When a killer shark unleashes chaos on a beach community, it's up to a local sheriff, a marine biologist, and an old seafarer to hunt the beast down.

Director:

Steven Spielberg

Writers:

Peter Benchley (screenplay), Carl Gottlieb (screenplay) | 1 more credit »
Popularity
294 ( 14)
Won 3 Oscars. Another 13 wins & 20 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Roy Scheider ... Brody
Robert Shaw ... Quint
Richard Dreyfuss ... Hooper
Lorraine Gary ... Ellen Brody
Murray Hamilton ... Vaughn
Carl Gottlieb ... Meadows
Jeffrey Kramer ... Hendricks (as Jeffrey C. Kramer)
Susan Backlinie ... Chrissie
Jonathan Filley Jonathan Filley ... Cassidy
Ted Grossman Ted Grossman ... Estuary Victim
Chris Rebello ... Michael Brody
Jay Mello Jay Mello ... Sean Brody
Lee Fierro ... Mrs. Kintner
Jeffrey Voorhees Jeffrey Voorhees ... Alex Kintner
Craig Kingsbury Craig Kingsbury ... Ben Gardner
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Storyline

It's a hot summer on Amity Island, a small community whose main business is its beaches. When new Sheriff Martin Brody discovers the remains of a shark attack victim, his first inclination is to close the beaches to swimmers. This doesn't sit well with Mayor Larry Vaughn and several of the local businessmen. Brody backs down to his regret as that weekend a young boy is killed by the predator. The dead boy's mother puts out a bounty on the shark and Amity is soon swamped with amateur hunters and fisherman hoping to cash in on the reward. A local fisherman with much experience hunting sharks, Quint, offers to hunt down the creature for a hefty fee. Soon Quint, Brody and Matt Hooper from the Oceanographic Institute are at sea hunting the Great White shark. As Brody succinctly surmises after their first encounter with the creature, they're going to need a bigger boat. Written by garykmcd

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

If you forgot what terror was like...it's back. See more »


Certificate:

PG | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

The movie (via Quint's story) greatly distorts the true story of shark attacks on the the men of the USS Indianapolis. In an oral history conducted by the US Navy Bureau of Medicine and Surgery, Navy Captain Lewis L. Haynes recalled, "Honestly, in the entire 110 hours I was in the water, I did not see a man attacked by a shark...they seemed to have been satisfied with the dead." Capt Haynes also says that 56 mutilated bodies were recovered, but that there was nothing to suggest that any more than a few were bitten while alive. Another survivor was quoted as saying, "The sharks were going after dead men." Modern shark behaviorists explain that sharks avoid taking risks; they prefer a meal that won't fight back. In many shark reports from World War II, a floating sailor could scare off a curious shark by hitting it or churning the water with his legs. The modern US Navy has no formal shark-attack curriculum. See more »

Goofs

During his story about the USS Indianapolis, Quint says, "our bomb mission had been so secret, no distress signal had been sent." In fact, distress signals were sent by radiomen on the Indianapolis, and the messages were received by three different sailors on Leyte. But Navy protocol was to ignore any signal that was not confirmed by a reply. The only operable radio transmitter on the ship could only transmit signals via Morse code but could not receive replies from Leyte asking for confirmation. So the distress signals were ignored. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Tom Cassidy: What's your name again?
Christine 'Chrissie' Watkins: Chrissie.
Tom Cassidy: Where are we going?
Christine 'Chrissie' Watkins: Swimming!
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Crazy Credits

The producers gratefully acknowledge the cooperation of The Nation Geographical Society and Mr. L.J.V. Compagno of the Department of Biological Sciences, Stanford University. See more »

Alternate Versions

The recent 25th Anniversary release on VHS and DVD contained all new sound effects (even though the original release won the Oscar for Best Sound). See more »

Connections

Referenced in Staring at Headlights (1999) See more »

Soundtracks

Spanish Ladies
(uncredited)
Traditional English shanty
Performed by Robert Shaw
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User Reviews

"You yell barracuda, everybody says, 'Hunh, what?' You yell shark, and we got a panic on our hands on the Fourth of July."
14 August 1998 | by TacoBillySee all my reviews

This is the movie that started it all. I'm not talking about the Hollywood blockbuster, or the insane madness that sent thousands of misunderstood Great Whites to their deaths, I'm talking about the beginning of my interest in movies. This is the movie that did it. I couldn't tell you how old I was when I first saw it, but I do remember this is the movie I made my parents rent time and time again when we went to the video store. This is the movie that drove my parents and some of my friends nuts while I watched it day after day after day when my mom gave it to me for Christmas. This is the movie that made me want to turn a real interest in the movies from just a hobby and into a career. For that, I owe Spielberg, Benchley, Scheider, Shaw, Dreyfuss, Williams, Fields and everyone else a sincere and heart-felt thank you. I own this movie on every format in which it is available. I love it that much. I've probably seen it between 200 and 300 times. I guess you can say it is an obsession. A sick obsession. The plot, the pacing, the editing, the score, the acting, and, oh yes, the shark. Who cares that is fake? By the time we finally get to see it, do we care? Truly, a more suspenseful movie was never made. Several come close, but none quite reaches the primal level the JAWS does. No other film so effectively taps into our fear of the unknown, and then gives it a riveting score to boot. No other movie grips us so strongly with heart stopping suspense that we find ourselves nearly falling off our seats. And no other movie leaves us feeling so spent and wasted after a viewing. And the reason for all the fear, suspense and emotional withdrawal is not top-notch special effects. It was the mid-70's. You can barely apply top -notch to anything of that era. The reason the movie does all that to us is that it is a great story. It is filled with real people, who have real jobs, and who have real fears. And who must now confront a real shark. Can you think of anything more terrifying that getting on a rickety, leaky boat to kill a 25-foot shark when you already have a paralyzing fear of the water? I can't. And Martin Brody sure can't. And so, no matter what ranking JAWS may get on AFI's list of the 100 greatest movies, or TV Guides list of the top 50 movies, or any list for that matter, JAWS will always come in number one on mine. Steven, Peter, Roy, Robert, Richard, John, and Verna -- thank you. Not for just giving me a sense of direction in my life, not for just making me want to be a screenwriter, but also for making a movie that still thrills me as much now when I watch it as when it did when I saw it for the very first time.


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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 June 1975 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Stillness in the Water See more »

Filming Locations:

Los Angeles, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$7,061,513, 22 June 1975

Gross USA:

$260,758,300

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$471,411,300
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Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (Extended Edition)

Sound Mix:

Mono (Westrex Recording System)| Dolby (DVD)| Dolby Atmos | Dolby Surround 7.1 (Blu-ray release)

Color:

Color (Technicolor)

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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