The scene that really makes this movie memorable is the speech delivered by Quint to Hooper and Chief Brody out on the Orca after comparing scars and sharing drinks. He describes the weeks he spent floating in the sea after the Indianapolis sank, watching his crewmates get eaten by swarming sharks. Throughout the movie Quint is your stereotypical sea captain, singing sea shanties and drinking almost nothing but booze. Robert Shaw's stony faced, slightly slurred delivery is remarkable, horrifying the audience just as much as it horrified Hooper and Brody. This speech reveals to us why Quint is the way he is while making his death that much more ironic. The thing that has haunted him for most of his life is what ultimately ends up killing him.
I believe this is one of those movies where you pick up on something new every time you watch. The first time, I never would have guessed that the tank would result in the shark's demise. The second time, I wondered how I had totally missed that. As I had learned in film appreciation, every part of a story is important. There are numerous shots that focus on the tank, just filming it laying there for a few seconds, which seems very out of place. In reality, Spielberg was completely foreshadowing the importance the tank would play in the killing of the great white. This movie contains so many little details that can easily be overlooked, but when noticed, just adds more to the creative genius that is Jaws.
When the script was first bought by Universal Studios in 1973, the producers didn't know what to make of it. It was a script that was ready to go into production but they couldn't find the right director or cast for the picture. Once the producers landed on a young director, Steven Spielberg, they were 100% ready for production and had the leading cast of Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, and Richard Dreyfuss ready to go. The film was finished and production was considered hell. Many script changes, malfunctions with the mechanical sharks, and actors having fights with each other. Many of the film crew were surprised by how the film came out including Steven Spielberg. Spielberg said, "I thought this was the beginning of the end of my career, this production continues to haunt me today." But once Jaws hit theater in 1975 people were waiting in lines out of the theatre to go in see it, it became a worldwide phenomenon making $470,653,000 worldwide. Viewers were hooked by this film and it easy to see why.
The reason why Jaws is so great is the well development of layered characters that are not just plain 1 dimensional characters, the filming which made it so frightening as putting the point of view toward the shark and letting the human imagination determine what is doing the damage to the victim, and lastly the pace of the movie, this film did such a great job telling this story and it has the work of Spielberg's taste for adventure all over it. This film keeps viewers hooked from beginning to the end.
When this film ended I wondered whether or not is ok to swim in the ocean. But everytime I step foot in that water and have doubts about what is under the surface of the water, I have this film to thank. Not only that, for this is considered as my favorite movie I have ever seen.
Among having Jaws to thank for an abundant list of classic favorites, the film in it of itself hits all the marks. Spielberg's character development comes to a climax in the famous boat scene. The crux of Hooper, Brody and Gardner's understanding of each other is also a revelation to the audience at the same time. While Gardner is giving insight to his character through his anecdote about his encounters with sharks, the speech also serves as a building tension to finally seeing the shark that is the film's driving storyline. In total, this movie is as cinematically stunning, creative and enticing as it is entertaining.
Apart from the shark attacking is the incredible development of the characters themselves. As the film progresses so do the characters, we watch as Chief Brody loses his fear of the water and eventually bests the evil that is the shark. Also, we see a growing relationship between Hooper and Quint as they compare scars which leads to the Quint's monologue telling the story of the USS indianapolis. This story had been analyzed, improvised, and delivered brilliantly through Robert Shaw which commenced the damage to The Orca. The overall journey of the three crew members took the audience to a place they will never forget.
I thought the movie was very good. From the year it was made I'm surprised how all the effects and acting turned out. The beginning of the movie really amazes me because even though you know the movie is about sharks, something about not seeing the actual shark adds an eerie vibe to the movie. You don't really know what's pulling the kids down into the water or how big whatever "it" is. I think Spielberg did a great job at directing it that way. Until when you really start to see the shark for the first time and realize it is a monster and start to fear what everyone in the movie was fearing.
The middle through the end of the movie is my favorite part personally. The three actors they hired for this movie to play Martin Brody, Matt Hooper and Quint was great casting. Each of their roles was not only great acting, but made the movie more interesting to watch. How three very different men come together to defeat this monster of a shark and end up doing it amazes me. What I did not expect was Quint to be the one who died. I figured it would be Hooper since he seemed to be the more weaker one out of the three. The showing of his death was pretty gruesome but also awesome. That's when you really get a close up of what the shark looks like and honestly the special effects were just as good. Again, mentioning from what year this movie was made, I would assume the shark would look like a clay animation. But I was really surprised on how real it looked in the movie. I really was happy with watching this movie, I thought it was a good story plus good effects and shots. I would give this movie 5 stars.
This film is split into two sections- the "before" the shark is seen, and the "after". The "before" part is prior to when Spielberg allows us the pleasure of seeing the much alluded shark. He builds up the idea of 'evil' and 'enemy' with his other characters to go along with the suspense that his film is building up, so we don't even really notice that the shark is missing in a sense. He was able to build this up in his music choices. This "evil" is seen in the mayor (Murry Hamilton) along with the town council, when they refuse to close down the beach even after the first death, because they don't want to lose the town money. Without his stamp of approval, further deaths occurred and he is eventually forced to admit that something must be done about the shark problem.
The shark itself we only see in fleeting and distant sightings, none of which satisfy our desire to see the beast. In the final 20 minutes of the film, do we actually get a full length shot of the creature- and then we see the reason behind Spielberg's non inclusion of the animal- it looks fake. But in retrospect, we did not even need to see it in the earlier moments of the film, since Spielberg's cuts and inclusion of suspenseful music allowed us to have a growing sense of fear and doom anyway.
