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Movie poster shows a woman in the ocean swimming to the right. Below her is a large shark, and only its head and open mouth with teeth can be seen. Within the image is the film's title and above it in a surrounding black background is the phrase "The terrifying motion picture from the terrifying No. 1 best seller." The bottom of the image details the starring actor and lists credits and the MPAA rating.
theatrical release poster
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Produced by David Brown
Richard D. Zanuck
Written by Peter Benchley
Carl Gottlieb
Howard Sackler (uncredited)
Peter Benchley (Novel)
Starring Roy Scheider
Richard Dreyfuss
Robert Shaw
Lorraine Gary
Murray Hamilton
Music by John Williams
Cinematography Bill Butler
Editing by Verna Fields
Distributed by Universal Pictures
Release date(s) June 20, 1975 (1975-06-20)
Running time 124 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $7 million[1]
Gross revenue $470,653,000
Followed by Jaws 2

Jaws is a 1975 American thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Peter Benchley's novel of the same name. The police chief of Amity Island, a fictional summer resort town, tries to protect beachgoers from a giant great white shark by closing the beach, only to be overruled by the town council, which wants the beach to remain open to draw a profit from tourists during the summer season. After several attacks, the police chief enlists the help of a marine biologist and a professional shark hunter. Roy Scheider stars as police chief Martin Brody, Richard Dreyfuss as marine biologist Matt Hooper, Robert Shaw as shark hunter Quint, Murray Hamilton as the Mayor of Amity Island, and Lorraine Gary as Brody's wife, Ellen.

Jaws is regarded as a watershed film in motion picture history, the father of the summer blockbuster film and one of the first "high concept" films.[2][3] Due to the film's success in advance screenings, studio executives decided to distribute it in a much wider release than ever before. The Omen followed suit in the summer of 1976 and then Star Wars one year later in 1977, cementing the notion for movie studios to distribute their big-release action and adventure pictures (commonly referred to as tentpole pictures) during the summer. Jaws is widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time. Jaws was number 48 on American Film Institute's 100 Years... 100 Movies, a list of the greatest American films of all time, dropping down to number 56 on the 10 Year Anniversary list. It was ranked second on a similar list for thrillers, 100 Years... 100 Thrills. The film was followed by three sequels, none with the participation of Spielberg or Benchley: Jaws 2 (1978), Jaws 3-D (1983) and Jaws: The Revenge (1987). A video game titled Jaws Unleashed was produced in 2006.



During a late night beach party on the fictional Amity Island in New England a young woman named Chrissie Watkins (Susan Backlinie) goes skinny dipping alone. She dives into the water, where she is suddenly jerked around and then pulled under by an unseen force. The next morning, Amity's new police chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) is notified that Chrissie is missing, and finds her mutilated remains washed up on the shore. The medical examiner informs Brody that the death was due to a shark attack. Brody plans to close the beaches, but is overruled by the town mayor, Larry Vaughn (Murray Hamilton), who fears that reports of a shark attack will ruin the summer tourist season. The medical examiner reverses his diagnosis and attributes the death to a boating accident. Brody reluctantly goes along with the explanation.

A short time later, a young boy is killed by a shark while swimming off a crowded beach. His mother places a $3,000 bounty on the shark, sparking an amateur shark hunting frenzy and attracting the attention of local professional shark hunter Quint (Robert Shaw). Brought in by Brody, ichthyologist Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) conducts an autopsy on Chrissie's remains and concludes she was killed by a shark.

A large tiger shark is caught by a group of fishermen, leading the town to believe the problem is solved, but Hooper is unconvinced the corpse is the killer and asks to examine the contents of the shark's stomach. Vaughn refuses to make the "operation" public, so Brody and Hooper return after dark and discover the dead shark does not contain any human remains. Scouting aboard Hooper's boat, they come across the half-sunken wreckage of a fisherman's boat. Hooper dons a wetsuit and while exploring the vessel underwater discovers the fisherman's severed head. Vaughn still refuses to close the beach and on the Fourth of July, numerous tourists arrive. The shark enters an estuary, kills a man, and nearly takes the life of Brody's son. Brody forces a stunned Vaughn to hire Quint. Brody and Hooper join the hunter on his fishing boat, the Orca, and the trio set out to kill the man-eater.

At sea, Brody is given the task of laying a chum line while Quint uses deep-sea fishing tackle to try to hook the shark. As Brody continues chumming, an enormous great white shark suddenly looms up behind the boat. The trio watch the great white circle the Orca and estimate it weighs 3 tons (2.7 metric tonnes) and is 25 feet (7.5 meters) long. Quint harpoons the shark with a line attached to a flotation barrel, designed to prevent the shark from being able to submerge as well as to track it on the surface, but the shark pulls the barrel under and disappears.

