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Jaws (1975)
Title: Jaws
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
Written by: Carl Gottlieb; Peter Benchley
Produced by: David Brown; Richard D. Zanuck
Music by: John Williams
Cinematography: Bill Butler
Edited by: Verna Fields
Distributed by: Universal Pictures
Released: June 20th, 1975 (Limited)
July 25th, 1975 (Wide)
Rating: PG
Running time: 124 min.
Country: USA
Language: English
Budget: $8,000,000 [1]
Gross: $260,000,000 (US)
$210,653,000 (Foreign)
$470,653,000 (Worldwide) [2]
Next: Jaws 2 (1978)

Jaws is an American horror/thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg. It is based on the 1974 Jaws by Peter Benchley and premiered in the United States to limited release on June 20th, 1975. It was screened in wide release in the US on July 25th, 1975. The premise of the film involves a popular New England resort community known as Amity, whose population is throw into disarray over Fourth of July weekend when a great white shark begins attacking local swimmers. Roy Scheider plays the role of Amity police chief Martin Brody, a middle-aged man tasked with safeguarding the beaches, while also struggling to yield to the unrealistic expectations of an opportunistic mayor. To help him stave off future shark attacks, Chief Brody hires an oceanographer named Matt Hooper and an old sea salt named Quint. Together, the three of them venture into dangerous waters to hunt down the shark before it can claim another victim.

Plot Edit

Note: This plot summary is taken from the Wikipedia entry for Wikipedia:Jaws (film). Editors are encouraged to rewrite the following synopsis in keeping with the standards and expectations of Headhunter's Horror House Wiki.

During a late night beach party on the fictional Amity Island in New England, a 23-year-old woman named Chrissie Watkins goes skinny dipping, only to be dragged under by an unseen force. Amity's new police chief, Martin Brody, is notified that Chrissie is missing, and deputy Len Hendricks finds her mutilated remains on the beach. The medical examiner informs Brody that the death was due to a shark attack. Brody plans to close the beaches but is overruled by town mayor Larry Vaughn, who fears that reports of a shark attack will ruin the summer tourist season, as it is the town's primary source of income. The medical examiner reverses his diagnosis and attributes the death to a boating accident. Brody reluctantly goes along with the explanation.

A short time later, a boy is brutally killed by a shark at the beach. The boy's mother places a bounty on the shark, sparking an amateur shark-hunting frenzy and attracting the attention of local professional shark hunter Quint. Brought in by Brody, marine biologist Matt Hooper examines Chrissie's remains and concludes she was killed by a shark.

A large tiger shark is caught by a group of fishermen, leading the town to believe the problem is solved, but Hooper is unconvinced that the shark is the killer and asks to examine its stomach contents. Vaughn refuses to make the "operation" public, so Brody and Hooper return after dark and discover the dead shark does not contain human remains. Scouting aboard Hooper's boat, they come across the half-sunken wreckage of a boat belonging to local fisherman Ben Gardner. Hooper explores the vessel underwater and discovers a sizable shark's tooth, and also the remains of Ben Gardner, which makes him drop the tooth in a panic. Vaughn refuses to close the beaches, and on the Fourth of July numerous tourists arrive. A prank by two boys involving a cardboard fin causes panic before the real shark enters an estuary, kills a man and causes Brody's son to go into shock after witnessing it. Brody convinces Vaughn to hire Quint, and he and Hooper join the hunter on his fishing boat, the Orca, to kill the shark.

Brody is given the task of laying a chum line while Quint uses deepsea fishing tackle to try to hook the shark. As Brody continues chumming, an enormous great white shark looms up behind the boat; the trio watch the great white circle the Orca and estimate it weighs 3 short tons (2.7 t) and is 25 feet (7.6 m) long while Hooper takes pictures of the shark for research purposes. Quint harpoons the shark with a line attached to a flotation barrel, designed to prevent the shark from submerging and to track it on the surface, but the shark pulls the barrel under and disappears.

