When Peter Benchley wrote the book Jaws in 1974 about a resort town being tormented by a great white shark, it was enough to ignite the imagination of a two producers, Richard Zanuck and David Brown, and they knew just the director for it, Steven Spielberg.
When the movie "Jaws" was released in June 1975, it focused on three protagonists; Sheriff Brody (Roy Scheider), Quint (Robert Shaw) the seaman/shark hunter, and Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfus) the oceanographer. The setting of an island resort in New England, the frailties, vulnerabilities, and passions of the protagonists made us instantly fall in love with them. Looking back, Scheider's awkward and twitchy water-fearing character, Hooper's love/hate relationship with the sharks, and Quint's burning desire to kill every blasted one of them, made the plot move with ease. All of these combined with masterful cinematography and editing, tense soundtrack, and epic proportions, made this my very favorite movie of all time.
The movie is celebrating its 40th anniversary this month and any of us who recall seeing it when it was first released, remember how it forever changed our summer splash in the ocean. This summer, they are re-releasing the film in theaters and that is really exciting to think that a few generations could see it together in the way it was first shown - on the big screen. It is a place this movie especially belongs.
The mechanical shark from the movie was named Bruce after Spielberg's lawyer.
Spielberg was brilliant enough to buck the usual Christmas big release time frame and released it in the summertime, being the first movie to set the "summer blockbuster" trend.
Spielberg considered Charlton Heston for the lead role of Sheriff Brody, but thankfully went with a lesser known actor, Roy Scheider. He didn't want people to immediately identify the hero.
The film worldwide has grossed almost a half a billion dollars. Yes, half a billion! (470,000,000)!!!
Did you know the reporter on the beach was Peter Benchley? (wrote the original book and co-wrote the screenplay)
Quint embeds his machete into the wood at the side of the boat, but in the following wideshot the machete is gone. Then as Orca starts to move, when Hooper says, "He's chasing us, I don't believe it," the machete is back. But when the shark leaps onto the boat the machete is gone again, and then as the shark devours Quint the machete is back for him to grab, so he can valiantly stab the shark.
The first time I saw the movie, the parts that got my total attention was when Hooper dove over in the dark to see why Ben Gardner's abandoned boat was taking on water and the opening skinny dipper scene.
As I watched the movie more over the years, my favorite parts are ones that showcased Quint like the meeting where he scratches his nails on the chalkboard, when he challenges Hooper and loads the boat, and when he compares scars.
Two drawings were made of the potential shark for the movie, one was 30 feet, the other 20 feet. The 30 footer was just too big, the 20 footer was just too small, so they settled on making Bruce the Shark 25 feet.
Statistics: Did you know that there are on average 280 shark attacks around the world a year and 77 are fatal. Not bad statistics. You assume a shark attack - you're not surviving, but you likely will.
Want to collect Jaws items? I know I do!
Here's a 3-movie box set (below)
The favorite new collectibles by Funko - has a set (below)
How about a badass bottle opener? (below)
Want the ultimate? How about this set below?