Night falls without another sighting, so the men retire to the boat's cabin, where Quint tells of his experience with sharks as a survivor of the World War II sinking of the USS Indianapolis. The shark reappears, damages the boat's hull, and then slips away. In the morning, the men make repairs to the engine. Quint destroys the radio to prevent Brody from calling the Coast Guard for help. The shark attacks again, and after a long chase, Quint harpoons it to another barrel. The men tie the barrels to the stern; but the shark drags the boat backwards, forcing water onto the deck and into the engine, flooding it. Quint harpoons it again, attaching three barrels in all to the shark, while the shark continues to tow them. Quint is about to cut the ropes with his machete when the cleats are pulled off the stern. The shark continues to attack the boat and Quint powers towards shore with the shark in pursuit, hoping to draw the animal into shallow waters, where it will be beached and drowned. In his Ahab-like obsession to kill the shark, Quint overtaxes Orca's damaged engine, causing it to seize.

With the boat immobilized, the trio try a desperate approach: Hooper dons his SCUBA gear and enters the ocean inside a shark proof cage, to stab the shark in the mouth with a hypodermic spear filled with strychnine. The shark instead destroys the cage, but gets tangled in the remains, allowing Hooper to hide on the seabed. As Quint and Brody raise the remnants of the cage, the shark throws itself onto the boat, crushing the transom. As the boat starts sinking, Quint slides into the shark's mouth and is killed. Brody retreats to the boat's partly submerged cabin, and forces a pressurized air tank into the shark's mouth. Brody takes Quint's M1 Garand, and climbs the mast of the rapidly sinking vessel. After temporarily driving the shark off with a harpoon, Brody begins shooting at the air tank still wedged in the shark's mouth. He explodes the tank, blowing the shark to pieces. As the shark's dead body drifts toward the seabed, Hooper reappears on the surface. The survivors cobble together a raft out of debris and paddle back to Amity Island.



Richard D. Zanuck and David Brown, producers at Universal Pictures, heard about Peter Benchley's novel at the same time at different locations. Brown came across it in the fiction department of Cosmopolitan, a lifestyle magazine then edited by his wife, Helen Gurley Brown. A small card gave a detailed description of the plot, concluding with the comment "might make a good movie".[4] The producers each read it overnight and agreed the next morning that it was "the most exciting thing that they had ever read" and that, although they were unsure how they would accomplish it, they wanted to produce the film.[5] Brown claimed that had they read the book twice they would have never have made the film because of the difficulties in executing some of the sequences.[6] They purchased the film rights to Benchley's novel in 1973 for approximately $175,000.[7]

Zanuck and Brown had originally planned to hire John Sturges to direct the film, before considering Dick Richards.[8] However, they grew irritated by Richards' vision of continually calling the shark "the whale"; Richards was subsequently dropped from the project.[8] Zanuck and Brown then signed Spielberg in June 1973 to direct before the release of his first theatrical film, The Sugarland Express (also a Zanuck/Brown production).[8] Spielberg wanted to take the novel's basic concept, removing Benchley's many subplots.[7] The film makers removed the novel's adulterous affair between Ellen Brody and Matt Hooper because it would compromise the camaraderie between the men when they went out on the Orca.[4]

When they purchased the rights to his novel, the producers guaranteed that the author would write the first draft of the screenplay. Overall, Benchley wrote three drafts before deciding to bow out of the project (although he appeared in the final film, a cameo appearance as a news reporter).[7] Tony and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Howard Sackler happened to be in Los Angeles when the filmmakers began looking for another writer and offered to do an uncredited rewrite, and since the producers and Spielberg were unhappy with Benchley's drafts, they quickly accepted his offer.[9] Spielberg sent the script to Carl Gottlieb (who appears in a supporting acting role in the film as Meadows, the politically connected reporter), asking for advice.[9] Gottlieb rewrote most scenes during principal photography, and John Milius contributed dialogue polishes. Spielberg has claimed that he prepared his own draft, although it is unclear if the other screenwriters drew on his material. The authorship of Quint's monologue about the fate of the cruiser USS Indianapolis has caused substantial controversy as to who deserves the most credit for the speech. Spielberg described it as a collaboration among John Milius, Howard Sackler, and actor Robert Shaw.[10] Gottlieb gives primary credit to Shaw, downplaying Milius' contribution.[11]


