Jaws (1975) Poster



With the schedule expanding from 52 to 155 days, director Steven Spielberg had to juggle Universal's impossible deadlines, an unfinished script, chaotic conditions off Martha's Vineyard, and a belligerent Robert Shaw. On the last day of shooting, Spielberg had heard rumors of a dunking from the mutinous crew. So, while the last shot -- the blowing up of the shark -- was being filmed, Spielberg was on a plane back to Los Angeles.
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Several decades after the release of Jaws (1975), Lee Fierro, who played Mrs. Kintner, walked into a seafood restaurant and noticed that the menu had an "Alex Kintner Sandwich." She commented that she had played his mother so many years ago; the owner of the restaurant ran out to meet her, and he was none other than Jeffrey Voorhees, who had played her son. They had not seen each other since the original movie shoot.
When composer John Williams originally played the score for director Steven Spielberg, Spielberg laughed and said, "That's funny, John, really; but what did you really have in mind for the theme of Jaws (1975)?" Spielberg later stated that without Williams's score, the movie would only have been half as successful and according to Williams, it jumpstarted his career.
According to writer Carl Gottlieb, the line, "You're gonna need a bigger boat," was not scripted, but was ad-libbed by Roy Scheider.
According to director Steven Spielberg, the prop arm looked too fake in the scene where Chrissie's remains are discovered, so instead, they buried a female crew member in the sand with only her arm exposed.
Robert Shaw could not stand Richard Dreyfuss and the two argued all the time, which resulted in some good tension between Hooper and Quint.
Over 67 million people in the U.S. went to see this film when it was initially released in 1975, making it the first summer "blockbuster."
According to The Making of Steven Spielberg's 'Jaws' (1995) documentary, the shooting star that appears during the night scene where Brody loads his revolver was real, not an optical effect.
Director Steven Spielberg named the shark "Bruce" after his lawyer.
Composer John Williams conducted the orchestra during the 1976 Academy Awards, so when it was announced that he won the Oscar for Best Score, he had to run up to the podium to accept his Oscar and then run back to continue conducting the orchestra.
During pre-production, director Steven Spielberg, accompanied by friends Martin Scorsese, George Lucas and John Milius, visited the effects shop where "Bruce" the shark was being constructed. Lucas stuck his head in the shark's mouth to see how it worked and, as a joke, Milius and Spielberg snuck to the controls and made the jaw clamp shut on Lucas' head. Unfortunately, and rather prophetically, considering the later technical difficulties the production would suffer, the shark malfunctioned, and Lucas got stuck in the mouth of the shark. When Spielberg and Milius were finally able to free him, the three men ran out of the workshop, afraid they had done major damage to the creature.
Though respected as an actor, Robert Shaw's trouble with alcohol was a frequent source of tension during filming. In later interviews, Roy Scheider described his co-star as "a perfect gentleman whenever he was sober. All he needed was one drink and then he turned into a competitive son-of-a-bitch." According to Carl Gottlieb's book "The Jaws Log," Shaw was having a drink between takes, at which one point he announced, "I wish I could quit drinking." Much to the surprise and horror of the crew, Richard Dreyfuss simply grabbed Shaw's glass and tossed it into the ocean. When it came time to shoot the infamous USS Indianapolis Scene, Shaw attempted to do the monologue while intoxicated as it called for the men to be drinking late at night. Nothing in the take could be used. A remorseful Shaw called Steven Spielberg late that night and asked if he could have another try. The next day of shooting, Shaw's electrifying performance was done in one take.
Three mechanical "Bruces" were made, each with specialized functions. One shark was open on the right side, one was open on the left side, and the third was fully skinned. Each shark cost approximately $250,000.
An accident during filming caused the Orca to begin sinking. Director Steven Spielberg began screaming over a bullhorn for the nearby safety boats to rescue the actors. John R. Carter, already up to his knees in water on the sinking Orca, held his Nagra (tape recorder) up over his head and screamed, "F**k the actors, save the sound department!" During the accident, the film camera was submerged, so its film, still submerged in sea water, was assumed to be ruined. However, once it was realized that developing solution is saline, the film was flown to a New York film lab, and technicians didn't lose any of it. The accident is described starting at 01:30:07 in "The Making of Jaws" on the 30th Anniversary edition DVD.
According to director Steven Spielberg in the DVD "making of" documentary, his original idea for introducing Quint was to have him in the local movie theater watching Moby Dick (1956) starring Gregory Peck. Quint was to be sitting at the back of the theater, laughing so loudly at the absurd special effects of the whale that he drove the other viewers to exit the theater. Eventually, Quint would be discovered sitting by himself. Spielberg says that the only thing that stopped him from doing that scene was Gregory Peck, who held part of the rights to that movie. When Spielberg approached him for permission to use the footage, Peck turned him down, not because he thought it was a bad idea to use the film that way, but because Peck did not like his performance in Moby Dick (1956) and did not want the film seen again.
Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, was used as Amity Island primarily because even twelve miles out to sea, the sandy bottom was only thirty feet down, allowing the mechanical shark to function. Residents were paid $64 to scream and run across the beach as extras.
When the shark was built, it was never tested in the water. When it was put in the water at Martha's Vineyard, it sank straight to the ocean floor; it took a team of divers to retrieve it.
Author Peter Benchley was thrown off the set after objecting to the climax.
In the actual Jersey Beach shark attacks of 1916 (which Hooper mentions in the film), the sequence of attacks is similar to that of the film: a swimmer in the surf; a dog; a boy; and the leg of a man in a tidal slough.
Originally, Steven Spielberg was not the director of Jaws (1975). The first director, Dick Richards, was fired after a meeting with producers and studio executives. In the meeting, he said that his opening shot would have the camera come out of the water to show the town, then the whale (instead of the shark) would come out of the water. The producers said that they were not making Moby Dick (1956) and they would not work with someone who did not know the difference between a whale and a shark.
Roy Scheider stated in an interview that in the scene where Lee Fierro (Mrs. Kintner) smacks him in the face, she was actually hitting him. Apparently, the actress could not fake a slap and so the seventeen takes were some of the "most painful" of his (Scheider's) acting career. Also, Lee Fierro stated in several interviews that in one of the takes when she slapped Roy Scheider, his glasses fell off.
Most of the film was shot handheld to best countermand the ocean's swell.
Jaws (1975) opened on only four hundred and nine screens. Within seventy-eight days, it had become the highest-grossing film of all time. Even then, however, it was still showing in fewer than a thousand screens.
Director Steven Spielberg played first clarinet for the beach scene.
Although director Steven Spielberg wanted Charlton Heston to play Brody, the main reason he decided against casting Heston was because of his "saving the day" role in his previous movies, Airport 1975 (1974) and Earthquake (1974). Spielberg reasoned that if Heston would have been cast, it signifies to the audience that the shark has virtually no chance against the hero.
When the Egyptian resort of Sharm El Sheik experienced killer shark attacks in 2010, they apparently used the plot of Jaws (1975) as their guide, including denying the problem, resisting closing the beaches, reluctantly closing them after a near shore attack, killing the wrong shark and declaring it the right one despite clear evidence to the contrary, re-opening the beaches with a fanfare declaring them safe, then having more attacks take place. After that, however, the shark simply left of its own accord.
