|Benchley makes an appearance as a Reporter in JAWS|
|28 year old director Steven Spielberg|
|Composer John Williams: circa 1975|
|Cinematographer Bill Butler on the set of JAWS|
|Shaw, Scheider and Dreyfuss from JAWS|
|"Bruce" the shark and Steven Spielberg|
The film won three (3) Ocscars and was probably deserving of that. Still, this was a year that provided us with the likes of "Dog Day Afternoon", "Barry Lyndon", "Nashville", "One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest", and Michelangelo Antonioni's "The Passenger" which was arguably the best film of that year.
Spielberg's work here almost reminds us of a "Hitchcock-like" film in the way it is filmed and shot. A quiet town is used and the characters are slightly flawed which adds to the hostility and rage. The characters are limited with plenty of extras in the background.The suspense is real - but timed beautifully and is never overwhelming. Even the play of tension between the three main characters in the film create a mood in a limited space which is drama to a "T". Robert Shaw undoubtably offers the most riveting and convincing performance in the movie.
Jer asked our readers if this was a "horror" film - and that can be debated. The truth is, Jaws appears to fall into the "Monster-Suspense" genre that we often see with "B" movies - and, not to diminish the film - in so many ways "Jaws" does remind us of what "B" movies were all about.
What is so powerful about "Jaws" is that it continues to stand the test of time. The story remains relevant today and upon re-visiting the film, your fear of going in the water re-surfaces all over again. It simply terrorized movie audiences 37 years ago, and continues to do so today.
"Jaws" is in no way one of Spielberg's best films as we must look at 3 or 4 others ("Schindler’s List" - 1993 & "Close Encounters Of The Third Kind", as well as "E.T.: The Extra- Terrestrial" and "Saving Private Ryan") before moving down the list to this cult-classic.Still, something special was certainly created here since focus on character was still a piece of the film that made it work. What we can say, and beyond a shadow of a doubt is that "Jaws" was the film that set the stage for Steven Spielberg, placing him on the map for years to come and re-defined the horror-suspense-monster genre for years to come in the world of cinema.
|Robert Shaw (Quint) delivers the "Indianapolis"speech|
|Shaw, Sheider, Spielberg and Dreyfuss on the set of JAWS|
It may be high time for a revisit or maybe the opportune moment to see it for the first time, in any repsects, JAWS is definitely a film to sink your teeth into!