Spielberg offered the role of Brody to Robert Duvall, but the actor was only interested in portraying Quint.[12] Roy Scheider became interested in the project after overhearing a screenwriter and Spielberg at a party talking about having the shark jump up onto a boat.[9] Spielberg was initially apprehensive of hiring Scheider, fearing he would portray a "tough guy", similar to his role in The French Connection.[12]

The role of Quint was originally offered to actors Lee Marvin and Sterling Hayden, both of whom passed.[9][12] Producers Zanuck and Brown had just finished working with Robert Shaw on The Sting, and suggested him to Spielberg as a possible Quint. For the role of Hooper, Spielberg initially wanted Jon Voight.[13] Richard Dreyfuss initially passed on the role of Matt Hooper, but after being disappointed by his own performance in a pre-release screening of The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, a film he had just completed, he immediately called Spielberg and accepted the role, fearing that no one would want to hire him once Kravitz was released. Due to the film's dissimilarities to the novel, Spielberg asked Dreyfuss not to read the book before offering the role.[14] The first person actually cast for the film was Lorraine Gary, the wife of then-studio chief, Sid Sheinberg.[9]


"We started the film without a script, without a cast and without a shark."

—actor Richard Dreyfuss on the film's troubled production[15]

Principal photography began in May 1974.[16] Three mechanical sharks were made for the production: a full version for underwater shots, one that moved from camera-left to right (with its hidden side completely exposing the internal machinery), and an opposite model with its right flank uncovered.[7] Their construction was supervised by production designer Joe Alves and special effects artist Bob Mattey. After the sharks were completed, they were shipped to the shooting location, but unfortunately had not been tested in water and when placed in the ocean the full model sank to the ocean floor, forcing a team of divers to retrieve it.[9] The model required 14 operators to control all of the moving parts.[14]

Location shooting occurred on the island of Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts, chosen because the ocean had a sandy bottom while 12 miles (19 km) out at sea.[9] This helped the mechanical sharks to operate smoothly and still provide a realistic location. Still, the film had a famously troubled shoot and went considerably over budget. David Brown said that the budget "was $4 million and the picture wound up costing $9 million".[17] Shooting at sea led to many delays: unwanted sailboats drifted into frame, cameras were soaked, and the Orca once began to sink with the actors onboard. The mechanical shark frequently malfunctioned, due to the hydraulic innards being corroded by salt water.[9] The three mechanical sharks were collectively nicknamed "Bruce" by the production team after Spielberg's lawyer.[18] Disgruntled crew members gave the film the nickname "Flaws".[14][18]

A large model shark is hoisted by a crane as two men watch it.
Bruce, the full model mechanical shark, attached to special rigging

To some degree, the delays in the production proved serendipitous. The script was refined during production, and the unreliable mechanical sharks forced Spielberg to shoot most of the scenes with the shark only hinted at. For example, for much of the shark hunt, its location is represented by the floating yellow barrels. Spielberg also included multiple shots of just the dorsal fin due to its ease of filming. This forced restraint is widely thought to have increased the suspense of these scenes, giving it a Hitchcockian tone.[14][19]

The scene where Hooper discovers fisherman Ben Gardner's body in the hull of his wrecked boat was added after an initial screening of the film. Actor Craig Kingsbury had to press his head into a latex mold to make an exact copy, which was then attached to a fake body and placed in the wrecked boat's hull. The team filmed many takes of the scene where the head suddenly appears. After reactions to that screening, Spielberg said he was greedy for "one more scream" and, with $3,000 of his own money, financed the scene after he was denied funding from Universal Pictures.[9]

Footage of real sharks was shot by Ron and Valerie Taylor in the waters off Australia, with a dwarf actor in a miniature shark cage to create the illusion that the shark was enormous.[9][20] Originally, the script, following the novel, had the shark killing Hooper in the shark cage, but during filming, one of the sharks became trapped in the girdle of the cage, and proceeded to tear the cage apart.[9] The cage contained no one at the time, so the script was changed to allow Matt Hooper to live and the cage to be empty.[9] Despite the rare footage of a great white shark exhibiting violent behavior, only a handful of these shots were used in the finished film.

