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Jaws (Widescreen Anniversary Collector's Edition)

Steven Spielberg's 1975 adventure thriller about three men who must hunt down a maneating Great White shark.

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A Timeless Classic That will Forever be Hailed as One of the Greatest Monster Films of ALL Time!

  • Jan 31, 2009

"You're going to need a Bigger Boat..."
On February 11,2008, almost a year ago, Roy Scheider, the actor who said the famous line in this enduring classic monster film passed on to the next life. What better way to wrap up my horror "reviewing streak" than to pay tribute to one of the lead actors in the best monster film ever made. I will review this as a film made in 1975 and not in 2000, it would be unfair to review a classic as modern one.

JAWS (1975) is the first film to reach the $ 100 million dollar mark, surpassing "The Exorcist" and even "The Omen". I've always said that the best horror films are the ones that hit close to home, with factors anyone can relate to. "Jaws" made a lot of people so afraid to go into the water. Masterfully directed by Steven Spielberg, based on Peter Benchley's novel which was inspired by the New Jersey Shark attacks of 1916 dubbed; "The Summer of Fear". The film is truly an enduring classic and such a phenomenon. It proves once again that you don't need demons, vampires, werewolves and boogeymen to induce a good scare.

Amity Island is an isolated place where tourism is the townsfolk's bread and butter. Families on summer vacation go to Amity (means friendship?) to have a great time. A series of deaths that could have been committed by a huge shark threatens lives and the town's well-being alike. Chief Brody (Roy Scheider), with the aid of marine biologist; Matt Hooper ( Richard Dreyfuss) and a shark hunter named Quint (Robert Shaw) has to overcome bureaucracy, and their emotions to bring the 25 ft. monster down.

Everyone knows the film's plot and premise, honestly, I've seen "Jaws" countless times. I first saw the film on television back in 1980 (too bad I was too young to see it in theaters); I was a child then. I can tell you that the film is so well-directed and effective that even an 8 year old could feel the chills and excitement. So what made "Jaws" so great? The haunting music, the feel of the unknown in the beginning, the well-rounded and interesting characters, and of course, the giant Great White Shark. The film was fated to be in the annals of excellent film-making; some of the awesome ingredients weren't done by intention. The shark wasn't seen in the first half because the mechanical model wouldn't work, who would think that this setback would prove to be the film's strongest gimmick? Thankfully, the filmmakers didn't give up and kept on with the production. Spielberg was in his twenties when he made the film, who knew that he would become one of the most renowned directors of our time? "Jaws" had the hand of fate working for it.

The characters in "Jaws" are actually the ones who really carried the film. The performances by its cast headed by the trio of Scheider, Dreyfuss and Shaw "clicked" so well; viewers can easily form an attachment to them. Scheider is a cop who left the city for a small town to avoid the dangers of urban cop life; he hates the water and who figured that he'd come face to face with a 25 ft. shark? Dreyfuss is a marine biologist with a passion for sharks; he loves them and studies them relentlessly. He uses his own money to fund his research most of the time. The most interesting character for me is Quint, played by Robert Shaw; he's a shark hunter who seems loosely based on Moby Dick's Captain Ahab. Quint apparently had a traumatizing experience involving sharks during his tenure in the USS Indianapolis. All the lead characters have a link to the star of the film: "Bruce" the mechanical shark. Although "Bruce" may be a bit dated by today's standards, but trust me, this film is timeless, not because of its special effects, but the excellent script, direction and well-developed characters. Gosh, even the boat called "Orca" is a character in itself.

Add the award-winning musical score by John Williams, the film definitely exudes intimidation. Obviously, Spielberg and Benchley had some disagreements on the script but everything worked so well that even though the film had major differences from the original book, I would easily forgive its differences from the source material. I truly thought that the film was made with care and creativity. There is no wasted moment in its proceedings, even the supporting characters carry a lot of depth.

