The Original Blockbuster.
1975. Directed by Steven Spielberg
What is there to say that hasn't been said about one of the greatest films ever made? I'm going to list out a few of my thoughts rather than try to review this, since virtually everyone has seen it and has their own opinions.
The magic of this film comes from it's troubled production. Bruce, the mechanical shark that was used in the film, was notorious for not working correctly throughout making the film. This led to the tactical and brilliant decision to not show the shark in its entirety until the final act. This was such a smart move, as horror is always better in the viewer's mind. What you don't see your mind makes up for you.
The trio of actors, Schneider, Shaw, and Dreyfus come together in a potent cocktail of American machismo, scientific abandon, and the cautious reality of a lawman outside his wheelhouse, Their interplay is the heart of the film, which outshines Benchley's original theme of man vs. nature.
Speaking of Benchley, if I had a complaint about this masterpiece is that Benchley quasi-supernatural treatment of the fish in the novel was put in the background to focus on the human characters and it works perfectly.
As someone who lives in a town very much like Amity, the cultural notes are appreciated and recognized everytime I watch this film, especially Murray Hamilton's Anchor decorated Sportcoat!
This film is a cultural phenomenon that forever changed the way Americans would view films as part of entertainment culture. Many debate that it's unimaginable popularity would lead to the rise of the summer blockbuster/giant robot/alien explosion films, but that debate is not the point of my review.
Simply put, Jaws changed the game forever. It's not so much a film as an experience in horror, brotherhood, small town politics, and confronting the monsters of our nightmares. Whether under the bed, or the shimmering waves.
Available on Amazon, Vudu, & Itunes for streaming rental.