Jaws 1975 film review | Book Addicts

Jaws (film)

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Jaws is a 1975 horror film starring a thirty-foot animatronic shark.

10 out of 10 stars.  This is the film that defined the shark attack film genre.

On Amity Island, off the coast of New York is a thirty-foot shark stalking the waters.  His first victim is Chrissy Watkins, a young woman who attends a night time beach party and goes swimming in the ocean naked.  She is violently attacked by something under the water in the first five minutes of the film.  And that sets the tone for one of the most terrifying shark films ever made.

The following day, Sheriff Brody and his deputy find Chrissy’s torso on the beach, an obvious victim of a shark attack.  Brody immediately sets about closing down the beaches, but since most of the town makes money from tourists, that goes over like a lead balloon with everyone from the mayor down to the local business owners.  So the beaches stay open and a few days later, on one of the busiest beach days of the year, the shark attacks 11 year old Alex Kintner right in front of the entire town.  Now it’s no longer a question of closing the beaches, but for how long?

Mrs. Kintner puts up a $3,000 reward for the shark and the mayor calls a town meeting.  At the town meeting, a local fisherman named Quint offers to kill the shark for $10,000.  The mayor balks, sure that a local fisherman will catch and kill it for the $3,000 Kintner reward.

One of the funniest scenes in this film is when two old men decide to take a raw beef roast to the dock, tie it to the dock with a chain, and toss it in the water.  The tide carries it out about 20 feet and the shark takes it, along with half the dock and one of the men.  He then rushes to swim back to safety before the shark can turn around, come back, and eat him.

Unhappy that no one has claimed the reward yet, Mrs. Kintner posts the reward in Field and Stream magazine.  Every hunter and fisherman in the state descends on the tiny town.  The harbor is packed with men and boats, some of them using dynamite to try to kill the shark.  And in less than eight hours a crew of men come back with a ten-foot tiger shark.  At the same time, Matt Hooper arrives from the Oceanic Institute at Brody’s request and tells him that shark’s bite radius is too small.  They need open the shark’s gut and see if there are body parts inside.  The mayor says no so Brody and Hooper sneak in at night and cut open the shark’s gut.  No Alex Kintner.  In fact, no human remains at all, just a license plate and other ocean trash.  That same night they go out into the bay looking for the shark and encounter a boat that was attacked earlier by the shark.  Hooper dives down under the boat and pulls a huge shark tooth out of the hull, but drops it when he’s hit by the body of the dead captain.  They tell the mayor what they found, but he still doesn’t believe them and the beaches are reopened.

As people are back in the water, Brody is terrified for the town and for his family.  His son Michael goes out with his boating buddies and their boating teacher in the lagoon which should be safe from a huge shark.  But the shark is seen swimming into the lagoon and attacks the boating captain in front of the kids.  Their boat is capsized and the shark brushes by Michael Brody as it swims back to sea.  After Brody and his wife rush Michael to the hospital for shock, he demands the mayor pay Quint to kill the shark.  So the mayor writes a check.

The rest of the film is the voyage of the three men–Brody, Quint, and Hooper–to find and catch the killer shark.  And when they see it they’re shocked at the size which is bigger than the boat.  One of the most famous catchphrases for this film comes from Brody after seeing the shark:  “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.”

10 out of 10 stars.  The shark finally dies, not at the hands of the experienced fishermen Quint or Hooper, but by Brody’s hands and he’s terrified of the water.  Death by exploding oxygen tank.  🙂

A visual trip down memory lane

Jaws 1975 film review | Book Addicts

Capture of the shark

Jaws 1975 film review | Book Addicts

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