Written By: DMG
Director: Steven Spielberg
Producer: Richard Zanuck, David Brown
Screenplay: Peter Benchley. Carl Gottlieb
Based on Novel: Jaws by Peter Benchley
Date Released: June 20, 1975
Richard Dreyfuss as Matt Hooper
Roy Schneider as Martin Brody
Robert Shaw as Quint
Lorraine Gary as Ellen Brody
Murray Hamilton as Mayor Larry Vaughn
Rating = 4.5/5 Graves
***May contain some spoilers***
The Town of Amity, New England is beginning its summer months and crowds and swarming the beaches. The only problem is there is a killer shark on the loose. After a woman’s remains are found on the beach, the Mayor of Amity (Murray Hamilton) along with Sheriff Martin Brody (Roy Schneider) and marine consultant Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) rule the death as a shark attack. Although Sheriff Brody attempts to close the beaches, however, Mayor Vaughn is unwilling to allow that to happen with the town booming for the summer months. When another death occurs, this time of a young boy, the Mayor places a bounty on the shark for killing and capturing it. Upon returning from the venture, proof of a shark is produced. But Brody and Hooper know that the shark they are looking at is much bigger. They convince the Mayor to charter Quint’s boat (Robert Shaw). Together, Quint, Hooper and Brody embark on a quest to find and kill the shark that is terrorizing the Town of Amity.
What made Jaws (1975) so intense, was not the blood and gore, but the anticipation of the shark’s arrival. The iconic two-note theme progressively gets faster as Jaws gets closer to the boat. Spielberg did this due to logistical and technical issues with the mechanics of the shark. But the result was even scarier than the robotic shark that was made for the film. It is often the case that when you don’t know what something looks like, it intensifies one’s fear. Jaws did a fantastic job in building those feelings in the viewers without having to illustrate much blood or physical appearance by the shark itself.
The Grave Review
“We’re gonna need a bigger boat.” There are so many iconic lines and scenes in this film. From plot and dialogue to camera angles and music composition. This film had many big-name cast and crew members, including actors Roy Schneider and Richard Dreyfuss; Director Steven Spielberg and Composer John Williams. But even with the powerhouse cast and crew members, there were still significant difficulties in producing this film.
Sources indicate that the film severely went over budget multiple times making it increasing difficult to continue with the film. In addition and as stated above, there were constant mechanical issues with the shark. As a result, Spielberg needed to be creative in inciting the same fear without having to rely on whether the shark would work. The result was tremendous. Sources also indicate that Jaws was the highest grossing film of all time coming in at $400 million, which is more than $1 billion based on todays value. Jaws (1975) was surpassed in 1977 when Star Wars was released.
In many ways, it was a blessing that Spielberg needed to think outside the box in order to captivate the audience. As technology progresses, robots such as the one portrayed in Jaws becomes stale. But suspense built through song or environment is something that is timeless as is Jaws.
For the foregoing reasons, Grave Reviews give Jaws (1975) four and one-half graves out of five graves.
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