'Jaws' Released in Theaters

'Jaws' Released in Theaters

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On June 20, 1975, Jaws, a film directed by Steven Spielberg that made countless viewers afraid to go into the water, opens in theaters. The story of a great white shark that terrorizes a New England resort town became an instant blockbuster and the highest-grossing film in movie history until it was bested by 1977’s Star Wars. Jaws was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Picture category and took home three Oscars, for Best Film Editing, Best Original Score and Best Sound. The film, a breakthrough for director Spielberg, then 27 years old, spawned several sequels.

The film starred Roy Scheider as principled police chief Martin Brody, Richard Dreyfuss as a marine biologist named Matt Hooper and Robert Shaw as a grizzled fisherman called Quint. It was set in the fictional beach town of Amity, and based on a best-selling novel, released in 1973, by Peter Benchley. Subsequent water-themed Benchley bestsellers also made it to the big screen, including The Deep (1977).

With a budget of $12 million, Jaws was produced by the team of Richard Zanuck and David Brown, whose later credits include The Verdict (1982), Cocoon (1985) and Driving Miss Daisy (1989). Filming, which took place on Martha’s Vineyard, Massachusetts, was plagued by delays and technical difficulties, including malfunctioning mechanical sharks.

Jaws put now-famed director Steven Spielberg on the Hollywood map. Spielberg, largely self-taught in filmmaking, made his major feature-length directorial debut with The Sugarland Express in 1974. The film was critically well-received but a box-office flop. Following the success of Jaws, Spielberg went on to become one of the most influential, iconic people in the film world, with such epics as Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), ET: the Extra-Terrestrial (1982), Jurassic Park (1993), Schindler’s List (1993) and Saving Private Ryan (1998). E.T., Jaws and Jurassic Park rank among the 10 highest-grossing movies of all time.

READ MORE: The Real-Life “Jaws” That Terrorized the Jersey Shore

'Jaws' Turns 40: 5 Ways It Changed Movies Forever

"Jaws," which was released 40 years ago, will return to theaters.

Famed Hollywood Blockbuster 'Jaws' Celebrates 40th Anniversary

— -- Forty years ago today, the concept of the summer blockbusters was launched with the release of "Jaws."

Based on the Peter Benchley novel about an enormous killer shark, the Steven Spielberg-directed classic premiered on movie screens in June 1975 and will soon be returning to the big screen. Fathom Events, Turner Classic Movies and Universal Pictures will present special screenings in nearly 500 theaters around the country starting Sunday.

For fans, it's a chance to once again see the movie that changed everything in Hollywood, from how movies are made to when they are released. For those younger viewers who haven't had the pleasure yet, it's a chance to see why "Jaws" is considered one of the most influential movies in film history, not to mention get the living daylights scared out of you. Just in time for beach season!

Here then are five ways that "Jaws" changed movies forever:

Bigger Budgets

By most accounts, director Steven Spielberg feared he'd never work in Hollywood again after wrapping "Jaws."

The shooting schedule ballooned from 55 to 159 days, and he went 300 percent over budget, spending $12 million or nearly four times the average production cost for a film in 1975.

By today's standards, "Jaws" would cost only $40 million, considerably less than the average cost of a studio film. But back then only epic films such as "Cleopatra," which nearly bankrupted 20th Century Fox in 1963, "Spartacus" and "Lawrence of Arabia" boasted outsize budgets.

Advertised on TV

Before the summer of '75, Hollywood studios rarely advertised their movies on television. That changed with "Jaws."

For three nights preceding the film's release, Universal saturated the networks with $700,000 worth of 30-second trailers during primetime, and it paid off. "Jaws" quickly surpassed the $100-million mark at the box office, breaking previous records, and went on to gross over $260 million in the United States alone.

Wide Opening

The way "Jaws" was released also changed how studio films were released.

Prior to "Jaws," Hollywood would slowly roll out release of its films over several months. The one exception was "The Godfather" in 1972, which Paramount opened in five theaters at once before moving to 316 theaters the following week.

"Jaws," on the other hand, opened in 465 theaters, and in its first week had already raked in $7 million. By the second week, it had recouped its production costs, and in a mere 78 days had dethroned "The Godfather" at the box office.

Summer Release

The idea of the summer blockbuster had yet to crystallize when "Jaws" was released. Summer was considered Hollywood's off-season, filled with schlock and B-movie fare.

But as air-conditioned theaters became the norm in the late ‘60s and ‘70s, three influential movies, "Bonnie and Clyde" (1967), "Easy Rider" (1969) and "American Graffiti" (1973) were released in summer. All three were popular with younger audiences, and suddenly studios realized the potential of targeting this group.

