Director: Stephen Spielberg
Original Release: 1975
My Overall Rating: 3 stars out of 5
An enormous shark is eating swimmers off the coast of the fictional Amity Island. When a young boy is killed, his mother offers a reward to anyone who can catch the offending beast. After the amateurs make fools and occasional meals of themselves in the pursuit, an expert is hired. Science, law enforcement and seafaring testosterone combine forces to hunt down the deadly fish.
Jaws is filmed mostly in and around Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts, a part of the world we've come to know well. While we've never been to the island itself, the Philosopher's Island (not its real name) is very close by. The terrain is quite familiar. In fact, I'm pretty sure one of the ferries featured in the movie is still in operation - or it was rebuilt to look exactly the same.
John Williams won his second Academy Award for the Jaws score. The shark's theme incorporates a simple, effective and legendary half-step alternation which has served as a mnemonic device in ear training classes ever since:
- The movie is definitely scary. Few films in history have built suspense more effectively. There is both blood and severed limbs - pretty gross.
- Before the movie, we assured Our Girl that sharks don't really act like this in the wild. As My Wife likes to point out, one is statistically more likely to be killed by a falling coconut than by a shark.