Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss..
time: 125 mins
after 32 years, I watch this flick and am suddenly afraid
to go in the water...
just how it was when Jaws hit theatres like a Great White
shark on the rampage in 1975, by turns scary, thrilling and
amusing. It remains a high point in director Steven Spielberg's
was quite an achievement in the circumstances - a difficult
shoot, mostly on water and a scary-looking mechanical shark
called Bruce that obstinately refused to work much of the
time. The 29-year-old Spielberg made the most of the few occasions
that the shark did co-operate, and when it didn't he made
excellent use of camera tricks to persuade the audience into
thinking the shark was in almost every scene..
opening sequence of a beautiful young girl being taken by
the shark is a case in point. We never see the beast, but
we do see the girl being pulled all over the surface as if
by an invisible hand, and her terror before she is pulled
beneath the waves.
plays Martin Brody, a New York cop weary of the big city who
has taken his wife and young son to the New England resort
community of Amity, where he becomes police chief. Did I mention
he's also terrified of being on the ocean?
the mangled remains of the first victim are discovered and
an autopsy suggests a shark attack, Brody wants to close the
beaches right before the July 4 weekend. However, town businessfolk
led by the mayor (Murray Hamilton) pressure Brody to hold
off. Then the shark claims a second victim.
Dreyfuss is excellent as the young shark expert Matt Hooper,
who warns Brody that Amity likely has a huge Great White shark
settling in for a summer of dining on swimmers.
Shaw is also terrific as the testy old shark hunter Quint,
a former Navy man who survived a Second World War Pacific
Ocean shipwreck in which many of his comrades were devoured
by sharks. The scenes between Scheider, Dreyfuss and Shaw
crackle with life as the three put to sea to try and kill
witty script, inventive camera work and countless jolts make
this a winner. The 2-disc 30th anniversary edition, released
in 2005, comes loaded with great extra features on the making
of the movie.