It's a hot summer on Amity Island, a small community whose main business is its beaches. When new Sheriff Martin Brody discovers the remains of a shark attack victim, his first inclination is to close the beaches to swimmers. This doesn't sit well with Mayor Larry Vaughn and several of the local businessmen. Brody backs down to his regret as that weekend a young boy is killed by the predator. The dead boy's mother puts out a bounty on the shark and Amity is soon swamped with amateur hunters and fisherman hoping to cash in on the reward. A local fisherman with much experience hunting sharks, Quint, offers to hunt down the creature for a hefty fee. Soon Quint, Brody and Matt Hooper from the Oceanographic Institute are at sea hunting the Great White shark. As Brody succinctly surmises after their first encounter with the creature, they're going to need a bigger boat. Written by
Although Steven Spielberg wanted Charlton Heston to play Brody, the main reason Spielberg decided against casting him was because of Heston's "saving the day" role in his previous movies, Airport 1975 and Earthquake. Spielberg reasoned that if Heston would have been cast, it signifies to the audience that the shark has virtually no chance against the hero. See more »
On the TV/video version of Chrissie's death scene, a fine wire can be seen connected to the buoy as she is being shaken about by the shark. This was probably used to stop it drifting out of shot. The wire has been removed on the DVD version. See more »
Steven Spielberg is one of the best American directors working today. He has made many films that have been hailed as classics. Yet before the Dinosaurs, Holocaust, Peter Pan, UFO's, and Indy there was the Shark. Jaws represents one of the masterpieces on Spielbergs resume. It is also probably the "Quintessential Spielberg Film."
Jaws was very popular when released, it was the gighest grossing film of 1975. It spawned three sequels, which were all inferior. In fact, no film about Sharks or any killer fish has been able to come close to the level of Jaws.
The genius in Jaws is its ability to build suspense. The Shark is never really shown till near the end of the film. When ever the Shark is approaching its victims, we get the Sharks point of view, instead of seeing the Shark. These POV shots combined with John Williams very effective score, make the scenes when the Shark is about to devour his victims much more effective.
Evry actor does a nice job with their performances. Roy Scheider brings Martin to life. Martin is not a showy character but Scheider is able to make us like him. Richard Dreyfuss exhibits energy in his performance as Matt Hooper. Robert Shaw is very effective as Quint, that Indiannapolis speech is still very chilling to me. Lorraine Gary and Murray Hamilton also give solid support.
People always talk about how fake the Shark looks. I think its passable but today it would definitely be done by CGI. However, the Shark is not seen that much in the film so its not that big of a deal.
I would like to say Jaws is Spielbergs best film, Schindlers List closely follows. But I would like to see Close Encouners and the Indiana Jones films again. I did not like Close Encounters the first time, and I like the Indiana Jones films but they never stood out to me. If these films dont surpass Jaws, then it is definitely Spielberg's best film.
52 of 78 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?