Although filming was scheduled to take 55 days, it eventually ended in September 1974 after 159 days.[14][16] Spielberg, reflecting on the extended delay, stated: "I thought my career as a filmmaker was over. I heard rumors ... that I would never work again because no one had ever taken a film 100 days over schedule."[14] Spielberg himself was not present for the shooting of the final scene where the shark explodes. Spielberg believed that the crew were planning to throw him in the water when this scene was complete. It has since become a tradition for Spielberg to be absent when the final scene of a film he directs is being filmed.[21]


Box office performance

Jaws was the first film to use Steven Spielberg's scheme of "wide release" as a distribution pattern. As such, it is an important film in the history of film distribution and marketing. Prior to the release of Jaws, films typically opened slowly, usually in a few theaters in major cities, which allowed for a series of "premieres." As the success of a film increased, and word of mouth grew, distributors would forward the prints to additional cities across the country. Some films eventually achieved a wide release, such as The Godfather, but even that blockbuster had originally debuted in just five theaters.[22]

Jaws was the first film to open nationwide, on hundreds of screens simultaneously, coupled with a national marketing campaign—a then-unheard of practice. The film became the first to use extensive television advertising.[23] Scheinberg's rationale was that nationwide marketing costs would be amortized at a more favorable rate per print than if a slow, scaled release were carried out. Scheinberg's gamble paid off, with Jaws becoming a box office smash hit and the father of the summer blockbuster.[24][25]

After the release of Jaws, journalists and critics detailed its impact on how films were released in theaters. Peter Biskind wrote, "[The film] diminish[ed] the importance of print reviews, making it virtually impossible for a film to build slowly, finding its audience by dint of mere quality. ... In a sense, Spielberg was the Trojan horse through which the studios began to reassert their power."[26] Author Thomas Schatz also wrote on the film's impact: "If any single film marked the arrival of the New Hollywood, it was Jaws, the Spielberg-directed thriller that recalibrated the profit potential of the Hollywood hit, and redefined its status as a marketable commodity and cultural phenomenon as well. The film brought an emphatic end to Hollywood's five-year recession, while ushering in an era of high-cost, high-tech, high-speed thrillers."[26] Following the success of Jaws, major studio films have almost universally been distributed and marketed on a national scale. In addition, when summer was usually a season to dump films likely to be poor performers, the success of Jaws caused studios to shift their action and thriller films out of winter releases.[26]

When Jaws was released on June 20, 1975, it opened at 464 theaters.[27] The release was subsequently expanded on July 25 to a total of 675 theaters, the largest simultaneous distribution of a film in motion picture history at the time. During the first weekend of wide release, Jaws grossed more than $7 million, and was the top grosser for the following five weeks.[1] During its run in theaters, the film beat the $89 million domestic rental record of the reigning box-office champion, The Exorcist, becoming the first film to reach more than $100 million in U.S. box office receipts.[23][28]

Jaws eventually grossed more than $470 million worldwide ($1.9 billion in 2010 dollars[29]) and was the highest grossing box office film until Star Wars debuted two years later.[30][31] Jaws and Star Wars are retrospectively considered to have marked the beginning of the new business model in American filmmaking and the beginning of the end of the New Hollywood period.

Critical reception

The film received mostly positive reviews. In his original review, Roger Ebert called it "a sensationally effective action picture, a scary thriller that works all the better because it's populated with characters that have been developed into human beings".[32] Variety's A.D. Murphy praised Spielberg's directorial skills, and called Robert Shaw's performance "absolutely magnificent".[33] Pauline Kael called it "the most cheerfully perverse scare movie ever made... [with] more zest than an early Woody Allen picture, a lot more electricity, [and] it's funny in a Woody Allen sort of way".[34] Frank Rich of The New York Times wrote "Spielberg is blessed with a talent that is absurdly absent from most American filmmakers these days: this man actually knows how to tell a story on screen. ... It speaks well of this director's gifts that some of the most frightening sequences in Jaws are those where we don't even see the shark.[35]

The film was not without its detractors. Vincent Canby, of The New York Times, said "It's a measure of how the film operates that not once do we feel particular sympathy for any of the shark's victims...In the best films, characters are revealed in terms of the action. In movies like Jaws, characters are simply functions of the action. They're at its service. Characters are like stage hands who move props around and deliver information when it's necessary," but also noted that "It's the sort of nonsense that can be a good deal of fun".[36] Los Angeles Times critic Charles Champlin disagreed with the film's PG rating, saying that "Jaws is too gruesome for children, and likely to turn the stomach of the impressionable at any age." He goes on to say: "It is a coarse-grained and exploitive work which depends on excess for its impact. Ashore it is a bore, awkwardly staged and lumpily written."[37] The most widespread criticism of the film is the artificiality of the mechanical shark.[38]