"Jaws" not only capitalized on this trend, it introduced what we now know as the summer movie season, the time between Memorial Day and Labor Day that is responsible for nearly 40 percent of Hollywood's annual box-office revenue.

Steven Spielberg

"Jaws" was Steven Spielberg's second film.

Instead of being tossed out of Hollywood like he feared, he was heralded as a wunderkind following the movie's box office success ($470 million worldwide) and critical acclaim (three Academy Awards for editing, original score and sound). Spielberg, now 68, went on to direct some of Hollywood's biggest and best known films, including "ET," "Jurassic Park," "Schindler's List" and "Saving Private Ryan," making him one of the most popular and influential directors and producers in film history.

What jaws means to me: how Spielberg’s classic changed lives

Kevin Smith
US film-maker best known for Clerks (1994) and Chasing Amy (1997)
Jaws is the first movie I remember seeing as a child. We went to the drive-in to see it, me, my parents, my brother and sister. We lived in a beach community much like Amity, so seeing that movie changed my life I still won’t really go in the ocean. I was terrified of going in the bathtub when I was a kid, wouldn’t sit on the toilet for a while, because the logic there was there’s water in the toilet: sharks swim in toilets.

It really tore me apart as a kid – I loved it, though I loved the dialogue. It’s something that would infect me and, years later, fester into my own career in film.

The film is ultimately a character piece it’s about people, not so much the shark. The shark is what captures the imagination of a five-year-old, but it was the camaraderie, the bromance, if you will, in 1975, between Brody, Matt Hooper and Captain Quint, that really took hold of my imagination, and I will write relationships like that in almost everything I do.

In Mallrats, the main characters were called Brodie and TS Quint in Chasing Amy, we had a character named Hooper in Clerks, my first movie, one of the most memorable shots is the chip in the jar of salsa where Randall goes: “Salsa-shark!” Jaws was the first movie I was obsessive about, and it remained so for my entire life: I’ve seen it more than 100 times. Man, it holds up, you know how powerful that movie is?

Alex Zane
British TV presenter and DJ
I haven’t been in the sea since I was five years old and my mum let me watch Jaws. I failed my 25m swimming exam at school because halfway through I decided there was a shark in the pool and I just climbed out. I’m 36 years old now, and yet if I’m going in a swimming pool, I will still scout it out, just on the off-chance some lunatic has put a shark in there.

Jaws is also the movie I quote most in real life, and not just your classic “We’re gonna need a bigger boat” line. There are so many quotes you can use in everyday life, like the wonderful “Why don’t you come down here and chum some of this shit?” For me, it’s one of those movies where the stories that you read about the shoot – the mechanical shark not working or Spielberg’s crazy idea to end the film with a school of shark fins appearing on the horizon, which apparently Richard Zanuck [the producer] quite rightly talked him out of – all of that adds to cinema history.

And the soundtrack: it’s one of cinema’s greatest composers delivering one of cinema’s greatest scores. It’s immaculate. If anyone’s near a body of water and you start humming that, they’ll be out of that water in seconds. Another of the great stories is when John Williams played those two notes on the piano, Spielberg thought he was joking, and said: “That’s very funny, what’s the real score?”

Evie Wyld
Author of novels All the Birds, Singing, After the Fire and A Still Small Voice
My husband and I decided that at our wedding, instead of trying to find soppy readings about love, we’d have people read things that we loved. My husband had the commentary from the final seconds of the 1989/90 Arsenal-Liverpool game. I had Quint’s monologue on the sinking of the USS Indianapolis from Jaws. It is my favourite scene in a film I have loved for nearly 25 years, since I first saw it as an 11-year-old tucking my feet up on the sofa, so the sharks couldn’t get them. Quint, Brody and Hooper, three men in a boat, talking, circled by a shark.

People I talk to about the film always remember that camera shot from the shark’s perspective and the music, but the writing in that scene is just incredible. In spite of the damage the film did to the reputation of the great white shark, I still love it unabashedly. In a sunny English field, as our friend recited the line that a shark has “black eyes, like a doll’s eyes”, a shiver passed through everyone.

British rapper
Jaws is one of my favourite films. I watched the second one first, strangely, and it was pretty good, and then I went back and watched the first one and was blown away. I must have seen it at least 50 times now, most recently only two weeks ago. My wife came into the room and said: “Oh God, not Jaws again.” I know people who were so traumatised by the film that they’re afraid to go in any kind of water, even a swimming pool, but Jaws never put me off going in the sea. I’ve been obsessed with sharks since I was a little kid, so if anything, it made me want to go more. I swam with sharks on holiday a couple of years ago: they were quite small but it was a high point for me.

