From The Vault: Jaws

The film that defined what a Summer blockbuster is returns to the big screen for its 40th anniversary re-release.

During his first Summer on the fictional coastal town of Amity Island, Police Chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) comes to believe that a shark is feasting on locals. When efforts to close the beaches are thwarted by Mayor Larry Vaughn, (Murray Hamilton) Chief Brody then asks Matt Hooper, (Richard Dreyfuss) an oceanographer to visit Amity Island to try and help rationalize with the mayor about the threat they are dealing with.

When a mother puts up a bounty to catch and kill the shark responsible for the death of her son, local shark hunter Quint (Robert Shaw) declares that what they are dealing with is larger than any thought possible. As the shark continues to attack those swimming on Amity's beaches, Chief Brody, Hooper and Quint team up in an effort to stop the shark's reign of terror.

Honestly, you've seen this movie and know the plot.

Being as someone who wasn't born when Jaws first hit the big screen, I decided to take up the chance to see the film when the 40th anniversary rolled out. Jaws still works as a horror film, adventure, drama and even as a comedy, The audience I was with jumped in terror at certain parts (Ben Gardner's boat, most prominently) and laughed at big moments ("you're going to ignore this particular problem until it swims up and bites you on the ass!).

Steven Spielberg and the well-documented problems on Jaws continue to prove that there are such things as happy accidents. With the shark not working on set, having to relegate by not revealing the monster until well into the film helps the film. As someone who has seen Jaws over 25 times in his life, the film still continues to impress with Spielberg's direction and the wealth of acting talent on the screen.

I would be remiss if I didn't mention John Williams' iconic score. The music is the driving force behind Jaws and really becomes its own characters. Especially since Jaws is kept from the eyes of the audience until the second half of the film, the score basically stands in place of the shark to keep the audience on edge of when and where the shark may be.

Jaws is still a classic that is driven by sure-handed direction and top-notch acting with a classic score to boot. If you get the opportunity, check out Jaws on the big screen if you're able. Until then, feel free to pop the film into your player at home as it is still a movie that holds up to this day.


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