Jaws won Academy Awards for Film Editing, Music (Original Score) and Sound.[39] It was also nominated for Best Picture, losing to One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.[40] In 2008, Jaws was selected by Empire magazine as the fifth greatest film ever made.[41] Jaws was number 48 on American Film Institute's 100 Years... 100 Movies, a list of the greatest American films of all time, dropping down to number 56 on the 10 Year Anniversary list. It was ranked second on a similar list for thrillers, 100 Years... 100 Thrills. Jaws was number one in the Bravo network's five-hour miniseries The 100 Scariest Movie Moments (2004).[42] The shark was anointed number 18 on AFI's 100 Years... 100 Heroes and Villains. In 2001 the United States Library of Congress deemed the film "culturally significant" and selected it for preservation in the National Film Registry.[43] In 2005, the American Film Institute voted Roy Scheider's line "You're gonna need a bigger boat" as number 35 on its list of the top 100 movie quotes.[44] John Williams's score was ranked at number six on AFI's 100 Years of Film Scores.[44]

Inspirations and influences

A large replica of the film's shark hangs from a wooden frame. A sign next to it says "Jaws" and a man standing nearby is about a third of the height of the shark. A pulley and rope are used to pretend to hold the shark's mouth open.
Closeup of the shark

Jaws bears similarities to several literary and artistic works, most notably Moby-Dick by Herman Melville. The character of Quint strongly resembles Captain Ahab, the obsessed captain of the Pequod who devotes his life to hunting a sperm whale. Quint's monologue reveals his similar vendetta against sharks, and even his boat, the Orca, is named after the only natural enemy of the white shark. In the novel and original screenplay, Quint dies after being dragged under the ocean by a harpoon tied to his leg, similar to Ahab's death in Melville's novel.[45] A direct reference to these similarities may be found in the original screenplay, which introduced Quint by showing him watching the film version of Moby-Dick.[46] His laughter throughout makes people get up and leave the theater (Wesley Strick's screenplay for Cape Fear features a similar scene). However, the scene from Moby-Dick could not be licensed from Gregory Peck, the owner of the rights.[47] In the novel and original screenplay, when the Orca, like the Pequod, is sunk by the creature, only the character of Brody survives. Some have also noticed the influences of two 1950s horror films, The Creature from the Black Lagoon and The Monster That Challenged the World.[48]

Some critics, such as Neil Sinyard, have noticed similarities to Henrik Ibsen's play An Enemy of the People.[49] The Ibsen work features a doctor who discovers that a seaside town's medicinal hot springs, a major tourist attraction and form of revenue, are contaminated. When the doctor attempts to convince the townspeople of the danger, he loses his job and is shunned. This plotline is paralleled in Jaws by Brody's conflict with Mayor Vaughn, who refuses to acknowledge the presence of a shark that may dissuade summer beachgoers from coming to Amity. In the film, Brody is vindicated when additional shark attacks occur at the crowded beach in broad daylight. Sinyard calls the film a "deft combination of Watergate and Ibsen's play".[49]

Jaws was a key film in establishing the benefits of a wide national release backed by heavy media advertising, rather than a progressive release that let a film slowly enter new markets and build support over a period of time.[50] Rather than let the film gain notice by word-of-mouth, Hollywood launched a successful television marketing campaign for the film, which added another $700,000 to the cost.[15]

Similar to the fear of showers created by the pivotal scene in the 1960 film Psycho, Jaws caused viewers to be afraid to enter the ocean.[51][52] The film was credited with reduced beach attendance in the summer of 1975.[38]

Although it is considered a thriller-horror classic, the film is widely recognized as being responsible for perpetuating negative stereotypes about sharks and their behavior.[53] Author Peter Benchley stated that he would not have written the original novel had he known what sharks are really like in the wild.[54] Benchley later wrote Shark Trouble, a non-fiction book about shark behavior, and Shark Life, another non-fiction book describing his dives with sharks. Conservation groups have bemoaned the fact that the film has made it considerably harder to convince the public that sharks should be protected.[55]

Jaws set the template for many future horror films, so much so that the script for Ridley Scott's 1979 science fiction film Alien was pitched to studio executives with one tag line: "Jaws in space."[56]


Cuban president Fidel Castro interpreted the film as "greedy capitalists willing to sacrifice people's lives to protect their investments."[18]


John Williams contributed the film score, which was ranked sixth on the American Film Institute's 100 Years of Film Scores. The main "shark" theme, a simple alternating pattern of two notes, E and F,[57] became a classic piece of suspense music, synonymous with approaching danger (see leading-tone). Williams described the theme as having the "effect of grinding away at you, just as a shark would do, instinctual, relentless, unstoppable."[58] The soundtrack piece was performed by tuba player Tommy Johnson. When asked by Johnson why the melody was written in such a high register and not played by the more appropriate French horn, Williams responded that he wanted it to sound "a little more threatening".[59] When the piece was first played for Spielberg, he was said to have laughed at Williams, thinking that it was a joke. Spielberg later said that without Williams' score the film would have been only half as successful, and Williams acknowledges that the score jumpstarted his career.[9] He had previously scored Spielberg's feature film debut The Sugarland Express and went on to collaborate with him on almost all of his films.[58]