A few months ago, I posted a picture on Instagram of a cot that’s shaped like a shark eating a baby. I joked that I was going to buy it for my son, Evander, and the Daily Mail turned it into a story, but as far as I know there’s only one in the world. It would be awesome, though. Do we watch Jaws together as a family? No, not yet – my son is only five months old! But I’ll show it to him as soon as he’s old enough – I’m sure he’ll love it.
Interviews by Kathryn Bromwich

How ‘Jaws’ went viral in the 1970s

You’re going to need a bigger boat.

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Forty years ago this summer, “Jaws” made its big-screen debut, terrifying a nation with a 25-foot mechanical shark and crystallizing the concept of the summer blockbuster.

“Jaws,” which cost roughly $7 million to make, would go on to gross more than $470 million world-wide, launching the career of filmmaker Steven Spielberg, initiating a model for how big-budget films are made and marketed, and shaping a key part of popular culture.

Released in June 1975, the thriller became the first to break the $100 million mark at the U.S. box office, toppling records set by “The Godfather” and “The Exorcist.” By the end of its first week, “Jaws” had already recouped much of its production budget, and Hollywood studios and filmmakers took note.

Four decades on, it’s still not safe to go back in the water. “Jaws,” based on Peter Benchley’s best-selling novel and featuring Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss hunting down a great white killer shark, resurfaces in theaters in late June to alarm a new generation of moviegoers.

Giant summer splash

Film historians credit “Jaws” with putting the summer movie season on the map, paving the way for blockbusters such as 1977’s “Star Wars,” complete with massive advertising campaigns aimed at crushing opening-weekend records at the box office.

“‘Jaws’ took it to a whole new level,” said Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for box-office tracker Rentrak, of the film’s domination and influence. “It defined the summer movie season. It grabbed all audiences and took them for an over-the-top ride.”

Spielberg, who was in his late 20s when he directed “Jaws,” is known as one of the architects of the summer movie season, alongside George Lucas and Robert Zemeckis. Before the days of Michael Bay, Gore Verbinski and Jerry Bruckheimer movies ruling the box office, summer powerhouses like “Jaws,” “Raider of the Lost Ark,” “E.T.: The Extraterrestrial” and “Jurassic Park” were sweeping up audiences and drawing critical acclaim.

The power of television

In 1975, “Jaws” became the highest-grossing film in history thanks in part to a massive advertising campaign ahead of the movie’s release. As Benchley’s paperback novel skyrocketed to No. 1, generating the initial buzz, the relentless TV ad campaign that followed would help turn the film into a megahit.

Universal Studios flooded the prime-time television market with $700,000’s worth of trailers two weeks ahead of the film’s debut. And it paid off: When the movie opened, people waited in lines that circled around the block — and then went back for repeat viewings. In total, Universal spent a monstrous $1.8 million promoting “Jaws.”

The iconic 1975 movie poster.

“ ‘Jaws’ clearly demonstrated the importance of significant amounts of television advertising,” said David Weitzner, who oversaw marketing for “Star Wars,” “Alien” and “E.T.: The Extra-Terrestrial” and is now an adjunct professor at USC.

The film’s heavy use of television advertising and its wide distribution were instrumental to its success, Weitzner said. The film was shown at more than 400 theaters on opening night, a substantial number for 1975. In comparison, blockbusters today will usually book anywhere between 2,000 to 3,000 theaters for an open.

The water-cooler factor also helped the buzz of “Jaws” spread quickly.

“ ‘Jaws’ went viral through word of mouth,” said Dergarabedian, adding that the filmmakers tapped perfectly into the cultural zeitgeist, and the movie began to market itself. “It became bigger than the sum of its parts. Everyone was talking about it.”

Universal jumped on the film’s popularity with an explosion of marketing tie-ins, selling everything from the soundtrack to action figures and clothing.

Following the tremendous success of “Jaws,” Hollywood studios put marketing front and center, ramping up TV advertising and merchandising strategies to front-load summer releases. The summer movie season now typically makes up to 40% of the studios’ overall revenue for the year. And it’s not uncommon for nearly half of studios’ total production budget to be eaten up by marketing and publicity costs.

Steven Spielberg, Roy Scheider and Robert Shaw on set of “Jaws” in 1975.

In the first half of the 20th century, the months between Memorial Day and Labor Day had widely been viewed as the weakest period for movies, according to Jonathan Kuntz, a professor of film history at UCLA. But thanks to the success of low-budget midsummer films like “Easy Rider” and “American Graffiti” in the late 1960s and early 1970s, studios began taking note of a younger demographic, which ultimately put “Jaws” in better position to surface.