The first shark killed on the docks, which is supposed to be the "man-eater" in the movie, was actually a real shark killed in Florida since there was not a big enough one in Martha's Vineyard. According to Carl Gottlieb's "The Jaws Log," by the time it had been shipped to the set and prepared for filming, it was starting to decompose quite badly and the smell was appalling. As it was hung from its tail, its internal organs broke loose and piled up in the back of its throat, adding to the discomfort of those forced to work in close proximity to it.
Brody's dog in the movie was actually Steven Spielberg's real dog, Elmer.
Director Steven Spielberg shot roughly 25% of the film from water level to provide the viewers the perspective as if they were treading water.
Robert Shaw ad-libbed the "Here lies the body of Mary Lee" line after director Steven Spielberg prompted him to give Brody's wife (on the dock) a hard time. Asked later where he quoted it from, as it would require getting a license and release from the author to be used in the film, Shaw said that was unlikely, as it was off an old grave marker in Ireland.
The line, "That's some bad hat, Harry," at 16:35, is the slogan for Bad Hat Harry Production Company. Their ad page features a cartoon rendition of Martin and Harry sitting by the beach, with a shark fin in the water in the background.
Director Steven Spielberg's biggest fear other than the appearance/performance of the mechanical shark was that cameras would catch sight of land. The reason Spielberg did not want land to be seen was because he thought the audience could envision the characters having the option of just running back to shore when in danger. He wanted to isolate the audience as much as the characters.
Director Steven Spielberg said that when he first read the novel, he found himself rooting for the shark because the human characters were so unlikeable.
Author Peter Benchley had mentioned that if he had known about the actual behavior of sharks, he would have never written the book.
This was the first movie to reach the coveted $100 million mark in "theatrical rentals," which is about 45% of the "box-office gross." It was the highest-grossing of all-time in the U.S. until Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977).
The average summer tourist population of Martha's Vineyard before the film was released was approximately 5,000 people. After it came out, the population skyrocketed to 15,000.
Richard Dreyfuss initially passed on the part of Hooper, saying that Jaws (1975) was a film he would love to watch but not to make.
The scene where the head pops out from under the boat was not originally scripted. Director Steven Spielberg says he "got greedy" after he saw the preview audience's reaction to the scene where the shark jumps out behind Brody's head and wanted "one more scare."
To create the sound of a drowning woman during post-production, Susan Backlinie was positioned, head upturned, in front of a microphone, while water from above was poured down into her throat.
In a biography, director Steven Spielberg revealed that Robert Duvall had encouraged him to make the movie. In return, Spielberg offered Duvall the role of Brody, but he turned it down, fearing that it might make him too famous. Duvall wanted to play Quint, but Spielberg told him he was too young.
Director Steven Spielberg observed at the first testing screening that the first surprise appearance of the shark got the biggest scream from the audience. However, after he re-shot the scene at Ben Gardner's boat, the surprise appearance of Ben Gardner's head got the biggest scream, while the appearance of the shark received half the reaction it used to. Spielberg said it taught him a lesson that a movie can have only one major scare moment, because afterward the audience will be on guard against the film.
Quint's tale of the USS Indianapolis was conceived by playwright Howard Sackler, lengthened by screenwriter John Milius and rewritten by Robert Shaw following a disagreement between screenwriters Peter Benchley and Carl Gottlieb. Shaw presented his text, and Benchley and Gottlieb agreed that this was exactly what was needed.
During the display in which Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw compare battle scars, Roy Scheider lifts up his shirt to reveal an appendix incision. This was not a prosthetic, but Scheider's own scar.
In addition to the well-known nickname of "Bruce," Steven Spielberg also called the shark "the great white turd" when he became quite frustrated with the troublesome animatronic fish.
Jaws (1975) is one of only five horror films to be nominated an Oscar for Best Picture. The other films are The Exorcist (1973), The Silence of the Lambs (1991), The Sixth Sense (1999), and Black Swan (2010). The Silence of the Lambs is the only one to have won the award, as well as being one of three films to win the "Big Five" at the Oscars; Best Picture, Director (Johnathan Demme), Actor (Anthony Hopkins), Actress (Jodie Foster) and Screenplay (Adapted, Ted Tally). The other films to win the "Big Five" are It Happened One Night (1934) and One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest (1975), the latter having beaten Jaws for Best Picture. Jaws is one of few films to have been nominated for Best Picture, but not Best Director, any acting award or Best Screenplay (Original or Adapted, in this case Adapted). It is often disputed that Spielberg should have been nominated for Best Director at the awards, though he'd go on to be nominated for the award numerous times, and win twice for Schindler's List (1993) and Saving Private Ryan (1998). Robert Shaw is often considered snubbed for a Best Supporting Actor nomination, and Peter Benchley and Carl Gottlieb are sometimes considered snubbed for a Best Adapted Screenplay nomination.
The music for Jaws (1975), composed by John Williams, was ranked at #6 by the American Film Institute for their list of the 25 Greatest Film Scores.
The "forward tracking, zoom out" shot used when Brody realizes Alex Kintner has been eaten has been called "the Jaws shot" by some video teachers who instruct students on using this move. However, this shot is merely a reverse of the "forward zoom and reverse tracking" (also known as the Trombone Shot) shot invented by Irmin Roberts for the disorienting height shots in Vertigo (1958). A similar shot appears to have been used for the dream sequences in Truffaut's Fahrenheit 451 (1966), in which Montag runs down an apparently endless corridor, passing doors on both sides but seems to never get closer to the end.
Quint's boathouse set was built in Martha's Vineyard on an abandoned lot. The city council made the production crew sign an agreement to demolish it after filming and replace everything exactly as it had been, right down to the litter.
There were two three hundred-pound weights attached to Susan Backlinie that were being tugged by two groups of crewmen on shore. One group would pull right, and the other would pull left. It took three days to film that sequence.
Despite reports to the contrary, "Bruce" was actually tested in water before it arrived on Martha's Vineyard and worked perfectly. However, the tests were done in the non-salt water tank at Universal Studios. Once it was placed in actual ocean water, the salt played havoc with the shark's controls.
Fabien Cousteau, grandson of Jacques-Yves Cousteau, invented a Great White Shark-shaped submarine to study the sharks in a natural setting. He discovered that, contrary to the killing-machine nature shown in Jaws (1975), Great Whites are actually very cautious fish. They also communicate with each other via their fins and body language.
Steven Spielberg cast Roy Scheider based on his performance in The French Connection (1971). The studio was wary of having him but eventually agreed to the casting decision when Scheider signed a three-picture deal. The sequel, Jaws 2 (1978), would be Scheider's last film under the deal, the other one was Sorcerer (1977).
Jaws opened on June 20, 1975. It was supposed to be released in theaters for Christmas 1974, but because filming ran way over the shooting schedule, its release was pushed back to summer the following year. Back in 1975, summer was traditionally when the worst movies were dumped into theatres as Americans typically enjoyed the outdoors instead. But the film was so good, beachgoers actually flocked to see it, and the movie became the highest grossing film of all time up to that point. It became the first film to gross over $100 million at the box office and the summer blockbuster was born.
