Seventies blockbuster movie, directed by Steven Spielberg. A large man-eating shark wreaks havoc off the coast of Long Island whilst local sheriff Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) finds himself caught between a panicking community and a town council eager to play down the reported deaths. However, the mounting bodycount cannot be ignored, so Brody heads off on a shark hunt, accompanied by marine biologist Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) and salty old sea-dog Quint (Robert Shaw). John Williams won an Oscar for his menacing score. This DVD is certificated 12 due to the 'Making of...' documentary included, the VHS version is rated PG.
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 realise that in fact the shark is hunting them--are what entertaining moviemaking is all about. --Marshall Fine