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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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Are You Ready to Go Back Into the Water?

  • Dec 23, 2008
Rating:
+5
-This review pertains to the Jaws: 30th Anniversary Edition DVD-

In 1975, a young up and coming director named Steven Spielberg (Duel and The Sugarland Express) became America's premier filmmaker with his motion picture adaptation of Peter Benchley's novel, Jaws. Upon its theatrical release Jaws quickly became a cultural phenomenon, embraced by critics and audiences alike. It's hard to believe, but it's been over thirty years since the film debuted and Jaws still keeps people away from the water. The film's brilliant exploitation (or exploration, depending on how you look at it) of our primal fears of drowning and of being eaten alive by a natural predator is still stunningly effective. And though the mechanical shark in the film may look artificial or quaint when compared to today's advanced CGI (Computer-Generated Imagery), the film remains a chilling and exhilarating adventure/thriller.
Poster


When a Great White shark begins stalking the waters of Amity, a New England coastal town, and kills a teenage girl, Police Chief Martin Brody (who suffers from a fear of the water) wants to close down the beaches, but he is overruled by Mayor Vaughn. After two more fatal shark attacks Brody hires Matt Hooper, a wealthy ichthyologist from the Oceanographic Institute and an eccentric local fisherman named Quint, to hunt down and exterminate the shark. Brody says good-bye to his wife, Ellen and their two children, and he joins Hooper and Quint on a small, dilapidated fishing vessel called the Orca. It doesn't take this mismatched trio long before they encounter the deadly 26-foot shark, which repeatedly attacks their boat. Soon it becomes apparent that the hunters are the hunted and that this predator can, not only outsmart them, but outrun them as well. Even after numerous attempts to stop the shark, their efforts are thwarted time and time again. When the shark strikes their boat, creating a large leak, Brody, Hooper, and Quint realize that they are ill equipped to face this natural wonder of evolution, this perfect killing machine.


The film features a superb cast including Roy Scheider as the neurotic Police Chief Brody, Richard Dreyfuss as the charmingly sarcastic Hooper, Robert Shaw as the stubborn Quint, Lorraine Gary as Brody's wife Ellen, and Murray Hamilton as the persistently unwise Mayor Vaughn. The entire cast gives multi-faceted performances and Robert Shaw, in particular, is wonderful as the salty, cynical, and fiercely competitive Quint.
Quint, Chief Brody, and Hooper
Without minimalizing the talents of the fantastic cast, the film's greatest stars are those behind the camera. Steven Spielberg was aided by special effects expert Robert A. Mattey, experienced shark photographers Ron and Valerie Taylor, production designer Joe Alves, and director of photography Bill Butler.
"Why don't you come down here and chum some of this shit?"
The film's screenplay was written by Peter Benchley and Carl Gottlieb and benefited from unaccredited contributions by Howard Sackler, Steven Spielberg, and John Milius. As far as adaptations go, it's unusual for a film's screenplay to live up to the expectations of the fans of the source material. Often an adaptation of a book is disappointing, to put it mildly, but Jaws proved to be an exception. The film, in many ways, is superior to the novel, which at times drifts into the realm of pretentious melodrama.

Jaws was also given a tremendous boost by renowned film composer, John William's brilliant score, which has become instantly recognizable.

The original Jaws film was so successful that it spawned three sequels: the adequate Jaws 2, the regrettable Jaws 3, and the abysmal Jaws: The Revenge. Apparently you can't keep a good shark down. With all of these indestructible sharks out there, it's no wonder that people are still afraid of going into the water.
Shark!
The 30th Anniversary Edition DVD includes the following bonus materials: the excellent two-hour documentary "The Making of Jaws", deleted scenes and outtakes, "From the Set" vintage featurette, storyboards, production photos, "Marketing Jaws", and "Jaws Phenomenon" image galleries.
Now the film itself is worth the price and with the addition of the bonus material, having this DVD in your collection is a no-brainer.
DVD
Jaws 30th Anniversary Edition DVD Jaws poster

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October 21, 2010
One of the best films of all time for sure.
October 21, 2010
For sure.
 
February 03, 2009
Hey, Count, I figured I'd join you under this data point. I think we both saw and still see the fact that this movie is brilliant!!
April 27, 2010
Yeah, it's funny, but of all the movies that I tend to overlook when compiling lists of my favorite films this is the one that gets left out the most. I still feel that it may be Spielberg's greatest film (a near tie with Raiders of the Lost Ark and E.T.). Unfortunately, because of the sequels a lot of people tend to dismiss Jaws as being dated or corny. "'Tis not so," sayeth the Count.
April 27, 2010
Did you like "Jurassic Park"?
April 27, 2010
Yeah, you read the reviews, didn't you?
 
1
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 . January 31, 2009
posted in Movie Hype
scene
"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 …
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

Wiki

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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Details

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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