Murray Hamilton was the only star of Steven Spielberg's first choice and the only actor considered for the role of Mayor of Amity.
Charlton Heston was so annoyed with being rejected for the role of Brody that he later made disparaging comments about Steven Spielberg and vowed never to work with him. He later turned down Spielberg's offer of the role of General Stilwell in 1941 (1979).
Quint's boat is named "Orca." In real life, the Orca whale (usually known as the "killer whale") is a known enemy of the shark and the only known predator of the Great White.
Contrary to Matt (Richard Dreyfuss) Hooper's warning to Brody, the aluminum air tanks are fairly durable. If the tank valve was broken, however, the air tank would become a runaway missile.
When the shark attacks Hooper's cage, there's live footage of a real Great White with a rope hanging from its mouth. This shark's mouth is clearly much smaller than the shark's mouth when it attacks the boat moments later. These scenes were filmed by noted shark photographers Ron Taylor and Valerie Taylor with the help of shark expert Rodney Fox specifically for the movie. Because the Great White sharks they filmed would be smaller than the mechanical shark in the movie, they constructed a smaller version of Hooper's shark cage. Inside the cage they alternately used a small mannequin or a little person. One of the sharks they attracted got caught in the cage's cables and tore it apart trying to escape. The footage was so good that they changed the script to reflect the destroyed cage and Hooper escaping by hiding on the ocean floor. However, the small person used in the scene refused to go back in the miniature cage, which was damaged in the incident.
As most of the seaside resorts in 1975 experienced a downturn in visitors, some of the establishments would resort to innovative ways to lure in customers. One recorded example was a seafood restaurant in Cape Cod which proudly displayed the sign "Eat Fish--Get Even."
Robert Shaw also ran into trouble with the IRS and had to flee the country once his scenes were completed. If he spent more than a certain amount of time in the U.S., he would face a tax liability. To circumvent that, Shaw was flown to Canada on his days off.
Richard Dreyfuss was tested and cast at the suggestion of George Lucas who had just worked with him on American Graffiti (1973).
There is a much-repeated story that a lot of the pain on Susan Backlinie's face (Chrissie Watkins, the first victim) is real, since as well as moving her about in the water, the frame she was strapped into was breaking her ribs. In a radio interview, she denied being injured.
Despite the film's mammoth box-office returns, Robert Shaw did not earn a penny out of it. He was facing heat from the IRS for tax evasion, and due to working in countries as diverse as the U.S., Canada and Ireland, he had to forgo his salary to make amends.
After filming for Jaws (1975) was completed, director Steven Spielberg said, "My next picture will be on dry land. There won't even be a bathroom scene." He was predominantly true to his word. His next film would be Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), which took place on land, but there were nevertheless a couple of bathroom scenes.
According to the boat handlers who worked on the film, Quint's boat, "Orca," was a studio fabrication based upon a boat purchased locally. After the special effects team finished with it, it was so top-heavy as to be unseaworthy. Ballast would correct that, but the only large quantity of lead that could be located locally was owned by a local dentist who was going to use it to shield his X-Ray room. So, that was rented from him at an exorbitant fee. The fake Orca, designed to sink, was actually more seaworthy than the real thing.
Author Peter Benchley's choices for whom to cast in the film were Robert Redford, Paul Newman and Steve McQueen.
Following the release of the film, a sort of hysteria overtook some members of the public, resulting in numerous incidents across the country. In one, a beach in Southern California was cleared by lifeguards due to sharks in the water, which turned out to be dolphins; and in a sadder incident in Florida, an immature pygmy sperm whale that beached itself was beaten to death by bystanders who mistook it for a shark.
Jaws (1975) was voted the sixth scariest film of all time by Entertainment Weekly.
Richard Dreyfuss originally turned down the role of Hooper but had worries after the initial screening of The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz (1974) and asked for his part back.
During the filming of the scene where Brody shoots at the "fish", the gun jammed at least four times before the shot worked.
Roy Scheider became interested in the project after overhearing Steven Spielberg at a party talk with a screenwriter about having the shark jump up onto a boat.
A real shark became entangled in a line that had been laid down over the underwater cage. This footage was subsequently used in the film.
The producers said that had they read the book more than once, they would have known ahead of time that there would be problems filming the movie, and thus would not have made it.
Director Cameo - (Steven Spielberg): Voice on Quint's marine radio, when Mrs. Brody tries to contact her husband on the "Orca."
Pre-production had been cut short in the hopes of taking advantage of the unseasonably good weather in Martha's Vineyard. However, when the production landed at the Vineyard, the weather took a turn for the worse. Consequently, shooting had to begin without a finalized script, meaning Steven Spielberg and Carl Gottlieb had to work on the screenplay after they'd finished filming for the day.
Director Steven Spielberg attributed many problems to his perfectionism and his inexperience. The former was epitomized by his insistence on shooting at sea with a life-sized shark. "I could have shot the movie in the tank or even in a protected lake somewhere, but it would not have looked the same," he said. As for his lack of experience, "I was naive about the ocean, basically. I was pretty naive about mother nature and the hubris of a filmmaker who thinks he can conquer the elements was foolhardy, but I was too young to know I was being foolhardy when I demanded that we shoot the film in the Atlantic Ocean and not in a North Hollywood tank."
A scene filmed, but not included in the final release, was during the second beach attack. Brody's son, swimming in the "shallow area" is frozen in terror as the shark approaches him; the man saves his life by pushing the boy out of the way at the last minute and putting himself in the path of the shark. There is a shot of the bloody, dying man's upper body being dragged briefly along in the shark's jaws before being pulled underwater. Steven Spielberg shot the scene, but decided it was far too gruesome and didn't include it. The DVD release shows the scene being shot, blood and all, during the The Making of Steven Spielberg's 'Jaws' (1995) documentary, but it is not included in the "Deleted Footage" or "Outtakes" sections of the DVD.
Tommy Johnson was the tuba player whose ominous sounds announced the sharks' arrival.
On the DVD documentary, Steven Spielberg states that his original idea for introducing the shark was going to be a scene that took place at the dock at night: The harbor master would be watching TV, and through the window behind him the audience would see a row of boats rising and falling as the shark swam underneath them. Spielberg believed that the swell of the boats would help indicate the huge size of the shark; however, the logistics involved (for example, getting all the boats to go up and down at the correct intervals) proved too difficult to coordinate properly. Additionally, the constantly malfunctioning shark would not allow the scene to be filmed. Much to Spielberg's disappointment, the scene had to be shelved.
This film was ranked the second greatest thriller on the AFI's list of 100 Thrills.
This was the first time that Martha's Vineyard was used as a location for a feature film.
The "oceanographic institution on the mainland" that Matt Hooper comes from refers to the real-life Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution in Woods Hole, Massachusetts. Bob Ballard who rediscovered the RMS Titanic worked from Woods Hole.
As Hooper examines the remains of Chrissie Watkins, he says that the tissue damage "indicates the non-frenzied feeding of a large squalus." "Squalus" is simply Latin for "shark" (though "Squalus" is also the genus name for dogfish sharks). Hooper uses the Latin for the oceanic whitetip shark ("Longimanus") and what's probably supposed to be the longfin mako shark ("Isurus glaucus").