“Jaws” also capitalized on lessons from “The Godfather,” according to Kuntz. “The Godfather” wasn’t a summer release, but “Jaws” amplified what the film had started, pushing its formula of wide distribution and aggressive advertising into the summer.

Ultimately, the marketing strategies that “Jaws” initiated “established a pattern of success that has given Hollywood 40 years of hit films,” Kuntz said.


The influence of “Jaws” on popular culture is undeniable, and it’s stronger than ever. The film has spawned numerous imitations showcasing predatory beings such as “Anaconda,” “Piranha,” “Orca,” “Alligator,” “Open Water,” “Deep Blue Sea” and “Sharknado,” as well as TV events like Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. (The classic “Alien” was originally pitched to the studio as “ ‘Jaws’ in space, and in “Finding Nemo” the great white shark is named Bruce after the mechanical shark in “Jaws” — it also happened to be the first name of Spielberg’s attorney.)

“Jaws” tapped into the public’s fears about what might lurk. The timing of the film’s release, at the beginning of summer, played a role in keeping people out of the water, as shark sightings and overall media coverage of shark attacks increased that year.

And though Spielberg couldn’t feature the shark as much as he’d hoped due to mechanical failures while filming, he was able to build tension with pacing and sound.

And then of course, there’s the music. The alternating E and F notes, “da-duh, da-duh,” composed by John Williams, remains deeply embedded in the public psyche.

“The music was like another character in the film, telegraphing the terror that was to come,” said Dergarabedian. “It was Hitchcockian. The menace was out there, but you couldn’t see it.”


On Amity Island, Martin Brody, famous for his role as the police chief and his heroism, has died from a heart attack. Martin's widow, Ellen, still lives in Amity close to her younger son, Sean, and his fiancée, Tiffany. Sean works as a police deputy. When he is dispatched to clear a log from a buoy a few days before Christmas, a great white shark appears and tears his arm off. He screams for help, but the singing on land drowns out his cries. The shark sinks his boat and drags him underwater to his death.

Martin's older son, Michael, his wife, Carla, and their five-year-old daughter, Thea, come to Amity for the funeral. Michael is working in the Bahamas as a marine biologist and on his arrival, Ellen demands that he stop his work. Having just received his first grant, Michael is reluctant. Thea convinces Ellen to return to the Bahamas with them.

The pilot of their small plane, Hoagie, takes an interest in Ellen when he flies them back. Wanting to take her mind off her recent losses and finding herself attracted, she begins spending time with him. Michael introduces his mother to his colleague Jake and his wife, and they spend Christmas and New Year's together.

A few days later, Michael, Jake, and their crew encounter the shark, which followed the family from Amity. Jake is eager to research it because great white sharks have never been seen in the Bahamas due to the warm water. Michael asks him not to mention the shark to his family. During the day, Ellen can keep her mind off the shark, but at night she has nightmares of being attacked by it. She is also able to feel when the shark is about to attack one of her loved ones.

Jake decides to attach a device to the shark that can track it through its heartbeat. Using chum to attract it, Jake stabs the device's tracking pole into the shark's side. The next day, the shark ambushes and chases Michael through a sunken ship, and he narrowly escapes.

Thea goes on an inflatable banana boat with her friend Margaret and her mother. While Carla presents her new art sculpture, the shark attacks the back of the boat, killing a passenger. After Thea is safe, Ellen boards Jake's boat to track down the shark, intending to kill it to save her family. After hearing about what happened, Michael confesses he knew about the shark, infuriating Carla.

Michael and Jake are flown by Hoagie to search for Ellen, and find the shark in pursuit of their boat. During the search, Hoagie explains to Michael about Ellen's belief that the shark that killed Sean is hunting her family. When they find her, Hoagie lands the plane on the water, ordering Michael and Jake to swim to the boat as the shark drags the plane and Hoagie underwater.

Hoagie escapes from the shark, and Jake and Michael hastily put together a device that emits electrical impulses. As Jake moves to the front of the boat, the shark lunges, giving it the chance to pull Jake under and maul him. Jake manages to get the device into the shark's mouth before he is taken underwater. Michael begins blasting the shark with the impulses, which drive it mad it repeatedly jumps out of the water, roaring in pain.

