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Jaws Academy Award Winner! Academy Award Winner! Academy Award Winner! Academy Award Nomination! 

By Marshall Fine

In the vastly overrated 1998 book Easy 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, which Jaws definitely 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 hunting them--are what entertaining moviemaking is all about.

Academy Awards

Jaws received Academy Awards for Film Editing (Verna Fields), Music Scoring Awards (Best Original Score; John Williams) and Sound (Robert L. Hoyt, Roger Heman, Earl Madery, John Carter). Jaws also received an Academy Awards nomination for Best Picture (Richard D. Zanuck - Producer, David Brown - Producer).

Share Your Memories!

Is Jaws one of your favorite movies? What do you remember about it? Share your stories (or your reviews) with the world! (We print the best stories right here!)

Your Memories Shared!

"I was a 17 year old part-time usherette at the foremost cinema in Edinburgh, Scotland in 1976 when Jaws came to our screen (and into my subconcious). The other (older) women on my afternoon shift thought I was a strange little thing (a true movie fan) as I would actually try to watch the films at every screening. Jaws, however was the one I avidy watched over and over and over again and never ever tired of (to this very day). I had read a condensed Readers Digest version of the book a year earlier and was utterly fascinated by Mr Speilbergs adaptation. I understand how people love to over analyis and critique films but in my mind it was just a wonderful piece of entertainment (after all that is what movie making is all about - to entertain) and it made a young teenager very happy in her job! (In latter years I have been successful in the sales environment and I swear that my skills started way back then purely by sharing my enthusiasm with the 'punters' (especially the afternoon crowd), who were kind enough to ask me my opinion of a film before each viewing. I was harshly hushed by the foremost film critic of the local Evening Newspaper for whispering a response to my even younger companion at the first Jaws viewing and to this day I watch the film (on DVD) in absolute silence!"

--susieq

"My favorite movie. I was in high school when it came out. I remember the first time I saw it. To have the first attack happen immediately after the opening credits was great. It set the tone for the unexpected. I remember so clearly, in the theater, immediately as Chrissy was being attacked so violently, a woman and three children that she should have known better than to bring, went running up the aisle of the theater heading for the lobby. And then when Ben Gardner's head popped into view as Hooper was checking out the damage underwater, people in the theater not only screamed, but actually jumped up from their seats. This kind of audience reaction is very rare. A young Spielberg hooked us and reeled us in. And the music. John Williams proved his genius with that. It's timeless."

--jaws

"Absolutely one of the best movies ever made! I saw this movie during it's theatrical run at the tender age of nine, along with my little sister and our folks (who had no idea what we were in for!) After watching and thoroughly enjoying this scary movie, we went home and had nightmares for days! Once the dreams subsided, I entered into a shark-crazy phase which lasted for years; I had to read and watch everything about sharks. A great movie and great memories of the Super70s!!!"

--Warloc66

"Remember the scene where Richard is swimming around under the sunken boat in that eerie yellow lighting? Remember the half eaten face with the floating eyeball that appears suddenly in the big ole hole the shark left in the hull?? Well, I had a supersized coke in my hand and when that happened, squeezed it and threw it on the guy sitting behind me in the theatre...it was very embarrassing to say the least, but WHAT a movie!"

--Pepsifingers

"Jaws - surely the definitive film of its genre. Swimming has never been the safe and tranquil pasttime it once was. This film has transformed the lives of many, being a great source of quotes for any fishing/ seabound trips that you take. This film is an institution."

--Johnny Danger

"I still believe Jaws was Speilberg's best movie ever. Incidentally, what's he up to nowadays? Minority, Catch me.., all these recent movies lack that magic Spielberg touch. After Saving Private Ryan, he hasn't met our expectations. Think, think, Steven, let's hear the roar at the aisles once again."

--venyz

"I remember I just got out of high school in NYC in January and they was talking about Jaws alot and when the book came out I read the whole book I enjoyed it and couldnt wait for the movie to come out I think it was in june when it came out I got on that long line on Broadway waiting to see it beleave me that line was very long waiting in that hot blazing sun but when I saw it it was worth the wait it was a very scary movie and that sound affect was scary enough, my girlfriend almost broke my hand when that kid got eaten by the shark it was a great movie my best movie of all times and the Titanic comes in secound."

--Justin Timberlake

"I was 16 years old when "Jaws" was released. Several families in suburban St. Paul MN went together - it was the first 'movie party' that I'd been to. I sat next to a neighbor boy who was 14-15 at the time. We were both sitting with one leg crossed over the other when the dismembered head fell out of the boat during the underwater search. Both of us literally stood up about 6" on one leg, then collapsed back in our seats without ever uncrossing our legs. It was as if we were choreographed. I've been a fan of the blockbuster movie ever since."

--Geobob

"I saw this movie at a drive-in theatre and it scared me to death. I would not swim in the ocean for quite a long time after this movie. My sons love this movie now, and we own it on VHS and laser disc. Many shark movies have been made since, but this one is the greatest."

--giddygo

"I was just a mere child of about 12 years old in 1972 when my "older" 18 year old sister thought it would be fun to go to see Jaws. We went and of course no movie is complete without the giant tub of popcorn. This was all well and good except the suspense of watching the movie precluded eating much popcorn. So....at the pivotal moment when the shark attacks the ship popcorn went all over the theater.

We still have good laughs about that time. Not only was it a fun sister experience at the time, it has been a fun family story every since."

--Aunt B from Texas

" It is really neat to be able to do this, I am a Jaws freak. This movie is so perfectly put together, it's not nearly just a scary movie, it never loses it's appeal. I love Roy Sceider's character and how he feels that he is responsible for everone's safety and cares for them. I was 5 when it came out, so it was a few years until I had the pleasure, but, my dad looks just like Roy and has the characteristics of Martin. So the intensity of Martin and how all of your muscles are tight until. . . . . aha he saves the day, just like my father always does!"

--Rebecca

"Jaws is one of the greatest movies of all time which I saw three times during my younger days in the summer of 75 with long lines every time even though it was worth the wait. It's just a great movie with action & suspense which grabs you without letting go from beginning to end due to the great acting & the great white shark which few movies do these days. I think director Steven Speilberg has lost his magic over the last few years in my opinion which is why Jaws is such a cinematic masterpiece he can never duplicate. Jaws was the first time I had ever heard of Richard Dreyfuss since I consider this classic movie to be his only great classic performance as an actor."

--Wayne L.

"I'll always remember the evening I first saw the masterfully directed JAWS. I was 15yrs old sitting with 4 of my surfing buddies on the bonnet of one of my mates dad's car in an Australian Drive-In theatre (I'm Australian). We thought we were really tough & brave & giggled our way through the film.

WE DIDN'T SURF FOR THE NEXT 3 DAYS! What a bunch of Wimpy-Burgers Ha!

I've watched the film many times since, indeed, I play my JAWS video at least twice a year, it sure brings back terrific memories, albeit embarrassing ones.

As for the film, what I loved about it was that Speilberg focused on the psychology of human drama, relationships, frailties & the like, which is of course a trademark trait of his directing. The shark was hardly seen throughout the film, which I tought was quite brilliant, not to mention many other brilliant aspects of this masterpiece, like the photography , editing & sound.

The films magic hasn't eroded one iota over the decades, it's timeless like all masterpieces are."

--Beach Boy

 

FILM FACTS

Buy this VHS movie from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this DVD from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Buy this soundtrack from Amazon.com! (Click here!)Rated PGNot on an American Film Institute 100 list

Director: Steven Spielberg

Stars: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary

Released: June 20, 1975

Availability: DVD VHS CD


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