were constantly being criticized by the studio for being "too contrasty and blue", with perpetual requests to lighten up the tone of the film. According to Hancock, however, his eventual firing was the result of a power struggle between co-producer Richard D. Zanuck and MCA chairman Sid Sheinberg, in particular Sheinberg's insistence that his wife Lorraine Gary (Ellen Brody) have a bigger role in the film. Zanuck adamantly refused, and Hancock's wife and co-screenwriter Dorothy Tristan eventually submitted a screenplay that did not include Sheinberg's requested changes. Moreover, Hancock ran into problems on the film with an unnamed actress and had her fired; unbeknown to him, the actress was the girlfriend of an MCA executive. With a month of filming in the can, and 18 months in total already spent on the production, Hancock and Tristan were both fired, halting production on the film and leading to the eventual hiring of Jeannot Szwarc as director.
The later film Somewhere in Time (1980) was made because the Universal Pictures studio owed director Jeannot Szwarc a favor because Jaws 2 (1978) had been the studio's biggest box-office performer of 1978.
Murray Hamilton's scenes were shot hurriedly because his wife was in failing health during production of the film.
Young actors appearing in the movie who were involved in the sailing scenes undertook four weeks sailing training. When the production shoot got interrupted at various times, it was often suggested they go out and practice their sailing.
The final month of the shoot during December was conducted seven days a week without any days break so principal photography could wrap on 22nd December 1977 just before Christmas.
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Around the time that this movie was in production, Peter Benchley's The Deep (1977) was in theatrical release.
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Co-starring in this sequel Jaws 2 (1978) was actress Lorraine Gary reprising her role as Ellen Brody. Gary is the only actor to appear in three of the four films in the "Jaws" series, the others being the original Jaws (1975) and the final film, Jaws: The Revenge (1987). Gary does not appear in Jaws 3-D (1983).
At around US $30 million, at the time that the movie was made and released, the film was the most expensive picture that Universal Pictures studio had ever made.
Names of vessels appearing in the movie included the small sailboat sloops "Tina's Joy" and "Sea Witch", the catamarans "Hot Wave", "Sizzler" and "Green Machine" and the underwater sea wreck of the "Orca", which was Quint's boat from the first movie Jaws (1975).
The lighthouse where the teenagers hang out was a specially constructed set made for the film and was 80 feet high.
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Until the mid-1990s, the movie was on trade paper Variety's list of Top Ten box-office hits of all time.
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Not adjusted for inflation, the picture grossed at the box-office about 45% of the amount of the original Jaws (1975). On the DVD doc The Making of 'Jaws 2' (2001), the producers estimated the take to be around a third to 40% of the first film.
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Reportedly, there was a joke that went around Hollywood when this movie was being made and released that said that the film was called "Jaws 2" and not "Jaws II" because the latter title was being saved for the next sequel after "Jaws 10". As such, the franchise in the end only went to four pictures though.
When the crew had to go back to Martha's Vineyard for re-shoots in the Fall of 1977, many of the trees had already lost their leaves. The crew actually put fake leaves on the trees to make it look like it was still Summer.
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The helicopter scene took four days to shoot.
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This is Keith Gordon's first film.
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Erland Josephson was offered Richard Dreyfuss's role but turned it down with the words: "I would rather have intellectual battles with Liv Ullmann, than fighting with some shark. Ultimately, the character was cut from the film.
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In a letter to Szwarc, Roy Scheider wrote that "working with Jeannot Szwarc is knowing he will never say he is sorry or ever admitting he overlooked something. Well, enough of that shit for me!" He requested an apology from the director for not consulting him. Szwarc's reply focused upon completing the film to the "best possible" standard:

Time and pressure are part of my reality and priorities something I must deal with. You have been consulted and your suggestions made part of my scenes many times, whenever they did not contradict the overall concept of the picture. If you have to be offended, I deplore it, for no offense was meant. At this point in the game, your feelings or my feelings are immaterial and irrelevant, the picture is all that matters. Sincerely, Jeannot
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According to actor Joseph Mascolo, original director John D. Hancock's shooting script included scenes that fleshed out Len Peterson's character; in particular, Peterson's mob connections, as mentioned in the Howard Sackler/Dorothy Tristan screenplay. Some of the scenes were filmed with Dana Elcar, but once Hancock was fired, those scenes were scrapped, much to Mascolo's disappointment, as he had taken over the role from Elcar for director Jeannot Szwarc.
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The production shoot for this movie ran for five months, it being shot between August and December 1977. Including the original production of the film before the interval when it was shut down, the period of the shoot actually went for around 10 to 11 months.
