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The Making of 'Jaws' (1995)

The Making of Steven Spielberg's 'Jaws' (original title)
Excellent and very detailed documentary on the making of a classic. Filled with appealing trivia, exhaustive interviews with cast and crew members, and never before seen footage.

Director:

Laurent Bouzereau
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Steven Spielberg ... Himself
Peter Benchley ... Himself
David Brown ... Himself
Richard D. Zanuck ... Himself
Carl Gottlieb ... Himself
Ron Taylor Ron Taylor ... Himself
Valerie Taylor Valerie Taylor ... Herself
Roy Scheider ... Himself
Richard Dreyfuss ... Himself
Lorraine Gary ... Herself
Sid Sheinberg ... Himself
Susan Backlinie ... Herself
Ted Grossman Ted Grossman ... Himself
Joe Alves Joe Alves ... Himself
Robert A. Mattey Robert A. Mattey ... Himself (archive footage) (as Bob Mattey)
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Storyline

Excellent and very detailed documentary on the making of a classic. Filled with appealing trivia, exhaustive interviews with cast and crew members, and never before seen footage. Written by Marco Rambaldi <rambaldi@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Genres:

Documentary

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

28 November 1995 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

The Making of 'Jaws' See more »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Universal Home Video See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (25th Anniversary Edition)

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

An edited-down version of this making-of (cut down by approx. 55 minutes) is featured on the Jaws (1975) DVD released in 2000. See more »

Alternate Versions

The version that was on the first "Jaws" DVD (released in 2000) was shortened as follows:
  • A brief discussion of shooting the underwater opening POV shots, only to discover that the filmmakers had in fact 20 minutes of very visible "beaver" shots of actress Susan Backlinie that had to be darkened to hide the naughty bits.
  • Spielberg's explanation of two scenes exclusive to the draft of the script that he wrote himself, neither of which made it to the screen: The first is a different introduction to the Quint with the grizzled fisherman watching Moby Dick at the local theater and laughing out loud at the absurdity of it all. One of the reasons that it never made it to film was Gregory Peck's refusal to let the filmmaker use the footage because he wasn't that proud of it. The other abandoned scene was to have the harbor master watching Don't Go Near the Water while in window behind him, we would see the masts of lined up boats begin to wave back and forth one after another to indicate that the shark was swimming directly underneath them. This scene, when it was deemed too difficult to shoot technically, was replaced by the "roast on a hook" scene that does appear in the film.
  • There are wonderful stories about the late Robert Shaw and his seriously competitive, but ultimately professional, nature that are missing in the new version. A story is told of a day when Shaw was extremely ill on the set and barely had enough energy to get out the line, "Hooper you idiot, ain't you watchin' where you're going?" and pretty much collapsing as soon as Spielberg yelled cut. Richard Dreyfuss also talks at length of his competitive nature and how they didn't always get along on set...
  • The "Discovery of Chrissie" scene and the hand that is shown is a topic of discussion with the film's effects crew creating what would have been appropriate looking from a realistic standpoint but an effect that Spielberg just thought looked fake. He opted to simply shoot someone's real hand sticking out of the ground because it looked better to him. Not more accurate, just better. At one point, Spielberg headed to the producer's office to quit as director. Knowing that the director was about to give up the ship, producers David Brown and Richard Zanuck quickly threw on JAWS T-shirts before his arrival and abruptly interrupted him when he entered with praise of how great a job Spielberg was doing on the film.
  • Spielberg talks about the test screenings that were held and goes into more detail about reshooting the Ben Gardner head in the boat scene. He discloses various ways that the shot was altered and the deciding factor in the used shot. After telling how that first scream with the new shot was now louder than the scream they got in the first test screening when the shark first appears out of the water, that shark appearance only received half the scream that they got at their first screening. Spielberg reasons that the audience didn't trust him after the first jolt and were ready for something to happen when the second scream came around.
  • The end of the film differed from the book with the shark simply getting caught up in cables and drowning. Spielberg changed the ending to get the audience on its feet cheering. Author Peter Benchley disagreed with the decision though and told the director that it was a preposterous end that simply wouldn't happen. Missing here is a short admission by the author that Spielberg was absolutely correct in his decision to change the ending.
  • An entire section on the rating of JAWS is missing that involves the film's original R rating. The producers argued that the violence was nature and that impressionable children were not going to run out after the movie and imitate the behavior of the shark. A few frames of the severed leg did have to be removed though in order to secure the PG rating that the film eventually got. (The "30th Anniversary Edition" DVD, released in 2005, in the documentary's uncut version.)
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Connections

References The Godfather (1972) See more »

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User Reviews

Interesting documentary but doesn't cast a lot of new light on a famous subject
3 July 2002 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

A documentary chronicling the making of the film Jaws from the scripting stage through to problems on shooting. With interviews from the majority of the cast, producers and the director himself.

I watched this as a DVD extra and was easily interested. Taking the viewer from the conception stage of the book right through to the final film this is a very interesting subject. The director and the majority of the cast make for interesting tales, however much of it is known due to the legend over the few years. As a result there's not a whole lot more to say and it fails to have more than one or two bits where I went `ohh' because I didn't know that.

However this is still of interest even if you know the story behind the film already. It's good to see Speilberg and several of the main cast brought in to make comments. Even where you know the story it's still nice to hear it from them themselves.

Overall this is of interest to anyone interesting in Jaws as a creation – however from many it'll be old news told in a different way.


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