Plot Details: This opinion reveals minor details about the movie's plot.
Who hasnt thought twice about getting into the water after seeing Jaws? Although the popularity of some horror/creature movies may fall by the wayside, the 1975 film has stood the test of time. This Steven Spielberg movie successfully combines the fear of the unknown with a plot that stays within the borders of realism. The result is one of cinemas enduring movies that is effective today as it was when it was first released.
Its the height of tourist season on Amity Island when a body washes up on the shore. When Police Chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) investigates and determines the woman was killed by a shark attack, his results are overruled by Amity Islands governing body. Another attack quickly ensues, this time leaving a young boy dead.
Amity Island has two choices: close the beaches which would result in the town going bankrupt or offer a bounty on the sharks head. Soon Amity Island is swamped with overzealous shark hunters trying to cash in on the award.
In the meantime, Brody has called in shark enthusiast and scientist, Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss), who confirms that not only is the culprit a shark but also an enormous Great White. His findings, however, fall on deaf ears as the citizens of Amity Island prepare for their biggest celebration of the year. This time the result is a shark attack during the festivities.
Now it is up to Brody, Hooper and a crusty seaman, Quint (Richard Shaw), to track down the man-eating shark and destroy it. While traveling on Quints old boat, The Orca, the trio soon find their lives in peril. Will they be able to destroy the shark that hunts them?
Jaws proves that not seeing a creature in every scene makes a movie scarier. Although we assume the shark is near when we hear the music or see a fin darting through the water, we never actually see the entire shark until the end of the movie; proving that sometimes less is more.
The movie, although a little slow in a couple parts, moves along quickly. Each of the actors plays a convincing role to keep everyone watching intrigued. This is particularly true of the scene with Brody, Hooper and Quint reminiscing on the Orca right before the shark attacks.
Jaws does stray a bit from the book by Peter Benchley, preferring to focus only on the story of the shark that brings terror to Amity Island. Other than that minor point, the only thing that the film could have included would have been more interaction between Brody and his wife Ellen (Lorraine Gary). Her character became more defined in later films.
Despite the overwhelming production mishaps, Jaws is an exceptional movie. A beachgoer will never look at the ocean quite the same.
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Viewing Format: VHS
Video Occasion: Better than Watching TV
Suitability For Children: Suitable for Children Age 13 and Older