Night falls without another sighting, so the men retire to the boat's cabin, where Quint tells of his experience with sharks as a survivor of the World War II sinking of the USS Indianapolis. The shark reappears, damaging the boat's hull before slipping away. In the morning, the men make repairs to the engine. Attempting to call the Coast Guard for help, Brody is stopped by Quint, who destroys the radio with a baseball bat. After a long chase Quint harpoons another barrel to the shark. The men tie the barrels to the stern, but the shark, after Quint harpoons it again adding a third barrel, drags the boat backwards, forcing water onto the deck and into the engine, flooding it. Quint is about to cut the ropes with his machete when the cleats are pulled off the stern. The shark continues attacking the boat and Quint heads toward shore with the shark in pursuit, hoping to draw the animal into shallow waters, where it will get beached and, once unable to swim, suffocate. In his obsession to kill the shark, Quint overtaxes Orca 's engine, causing it to seize.

With the boat immobilized, the trio try a desperate approach: Hooper dons his SCUBA gear and enters the ocean inside a shark proof cage in order to stab the shark in the mouth with a hypodermic spear filled with strychnine. But when the shark attacks and begins destroying the cage, Hooper drops his spear. The shark gets tangled in the cage's remains, allowing Hooper to escape and hide on the seabed. As Quint and Brody raise the remnants of the cage, the shark throws itself onto the boat, crushing the transom. As the boat sinks, Quint slides down the slippery deck into the shark's mouth and is eaten alive. Brody retreats to the boat's partly submerged cabin. When the shark attacks him there, he shoves a pressurized scuba tank into the shark's mouth, then takes Quint's rifle and climbs the Orca 's mast. Brody begins shooting at the scuba tank wedged in the shark's mouth, causing it to explode and blow the shark to pieces.

As the shark's carcass drifts toward the seabed, Hooper reappears on the surface. The survivors briefly lament the loss of Quint, then cobble together a raft from the Orca 's debris and begin paddling to Amity Island.

Cast Edit

Notes & Trivia Edit

  • The tagline for this film is, "You'll never go in the water again".
  • It has become a popular notion to refer to "Jaws" as the proper name of the shark, though this is not the case in either the film or the novel. Steven Spielberg has taken to calling him "Bruce", whom he named after his lawyer. A shark is a derogatory term for lawyer.
  • Robert Shaw actually wrote his own dialogue for the scene where he recounts the tale of the USS Indianapolis.
  • The events of this film take place on the weekend of July 4th, 1975.

Production Edit

  • Jaws was filmed primarily in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts. Notable exterior shots include Aquinnah, East Chop, Edgartown, Joseph Sylva State Beach, Menemsha, Oak Bluffs, Sengekontacket Pond, Water Street, Main Street and the American Legion Memorial Bridge.

Jaws was re-released to theaters on July 11th, 1979.

Media connections Edit

Piranha (1978)

Piranha promo art, done in the style of Jaws.

  • Joe Dante's 1978 movie Piranha was one of the first to capitalize on the popularity of Jaws. In the beginning of the film, Heather Menzies' character, Maggie McKeown is seen at an airport playing a Jaws pinball game. As such, Bruce the shark makes an appearance in Piranha before any of the actual piranhas do. In fact, some of the promotional posters for Piranha were a deliberate pastiche of the trademark Jaws movie poster.
  • Richard Dreyfuss, who plays oceanographer Matt Hooper in this film, also made a cameo appearance in the beginning of the 2010 film Piranha 3D playing a character named Matt Boyd. Dreyfuss' character is seen wearing the same cap, coat and glasses that he wore in Jaws. In addition, he is heard singing "Show Me the Way to Go Home", which was sung by the three main actors in Jaws and has become a rather famous folk song in its own right due in large measure to the movie. Originally, Piranha director Alexandre Aja intended the character to actually be Matt Hooper, but his name was changed to Matt Boyd instead. [3]

External Links Edit

References Edit

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