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Movie versions of novels by Peter Benchley became popular in Hollywood for a brief time during the mid to late 1970s due to the box-office success of Jaws (1975), itself producing three sequels, which included this movie made during this period. Others included The Deep (1977) and The Island (1980).
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Second of three movies related to a Peter Benchley novel produced by producers David Brown and Richard D. Zanuck. The first had been their box-office smash Jaws (1975) of which this movie was its first sequel. The third and final film was an adaptation of Benchley's novel The Island (1980).
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Original director John D. Hancock was fired and replaced by Jeannot Szwarc.
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John Frankenheimer and Otto Preminger were considered to direct.
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During a beach scene with the mayor, a wet bike similar to the one used in The Spy Who Loved Me (1977) can be seen on the bottom right hand corner. The wet bike used in the Bond film was the first ever made.
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Susan Ford, daughter of U.S. President Gerald Ford, was hired to shoot publicity photographs. Many of these appeared in Ray Loynd's Jaws 2 Log, a book documenting the film's production, similar to what Carl Gottlieb had done for the first film.
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Casting director Shari Rhodes, requested members of the Gulf Breeze band performed as the Amity High Band, seen in an early scene in the film showing the opening of the Holiday Inn Amity Shores "Amity Scholarship Fund Benefit". "The GBHS band consisted of approximately 100 members, and band director John Henley chose 28 student musicians, including the band's section known as Henley's Honkers." Universal scheduled their involvement for mid-afternoons to prevent them missing too much time in school. Universal made a contribution of $3,500 to the school and the band for their part in the film.
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Real hammerhead sharks circled the teen actors during the filming of one shot. Because the characters they were playing were meant to be in distress, the crew (filming from a distance) did not realize that the actors were genuinely calling for help.
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According to his biographer, Roy Scheider was so desperate to be relieved from the role that he "pleaded insanity and went crazy in The Beverly Hills Hotel".
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Although the first film was commended for leaving the shark to the imagination until two thirds of the way through, Jeannot Szwarc felt that they should show it as much as possible because the dramatic "first image of it coming out of the water" in the first film could never be repeated. Szwarc believed that the reduction of the first film's Hitchcockian suspense was inevitable because the audience already knew what the shark looked like from the first film.
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While filming in Florida, the production "was a boost to the local economy because local boaters, extras and stand-ins or doubles were hired. Universal brought in actors, directors, producers and their wives, camera and crew people who needed housing, food and clothing for the movie. Services were needed for laundry, dry-cleaning and recreation."
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David Elliott (who played Larry Vaughn, Jr.) claims to have improvised the line "She has tits like a sparrow." He said Donna Wilkes (Jackie) graciously forgave him for it, but he later remarked "I wish those words never left my mouth."
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Dana Elcar was originally cast in the role of Len Peterson, which was much more darker than it eventually became. When Jeannot Szwarc took over the film and turned the character into a potential love interest for Ellen Brody, Elcar was let go and replaced with Joseph Mascolo, who had worked previously with Szwarc.
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Universal wanted a sequel to Jaws (1975) early into the success of the original film. David Brown and Richard D. Zanuck realized that someone else would produce the film if they didn't, and they preferred to be in charge of the project themselves.
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Steven Spielberg told the San Francisco Film Festival that "making a sequel to anything is just a cheap carny trick" and that he did not even respond to the producers when they asked him to direct. He claimed that the planned plot was to involve the sons of Quint and Brody hunting a new shark. David Brown said that Spielberg did not want to direct the sequel because he felt that he had done the "definitive shark movie". The director later added that his decision was influenced by the problems the Jaws (1975) production faced - "I would have done the sequel if I hadn't had such a horrible time at sea on the first film."
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Howard Sackler, who had contributed to the first film's script but chose not to be credited, was charged with writing the first draft. He originally proposed a prequel based on the sinking of the USS Indianapolis, the story relayed by Quint in the first film. Although Universal president Sidney Sheinberg thought Sackler's treatment for the film was intriguing, he rejected the idea.
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Howard Sackler recommended John D. Hancock to direct. Sackler later felt betrayed when Dorothy Tristan, Hancock's wife, was invited to rewrite his script.
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Many extras were recruited from Gulf Breeze High School. The students were paid $3 per hour, well above the minimum wage at the time, and revelled in being able to miss classes. Several other GBHS students were hired as stand-ins or doubles for the teenage actors to appear in the water scenes and to maintain and sail the boats.
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After nearly a month of filming, Universal and MCA executives disliked the dark, subtle tone that the film was taking and wanted a more lighthearted and action oriented story.