"JAWS" was so successful that it spawned 3 sequels and a lot of knock-offs such as "Orca The Killer Whale", the Italian spin-off; "Great White" a.k.a. "The Last Jaws", Tentacles, Piranha and many others. The film is definitely one of the most brilliant, defining moments in film. It is a timeless masterpiece, which will undoubtedly endure forever and make future generations afraid to go back in the water.

It will forever be the measuring stick for all future monster films. `nuff said.


This review is dedicated to Roy Scheider....

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July 21, 2010
CLASSIC for sure, no better way to say that.
June 19, 2009
Fabulous review. As you indicate everything about this film was first rate. I wish there were more films of this quality coming out of Hollywood these days.
June 19, 2009
Thanks, Drifter! This is one awesome film that I have seen countless times! I never get tired of it!
April 03, 2009
6 or 7 years before this movie came out my boyfriend and I decided to go night swimming off Clearwater's Sand Key which was totally empty back then. I was out on the deep side of the sand bar in about four feet of water when I felt something fairly large woosh up to me and  veer off almost at a right angle. I stood there for a moment listening thinking maybe it was a dolphin chasing something. If it was a dolphin it was so quiet out there I could probably hear it when it came up for air. Nothing. Then I started thinking , sea turtle; nope wrong time of year. Hmmm. I think maybe I'll just go in to shore now... I'm pretty sure it was a shark that had mistaken me for something else and changed its mind at the last second. Quite a relief because it turns out this area is a big gathering place for sharks but it wasn't publicized back then--they were mostly the harmless variety, not bull sharks. Scary in retrospect though because we were doing almost everything wrong.
April 03, 2009
wow! that sounds like a close call! One thing I have to say, I usually swim with a big knife now...if a shark messes with me, I'll make shark's fin soup! LOL
April 04, 2009
Spiders are good deep fried and glazed with butter. They're delicious! LOL I like sharks and find them interesting. Alligators taste like chicken--a little too chewy but it's good.
April 05, 2009
Funny. I don't like swiming in the dark even  in pools either. My biggest fear in the world though is getting trapped underwater in a car after having gone on a high bridge.
April 01, 2009
This movie- and the fact that the beach closest to me has the highest rate of shark attacks in the U.S. are the reason that I don't surf and really won't be able to get much use of @HealthyRache favorite wetsuit!
April 01, 2009
wow! highest rate of shark attacks? can I move there? ;P
April 01, 2009
Dude, you're nuts. ;)
April 02, 2009
:) Good one!
April 04, 2009
I am nuts. why do you think I like weird movies?
April 05, 2009
Which place would that be? If I were to have guessed which I would have though some pace in the panhandle first followed by Daytona second.
April 06, 2009
Ah so close:) - its New Smyrna Beach which is way close to both Daytona and Ormond.
February 08, 2009
This definitely among my favorite films of all time. Thanks for the comments everyone! Count, I'll see how I can work that in the review.... Rache, I did enjoy "Orca the Killer whale"--it was a fun thriller film!
February 04, 2009
Great series ... except the fourth one, of course. And the ride is fantastic, even though you can see the robotic parts keeping the shark together. Very descriptive review.
February 04, 2009
Kudos on the dedication to Roy Scheider, though you might want to add Robert Shaw too. I still love his performance as the crusty, seafaring Quint. No doubt, one of my all-time favorite films.
February 04, 2009
Oh Rache, this is not only a horror film, its the ultimate monster movie! I guess that's repetitive though in view of the title of the review. But just think about it; if you were on a boat after seeing JAWS how much would you want to dangle your feet in the water? You'd be like the kid who was afraid to go to the bathroom in the middle of the night because of the monster under your bed.
April 01, 2009
See, I still see this as a suspenseful adventure film more than either a horror or monster film. It just doesn't have that element of the supernatural ( the immortal vampires in "Dracula") or the lurid themes that you'd expect from a horror flick (the digging up of corpses in "Frankenstein").
April 02, 2009