The score contains echoes of Igor Stravinsky's The Rite of Spring, particularly the opening of "The Adoration of the Earth" and "Auguries of Spring".[60] The music has drawn comparisons to Bernard Herrman's score for Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho and the ominous music for the off-screen hunter in Bambi, in which the music enhances the presence of an unseen terror, in this case the shark.[61]

There are various interpretations on the meaning and effectiveness of the theme. Some have thought the two-note expression is intended to mimic the shark's heartbeat, beginning slow and controlled as the killer hunts and rising to a frenzied, shrieking climax as it approaches its prey.[62] Others have stated that the music at first sounds like the creaking and groaning of a boat, and therefore is inaudible when it begins so that it never seems to start, but simply rises out of the sounds of the film. One critic believes the true strength of the score is its ability to create a "harsh silence," abruptly cutting away from the music right before it climaxes.[61] Furthermore, the audience is conditioned to associate the shark with its theme, since the score is never used as a red herring.[58] It only plays when the real shark appears. This is later exploited when the shark suddenly appears with no musical introduction. Regardless of the meaning behind it, the theme is widely acknowledged as one of the most recognized scores of all time.[38]

The original soundtrack for Jaws was released by MCA in 1975, and as a CD in 1992, including roughly a half hour of music that John Williams redid for the album. In 2000, two versions of the score were released: one in a re-recording of the entire Jaws score performed by the Royal Scottish National Orchestra and conducted by Joel McNeely; and another to coincide with the release of the 25th anniversary DVD by Decca/Universal, featuring the entire 51 minutes of the original score. Fans prefer the Decca release over the Varèse Sarabande re-recording.[63]

Releases and sequels

The first Laserdisc title marketed in North America was the MCA DiscoVision release of Jaws in 1978. A second Laserdisc was released in 1991, before a third and final release came under the MCA/Universal Home Video's "Signature Collection" imprint. This release was an elaborate boxset, which included the film, along with deleted scenes and outtakes, a new two-hour documentary on the making of the film, a copy of the novel Jaws, and a CD of John Williams' soundtrack.

Jaws was first released on DVD in 2000 for the film's 25th anniversary. It featured a 50-minute documentary on the making of the film (an edited version of the one featured on the 1995 laserdisc release), with interviews from Steven Spielberg, Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss, Peter Benchley and other cast and crew members. Other extras included deleted scenes, outtakes, trailers, production photos, and storyboards. In June 2005, on the 30th anniversary of the film's release, a festival named JawsFest was held in Martha's Vineyard.[64] Jaws was then re-released on DVD, this time including the full two-hour documentary produced by Laurent Bouzereau for the LaserDisc. As well as containing most of the same bonus features the previous DVD contained, it included a previously unavailable interview with Spielberg conducted on the set of Jaws in 1974.

In the 2000s, an independent group of fans produced a feature length documentary. The Shark is Still Working features interviews with a range of cast and crew from the film, and some from the sequels. It is narrated by Roy Scheider and dedicated to Peter Benchley who died in 2006.[65][66]

Jaws spawned three sequels, which failed to match the success of the original. Indeed, their combined domestic grosses barely cover half of the original's.[1] Spielberg was unavailable to do a sequel, as he was working on Close Encounters of the Third Kind with Richard Dreyfuss.[40] Jaws 2 was directed by Jeannot Szwarc; Roy Scheider, Lorraine Gary and Murray Hamilton reprised their roles from the original film. The next film, Jaws 3-D, directed by Joe Alves, was released in the 3-D format, although the effect did not transfer to television or home video, where it was renamed Jaws 3. Dennis Quaid as Michael Brody and Louis Gossett, Jr. starred in the movie. Jaws: The Revenge, directed by Joseph Sargent, featured the return of Lorraine Gary and is considered one of the worst movies ever made.[67][68] While all three sequels made a profit at the box office (Jaws 2 and Jaws 3-D are among the top 20 highest-grossing films of their respective years), critics and audiences were generally dissatisfied with the films.[69][70][71]

In February 2010, film website Cinema Blend reported that a source from Universal Pictures has indicated that Universal is "strongly considering" remaking Jaws in 3-D, following the commercial success of Avatar. The source also reported that 30 Rock star Tracy Morgan was considered to portray Matt Hopper in the remake, which they say could be more comedic and make more use of special effects. The studio has not officially commented upon the rumor.[72][73][74]


The film has been adapted into two video games, two theme park rides at Universal Studios Florida and Universal Studios Japan, and two musicals: "JAWS The Musical!", which premiered in the summer of 2004 at the Minnesota Fringe Festival; and "Giant Killer Shark: The Musical," which premiered in the summer of 2006 at the Toronto Fringe Festival. In 2009, Aristocrat acquired the rights from Universal Studios to make a video slot machine based on the hit movie.