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John D. Hancock ran into trouble with Sid Sheinberg, who suggested to Hancock and Dorothy Tristan that his wife, Lorraine Gary (Ellen Brody), "should go out on a boat and help to rescue the kids." When told of the idea, Zanuck replied, "Over my dead body." The next draft of the film's screenplay was turned in with Gary not going out to sea. Hancock says that this, and his later firing of another actress who turned out to be a Universal executive's girlfriend, contributed to his own dismissal from the film.
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John D. Hancock blamed his departure on the mechanical shark, telling a newspaper that it still couldn't swim or bite after a year and a half; "You get a couple of shots and [the shark] breaks."
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Three sharks were built for the film. The first was the "platform shark", also referred to as the "luxurious shark". Special mechanical effects supervisor Robert A. Mattey and Roy Arbogast used the same body mould used for the shark in the first film.
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The sharks from the original film had rotted behind sheds on the lower lot of Universal Studios in the intervening years, and the only pieces that were salvageable were the chromoly tube frames.
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Robert A. Mattey's shark design was much more complicated and ambitious than the first film. The same (male) body was used, but a brand new head was made by sculptor Chris Mueller which made use of an all-new mouth mechanism, one which incorporated jowls to disguise the pinching of the cheeks that had proven to be a problem with the shark in the original film.
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The sharks for the film were known as Bruce Two (the sharks for the original film had been nicknamed "Bruce", after Steven Spielberg's lawyer), but on set they were referred to as "Fidel" and "Harold", the latter after David Brown's Beverly Hills lawyer.
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Like the first film, footage of real sharks filmed by Australian divers Ron & Valerie Taylor were used for movement shots that could not be convincingly achieved using the mechanical sharks.
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Like the first film, shooting on water proved challenging. Roy Scheider said that they were "always contending with tides, surf and winds [...] jellyfish, sharks, waterspouts and hurricane warnings."
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After spending hours anchoring the sailboats, the wind would change as they were ready to shoot, blowing the sails in the wrong direction. The saltwater's corrosive effect damaged some equipment, including the metal parts in the sharks.
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Many residents enjoyed being cast as extras. Some people, however, were less pleased by the film crew's presence and refused to cooperate. Only one drugstore allowed its windows to be boarded up for the moody look that John D. Hancock wanted. "Universal Go Home" T-shirts began appearing on the streets in mid-June 1977
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The production company had to seek dredge and fill permits from Florida's Department of Environmental Regulation to sink the revised platform that controlled the shark on the sea bottom.
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The interior shots of the teen hang-out where they play pinball were filmed in the original location of the Hog's Breath Saloon on Okaloosa Island. This restaurant later relocated to Destin, Florida as its original building was susceptible to hurricane damage.
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The film cost $30 million to produce, over three times more than the original. David Brown says that they did not budget the film "because Universal would never have given a green light to a $30 million budget in those days." The Marine Division Head for Universal on location, Philip Kingry, says that "It cost approximately $80,000 per day to make that movie." When Kingry asked Brown what his budget was, the producer responded, "We're not wasteful, but we're spending the profit from Jaws (1975), and it will take what it takes."
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On one occasion, Roy Scheider complained (in front of extras) that Jeannot Szwarc was wasting time with technical issues and the extras while ignoring the principal actors.
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The film, under John D. Hancock's direction and Dorothy Tristan's writing, had originally a different tone and premise than what would eventually be seen in the final film. The two had envisioned Amity as a sort of ghost-town when the film opened with several businesses shuttered and the island's overall economy in ruins due to the events seen in the first film. The new resort and condos built on the island by developer Len Peterson were to help celebrate its rebirth giving the island's economy a much needed boost. Tristan had borrowed a subplot from the original Jaws novel and from a discarded early draft of the first film, in which Amity officials were in debt to the Mafia. Both Mayor Vaughn and Len Peterson were anxious for the new island resort to be a success not only to revive Amity but to pay back loans from the Mob that helped build it, thus leading to Vaughn's and Peterson's ignoring of Brody's warning. Tristan and Hancock felt this treatment would lead to more character development that would make the overall story that much more believable.
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Production designer Joe Alves (who would direct Jaws 3-D (1983)) and Verna Fields (who had been promoted to vice-president at Universal after her acclaimed editing on the first film) proposed that they co-direct it. The request was declined by the Directors Guild of America, partly because they would not allow a DGA member to be replaced by someone who was not one of its members, and partly because they, in the wake of events on the set of The Outlaw Josey Wales (1976), had instituted a ban on any cast or crew members taking over as director during a film's production.