The end was, in my opinion, a plot twist. There was the defeat of the deadly beast- but there was also the death of a ruthless character we had grown to love- a tragic death at that. There have been many movies that have attempted to replicate this film, and many more that have created spoofs, but nothing will ever be able to compete with Spielberg's work.
One of the most iconic lines in Jaws is when Matt Hooper says, "What we are dealing with here is a perfect engine, an eating machine. It's really a miracle of evolution. All this machine does is swim and eat and make little sharks, and that's all." This line perfectly encapsulates the essence of the shark and it nonexistent "humanity" and instead refers to it as a machine without thought or feeling. However, this quote also serves to heighten the stories of the people on land, specifically Chief Brody This film may be mistaken for the typical horror bloodbath, yet it works hard to be anything but. This is a story of tragedy, of family, and of humanity. To make sure that the audience understood this, Speilberg added the scene when Brody and his son are sitting at the dinner table. Chief Brody did what was simply evolutionary expected of him when he made "little sharks" yet there is a difference between him and Jaws. When his son starts copying him it shows a clear human and emotional connection that any parent viewing it could relate to. "Give your old man a kiss," Chief Brody says with affection. This is a film about people just as much as it is about a murderous shark. This film is effective in conveying the love and loss between characters and developing their lives. It expertly manipulates the viewer to laugh one second and to feel hopeless the next. Jaws will always be the classic beach movie that is watched the week prior to Memorial Day Weekend to entice the nostalgia and appropriate fear as people head off to swim in the lovely blue sea.
Jaws made the audience on edge all the time even when nothing was happening. When something did happen, it was unexpected and scary with a good soundtrack. Character development was good and made the audience care for the characters. One of the greatest movies of all time that have so many famous quotes like, "You're gonna need a bigger boat". We expected nothing less from Steven Spielberg.
The interesting characters and story capture the audience keeping them glued to their seats through the entire experience. The characters had personality and felt real, connecting to the viewer on a personal basis. When designing or casting these characters you have to keep in mind how a person or specific character would react in a certain situation. Spielberg achieved this feat with flying colors as everything from the dialogue to the actions that they take it all feels real. That is another thing that Jaws did well is basing the story in reality. None of the story felt farfetch, which is one of the reasons that this movie achieves its goal in scaring people. The idea that this could happen to you is a frightening message, and one that Jaws delivered effectively. Spielberg made a classic that can stand the test of time, and will continue to strike fear into audiences for years to come.
The shark is not scary, it's not a very creative design nor does the animatronic look very realistic, but Jaws is terrifying. We almost always see the shark with a point of view shot, giving us a sense of helplessness as we see move through a sea of legs and close in on it's prey. We know what will happen, yet we can only dread the inevitable as the camera cruelly and slowly moves to its target. The music builds up slowly, gradually, going from creating ominous dread to heart-pounding terror right before the kill. Another thing that makes the shark terrifying when it is on screen is the fact that every scare is done in a different way. Unlike a Friday the 13th film or Elm street sequel, where every kill is just an over the top gore fest, every time someone dies it is different. For example, when the teenage girl gets attacked to the shark, we our are cruelly subjected to see almost every minute of her death, hearing every scream and cry, paralyzing us with fear. Yet the Kittner boy's death is completely different, we merely see the mass of blood in the water, and the bitten life raft, making this death more shocking than letting the tragedy come in when The mother calls out for her son in vain. The different methods Spielberg employes to make the shark scary prevents the creature from becoming predictable, keeping the audience on it's toes. However, we are never bored when the shark is off screen, as the main characters are some of the best in blockbuster history.
The writers of this film knew that having a scary monster is not enough to engage an audience or make a film last, so it seems they dedicated more time in making these characters interesting, memorable, likable, and relatable. They succeeded, as years latter we still quote Quint, Hooper, and Martin Brody and even remember the some of the side characters like Ellen and the Mayor. I think what separates these characters from the Jurassic Park-esque stock characters (which can be entertaining in their own right) is that cast is not overly large. We only have 3 main characters in Jaws and primarily follow one, as opposed to something like Lost World, Which starts with out with 5 main characters. Because of the relatively small cast, our main trio get much more focus and are able to be fleshed out in a more natural way. There are no long, Shyamalan style expostion monologues explaining the characters to us, we simply watch the characters. We are introduced to Brody by seeing his family life and average routine, We see Hooper mocking the shark hunters and how he does his job, and we gradually see Quint go from unhinged sailor to insane hunter. The film lets us grow attached to these characters, allows the audience to form a connection with them, become invested in them. Brody, Hooper, and Quint personality feel organic and fresh, allowing from some fun and interesting interactions. My favorite is the relationship between Quint and Hooper, as their polar opposite personalities bounce off each other in some brilliant scenes. Quint's rough, old fashioned, and violent personality clashes with both Hooper's jumpy, sarcastic persona and reserved and scientific approach. Yet despite their passionate arguments, Hooper seems to have a desire to prove himself to Quint or best him. This perfectly exemplified when Quint crushes and empty can, and Hooper crushes a plastic cup in response. You could show someone this scene and they would instantly get an idea of what these characters are like and how they work off each other. Brody, Hooper, and Quint are the reason why Jaws is a great film, they are the reason we watch this film over and over again. When they are not on screen, the hybrid of slow cinematography and intense music known the characters refer to as a shark keep on the edge of our seats. This is why Jaws is the greatest horror film ever made, one of the greatest blockbusters ever made, and a cinematic masterpiece.