The terrifying motion picture from the
terrifying No. 1 best seller by Peter Benchley
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Produced by: David Brown, Richard D. Zanuck
U.S. Release Date: June 20, 1975
Domestic Gross: $260,000,000
JAWS broke all box office records to
become the highest grossing film of all time. However, it was
soon surpassed by Star Wars in 1977.
Jaws is probably the most famous shark
movie ever, starring Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss, Robert
Shaw, Lorraine Gary, Carl Gottlieb, Jeffrey Kramer, Susan
Backlinie and Jonathan Filley. As a piece of cinematic history,
the importance of Jaws simply cannot be overstated. It is the
film that literally defined the modern approach to presenting
movies as we know it, literally the first true 'blockbuster'
As a piece of popular culture, the
influences of Jaws - both on the screen and, unfortunately, off
- cannot be denied or overemphasized. However, it is as a piece
of good, solid film entertainment that Jaws truly excels, an all
time movie classic that remains the single greatest 'killer
monster' flick ever made. For all these reasons and more, Jaws
is a timeless must-see.
The film is about a great white shark,
which terrorizes the resort town of Amity. The local police
chief wants to close the beaches but the mayor will not allow it
because of the potential harm to the town's tourism during the
lucrative Fourth of July weekend. After several shark attacks,
the mayor relents and the town hires a crusty old mariner to
kill the shark. The mariner, accompanied by the chief and a
shark expert, takes to the sea to try and stop the shark.
Hunting the fishy: (l to r) Robert
Shaw, Roy Schieder and Richard Dreyfus find humour in grisly
sequence - beach party girl swimming with Jaws
Universal Pictures released the movie
in June 1975. The MPAA rating was PG, although a warning message
(may be too intense for younger children) was also included.
Jaws was directed by Steven Spielberg.
It was his second theatrical film, the first being The Sugarland
Express (1974), his third being Close Encounters of the Third
Jaws was produced by Richard Zanuck and his partner
David Brown, who also produced Spielberg's The Sugarland
Express. They paid $175,000 for the movie rights to Peter
Benchley's runaway best-selling novel and also a Benchley
From the best-selling novel by Peter
Benchley, Steven Spielberg directed this thrill ride of terror.
During the height of beach season, the Massachusetts resort town
of Amity Island is terrorized one summer by surprise attacks
from a great white shark.
Three unlikely partners team up to
hunt down the rogue and destroy it: the new chief of police from
New York (Roy Scheider), a young university-educated
oceanographer (Richard Dreyfuss), and a crusty old-time
fisherman (Robert Shaw). The film shoot was notoriously
difficult for the young Spielberg, who had directed only one
feature film before JAWS. The mechanical shark seldom operated
correctly, and Spielberg was frequently forced to create the
idea of terror without actually showing the shark.
after the film premiered it went on to become the
highest-grossing film of all time--surpassing THE GODFATHER and
becoming the first film to gross more than a hundred million
dollars. Composer John Williams created the score to JAWS, which
has since become a well-known theme of impending doom. Ron and
Valerie Taylor were responsible for filming live sharks in
Australia; their sequences were later mixed with footage of the
Quint, Chief Brody and Hooper at the stern watching Jaws
Steven Spielberg's film is generally
considered one of the scariest movies ever made. The frightfest
is based on the book by Peter Benchley, son of author Nathaniel
and grandson of author Robert Benchley. The plot is simple: The
tourist season of a resort island is devoured by a great white
shark. The ensuing "fishing trip" to catch the
monstrous man-eater is filmed with power and suspense and plenty
of scares that has had audiences jumping out of their seats for
decades--and staying out of the water.
"You're gonna need a bigger
boat."--Chief Brody (Roy Scheider, who ad-libbed the line)
to Quint (Robert Shaw)
Theatrical release: June 20, 1975. The
film was shot on location on Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts.
Estimated budget: $12 million. The film grossed more than $260
million at the domestic box office and nearly $475 million
worldwide. JAWS was nominated for an Academy Award for Best
Picture and John Williams won an Oscar for his original score.