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  2. ^ "Rise of the Blockbuster". BBC News. 2001-11-16. Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  3. ^ Wyatt 1994, p. 21
  4. ^ a b Brown, David, "A Look Inside Jaws", produced by Laurent Bouzereau, available as a bonus feature on some laserdisc and DVD releases of Jaws
  5. ^ Zanuck, Richard D., "A Look Inside Jaws", produced by Laurent Bouzereau, available as a bonus feature on some laserdisc and DVD releases of Jaws
  6. ^ McBride 1999, p. 231
  7. ^ a b c d Brode 1995, p. 50
  8. ^ a b c McBride 1999, p. 232
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  10. ^ Friedman 2006, p. 167
  11. ^ Gottlieb 2005, p. 208
  12. ^ a b c McBride 1999, p. 237
  13. ^ Jackson 2007, p. 20
  14. ^ a b c d e f Harvey, Neil (2005-06-13). "30 years of 'Jaws'". The Roanoke Times. Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  15. ^ a b Smith, Neil (2005-06-03). "Shark tale that changed Hollywood". BBC News. Retrieved 2010-03-12. 
  16. ^ a b McBride 1999, p. 233
  17. ^ Priggé 2004, p. 8
  18. ^ a b c McBride 1999, p. 241
  19. ^ Sinyard 1989, p. 36
  20. ^ McBride 1999, p. 234
  21. ^ "Interview with Richard Dreyfuss". Retrieved 2010-03-11. 
  22. ^ "'Godfather' Proves Crime Does Pay". St. Petersburg Times. New York Times Service (Google News). April 17, 1972.,2043387&dq. Retrieved 2010-03-10. 
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External links

Preceded by
The Exorcist
Highest-grossing film of all time
Succeeded by
Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope


Up to date as of January 14, 2010

From Wikiquote

Jaws is a 1975 film about a police chief, a scientist, and a grizzled shark hunter who set out to kill a shark that is menacing the seaside community of Amity Island.

Directed by: Steven Spielberg. Written by Peter Benchley and Carl Gottlieb, based on the novel by Peter Benchley.
Don't go in the water. Taglines


Chief Martin Brody

  • [about to kill the shark] Smile, you son of a bitch!


  • Y'all know me. Know how I earn a livin'. I'll catch this bird for you, but it ain't gonna be easy. Bad fish! Not like going down to the pond and chasing bluegills and tommycod. This shark, swallow ya whole. Little shakin', little tenderizin', down you go. And we gotta do it quick, that'll bring back the tourists, that'll put all your businesses on a payin' basis. But it's not gonna be pleasant! I value my neck a lot more than three thousand bucks, chief. I'll find him for three, but I'll catch him, and kill him, for ten. But you've gotta make up your minds. If you want to stay alive, then ante up. If you want to play it cheap, be on welfare the whole winter. I don't want no volunteers, I don't want no mates, there's too many captains on this island. Ten thousand dollars for me by myself. For that you get the head, the tail, the whole damn thing.

Mayor Larry Vaughn

  • I don't think you appreciate the gut reaction people have to these things...Martin, It's all psychological. You yell 'Barracuda,' everybody says 'Huh? What?' You yell 'Shark,' we've got a panic on our hands on the Fourth of July.


  • Mrs. Kintner: [to Chief Brody] My Alex was a beautiful little boy and you killed him. Did you know that? You knew there was a shark out there. You knew a girl got killed here last week. I just found that out. But you knew. You knew it was dangerous, but you let people go swimming anyway. You knew all those things, and still my boy is dead now and there's nothing you can do about that. My boy is dead. I wanted you to know that.


Vaughn: We're really a little anxious that you're, ah, you're rushing into something serious here. It's your first summer, you know.
Brody: What does that mean?
Vaughn: I'm only trying to say that Amity is a summer town. We need summer dollars. If people can't swim here, they'll be glad to swim in the beaches of Cape Cod, the Hamptons, Long Island.
Brody: That doesn't mean we have to serve them up a smorgasbord.
Mayor's Assistant: We've never had that kind of trouble in these waters.