Lee Marvin was director Steven Spielberg's first choice for the role of Quint, despite his reservations about using big-name actors. Marvin thanked him but replied that he would rather go fishing. Spielberg then wanted Sterling Hayden for the role of Quint. Hayden, however, was in trouble with the Internal Revenue Service for unpaid tax. All of Hayden's income from acting was subject to a levy by the IRS, so there was an attempt to circumvent that; Hayden was also a writer, so one idea was to pay him union scale for his acting and buy a story from him (his literary income was not subject to levy) for a large sum. It was concluded that the IRS would see through this scheme, so Robert Shaw was cast by Spielberg instead on the recommendation of the film's producers, Zanuck and Brown.
The first day the model shark was used, it sank to the bottom of the ocean. It needed a great deal of maintenance and didn't appear very terrifying. Spielberg recalled, "I had no choice but to figure out how to tell the story without the shark" and he reasoned that, "It's what we don't see which is truly frightening."
One oft-repeated falsehood about the movie is that the color red is never used in any clothes or any backgrounds as Steven Spielberg wanted it to be only seen as blood; however, a simple viewing of the film shows plenty of red throughout: hats and clothing, American flags, Coca-Cola items, upholstery, sign lettering, coolers, can and jar labels, etc., as well as much of the hull of the Orca itself.
The gray and cloudy sky in water scenes is artificial. It is an image on a giant wall placed in the Universal studios. In front of the wall is a huge artificial lake, the "Falls Lake," which, together with the wall, was a backdrop for more than twenty movies already, including Jaws (1975).
To get the crabs to move in the scene with the arm part on beach, the property master poured some hot coffee on them.
Because the film the director envisioned was so dissimilar to Peter Benchley's novel, Steven Spielberg asked Richard Dreyfuss not to read it.
The shark was ranked the eighteenth greatest villain on the AFI's list of 100 Heroes and Villains.
MythBusters (2003) dedicated a special episode to testing whether or not certain things from this film are plausible. It concluded that: Piano wire does not have the tensile strength needed to be used as an adequate shark-catching line; scuba tanks will not explode when shot; a great white shark can ram a dive cage with enough force to damage or destroy it; a great white shark has enough power to punch a hole in the side of a wooden boat under the right circumstances, but an example of this happening has never been documented; a shark's maximum striking force is great enough to pull the barrels under, but the force a shark can generate in a continuous pull is insufficient to keep the barrels under water for a significant amount of time; a shark cannot generate enough force to pull a boat backwards with great enough speed that waves break over the stern; and punching a shark in the nose, eyes, or gills will cause it to flee or at least back off briefly.
Howard Sackler was asked to contribute to the screenplay because of his experience as a scuba diver. Sackler's only proviso was that he not receive screen credit as he felt that he didn't work long enough on the film.
The lighthouse in the film near the beach is an actual lighthouse on Martha's Vineyard where the filming took place. Because of the billboard in the scene, the lighthouse had to be "moved" with special effects in post-production.
When Universal saw the finished film and were more than happy with the result, they began an advertising campaign on television costing an unprecedented $700,000.
As Steven Spielberg wanted to film the aquatic sequences relatively close-up to resemble what people see while swimming, cinematographer Bill Butler devised new equipment to facilitate marine and underwater shooting, including a rig to keep the camera stable regardless of tide and a sealed submersible camera box.
Richard Dreyfuss said that the only truly bad thing that happened to him on Martha's Vineyard was the cruel treatment he received from Robert Shaw. Although Shaw could be very nice to him in private, such as the time he read Dreyfuss his entire play, The Man in the Glass Booth, while the two were sitting in the hold of the Orca, publicly he was brutal to him, telling him things like he thought Dreyfuss would only have a career "if there's room for another Jewish character man like Paul Muni." At one point, Shaw, remarking loudly on what he said was Dreyfuss' cowardice, dared him to climb to the top of the Orca's mast (about 75 feet) and jump off into the ocean, for which he would pay him upwards of $1,000 (the price rising with each taunt). Steven Spielberg finally intervened by telling Dreyfuss, "I don't care how much money he offers you, you're not jumping off the mast, not in my movie."
Some scenes that have been declared "missing" from the video were not in the original theatrical release. When the movie was first televised, the network needed fillers after editing it for TV, so they used extra footage from the film's production.
The film is the second most watched film to be broadcast on British television when it was shown on ITV on October 8, 1981. It attracted 23.25 million viewers.
Robert Shaw sang the song "Spanish Ladies" while at the dock with Hooper and Brody, loading the boat to catch the shark. The song is a traditional British shanty, not a New England one. However, Shaw changed the lyrics from:

"for we have received orders, for to sail to old England..."


"for we've received orders for to sail to old Boston..."

Shaw who was born and raised in England was an accomplished novelist and playwright, and may have become familiar with the tune while working as a teacher in the fishing town of Saltburn by the Sea.
This was Jonathan Filley's only appearance on film. He was discovered through local auditions. Although never appearing after that, he became a successful production assistant and would eventually reunite with Steven Spielberg 30 years later on War of the Worlds (2005) as the head production assistant.
The Orca was a 29-foot trawler that had to carry the weight of more than 20 cast and crew members at any given time. For several shots, the boat had to rock as if being struck by a huge shark from below. To accomplish this, there was a speedboat with a rope attached to it that ran under the Orca's hull and hooked to the other side. It would be gunned at full speed, causing the Orca to rock violently and everyone on board to fall, which is what they wanted. After doing that three or four times, a hole broke open in the Orca's hull. With safety boats rushing in and people yelling "Get the actors off the boat," the vessel sunk in about three and a half minutes.
Charlton Heston was considered for the role of Chief Brody. Jeff Bridges, Timothy Bottoms, Jon Voight and Jan-Michael Vincent were considered for the role of Hooper.
As the shoot ballooned from 55 days to 159, with the budget likewise spiraling, the film earned the nickname amongst the crew of "Flaws".
Nine days before the start of production, neither Quint nor Hooper had been cast.
According to "The Jaws Log", Carl Gottlieb was originally hired to play the supporting part of Meadows, the town publisher, and then asked to re-write the script as it was being shot. While doing so, he found himself forced to cut his own part down to a bare minimum. The scene in which Brody and Hooper find Ben Gardner's abandoned boat originally took place during daytime and featured Gottlieb's character accompanying the two leads. While pretending to tie a rope between his own boat and that of Gardner, Gottlieb accidentally fell overboard and could have been decapitated by the boat's propellers had Fred Zendar not cut the engines. It was later decided to re-shoot the entire sequence at night, without the character of Meadows.
In 2014, Richard Dreyfuss was in Dublin for a special screening of " Jaws " and appeared on the very popular Irish talk show " The Late Late Show". Robert Shaw's 14 year old granddaughter was also on the show and Dreyfuss is clearly very emotional when he meets her. Despite the fact that Shaw gave Dreyfuss a hard time during the filming of " Jaws ", this was only Dreyfuss's second major movie and as he was very young, he was very much in awe of the veteran Shaw. In addition, Shaw died less than 4 years after completing " Jaws " at just 51.