For the scene of Richard Dreyfuss fighting the shark from inside
a cage, the crew used a very short stunt diver to make the shark
seem abnormally large. The famous shot of a head popping out of
a hole in a sunken boat was shot in editor Verna Field's pool
and was inserted by Spielberg after the film was completed. JAWS
is number 48 on the American Film Institute's list of America's
100 Greatest Movies. One early title for the film was STILLNESS
IN THE WATER.
The film was supported by an enormous
public-relations campaign. According to Newsweek, "Like the
novel, the movie was launched with an almost unprecedented
promotional campaign, complete with cross-country tours by stars
and $700,000 worth of prime-time TV time to trumpet the release
in 450 theaters throughout the land." The film became the
highest-grossing film of all time until STAR WARS surpassed it
two years later. JAWS spawned three sequels: JAWS 2, JAWS 3-D,
and JAWS 4--THE REVENGE, as well as countless imitators.
"...One of the most effective
thrillers ever made....One of the remarkable things about the
picture is its relatively muted tone..."
"...The phenomenon that invented
'the summer movie'..."
"...This fishy thriller is still
Steven Spielberg's best movie..."
"...It pretty much rewrote the
rules for the modern-day blockbuster..."
and Chief Brody scramble onboard as Jaws circles
Out of all the
species walking, flying, slithering or swimming, there aren't
many who have been around as long, survived as well, or come in
so many shapes and kinds as the shark. The earliest evidences of
sharks are isolated spines, teeth and scales that appeared about
430 million years ago in the Silurian Period, known as the
"Age of Fishes". Sharks have a sleek, streamlined
design which helps them swim without using up a lot of energy.
They certainly need to conserve their energy because they
never really sleep and most of them never stop swimming.
Theme - Information
and .wav file excerpt of the famous John Williams Jaws theme.
Tagline: The terrifying motion picture from
the terrifying No. 1 best seller. (more)
Plot Outline: A police chief, a scientist, and
a grizzled sailor set out to kill a shark that is menacing the
seaside community of Amity Island. (more)
User Comments: A landmark film. (more)
User Rating: *****
8.2/10 (43,971 votes)
Stillness in the Water (USA) (working title)
Runtime: 124 min / USA:130 min (TV version)
Sound Mix: Mono
Kong:IIB / Ireland:15
Korea:12 / Spain:18
(original rating) / UK:PG
(video rating) (1987) / USA:PG
Trivia: Cameo: [Peter
Benchley] reporter on the beach. (more)
by Peter Benchley
It's out there in the
water...waiting. Nature's most fearsome predator. The seaside
community of Amity is at its mercy. A small-town police chief,
a marine biologist, and a modern-day Ahab must try to stop it.
But they are only three men...alone against the Great White
The Jaws syndication in all it's many
formats has inspired generations and generated fear against a
greatly misunderstood creature.
Benchley was very sorry he wrote this
book, or at least the repercussions it and the movie had on the
public perception of sharks. He has spent the past few years
being a spokesperson for conservation of these amazing animals.
ATTACKS by REGION:
Attacks in Australia - Great White shark attack
photo gallery of an attack in Aldinga Beach Australia (1963).
Victim required 462 stiches.
Attacks in Florida - Accounts of Sharks Attacks in
Florida, USA. Including accompanying shark attack photo gallery.
Attacks in New Jersey - 1916 shark attack account,
Shark attack at Matawan Creek, New Jersey.
Attacks in South Africa - An East London
businessman, Dunstan Hogan, 46, survived an attack by a Great
White shark (Carcharodon carcharias) while he was surfing at
Cape St Francis on Sunday.
Attacks in Hawaii - Interview with victim of recent
Reef shark attack in Hawaii.
Attacks in South Carolina - Interview with victim
of recent shark attack in South Carloina.
Attacks in Bahamas - Accounts of two recent shark
attacks within the Bahamas.
Attacks in Brazil - Account of a recent fatal shark
attack in Brazil.
& the Chief measure a shark's bite radius
SHARK ATTACK LINKS:
Attack Safety - What can one do to reduce the risk
of being attacked by a shark? Sourced from the State of Hawaii
Shark Task Force.
Attack Statistics - Maps detailing shark attack
statistics grouped by region. 1876-2002 World's Confirmed
Unprovoked attacks by White Sharks
White Shark Attack