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
There was an added scene shot for the fourth victim. The shot showed the victim seemingly being pushed by the shark as he grabs Michael Brody and attempts to drag him down with him before dying and letting him go. Steven Spielberg decided that the scene should be cut because he felt that it was too bloody and in bad taste. This is mentioned in The Making Of Jaws, the documentary found on the 30th Anniversary Edition of the film. See more »
When Jaws attacks Hooper's cage, there is live footage of a real Great White with a rope hanging from its mouth. This shark's mouth is clearly much smaller than Jaws' mouth when it attacks the boat moments later. See more »
The three leads are credited using a placement that was popular in the 1970s, making it unclear who receives first credit. Robert Shaw's name is vertically above Roy Scheider's, but Scheider's is to the left. Richard Dreyfuss, being the least experienced, is last whichever way you read it. See more »
The version shown in recent years on television (as of 2005) includes a lengthier scene where the crazed fishermen hunt sharks to collect Mrs. Kinter's reward. It shows them crazily firing rifles into the water, much like a shark feeding frenzy. The extended version of Jaws was actually shown on TV back in the 1980s, at least occasionally, in order to achieve a running time of 3 hours including commercial interruptions. The shark hunting frenzy mentioned here, in addition to Matt Hooper telling a story about an ex-lover to Chief Brody on their way to dissect the tiger shark, as well as Quint's badgering of a young musician in a bait and tackle store were all included in many syndicated television broadcasts long before "Deleted Scenes" were ever part of home video packaging. See more »
Steven Spielberg's classic about a man-eating Great White shark stalking the beaches of Amity and the three men who go out to try and kill it. Seriously, is there anyone who doesn't know the plot to this masterpiece?
Considering all the production trouble on this thing it would be amazing to get a half-way decent film yet for some reason, perhaps the movie Gods were shining down, we ended up with one of the greatest films ever made. This is without question one of the greatest films to deal with tension as Spielberg masterfully handles all the material. The movie is like an amazing roller coaster as we get one scare after another until the end when we just get our senses attacked from all around. Millions of people have discussed the greatness of this film so it's hard to pick one thing but I'd say the greatest achievement of the film is the simple adventure it gives us.
Even though we get some very intense scenes the screenplay is smart enough to give us other things to go with. We got some nice black humor in the witty dialogue but we also get a good buddy picture with Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss delivering memorable characters. The three of them together are so different yet all three are like people I'm sure each viewer has met so it's easy to connect with them and it makes the film all the more fun when we go on this adventure.
The film, of course, benefits from the brilliant John Williams score, which is perhaps the most memorable in film history. Bruce, the name given to the shark, caused most of the problems during filming but you wouldn't know that by just watching the picture. The look of the shark is incredible and Spielberg certainly made the right decision of keeping it hidden and just revealing bits and pieces as the movie went along. The first glimpse in the pond is hauntingly shocking and each sighting just grows more and more tension. The director also knows how to build suspense without us seeing the shark as we're constantly viewing objects floating (the dock, the barrels) to imply that the creature is there.
What's even more amazing is that this film scared people so badly that they refused to go into the water yet the most suspenseful scene is probably the now legendary speech by Shaw about his time on the USS Indianapolis. It goes without saying but the three leads are all terrific in their roles and I really can't think of too many movies that have as many memorable characters as the ones here. We also get strong supporting work from Murray Hamilton as the Mayor and Lorraine Gary as Brody's wife.
For me this ranks as one of the greatest adventures ever captured on film because everyone involved makes it feel so real. When the men get on the boat to go after the shark you feel as if you're really there. When the camera is underwater given a POV shot of the shark, you feel as if you're in the water. The final death scene in the movie also just happens to be one of the most terrifying ever captured on film and it might even be the most brutal. The movie is a true masterpiece of suspense and I think it would be fair that nothing has come close to this in the past 35 years. Like PSYCHO, we've had a lot of rips of imitations but nothing has come close to the same power and it's doubtful anything ever will.
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