After the surprise success of the film, Hollywood insiders ascribed the film's effectiveness mostly to veteran editor Verna Fields rather than the little-known, 28-year-old Steven Spielberg. Although he undoubtedly learned much from Fields, Spielberg wished to prove his worth in following films and never worked with Fields again. It should be said that from Jaws (1975) until Fields death, Spielberg only made three films: Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), 1941 (1979) and Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981).
The first actress to be signed on was Lorraine Gary as Ellen Brody. Steven Spielberg hired her after seeing her in The Marcus-Nelson Murders (1973), because he thought she was so naturalistic.
Producers Richard D. Zanuck and David Brown optioned the film rights to the novel for $175,000 in a deal which also included a first-draft screenplay from author Peter Benchley. This draft, extremely faithful to the novel, would later be rejected by Steven Spielberg. The subsequent two drafts from Benchley would also be rejected.
The live shark footage was shot at Seal Rocks (Neptune Islands), South Australia. A real white pointer was cut up and "extended" for the close-up shots.
The film was simultaneously shown in 490 theaters on its opening weekend, the first time for Hollywood, setting the standard for subsequent films. The film was originally booked in about 1000 theaters, but MCA executive Lew Wasserman wanted that cut back, saying he wanted lines at the box office.
Filmed under the threat of an impending actors' strike.
The Orca was originally called The Warlock.
As of 2016, Richard Dreyfuss is the only living member of the hunter trio.
Producers Richard D. Zanuck and David Brown avoided casting big-name stars because they thought they might distract audiences from the story's tension.
June Foray did some uncredited voice work for Michael and Sean during some of the out door scenes.
Oliver Reed turned down the role of Quint.
In the socialist Hungary, the movie was only released in 1985. It became the second biggest grossing film that year: 1.5 million tickets were sold (Hungary's population was around 10 million at that time!) The biggest hit that year was Bomber (1982) starring Bud Spencer.
The limerick that Quint tells as they are preparing to cast off is the same as one that Robert Shaw uses during a limerick contest with James Earl Jones in the film Swashbuckler (1976).
Robert Shaw based his performance on fellow cast member Craig Kingsbury, a local fisherman, farmer, and legendary eccentric, who was playing fisherman Ben Gardner. Steven Spielberg described Kingsbury as "the purest version of who, in my mind, Quint was", and some of his offscreen utterances were incorporated into the script as lines of Gardner and Quint. Another source for some of Quint's dialogue and mannerisms, especially in the third act at sea, was Vineyard mechanic and boat-owner Lynn Murphy.
Director Steven Spielberg later calculated that during the twelve-hour daily work schedule, only four hours were actually spent filming on average.
Following the release of the film, interest in shark fishing soared.
Voted #5 on Empire magazine's 500 Greatest Movies Of All Time (September 2008).
Made film history as the first film to gross more than $100 million.
As production dragged on, the people of Martha's Vineyard, at first curious and welcoming, were fed up with having the production on their island.
Peter Benchley liked how cutting the subplots from the novel allowed for the characters to be fleshed out properly.
Robert Shaw was reluctant to take the role of Quint since he did not like the book, but decided to accept at the urging of both his wife, actress Mary Ure, and his secretary-"The last time they were that enthusiastic was From Russia with Love (1963). And they were right."
The actors were frequently seasick.
According to Richard Dreyfuss, "We started filming without a script, without a cast and without a shark."
Jaws (1975) single-handedly caused a downturn in the package holiday trade.
Steven Spielberg always considered Jurassic Park (1993) a sequel to Jaws (1975), but on land. People saw differences though, where the latter focused on character development as much as on its creature, while the former only used the dinosaurs to sell the film, and not the characters.
Most of the third act of the film was handheld, prompting Steven Spielberg to quip that Jaws was the most expensive hand-held movie ever made.
After finishing the film, George Lucas came and visited Steven Spielberg while Bruce (the mechanical shark) was still in the water. George Lucas wanted to get a picture with his head inside of Bruce's mouth. Lucas put his head inside Bruce's mouth, and Spielberg played a prank on Lucas by closing Bruce's mouth. The prank backfired and Lucas ended up getting his head stuck inside Bruce's mouth and it took nearly three hours to set Lucas free.
Richard D. Zanuck and David Brown had just finished working with Robert Shaw on The Sting (1973) and recommended him to Steven Spielberg.
According to production designer Joe Alves, the platform that operated the shark needed a minimal change in tidal depth, about 25 feet, and the downwind side of an island for protection. Locations were first scouted at Montauk and Sag Harbor, Long Island. Martha's Vineyard, an island south of Cape Cod, Massachusetts, proved to have all the right elements.
Kevin Kline was offered the role of Matt Hooper. He told Steven Spielberg that he knew someone who was an oceanographer and thought he could play one. Spielberg then told him "I don't want someone who knows someone who is an oceanographer, I want someone who is an oceanographer".
Carl Gottlieb named two science fiction films as as influences on how the shark was depicted, or not: The Thing from Another World (1951), which Gottlieb described as "a great horror film where you only see the monster in the last reel"; and It Came from Outer Space (1953), where "the suspense was built up because the creature was always off-camera".
Some of the incidents that befell the troubled production included writer Carl Gottlieb and Steven Spielberg nearly getting killed in seafaring accidents and Richard Dreyfuss was almost imprisoned in the steel cage.
Producer Richard D. Zanuck wanted his then wife Linda Harrison for the role of Ellen Brody but was unaware then Universal head Sid Sheinberg had his wife Lorraine Gary booked ahead for the role. To placate the situation, Sheinberg contacted Airport 1975 (1974) producer William Frye and told him to have Harrison penciled for a role in that film.
Despite the overwhelming production difficulties, the company enjoyed the time on Martha's Vineyard, especially the actors, except Richard Dreyfuss who was an up-and-coming young actor ready to get on with more projects. Steven Spielberg said that Dreyfuss used to half joke: "What am I doing here? I should be walking into Sardi's to applause and acclaim."
As Brody and Hooper are on the boat during a night scene a meteor appears clearly behind them.
The cage attack scene was shot in a tank at MGM Studios lot 3. It is known as the Ester Williams Tank for all of the underwater ballet she was involved in during her career. Dick Warlock was the stuntman used as Hooper in the shooting of this sequence.It took about 5 days to shoot the scenes that were used. Warlock had to have his hair permed because his hair is straight and the first time in the water after they had just curled it, it straightened right out. Richard Dreyfuss has curly hair.
The mechanical shark used in the film was nicknamed "Bruce" by its handlers, and the "full body" version tours around museums, while "Bruce II" resides at the Universal Theme Parks and "bites at" tourists on the tour ride.
Voted #3 in Total Film's 100 Greatest Movies Of All Time list (November 2005).
Was voted the 48th greatest film by the American Film Institute on their list of the 100 greatest movies in 1998. Ten years later, it dropped eight ranks to #56.
Peter Benchley's novel was first discovered in galley form at early 1973 by then Cosmopolitan Magazine editor and producer David Brown's wife Helen Gurley Brown who was to be excerpting part of the novel to be published in an upcoming issue. Brown saw it by accident, having read it then a few days brought it to the attention of his partner Richard D. Zanuck, subsequently obtaining the rights to the book at the end of the year.