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Navarre's Holiday Inn "Holidome" was used as the film's headquarters, with the ground floor converted into production offices, and some of the Gulf-front suites remodelled for David Brown and Roy Scheider. Universal rented 100 of the hotel's 200 rooms, spending $1 million. Unfortunately, the Holiday Inn was destroyed in the 2004 Atlantic hurricane season.
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Boats and parts for their maintenance were purchased from local businesses. One proprietor said that he sold "Universal approximately $400,000 worth of boats and equipment".
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The film inspired much more merchandising and sponsors than the first film. Products included sets of trading cards from Topps and Baker's bread, paper cups from Coca-Cola, beach towels, a souvenir program, shark tooth necklaces, colouring and activity books, and a model kit of Brody's truck.
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The film's tagline, "Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water...", has become one of the most famous in film history. Andrew J. Kuehn, who developed the first film's trailer, is credited with coining the phrase.
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Delays in shooting meant that John Williams was forced to start working on the score before the film was completed.
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Principal photography ended three days before Christmas 1977, on the Choctawhatchee Bay, near Destin, Florida. The actors had to put ice cubes in their mouths to prevent their breath showing on camera.
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The final sequence to be filmed was the shark being electrocuted on the cable.
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Martha's Vineyard was again used as the location for the town scenes. Although some residents guarded their privacy, many islanders welcomed the money that the company was bringing.
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When Jeannot Szwarc was brought in to direct, he recommenced production by filming the complicated waterskier scene, giving Carl Gottlieb some time to complete the script.
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"Cable Junction", the island shown in the film's climax, was actually a floating barge covered with fiber-glass rocks. This was created in order to enable the shark platform to be positioned to it as close as possible (a real island would have hindered this due to the upward slope of the seabed making the shark platform visible).
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One of a cycle of 1980s and late 1970s movies that got made after the box-office success Jaws (1975). The films include that movie's three sequels, Jaws 2 (1978), Jaws 3-D (1983), and Jaws: The Revenge (1987), as well as Orca (1977), Piranha (1978), Tentacles (1977), Killer Fish (1979), Barracuda (1978), Tintorera: Killer Shark (1977), Blood Beach (1980), Piranha Part Two: The Spawning (1981), The Last Shark (1981), Up from the Depths (1979), Humanoids from the Deep (1980), Screamers (1979), Devil Fish (1984) and Mako: The Jaws of Death (1976).
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A bonus special feature on the DVD refers to "The French Joke". The title in France of the original _Jaws_ had been "Les Dents de la Mer" which translates literally into English as "The Teeth of the Sea". When the French name for two, "deux", was added to the Jaws title for this "Jaws 2" sequel, the name in France became " "Les Dents de la Mer Deux". Phonetically, the French words "Mer" and "Deux" when run together form "merdeux", which can sound like "merde", which is the French word for "sh**". As such, the French title for this sequel in France became "Les dents de la mer, 2ème partie" or ""Les dents de la mer, Deuxième partie" which translates into English as "Jaws Part 2".
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Carl Gottlieb had been approached in the early discussions to write the script, but turned the offer down because of the money being offered. After director John Hancock was fired, the decision was made to completely revamp the script. With Universal Pictures in a bind, Gottlieb agreed to rewrite the script for more money than they originally offered him.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

In the "final" draft screenplay, the helicopter pilot and Marge (the girl that rescues Sean) both survive. The pilot is able to breathe thanks to an air bubble in the copter's cockpit and Marge avoids the shark by diving underwater. The pilot spots Marge swimming underwater, goes after her, then guides her back inside the cockpit so they can share the air.
In all four Jaws movies, a reference is made earlier in each film to how the shark is going to die. In Jaws (1975), Hooper warns Brody about the air tank "blowing up if you screw around with it;" here, Hendrix and the old man find the power line which later electrocutes the shark; in Jaws 3-D (1983), an argument ensues about Philip FitzRoyce using grenades; and in Jaws: The Revenge (1987) Jake is working on a transmitter that sends out high frequency.
One of the camera operators was singed by the fire during the filming of the electrocution of the shark for the film's finale.
Only Jaws film in which the shark is not blown up at the end, unless you count the original version of Jaws: The Revenge (1987) in which the shark is fatally stabbed by the broken bowsprit, and sinks into the water. This version can be seen on TV when they air it, except for AMC, which shows the European and DVD release where the shark blows up inexplicably.
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When Brody, Ellen, and Deputy Hendricks go on the police launch to search for the kids, Brody calls the Harbor Patrol on the radio to see if he can raise a chopper and go look for the kids. Ed, the Harbor Patrol says he can't, he's busy down-checking a buoy in the channel. This is the same thing Deputy Sean does in Jaws: The Revenge (1987), when he's eaten by the shark in the beginning of the movie.
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