“Duunnn duunn… duuuunnnn duun… dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun dun.” Hello everyone. Sharktoplushie here and I bet you recognize that little tune right there. Yes, the theme song from today’s movie is probably one of the most recognizable bass lines in film history. However, that is not the only thing that this movie is responsible for. Today’s movie ushered in a new era of movies, the “summer blockbuster.” It launched the careers of both Steven Spielberg and John Williams. But more importantly, if it wasn’t for this movie, I would not be here. That’s right, if it wasn’t for today’s movie, there would be no Sharktopus, no Sharknado, no Shark Attack, or any other movie that featured a killer shark as the main villain. So let’s dive right into today’s movie, Jaws.
The plot: During a late night beach party on Amity Island, a young girl named Chrissie Watkins decides to go skinny dipping in the ocean. As she is swimming, something grabs her and as she begins screaming, she is dragged across the water until she is finally dragged underwater. The next day, Police Chief Martin Brody and his deputy discover the remains of the girl washed up on the beach. After consulting with the medical examiner, Brody list the cause of death as a shark attack and wants to close the beaches, but when Mayor Larry Vaughn hears about this, he convinces Brody to list it as a boating accident in order to avoid a panic that would hurt the summer tourist business. The next day, Brody is with his family at the beach when the shark kills a young boy named Alex Kintner. His grief-stricken mother posts a $3,000 reward for the capture of the shark but during a town meeting discussing the reward, a local fisherman named Quint says he will capture the shark, but his price is $10,000. That night, two men attempt to capture the shark by tying a chain to the pier, but the shark manages to break off part of the pier, then chases after the man that fell into the water but the man manages to escape. The next day, due to Mrs. Kintner’s placing the reward in other papers, fishermen from all over the area, and even neighboring states, arrive on the island to hunt the shark. As Brody tries to deal with the chaos caused by the reward, Matt Hooper from the Oceanographic Institute arrives at Brody’s request and after examining the first victim, declares that it was a shark attack. When a group of fishermen capture a tiger shark, Brody and Mayor Vaughn feel like the threat is over, but Hooper argues that the bite radius is to small and the only way to be certain is to cut open the shark. As Brody and Mayor Vaughn argue over doing this, Mrs. Kintner shows up and slaps Brody, blaming him for her son’s death because he knew there was a shark in the area and he did nothing. That night, Hooper and Brody cut open the shark but finding no evidence that it had killed anybody, they head out in the area where the shark has been feeding and discover the half sunken boat of Ben Gardner, a local fisherman. Hooper investigates the boat and discovers a shark’s tooth embedded in the hull but he drops it when he is startled by the body of Ben Gardner. Brody and Hooper try to convince Mayor Vaughn to close the beaches but he refuses to do so since the next day is July 4th. On July 4th, Hooper and Brody are patroling the beaches and when some kids play a prank that causes a panic, the shark enters a nearby estuary, killing a boater right in front of Brody’s son Michael. Brody convinces Mayor Vaughn to hire Quint and the next day, Brody and Hooper accompany Quint on his boat, the Orca, to hunt the shark. As Brody is setting a chum line, the shark suddenly appears behind them, causing a startled Brody to tell Quint “you’re gonna need a bigger boat.” Estimating the shark to be 25 ft, Quint shoots the shark with a harpoon tied to a flotation barrel and then chases after the shark but it goes underwater, dragging the barrel with it. After going the rest of the day without a sign of the shark, the three men go inside the cabin where after eating, Hooper and Quint begin to get drunk while comparing scars. Brody asks Quint about a tattoo and Quint tells them that he was on the USS Indianapolis and proceeds to tell them what happened when the cruiser sank. As they are talking, the shark comes back and proceeds to ram the Orca, causing it to take on water. The next day, Hooper and Quint are working on repairing the engine when Brody notices the barrel has resurfaced. Thinking that they will need help, Brody attempts to call the coast guard but Quint smashes the radio. Quint manages to fire another harpoon into the shark and after a brief chase, they manage to tie the two barrels to the Orca, but the shark begins to drag the Orca, causing the deck to become flooded. Quint shoots a third harpoon into the shark and cuts the ropes tying the shark to the boat. Quint then decides to lead the shark into shallow waters and attempt to drown it, but he overloads the engines and the boat ends up stalled. With little alternatives, the men assemble Hooper’s cage and Hooper goes in the water to attempt to kill the shark. As Hooper is readying a spear to kill the shark, the shark attacks the cage from behind, causing Hooper to drop the spear. As the shark continues to attack the cage, Hooper manages to escape and hide among some rocks at the bottom of the ocean. Brody and Quint attempt to reel in the cage but the shark’s weight causes the wench to break. The shark then jumps onto the boat, causing it to begin sinking and Quint winds up sliding into the shark’s mouth. As Brody gathers supplies, the shark bursts through the side of the Orca, and in an attempt to escape, Brody ends up shoving a scuba tank in it’s mouth. Grabbing Quint’s rifle, Brody climbs onto the crow’s nest and begins shooting at the shark, eventually hitting the scuba tank, causing the shark to explode. As Brody catches his breath, Hooper surfaces and swims over to him and the two men use the remaining flotation barrels to swim back to shore.
Jaws was highly praised by the critics, earning a 97% rating on Rotten Tomatoes, and is considered to be one of the greatest movies ever made. It won three Acadamy Awards for Best Sound, Best Original Dramatic Score, and Best Film Editing. It was also nominated for Best Picture but Spielberg was not nominated for Best Director. Jaws was a box office phenomenon, earning over $470 million worldwide, which made it the highest grossing movie of all time until Star Wars beat it two years later. This movie is almost always on any list of the top movies of all time and the shark itself, “Bruce”, is considered one of the top rated villains of all time.Robert Shaw’s monologue about the USS Indianapolis is considered one of the greatest monologues in film history. The movie was also set the precedent for the summer blockbuster movie and was also famous for making people scared to go into the ocean after the movie was released. In 2001, the movie was selected for preservation in the National Film Registry.
I may be biased, but I think everyone should see this movie at some point in their life. This is definitely one of the best movies ever made. The acting was fantastic, especially among the three male leads. Roy Scheider (Brody), Robert Shaw (Quint), and Richard Dreyfuss (Hooper) were all incredible in their parts. Murray Hamilton was also good in his portrayal of Mayor Vaughn, whose determination to save the town by keeping the beaches open at the risk of further shark attacks really showed a common problem among the small beach communities. The story was great, primarily coming from Peter Benchley’s book of the same name, but with a couple of differences that didn’t really take away from the movie. The suspense in this movie is incredible. Spielberg was able to make the movie to ramp up the suspense and terror by not showing the shark during the first couple of attacks. John Williams score and famous theme song for Jaws also helped make this movie the phenomenon that it is. The actual scenes with the shark were really good and made for some of the most memorable movie moments in years. And let’s not take away from the fact that if it wasn’t for this movie, we probably would not have had as many killer animal movies, let alone killer shark movies. Without a doubt, a must see movie.
Rating: 5 out of 5