Carl Gottlieb said that "there was nothing to do except make the movie," so everyone kept overworking, and while as a writer, he did not have to attend the ocean set every day, once the crewmen returned, they arrived "ravaged and sunburnt, windblown and covered with salt water."
Dustin Hoffman stated in an interview that Steven Spielberg offered him a part in the film, presumably Matt Hooper.
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The bite strength of a great white has been estimated at 1.8 tons.
Lee Fierro, a local non-professional who played the role of Mrs. Kintner, the mother of Alex Kintner, the young boy who was the second victim of the shark, who later confronts and slaps Chief Brody, has stated in a recent documentary on the film that she was often asked by fans of the movie, particularly young men, to slap them to recreate the moment. Fierro said she obliged them for some time, but eventually decided to stop doing it.
In the inquest scene where Hooper confirms the shark attacks as he analyzes the remains of the first victim Chrissie Watkins, he names two likely suspects by their scientific names but never clarifies them. Longimanus refers to the Oceanic Whitetip Shark (Carcharhinus Longimanus), well-known for following ships in the expectation of a sinking. Issurus Paucus is the rare Longfin Mako. The latter is an unusual choice since there are no record of attacks of humans compared to its plentiful cousin the aggressive Shortfin Mako (Issurus Oxyrhincus).
Director Steven Spielberg originally wanted Joe Spinell and Frank Pesce to play the two guys on the dock fishing for the shark at night (Pesce as the guy who falls in the water and Spinell shouting to him). Unfortunately, Pesce could not make it to Martha's Vineyard.
Robert Shaw (Quint) also sang part of the song 'Spanish Ladies' in the television show The Buccaneers: The Ladies (1956).
Amity Island is actually Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. Whereas Amity Island was also its own town, Martha's Vineyard has six different towns on it.
Gene Hackman was considered for the role of Martin Brody.
This is director/producer Bryan Singer's favorite film. He has paid tribute to the fact by naming one of his production companies after a famous line from the movie: Bad Hat Harry Productions.
Quint's Indianapolis speech was only recorded because the crew was waiting around for "Bruce" to be repaired, so Steven Spielberg added more dialogue to keep from wasting so much shooting-time.
Editor Verna Fields rarely had material to work with during principal photography, as according to Steven Spielberg "we would shoot five scenes in a good day, three in an average day, and none in a bad day."
Three full-size pneumatically powered prop sharks were made for the production: a "sea-sled shark", a full-body prop with its belly missing that was towed with a 300-foot (roughly 100-m) line, and two "platform sharks", one that moved from camera-left to -right (with its hidden left side exposing an array of pneumatic hoses), and an opposite model with its right flank uncovered.
Although he goes uncredited, the baseball announcer we hear over the radio during one of the beach scenes is sports announcer, Charlie Jones. He was mostly known for football. All of the players he announces here are fictional.
Early on, before development of Jaws as a feature film, it started to be developed as a television series. At least one press release appeared in trade magazines attesting to this. The format of episodic television with new celebrity guest stars being eaten each week was thankfully abandoned in favor of developing the property as a feature film.
In a couple scenes when the boat crew is below deck waiting for the shark to do something at dusk, you can see in the sky as the camera is filming the boat, a couple actual shooting stars go by.
When Brody is reading up about sharks, one of the books he studies is 'The Fishes', by F.D. Ommanney, published by Time-Life Books.
Quint's rifle which Brody also uses at the end with is a M1 Garand rifle.
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"Jaws" was filmed on a notoriously short-lived Eastman film stock, used by the studios in the 1970's because it was cheaper. It faded so quickly that when the film was first released on home video in 1985, the movie had to be colorized even though it was only 10 years old and had been in color originally.
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On August 19, 2017, 42 years after the movie Jaws (1975) brought the story of USS Indianapolis to light, Microsoft co-founder Paul Allen located the wreck of the USS Indianapolis in the Philippine Sea at a depth of over 18,000 feet.
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Quint's boat, named the "Orca", was also the name of a knock-off film named Orca (1977) that was released in 1977, largely to capitalize on the "shark craze" that came after the success of Jaws (1975) in 1975.
The medical inspector was played by a real doctor, Robert Nevin.
Steven Spielberg was initially apprehensive about hiring Roy Scheider, fearing he would portray a "tough guy", similar to his role in The French Connection (1971).
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Very similar to their characters, 'Robert Shaw' taunted 'Richard Dreyfuss' for being out of shape as a young man, and bet he couldn't do ten full pushups. Dreyfuss countered that he could do 20. Shaw then challenged Dreyfuss to have Roy Scheider, a former boxer, make sure he did them right. Scheider then told Dreyfuss he knew how few men could do 20 full pushups, and that Dreyfuss was not one of them.
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When Brody is typing his initial report on Chrissie's death, the recipient is the "Corners Office" as opposed to "Coroner's." It's possible this was an intentional choice in filmmaking, as it's Brody's first report to the office, and done so under emotional stress.
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Robert Mitchum turned down the role of Quint.
Just before Hooper goes down in the shark cage, he tries to spit on his scuba mask and says "I've got no spit." This line is meant to imply that he has been under extreme duress, since high levels of stress are known to cause inadequate saliva production and dry mouth.
The original U.K. video release of the 25th Anniversary version was wrongly labeled as a P.G. rating, when it should have been a 12 rating, due to Roy Scheider saying the "F" word in the documentary. The mislabeled videos have been withdrawn.
Early in the beach scene set on the Fourth of July, the music of Scott Joplin can be heard from the loudspeakers. Joplin's music was primarily used in The Sting (1973), which was also produced by David Brown and Richard D. Zanuck.
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The ship used for the Orca was brought to Los Angeles so the sound effects team could record sounds for both the ship and the underwater scenes.
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The brand of beer that Quint drinks onboard the Orca is Narragansett. A popular brand of beer in New England, and a sponsor of the Boston Red Sox. It's running line was "Hi neighbor, have a Gansett."
The first two dogs that are first introduced are both Steven Spielburg's dogs.
Roy Scheider said he never called the shark by its famous nickname, "Bruce."
Steven Spielberg almost accidentally came across the property when he spotted the galley proofs for Peter Benchley's book sitting on producer David Brown's desk.
Victoria Principal was considered for the role of Ellen Brody.
The revolver Brody shoots at the shark with is a Smith & Wesson model 15.
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Michael Winner, fresh from his success with Death Wish (1974), was considered to direct.
The helicopter flown over the beach is the Enstrom F28/280, which was given the name "Shark" by the manufacturer.
Included among the "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die", edited by Steven Schneider.
Steven Spielberg invited John Byrum to do a rewrite, but he declined the offer. Columbo (1971) creators William Link and Richard Levinson also declined Spielberg's invitation.
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Steven Spielberg estimated the final script had a total of 27 scenes that were not in the book.
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There was an added scene shot for the fourth victim. The shot showed the victim seemingly being pushed be 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.
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Robert Shaw taunted Richard Dreyfus during the filming by comparing him to Paul Muni. Muni starred in "The Life of Emil Zola (1937)", based on the notorious Albert Dreyfus affair. Richard is a distant relative of Albert.
