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Jaws (1975)
USA / English
"The Nation's No.1 Best-Selling Book now the Screen's Super-Thriller "
When a gigantic great white begins to menace the small island community of Amity, a police chief, a marine scientist and grizzled fisherman set out to stop it.
Roy Scheider Police Chief Martin Brody
Robert Shaw Quint
Richard Dreyfuss Matt Hooper
Lorraine Gary Ellen Brody
Murray Hamilton Mayor Larry Vaughn
Carl Gottlieb Ben Meadows
Jeffrey Kramer Deputy Leonard 'Lenny' Hendricks (as Jeffrey C. Kramer)
Susan Backlinie Christine 'Chrissie' Watkins
Jonathan Filley Tom Cassidy
Ted Grossman Estuary Victim
Chris Rebello Michael Brody
Jay Mello Sean Brody
Lee Fierro Mrs. Kintner
Jeffrey Voorhees Alex Kintner
Craig Kingsbury Ben Gardner
Director: Steven Spielberg
Producer: David Brown,Richard D. Zanuck
Writer: Peter Benchley,Peter Benchley
transcends the horror - action genre
Jaws is not a movie with any deep insights into the human condition ,nor does it have any significant philosophical message.

It's the simple story of a small beach side town in New England that is terrorized by a gigantic great white shark at the beginning of its summer tourist season. It was crafted to be a crowd-pleasing, action-horror movie with no pretensions to serious art, yet despite it's modest aspirations in this regard, it is one of the most entertaining and thrilling movies ever made. If I had to make a list of films I believed were the ten greatest of all time, this would have to take it's place alongside such formidable competition as Citizen Kane and Wild Strawberries. The acting, direction, editing- and of course the famous John Williams score- are all among the very best of any American film.

This was Steven Spielberg's first major commercial success, and though his list of subsequent films is one of the most impressive of any contemporary American director, this one is my favorite.

The cast is likewise in top form.

Roy Scheider inhabits the character of police chief Martin Brody like a second skin. Newly arrived from New York, he is an outsider amongst the elitist and snooty "islanders" of Amity.

After a young woman is killed in an apparent shark attack, he finds himself in the unenviable position of having to close the beaches right before the start of the lucrative summer tourist season. This inevitably puts him at odds with the town's business owners and it's corrupt and venal mayor (Murray Hamilton), who coerces the coroner to change the cause of death to "boating accident".

The beaches remain open in spite of Brodie's protestations and a young boy is killed as his mother and other onlookers watch in horror. The grieving mother puts out a reward for the shark, and a wild hunt for the marine predator turns up an impressive catch.

Into the midst of this melee a young ichthyologist named Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfus) appears after being called in by the beleaguered police chief. Although he identifies the catch as a tiger shark and known man-eater, he is doubtful that it is the fish responsible for the two deaths. After finding the tooth of a great white from the hull of a boat owned by a local fisherman, killed while attempting to win the reward for the killer fish, Brody and Hooper try in vain to persuade the mayor to close the beaches . He refuses and the monster shark claims another victim.

With the summer season ruined, the town hires an eccentric local fisherman by the name of Quint to kill the shark. Robert Shaw is outstanding as this rough and weathered sea-salt who has very personal reasons to hate the entire shark species. His monologue about the sinking of the U.S.S. Indianapolis and subsequent shark massacre is one of the most haunting scenes ever filmed.

Reluctantly agreeing to let Brody and Hooper accompany him aboard his timeworn fishing vessel ORCA the three men set out in pursuit of the great white. The rapport that eventually develops between this unlikely trio is a wonderful example of acting chemistry. These three characters are as different from one another as can be, and the tensions between them, as they pursue the shark, help to drive the movie to it's explosive conclusion.

I saw this movie in the summer of 1975 when I was ten years old. It was the biggest hit of all time up to that date and I was immediately blown away by it. It is just as effective after twenty nine years, and to this day I still have an irrational fear of swimming even in fresh water, even though I am fully aware of the extreme unlikelihood of a shark attack.

No other movie has had such a lasting effect on me.

Seen it:Nej
Nr of disks/tapes:1
User credit 1:1001 movies you must see before you die
User credit 2:605
Storage device:DVD
Imdb rating: 8.3
Musician: John Williams
Running time: 130 min (TV version)
Subtitles: engelska; Svenska
Audio tracks: Dolby Digital 5.1 [English]
Everything else:
Last modified: 2008-01-14 13:12:30