Director: Steven Spielberg
Written by: Peter Benchley, Carl Gottlieb
Weapon of Choice: Harpoon
Based upon: novel - Jaws - Peter Benchley
Other movies in this series:
Jaws: The Revenge
Rish Outfield's reviews
Wow. You've seen Jaws, right? If it's been more than a year-and-a-half, you need to see it again. This is a wonderful, entertaining, blast of a movie, one of my all-time favourites of any genre. I can (and do) watch Jaws over and over. A modern classic, it is oft-imitated, but never duplicated. I remember the sound of the whales really scaring me as a kid, and the thought of something in the water still terrifies me when I'm in the ocean. This past summer, floating in the Pacific, I had to turn around and swim back because of Jaws, but not before I raised my fist and shouted, "Damn you, Steven Spielberg!" I love so much about this film: Roy Scheider's moving and accessable performance. John Williams score, and the most recognizable movie theme of all time. Richard Dreyfuss' great, exuberant shark expert. I don't know how many times as a boy when we were scared or pretending to be scared, we'd say, "I ain't got no spit." The both out-of-place and perfectly at-home comedy. That ever-present fin. The fantastic Chasing Amy scar-comparing scene. Murray Hamilton's near blindingly-bad suit. The oft-cruel colourful Quint character. His powerful U.S.S. Indianapolis speech. The neat shooting star in the background at dusk. "Here's to swimmin' with bow-legged women!" I could go on and on.
This is Steven Spielberg's first blockbuster and one of his finest. I don't care what you say, Bruce looks real to me!
Best Scare: Ben Gardener's friendly face greeting an underwater Richard Dreyfuss.
I'd Recommend It To: Spielberg fans, horror movie fans, action movie fans, shark fans, monster movie fans, Roy Scheider fans, 70's movies fans, fishermen, beach movie fans, and anyone who's ever played John Williams' great two-note theme on a piano.
Note: In recent years, I rediscovered Jaws, and found it was even better than it was in my childhood.
The tyranist's thoughts
I find it amazing that in the 24 years since this movie was first shown it has engrained itself on the American consciousness so fully that even people who have never seen it understand references to it. I have to admit up front that I had never seen it until we watched it to do skulls. I was constantly suddenly putting pieces of a puzzle together. Recognizing things that are cliched and so common in our vernacular that so obviously had to have come from Jaws. It was a lot like the first time I saw Casablanca (which coincidentally was like the day before we watched Jaws). So many little cultural traits had a source. So many things that were said all the time had an origin.
As for the movie itself, well, it would've scared the piss out of me as a child. Now it just scared me a little. I guess having lived on an island for a couple of years dramatically increased my resistance to ocean fear stories. There were parts that startled me and parts that made me legitimately reflexive. I probably will think twice before jumping into shark infested waters anyway. On the whole, it is a fine movie, that would probably kick ass if watched on a boat.
Total Skulls: 17
|Rips off earlier film|
|Horror film showing on TV/in theater in movie|
|Future celebrity appears|
|Former celebrity appears|
|Girl unnecessarily gets naked|
|Death associated with sex|
|Unfulfilled promise of nudity|
|Characters forget about threat|
|Power is cut|
|Phone lines are cut|
|Someone investigates a strange noise|
|Someone runs up stairs instead of going out front door|
|Camera is the killer|
|Victims cower in front of a window/door|
|Victim locks self in with killer|
|Victim running from killer inexplicably falls|
|Toilet stall scene|
|Car stalls or won't start|
|Cat jumps out|
|Stupid discovery of corpse|
|No one believes only witness|
|Crazy, drunk, old man knows the truth|
|Warning goes unheeded|
|Music detracts from scene|
|Death in first five minutes|
|x years before/later|
|Dark and stormy night|
|Killer doesn't stay dead|
|Killer wears a mask|
|Killer is in closet|
|Killer is in car with victim|
|Villain is more sympathetic than heroes|
|Blood spatters camera/wall/other|
|Poor death effect|
|No one dies at all|
|Little kid lamely survives|
|Dog/Pet miraculously survives|
|"It was all a dream" ending|
|Unbelievably happy ending|
|Unbelievably crappy ending|
|What the hell?|