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Eight years after filming "Jaws", Richard Dreyfuss began acting in the film "Stakeout" with co-star Emilio Estevez. Between filming scenes they each quote lines from movies. Estevez cleverly asked Dreyfuss to identify the film in which an actor utters "This is no boat accident". Dreyfuss didn't recognize it. The amusing inside jokes gets re-enacted and appears in the film.
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The first horror movie to make over a million dollars.
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There are many similarities to the 1954 Universal horror classic Creature from the black lagoon. An old sea captain joins the crew in their quest. The monster is not shown until the middle of the movie. Both films have a beautiful who goes swimming and is stalked by the monster, however in the creature from the black lagoon, the girl escapes from the gill man and in this one the girl is not so lucky.
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The film was originally rated R by the MPAA, but was trimmed down to PG after trimming the scenes of the severed body parts.
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The knot which Quint is trying to reach Brodie is called a bowline knot. It is a very useful boating knot. When taught to children the eel is replaced by a rabbit.
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The plot is almost identical to Ibsen's play "An Enemy Of The People" albeit without the shark. The play was later filmed, starring Steve McQueen- a one time casting thought for Jaws.
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Long Island was a possible filming location.
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In a scene at the beach, a carousel or other musical instrument is playing a pleasant tune written by Noel Coward titled: "I'll See You Again."
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Included among the American Film Institute's 1998 list of the Top 100 Greatest American Movies.
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The second film John Williams scored for Steven Spielberg, they will collaborate for another four decades.
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Richard Dreyfuss is the only main cast member to work with Steven Spielberg again. However, Roy Scheider starred in the first two seasons of SeaQuest 2032 (1993), where Spielberg served as an executive producer. Both Scheider and Spielberg departed after the second season.
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For an unexplained reason, after comparing leg scars in the cabin of the ORCA, Robert Shaw can be seen pulling his pants up, buttoning them, & pulling his zipper up as Dreyfus tells his story about how Mary Ellen Moffet broke his heart.
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During the night time scene aboard Quint's boat ORCA, the Quint character describes sharks have lifeless dolls eyes until it "bites ya" and then the "eyes roll over white." This occurs with many species of sharks but the "eyes" on mechanical sharks in the film never roll over or become white.
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The Quint characters story of the USS INDIANAPOLIS story contains several inaccuracies including the statement that sharks "took" 600 Sailors. Most were killed by sharks while others died: from drinking sea water; swimming away; drowning; and murder. Some Sailors due to madness caused from drinking sea water or other reasons would attack or attempt to kill other. In self-defense the attacking Sailors were fought off or killed.
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Lee Fierro, who plays the mother of 'Alex Kintner', the boy taken from the lilo, has stated in interviews that she's had many people plead with her to slap them in the same way her character slaps Chief Brody (Roy Scheider) after she learns that Brody opted to keep the beaches open despite there being a suspected shark attack occurring in the area.
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In the opening credits, Spielberg uses a distorted audio-pickup of squawking birds over the Universal logo of the 1970's. This is a direct homage to Alfred Hitchcock's opening for "The Birds", which uses the same sounds over the Universal logo from that era.
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When a Midwestern audience were shown an early cut of the film, they were so shocked by the "pop-up scare" that occurs when the great white shark breaches the surface of the water as Brody chums off the bow of the boat, that their reactions drowned out his ironic comment "You're gonna need a bigger boat."

After reviewing their taping of the moment, the filmmakers extended the sequence, adding another 10.6 meters (35 ft) of film to give the audience enough time to recover to enjoy the "much-needed moment of comic relief" provided by Brody's line.
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The only Best Picture Oscar nominee that year to not be nominated for Best Director.
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Won three of the four awards it was nominated for at the Academy Awards but lost Best Picture to One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest (1975).
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When Martin and Hooper are on the boat at night, Martin says the crime in NYC is awful and you have to walk your kids to school. JAWS was released in the U.S.A. on June 20, 1975. On May 25, 1979, in NYC, six-year-old Etan Patz was allowed to walk to the school bus stop two blocks from his home by himself. He was kidnapped and never seen alive again. On February 14, 2017, Pedro Hernandez was convicted of Etan Patz' murder and kidnapping.
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The Three male main actors begin with the letter R.
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In Red Dwarf: Dimension Jump (1991) (TV Episode) the midnight movie Lister (Craig Charles) mentions is Jaws (1975).
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The only Best Picture Oscar nominee that year to be also nominated for Best Sound.
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In one scene, Brody, Hooper and Vaughn are speaking in front of a vandalized billboard when Vaughn mentions National Geographic. The billboard behind them has a yellow frame, much like the classic yellow border of National Geographic magazines.
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Director John Landis showed up during the filming of the two islanders fishing for the shark and was put to work hammering the pier.
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After Lee Marvin turned down the role of Quint and Charlton Heston was rejected, everyone settled on Sterling Hayden, but the actor was having IRS problems and stayed in France as the government would have attached any salary he would get.. Richard Boone and Robert Duvall were also considered before Robert Shaw was ultimately cast.
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Joe Bologna and Robert Duvall were both considered for the role of Sheriff Brody.
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The Enstrom Helicopter was rented to the production company from an auto dealer in Foxboro Massachusetts. The dealer's name was Rodman Ford, which is still in business today and is actually located across the the street from the Superbowl Champion New England Patriots.
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The Three Male Actors began with the letter of/from their First names (Roy,Richard,Robert)
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Among actors considered for Matt Hooper were Joel Grey, Jan Michael Vincent, Jeff Bridges, Jon Voight, and Timothy Bottoms.
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Peter Benchley: Reporter on the beach.

Director Trademark 

Steven Spielberg: [father] Ms. Kinter is a single mother.


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

Preview audiences didn't scream when the head of a shark victim appears in the hole in the bottom of the boat. The first big response was for the shark's appearing when Brody is chumming. Director Steven Spielberg says that he "got greedy" and wanted a scream from the earlier sequence. He re-shot the scene in editor Verna Fields' swimming pool, numerous ways, to finesse the moment. He then found that the chumming scene got less of a scream, which he eventually realized was because the audience didn't trust him, and was wary about what might come next.
When Roy Scheider was trapped in the sinking Orca, it took 75 takes to get the shot right. Scheider did not trust the special effects team to rescue him in case of an emergency so he hid axes and hatchets around the cabin just in case.
Though his affair with Brody's wife was left out of the film, Hooper's death was actually in the script. The plan was to have a dummy representing Hooper placed in a cage underwater, and Australian filmmakers Ron and Valerie Taylor, who were filming the underwater shark scenes in Australia, would entice an actual shark to attack the cage and tear the dummy apart. They could never provoke the shark properly. Ultimately, the shark did attack and destroy the cage, but there was one problem: the Hooper dummy wasn't inside at the time. As this was the best footage they had, Steven Spielberg decided to use it, and allow Hooper to escape the shark.
The blowing up of the shark was scheduled for the last day of the shoot. Four cameras were trained on it. Steven Spielberg, however, was not there. He decided that before the crew did any kind of wild prank on him to mark the end of principal photography, he would just leave quietly. He and Richard Dreyfuss were on a plane to Boston when the actor turned to him and asked how the final shot went. When Spielberg answered, smiling, "They're shooting it now," Dreyfuss began laughing hysterically.
