Jaws (1975)

USA,
124m, 130m [extended US TV version]
35mm, 70mm [in UK], Panavision [anamorphic], Technicolor, 2.35:1
mono, English

An American horror film directed by Steven Spielberg and based on the best-selling novel by Peter Benchley. It was Spielberg's first major hit and is regarded as the first of the summer blockbusters as we understand them today 1BBC News Rise of the blockbuster, 16 November 2001. It was followed by three sequels and a computer game adaptation and gave rise to many lookalikes.

Plot Summary

As the 4th July holidays approach, the Long Island coastal resort of Amity is menaced by a gigantic Great White shark that prowls the waters attacking holidaymakers and locals alike.

Credits

Crew
Directed by: Steven Spielberg
© MCMLXXV [1975] by Universal Pictures
Universal an MCA company. A Zanuck/Brown production
Produced by: Richard D. Zanuck and David Brown
Screenplay by: Peter Benchley and Carl Gottlieb
“Indianapolis” Dialogue: John Milius [uncredited]
Additional Dialogue: Howard Sackler [uncredited], Robert Shaw [uncredited]
Based upon the novel by: Peter Benchley
Director of Photography: Bill Butler
Film Editors: Verna Fields, Steven Spielberg [uncredited]
Music by: John Williams
Sound: John R. Carter, Robert Hoyt
Special Effects: Robert A. Mattey
Production Designer: Joseph Alves Jr

Cast
Robert Shaw (Quint)
Roy Scheider (Chief Martin Brody)
Richard Dreyfuss (Matt Hooper)
Lorraine Gary (Ellen Brody)
Murray Hamilton (Mayor Larry Vaughn)
Carl Gottlieb (Meadows)
Jeffrey C. Kramer (Hendricks)
Susan Backlinie (Chrissie Watkins)
Jonathan Filley (Cassidy)
Ted Grossman (estuary victim)
Chris Rebello (Michael Brody)
Jay Mello (Sean Brody)
Lee Fierro (Mrs Kintner)
Jeffrey Voorhees (Alex M. Kintner)

Alternative Titles

Ajkula – Serbia
Cápa – Hungari
Celisti – Czechoslovakia (Czech)
Celuste – Czechoslovakia (Slovak)
Les Dents de la mer – Canada (French), France
Dødens gab – Denmark
Haisommer – Norway
Hajen – Finland (Sweden)
Jaws – Denizin disleri – Turkey
Melta'ot – Israel
Ralje – Croatia (DVD)
Ta sagonia tou karharia – Greece
Lo squalo – Italy
Stillness in the Water – working title
Szczeki – Poland
Tappajahai – Finland
Tiburón – Argentina, Mexico, Peru, Spain
Tubarão – Brazil
O Tubarão – Portugal
Der Weiße Hai – West Germany
De Zomer van de witte haai – Belgium (Flemish)

Sequels
Jaws 2 (1978)
Jaws 3-D (1983)
Jaws: The Revenge (1987)

Extracts included in
100 Years at the Movies (1994)
78/52 (2017)
Precious Images (1986)

See also
Aatank (1996)
American Tickler, or the Winner of 10 Academy Awards (1976)
L'ultimo squalo (1980)

Press

1975
The Guardian 27 September 1975
Truth to tell it was a great relief to see Jaws and find that it's almost as good as the publicists say. We all knew, after Duel and Sugarland Express, that Spielberg was a good director. But with Jaws, he shows himself to be a very shrewd one too. He has shorn Peter Benchley's best-seller of all its tiresome sexual episodes and concentrated on telling the story as directly as possible. Added to that, he has realised that you don't create suspense just by giving people nasty turns every five minutes. It's what you don't do that's just as important. There are, in fact, only about half a dozen moments in the film that make you start. But at least a dozen others when you prepare yourself for another shock and it doesn't happen. That's good cinematic thinking, since you can never quite relax. There are also some effective shafts of humour (like the car number plate pulled out of the belly of the first shark that's caught – you are expecting the mangled remains of one of the dead swimmers). – from a review (Jaws gives film festival some bite) by Derek Malcolm

2000
DVD Review no.15 (2000) p.47
What makes Jaws such an enjoyable films is it's a collection of classic scenes each one better than the last. The death of the girl at the start is a masterful piece of cinema as is the chaotic first beach scene, Quint's blackboard scratching, Ben Gardiner's head, “You're gonna need a bigger boat” and a course Quint's chilling USS Indianapolis monologue. – from an illustrated review by DB [Damian Butt]

