- Synopsis: It's a hot summer on Amity Island, a small community whose main business is its beaches. When new Sheriff Martin Brody discovers the remains of a shark attack victim, his first inclination is to close the beaches to swimmers. This doesn't sit well with Mayor Larry Vaughn and several of the local businessmen. Brody backs down to his regret as that weekend a young boy is killed by the predator. The dead boy's mother puts out a bounty on the shark and Amity is soon swamped with amateur hunters and fisherman hoping to cash in on the reward. A local fisherman with much experience hunting sharks, Quint, offers to hunt down the creature for a hefty fee. Soon Quint, Brody and Matt Hooper from the Oceanographic Institute are at sea hunting the Great White shark. As Brody succinctly surmises after their first encounter with the creature, they're going to need a bigger boat
- Directed by: Steven Spielberg
- average rating: 8,8 / 10 Star
- cast: Robert Shaw
Jaws is the reason that i’m a Movie Fanatic today. One of the regrets of my life is that i have yet to see it in a cinema screen. Perhaps one day it will be released on its 50th anniversary on the big screen and a new generation will be haunted from going for a swim down by their local beach. I know that i will be first in the queue.
Most users reading this review will be familiar with the plot. A gigantic Great White Shark starts feeding off the shores of Amity Island. A free spirited woman called Chrissie Watkins who takes a night swim is devoured in the film’s unforgettable opening sequence. The Chief Of Police, Martin Brody (Roy Scheider in his most famous role) immediately closes the beaches in fear of another attack until he is persuaded by Mayor Larry Vaughan (Murray Hamilton) to keep them open because Amity needs ‘Summer Dollars’ to survive in the winter.
When it becomes clear that the shark has no intention of going away and kills again, the authorities bring in Ichthyologist Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss, brilliant) to determine exactly what kind of creature they are up against and how they can solve the problem. Despite efforts to convince the Mayor to keep the beaches closed, the Mayor refuses and horror strikes again during the 4th of July. Finally, and with no other alternative, Brody hires Shark Hunter Quint (Robert Shaw, in arguably his greatest role) and along with Hooper they set sail in Quint’s vessel The Orca, to hunt the Shark which takes up the last fifty minutes of the film.
The photography, lighting, set pieces (including the wonderful Orca itself) are absolutely brilliant. This is a film that ages like a fine wine. Some detractors and critics of this film might deride the Shark for its unconvincing close ups towards the end of the film, but its as good as any Computer Generated Imagery simply because it is really THERE.
John Williams memorable score is one of the most popular in film history. The music is terrifying when the shark is around, and it is thrilling when the crew of The Orca chase the shark across the Atlantic whilst firing those yellow barrels time and again. William’s Score was fifty percent responsible for the success of this Picture. He also won the Oscar for it. Enough said.
This is Steven Spielberg’s Best Film. It is also The Greatest Film Ever Made. Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss and especially Robert Shaw should have been awarded special Oscars for such brilliant character performances. There have been rumours that they are planning a remake or a re imagining of Jaws, but if this happens, then Hollywood will have swallowed itself like a Boa Constrictor, for this was the first film that defined the term ‘Summer Blockbuster’ and created an era of big Hollywood movies that were King of the Box Office… a remake might destroy that forever.
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THE best movies are more than just a film – they are an experience. Just like watching Silence Of The Lambs, you are right there with Clarice Starling as she hunts the killer around his house, and in The Truman Show you are in there with Truman wondering what’s going on and looking for a way out. In Jaws, this is achieved better than any other film. You really ARE on that boat with Quint, Brody and Hooper as the shark menaces them. Don’t get me wrong, the rest of the film is superb, but it’s the legendary boat sequences at the end of the movie that makes this head and shoulders above every other horror film (even Psycho and Silence of The Lambs. The shear thrill and fear you feel every time the shark comes near the boat is incredible, and when it throws itself on board and tips the entire ship up, with Brody and Quint metres away from that huge mouth full of razor sharp, it makes you hang onto your chair with both hands. The unbearably tense climax. ‘s incredible. Spielberg puts you inside the movie, and it’s awesome. Odd to think the novel (which is superb, but not as thrilling) ends with the shark just dying inches away from the helpless Brody. The true mark of this movie is the impact it has had – all around the World, people still look at the ocean and keep a weary eye out for black, dorsal fins cutting through the water.
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