Wednesday, April 30, 2008

the jaws


Jaws is a 1975 thriller/horror film directed by Steven Spielberg, based on Peter Benchley's best-selling novel inspired by the Jersey Shore shark attacks of 1916. The police chief of Amity Island, a fictional summer resort town, tries to protect beachgoers from a 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. 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, Lorraine Gary as Brody's wife Ellen and Murray Hamilton as Mayor Vaughn.
Jaws is regarded as a watershed film in motion picture history, the father of the summer blockbuster movie and one of the first "high concept" films. 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. The film was followed by three sequels, none with the participation of Spielberg or Benchley, nor were they as successful or well-received: Jaws 2 (1978), Jaws 3-D (1983) and Jaws: The Revenge (1987). A video game entitled Jaws Unleashed was later made in 2006.

The film begins at a late night beach party on Amity Island. A young woman named Chrissie Watkins (Susan Backlinie) leaves to go skinny dipping. While in the water, she is suddenly jerked around by an unseen force and then pulled under. The next morning, police chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) is notified that Chrissie is missing. Brody and his deputy, Hendricks, find her mangled remains washed up on the shore. The medical examiner informs Brody that the victim's death was caused by a shark attack, prompting him to close the beaches. Before he can do so, he is intercepted and overruled by town Mayor Vaughn (Murray Hamilton). Vaughn is concerned that reports of a shark attack will ruin the summer tourist season, especially the upcoming Fourth of July celebration, as it is the town's major source of income. Vaughn instead proposes a theory that the victim was hit by a boat propeller. After the town medical examiner backs up the mayor's story, Brody reluctantly goes along with it.

Panic on the beach
A few days later, a young boy named Alex Kintner is attacked and eaten by a shark while swimming off a crowded beach. His mother places a $3,000 bounty on the animal, sparking an amateur shark hunting frenzy and attracting the attention of the professional shark hunter Quint (Robert Shaw). Quint interrupts a town meeting to offer his services; his demand for $10,000 is taken "under advisement". Brought in by Brody, marine biologist Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) conducts an autopsy of the first victim and concludes she was killed by a shark. A large tiger shark is caught by a group of novice fishermen, leading the town to believe the problem is solved, but an unconvinced Hooper asks to examine the contents of the shark's stomach. Vaughn refuses to make a public spectacle of the "operation," so Brody and Hooper return after dark and learn that the captured shark does not have human remains inside. Using Hooper's state-of-the-art boat they come across the half-sunken wreckage of a local fishing vessel. Hooper dons scuba and discovers another victim, the boat's owner Ben Gardener. He also discovers a great white shark tooth in the hull, but drops it after he sees the head of the owner, therefore leaving no proof of the shark. Vaughn still refuses to close the beach and on the Fourth of July the beaches are mobbed. While a prank triggers a false alarm and draws the authorities' attention, the real shark enters an estuary, kills another man and nearly snatches one of Brody's sons. Brody forces the stunned mayor to hire Quint. Brody and Hooper join the hunter on his boat, the Orca, and the trio set out to track down the man-eater.


Our Love Story said...

this one is really classic!this scares a lot of me when i was very young... steven spielberg is really super-fantastic!

bluedreamer27 said...

gheeeh thanks jen thanks for having you here