References

Periodicals

  • Cinema Retro Magazine vol.3 (11 September 2005) pp.50-53 – illustrated article (Jawsfest: The 30th Anniversary Jaws Festival by Lee Pfeiffer)
  • DVD Review no.15 (2000) pp.46-48 – illustrated DVD review (by DB [Damian Butt])
  • Entertainment Weekly no.549 (14 July 2000) p.58 – DVD review (New To DVD: Jaws (B+) by Marc Bernardin)
  • Entertainment Weekly no.594 (4 May 2001) p.74 – illustrated article (Dead in the water by Brian M. Raftery)
  • Flicks September 2000 p.79 – illustrated DVD review (by Phil Hoad)
  • The House of Hammer vol.1 no.2 (1976) pp.16 – note (Film scene news)
  • Literature/Film Quarterly vol.4 no.3 (1976) pp. 196-214 – article (The Exorcist and Jaws by Stephen E. Bowles)
  • Reperages no.7 (July 1999) pp.28-29 – illustrated article (Ici mieux qu'en face: Jaws by Nachiketas Wignesan)
  • Screen International no.17 (3 January 1976) pp.1; 5 (note (Super ‘Jaws‘); illustrated article (‘Jaws' – from a different viewpoint – by Dr Dennis Friedman)
  • Screen International no.249 (12-19 July 1980) p.2 – note (London box office: ‘Sea Wolves' blasts off by Chris Brown)
  • Screem no.18 (April 2009) pp.10-11 – illustrated article (Films that scarred us for life: Jaws by Michael Thomason)
  • Take One vol.4 no.10 (1975) pp.8-12 – article (At sea with Steven Spielberg by David Helpern)
  • Video Watchdog no.14 pp.58-59 – review

Newspapers

  • The Guardian 27 September 1975 – review (Jaws gives film festival some bite by Derek Malcolm)
  • The Independent vol.7397 (28 June 2010) p.27 – illustrated article (The legacy of Jaws that has bitten the dust by Guy Adams)

Books

  • 100 American Horror Films by Barry Keith Grant pp.115-116
  • 500 Essential Cult Movies: The Ultimate Guide by Jennifer Eiss with J.P. Rutter and Steve White p.250 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • The Aurum Film Encyclopedia: Horror by Phil Hardy (ed.) p.303-304 – illustrated credits, review
  • British Gothic Cinema by Barry Forshaw p.202
  • Darkness in the Bliss-out: A Reconsideration of the Films of Steven Spielberg by James Kendrick pp.5, 8, 30, 33, 34, 54, 64, 71, 74, 76, 8587, 94, 108, 110, 142, 145, 181, 183, 190
  • The Encyclopedia of Novels Into Films second edition by John C. Tibbetts and James M. Welsh pp.217-218 – credits, review (by J.C.T. [John C. Tibbetts])
  • Escape Velocity by Bradley Schauer pp.1, 3, 8, 169-70, 174-76
  • Film Review 1976-1977 by F. Maurice Speed p.171
  • Heroes, Monsters and Values: Science Fiction Films of the 1970s p.190
  • Horror! 333 Films to Scare You to Death by James Marriott & Kim Newman p.184
  • Horror and Science Fiction Films II by Donald C. Willis p.204
  • Horror Films by Subgenre: A Viewer's Guide by Chris Vander Kaay and Kathleen Fernandez-Vander Kaay p.12
  • Horror Films of the 1970s by John Kenneth Muir pp.349-354 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • Horrorshows: The A-Z of Horror in Film, TV, Radio and Theatre by Gene Wright p.92 – illustrated credits, review
  • The Jaws Log by Carl Gottlieb – production details
  • Looking for a New England: Action, Time, Vision: Music, Film and TV 1975-1986 by Simon Matthews pp.11, 28, 59
  • Nightmare Movies (2nd edition) by Kim Newman p.69 – review
  • On Location on Martha's Vineyard: The Making of the Movie Jaws by Edith Blake – production details
  • The Pocket Essentials Steven Spielberg by James Clarke pp.28-33
  • Steven Spielberg (2nd edition) by Philip M. Taylor pp.16, 17, 22, 26, 28, 29, 33, 37, 41, 42, 43, 44, 51, 52, 59, 64, 65, 70, 73, 84-89, 92, 93, 94, 102, 103, 108, 124, 127, 135, 138, 145-146, 147
  • Steven Spielberg by Donald R. Mott & Cheryl McAllister Saunders pp.31-53, 178-179
  • Steven Spielberg by George Perry pp.26-30, 106-107
  • Steven Spielberg by Sean Connolly pp.5, 26-29
  • Steven Spielberg: A Biography by Joseph McBride pp.14, 17, 19, 33, 38, 108, 180, 181, 183, 185, 211, 212, 215, 218, 225, 230-260, 252-253, 266, 268, 269-273, 287, 289, 294, 304, 309, 310, 356, 504
  • Steven Spielberg, Filmmaker by James Robert Parish pp.2, 39-45, 46, 47-50, 52, 57, 59, 71-72, 95
  • Top 100 Horror Movies by Gary Gerani pp.156-157 – illustrated credits, synopsis, review
  • The World of Fantasy Films by Richard Myers p.42

Other Sources

  • BFI Southbank Guide June 2016 p.16 – illustrated listing
  • BFI Southbank Guide December 2017 p.17 – illustrated listing