In the original script, Quint was killed off by drowning. The rope from the harpoon that he fires at the shark wraps around his foot and he is pulled under by the shark, calling for Brody to give him the knife. (This was also the way the character was killed off in the book and, according to an interview with Steven Spielberg about this scene, it is similar to the way Ahab dies in "Moby Dick".) However, it was decided that Quint should be eaten as this would be the most tragic for the character based on his experiences on the USS Indianapolis, so the script was changed to what is in the movie.
Quint's name comes from the Latin word for "fifth". Quint is the fifth person killed by the shark (after Chrissie Watkins, Alex Kintner, Ben Gardner's disembodied head in boat, and Michael's sailing teacher).
Before the shark was blown up at the end, an explosives expert with a blasting permit was needed. Richard S. Edwards had done extensive explosives work while in the Navy and then for Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, and he agreed to place the dynamite for the final scene. Finding he couldn't get past the teeth of the shark mock-up, he was forced to crawl into the back of the device, but it was made of sharp fiberglass. After wrapping his knees with towels and putting on heavy gloves, he had to carry the dynamite in his mouth to place it in the head of the "shark," where his picture was taken and is now in the archives of Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, along with the oral history that describes his contribution to this classic movie.
Peter Benchley was not happy with Steven Spielberg's ending where the shark is killed when a compressed air tank explodes in its mouth, claiming it was unrealistic. Spielberg defended himself by saying he will have held his audiences' attention for two hours and they would believe anything in the end no matter how unrealistic or unbelievable the ending really was. Spielberg even thought of an ending where after the shark is blown up, Brody would look up to see several shark fins.
After the shark blows up, the groaning sound effects during the shot of the carcass sinking are the same ones the truck makes as it crashes off a cliff in Steven Spielberg's first film, Duel (1971). The sound effect is from the original Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954).
The shark has 4 minutes of screen time.
The entire second half of Jaws (1975) takes place on the ocean, with just Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss carrying it between the three of them. No other characters appear (bar the shark) and dry land is glimpsed near the end of the move. The reason was Spielberg didn't want land to be seen because he thought the audience would think that the characters could just run back to shore. He wanted to isolate the audience as much as the characters.
In the original novel, Hooper has an affair with Brody's wife, and is killed by the shark in the cage at the end. However, because the relationship between Brody's wife and Hooper was considered by many to be irrelevant to the plot, and arbitrarily included in the novel just to "sex it up", it was omitted from the film script, and Hooper was allowed to survive.
The original scene of Alex Kintner's death called for a doll of Alex to be floating among the bathers, then the shark would jump out of the water and grab the doll and raft in its mouth. But as was typical of the mechanical shark, it didn't function properly. It would either come out of the water too high, not high enough or totally miss the raft. Finally, the shark succeeded in grabbing the raft, and in doing so, rolled over on its side, much like a real shark would do. This is the take Spielberg decided to use. However, the producers were concerned that the image of the shark with Alex in its mouth was too disturbing and might jeopardize the film's PG rating. Therefore, Spielberg and editor Verna Fields trimmed the beginning of the shot so only the shark's fins are briefly seen as it flips over.
Body Count: eight (five people, one dog, and two sharks)
The story that Quint tells about his experiences aboard a sinking cruiser is a fictionalized version of the actual World War II Portland-class cruiser USS Indianapolis. Of the 1,196 crewman aboard only 316 survived while 300 died during the sinking and the other 579 dying from exposure, dehydration, drinking salt water and some from shark attacks. The majority of the dialogue in the film was largely written by Robert Shaw. The most major difference between Quint's account and the actual event was the date of the sinking (mentioned in the film as June 29, 1945), while the ship was actually sunk over a month later on July 30.
According to Carl Gottlieb's "The Jaws Log", Steven Spielberg was never happy with the moment when Ben Gardner's head appears in the hole in the bottom of his boat. Preview audiences jumped at this scene, but Spielberg wanted more than an ordinary shock moment. However, the studio was unwilling to budget a re-shoot. So Spielberg declared that he'd pay for it himself, assembling a crew in editor Verna Fields' back-yard swimming pool, which would serve as the underwater location. A gallon of milk gave the water enough of the look of Nantucket Sound. The boat bottom was placed in the pool and Richard Dreyfuss' stunt double went through the action. The studio eventually ate the cost of the re-shoot, and the scene was taken to a much higher level, just by changing the composition and timing of a few feet of footage.
The sound-effect used when the shark first reveals itself, as Brody is throwing chum, is actually a fizzy-pop bottle being opened onto concrete after being shaken up. This sound effect was changed for the 25th DVD edition of the movie.
When the shark is destroying the cage after Hooper swims away, you can see the shark turn and twist upside down. This was actual footage shot by Ron Taylor. As seen and explained in a recent Jaws (1975) documentary, the Great White Shark the couple had been filming became entangled in the cage's suspension ropes. The cage broke loose and sank to the bottom, however the shark managed to escape and swim off (as can also be seen in the film). After the shark had cleared the area, Ron had to take a second cage to the bottom in order to rescue the first. Ron and Valerie Taylor eventually went on to develop the chain-mail shark-proof diving suit.
In the book, it is revealed that Mayor Larry Vaughan is being blackmailed by the Mafia to keep the beaches open. The Mob has invested in Amity real estate, and is hoping for a multi-million dollar sale.
Regarding the ending, author Peter Benchley thought Steven Spielberg's idea of shooting and blowing up the compressed air tank was horrible. Spielberg even considered having Chief Brody kill the shark only to look up and observe several other fins coming towards him.
With this film being nominated for 4 Oscars at the 48th Academy Awards in which star Robert Shaw hosted, he became the first person to host the Oscars and die in a movie that was nominated in the same ceremony
This movie was rereleased in 2015 for its 40th anniversary. It was released on Fathers Day and Wednesday 3 days later at 2 P.M and 7 P.M on both days. The ending shown in theaters, as well as the 2012 Blu-Ray release, combines the original 1975 version and 2000 version. They combined the sound effect of the shark's death. In the original version, there was a ricochet sound when Brody shot the tank, which was removed in 2000. The Blu-Ray version can be seen when AMC airs it.
Olivia Newton-John's first hit song "I Honestly Love You" is heard in the beach scene when the shark eats Alex Kinter.
The licence plate that hooper removes from the sharks body has the number 007 on it. This is a reference to Steven Spielberg always having the desire to direct a James Bond film, being a fan of the James Bond franchise. Also actor Robert Shaw - playing the role of Mr Quint - also plays Bond villain Red Grant in the James Bond film From Russia With Love.
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The ending of the movie when the shark blows up was proven to be unrealistic by the show "Mythbusters". A more realistic ending would be if only the head was blown off instead of the entire body.
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Throughout the entire first half of the film, and up to, but not including, the infamous "Gotta get a bigger boat" line, every time the actual shark appears (not the threat or possibility of appearance), and then again at the final "attack run" sequence, the inconic John Williams' music ("da-dum, da-dum...") plays in the background. No music and no shark.
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