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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
Reviews
1 nomination. See more awards »

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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.)
See more »

Connections

References National Velvet (1944) See more »

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User Reviews

As Great As You're Going to Get
29 June 2015 | by Michael_ElliottSee all my reviews

The Making of Jaws (1995)

**** (out of 4)

This mammoth documentary on the making of JAWS features interviews with many of the main people behind the film including Steven Spielberg, producers David Brown and Richard Zanuck, stars Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss and Lorraine Gary, composer John Williams, stunt woman Susan Backlinie, co-writer Carl Gottlieb, writer Peter Benchley and several others.

With a running time just north of two hours, this documentary really gives you a terrific idea of how one of the greatest movies ever made almost fell apart countless times throughout the troubled production. I really think the greatest stuff here deals with Spielberg who wonderfully details the chaos that was constantly happening as they tried to deal with various troubles from the shark not working properly to the ocean just not helping the situation.

We learn about the original screenplay, the various changes made to it and then we get into the hiring of the cast as well as a few actors who turned down various roles. From here we get to the actual shooting of the movie and everything that went wrong including fears that Spielberg would walk, the studio would just cancel the picture or the entire thing could have been taken away. The cast and crew really do a marvelous job at explaining everything that went wrong but, in the end, we also get to hear what a pleasure the end result turned out to be.

If you're a fan of JAWS then obviously this here is going to be a must see. Not only do we get the terrific stories but we also get several outtakes including a more graphic death scene that was cut by Spielberg because he felt it was just too much.


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