Ellen: Martin hates boats. Martin hates water. Martin - Martin sits in his car when we go on the ferry to the mainland. I guess it's a childhood thing. It's a - there's a clinical name for it, isn't there?
Brody: Drowning! Isn't it true that most people are attacked by sharks in three feet of water and about ten feet from the beach.
Hooper: Yes, that's true.
Brody: Now this shark that, that swims alone...
Hooper: A rogue.
Brody: Rogue, yeah, now this guy, he - he keeps swimming around in a place where the feeding is good until the food supply is gone, right?
Hooper: It's called Territoriality. That's the theory...A theory I happen to believe.
Brody: Then why don't we have one more drink and go down and cut that shark open.
Ellen: Martin? Can you do that?
Brody: I can do anything. I'm the chief of police.

Quint: I'm not talkin' about pleasure boatin' or day sailin'. I'm talkin' about workin' for a livin'. I'm talkin' about sharkin'.
Hooper: Well I'm not talkin' about hookin' some poor dog fish or sand shark. I'm talkin' about findin' a Great White.
Quint: You've got city boy hands, Hooper. You been countin' money all your life.
Hooper: I don't need this working-class-hero crap.
Quint: Maybe I should go alone.

Quint: [seeing Hooper's equipment] What are you? Some kind of half-assed astronaut? [examining the shark cage] Jesus H Christ, when I was a boy, every little squirt wanted to be a harpooner or a sword fisherman. What d'ya have there - a portable shower or a monkey cage?
Hooper: Anti-shark cage.
Quint: Anti-shark cage. You go inside the cage? Cage goes in the water? You go in the water? Shark's in the water? Our shark? [singing] Farewell and adieu to you, fair Spanish ladies. Farewell and adieu, you ladies of Spain. For we've received orders for to sail back to Boston. And so nevermore shall we see you again.

Brody: [pointing at Quint's tattoo scar] What's that one?
Quint: Oh, that's a tattoo. I got that removed.
Hooper: Let me guess. Mother! [laughs]
Quint: Hooper, that's the U.S.S. Indianapolis.
[Hooper's face drops]
Hooper: You were on the Indianapolis?
Brody: What happened?
Quint: Japanese submarine slammed two torpedoes into our side, Chief. We was comin' back from the island of Tinian to Leyte. We'd just delivered the bomb. The Hiroshima bomb. Eleven hundred men went into the water. Vessel went down in 12 minutes. Didn't see the first shark for about a half-hour. Tiger. 13-footer. You know how you know that in the water, Chief? You can tell by lookin' from the dorsal to the tail. What we didn't know, was that our bomb mission was so secret, no distress signal had been sent. They didn't even list us overdue for a week. Very first light, Chief, sharks come cruisin', so we formed ourselves into tight groups. You know it was kinda like old squares in a battle, like you see on a calendar, like you see in the Battle of Waterloo. And the idea was the shark come to the nearest man, that man he starts poundin' and hollerin' and sometimes that shark he go away... but sometimes he wouldn't go away. Sometimes that shark looks right into ya. Right into your eyes. And the thing about a shark is he's got lifeless eyes. Black eyes. Like a doll's eyes. When he comes at ya, he doesn't even seem to be livin'... until he bites ya, and those black eyes roll over wide and then... ah then you hear that terrible high-pitched screamin'. The ocean turns red, and despite all the poundin' and the hollerin' those sharks come in and... they rip you to pieces. You know by the end of that first dawn, lost a hundred men. I don't know how many sharks, maybe a thousand. I do know how many men, they averaged six an hour. Thursday mornin', Chief, I bumped into a friend of mine, Herbie Robinson from Cleveland. Baseball player. Boatswain's mate. I thought he was asleep. I reached over to wake him up. He bobbed up, down in the water, he was like a kinda top. Upended. Well, he'd been bitten in half below the waist. At noon on the fifth day, a Lockheed Ventura swung in low and he saw us, a young pilot, a lot younger than Mr. Hooper here. Anyway he saw us and a few hours later a big fat PBY come down and started to pick us up. You know that was the time I was most frightened. Waitin' for my turn. I'll never put on a lifejacket again. So, 1,100 men went into the water, 316 men come out, the sharks took the rest, June the 29th, 1945. Anyway, we delivered the bomb.

[after killed the shark, the very last words in the film]

Brody: Hey, what day is this?
Hooper: It's, is Tuesday, I think.
Brody: The tide is with us.
Hooper: Keep kickin.
Brody: I used to hate the water.
Hooper: I can't imagine why.


  • Don't go in the water.
  • The terrifying motion picture from the terrifying No. 1 best seller.
  • When beaches open this summer, you will be taken by Jaws.
  • She was the first.
  • Do you like fish? Well, he likes you too...
  • See it before you go swimming.
  • You'll never go in the water again!


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