Monster film. Guess we're going to have to agree to disagree again. But its a classic monster film. As to being supernatural, you could always say that the shark behaves in a manner in which no real shark ever would.
April 03, 2009
I think this would be classified under epic-horror! We don't need no stinking demons or supernatural elements for a movie to become horror. It does have strong qualities that can make it an adventure, so I vote for epic-horror--as Blackdogg would say.
April 03, 2009
February 03, 2009
Nicely done. I'm glad to see at least one other reviewer who rates this film a 5. For me this, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and E.T. will always be Spielberg's penultimate achievements (at least as far as action, adventure, and sci-fi films go).
February 02, 2009
Its not until you say "35 years" that you realize how old this flick really is--it seems like yesterday because it does continue to ring all the right bells.
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More Jaws (1975 film) reviews
review by . July 14, 2012
posted in Movie Hype
**** out of ****    The dead body that is discovered washed up on Amity Island's beach in Steven Spielberg's "Jaws" will instantly remind most people of mystery and noir films of the past. In those films, the killer is human, whereas here; it is not. The body belongs to a girl who went swimming in the ocean the night before and never came back. We saw something attack her off-camera from the blue abyss. Her body is found mutilated beyond comprehension; her limbs separated from …
review by . September 08, 2006
posted in Movie Hype
If you want to learn about the movie that created the summer blockbuster phenomenon (I've never understood that, wouldn't it make more sense to release the biggest movies in the winter when people who live away from the equator are trapped indoors and looking for things to do instead of in the summer when it's nice out), make sure you pick up JAWS. One of Steven Spielberg's earliest films and his first true masterpiece from a directing standpoint and a box office success, this movie is rare masterpiece. …
review by . July 29, 2003
posted in Movie Hype
For several summers, my family and I vacationed on Martha's Vineyard where much of this film was shot (renamed Amity Island). You can imagine how eager we were to see the film when it was first released. So many locations were familiar. We also spotted several friends who appear briefly as extras. However, we were certainly not prepared to be as frightened we were by several scenes. (Those who have already seen this film know which ones.) If I recall correctly, this was the first film which Steven …
review by . May 25, 2003
**** ½ Who hasnt heard of Jaws? From the legendary theme from John Williams to the image of a monstrous shark approaching from the depths, Jaws is a classic, a legend, and a masterpiece.In case you havent heard the story, Jaws focuses on Martin Brody (Scheider), the hard-working chief of police on Amity Island. After a girls mutilated body is found on the beach, Brody calls in oceanographic scientist Matt Hooper (Dreyfuss) to examine the body and tell the town whats happening. Whats happening …
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About this movie


In the vastly overrated 1998 bookEasy Riders, Raging Bulls, author Peter Biskind puts the blame for Hollywood's blockbuster mentality at least partially on Steven Spielberg's box-office success with this adaptation of Peter Benchley's bestselling novel. But you can't blame Spielberg for making a terrific movie, whichJawsdefinitely is. The story of a Long Island town whose summer tourist business is suddenly threatened by great-white-shark attacks on humans bypasses the potboiler trappings of Benchley's book and goes straight for the jugular with beautifully crafted, crowd-pleasing sequences of action and suspense supported by a trio of terrific performances by Roy Scheider (as the local sheriff), Richard Dreyfuss (as a shark specialist), and particularly Robert Shaw (as the old fisherman who offers to hunt the shark down). The sequences on Shaw's boat--as the three of them realize that in fact the shark is huntingthem--are what entertaining moviemaking is all about.--Marshall Fine
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Director: Steven Spielberg
Genre: Adventure, Classics, Drama, Horror, Thriller
Release Date: 1975
MPAA Rating: PG
DVD Release Date: July 11, 2000; June 14, 2005
Runtime: 125 minutes
Studio: Universal Studios
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