Michael continues blasting the shark with the impulses, causing it to leap out of the water again. Ellen steers the sailboat towards the shark while thinking back to the shark's attack on Thea, Sean's death, and Martin defeating the first shark (despite not having witnessed the latter two). The broken bowsprit impales the shark. In the original version of the film that was screened in the U.S., the shark simply bleeds out and dies after being impaled. In the revised ending to the international theater and DVD versions, the impaling somehow causes the shark to immediately explode. In this "explosion" version of the ending, as the shark's corpse sinks to the bottom of the ocean (with re-used footage of the shark's corpse from the first film), Michael hears Jake calling for help, seriously injured but alive (Jake dies in the original cut). The four safely make it back to land. Hoagie then flies Ellen back to Amity Island.

    as Ellen Brody as Michael Brody as Jake as Carla Brody as Thea Brody as Hoagie Newcombe as Louisa as Sean Brody
  • Jay Mello (archive footage) as Young Sean (archive footage) as Chief Martin Brody
  • Cedric Scott as Clarence
  • Charles Bowleg as William as Mr. Witherspoon
  • Mary Smith as Tiffany
  • Edna Billotto as Polly as Mrs. Taft
  • Cyprian R. Dube as Mayor as Mrs. Kintner
  • William E. Marks as Deputy Lenny
  • Diane Hetfield as Mrs. Ferguson

Development Edit

As MCA Universal was going through a difficult period, its CEO Sidney Sheinberg saw that a third sequel to Jaws was likely to make a good profit, following the commercial success of Jaws 3-D, despite generally attracting negative reviews. [7] Sheinberg also saw an opportunity to promote the Jaws ride at Universal Studios. [7]

Joseph Sargent produced and directed the film. He had worked with Lorraine Gary in 1973's The Marcus-Nelson Murders, for which he won his first Directors Guild of America Award. [8] Indeed, Steven Spielberg cites this television film, which later spawned Kojak, as motivation for casting Gary as Ellen Brody in the original Jaws film, besides the fact she was the wife of the studio's chief executive Sidney Sheinberg at that time. [9] In regards to Revenge, Gary remarked in an interview: "I made a good deal on this film, but I didn't make as good a deal as I would have if I weren't married to Sid." [10]

In an interview with the Boston Herald, Sargent called Revenge "a ticking bomb waiting to go off. . Sid Sheinberg (president of MCA Inc., parent company of Universal Pictures) expects a miracle – and we're going to make it happen." Sargent got a call from Sheinberg in late September 1986, asking him to direct the fourth Jaws movie with no script yet written. Said Sargent, "I didn't have time to laugh because Sid explained he wanted to do a quality picture about human beings. When he told me, 'It's your baby, you produce and direct,' I accepted." According to Sargent, Sheinberg "cut through all the slow lanes and got Jaws: The Revenge off and running." [4] In a 2006 interview, Sargent stated that the premise was born "out of a little bit of desperation to find something fresh to do with the shark. We thought that maybe if we take a mystical point of view, and go for a little bit of . magic, we might be able to find something interesting enough to sit through." [11] [4]

The studio fast-tracked Jaws: The Revenge into production in September 1986 so that it could be released the following summer. [7] The principal script by Michael Guzman, known for his TV work, was written in five weeks however, the final shooting script had not been completed when filming began. Actors from the original film, Roy Scheider, who had been proposed as the shark’s first victim, and Richard Dreyfuss refused to participate. [7] The film has no continuity from Jaws 3-D. In its predecessor, Mike is an engineer for SeaWorld, whereas in Jaws: The Revenge he is a marine research scientist. [12] One of the Universal press releases for Jaws: The Revenge refers to Jaws: The Revenge as the "third film of the remarkable Jaws trilogy." [13] The underwater chase scene between Mike and the shark in Revenge was lifted from an early screenplay draft of Jaws 3-D. [14]

Casting Edit

Lorraine Gary portrayed Ellen Brody in the first two films. In a press release, Gary says Jaws: The Revenge' is "also about relationships which . makes it much more like the first Jaws." This was Gary's first film since appearing in Spielberg's 1941 eight years earlier, as well as her final film role.

The press release proposes that the character "had much more depth and texture than either of the other films was able to explore. The promise of further developing this multi-dimensional woman under the extraordinary circumstances . intrigued Gary enough to lure her back to the screen after a lengthy hiatus." [15] Although the film was always going to be centered on Gary, Roy Scheider was offered a cameo. If he had accepted it, it was his Martin Brody character, rather than Sean Brody, who would have been killed by the shark at the film's beginning. [12]

Gary is the only principal cast member from the original film who returned, although Lee Fierro made a brief cameo as Mrs. Kintner (the mother of Alex M. Kintner who was killed in Jaws), as did Fritzi Jane Courtney, who played Mrs. Taft, one of the Amity town council members in both Jaws and Jaws 2. Cyprian R. Dube, who played Amity Selectman Mr. Posner in both Jaws and Jaws 2, is upgraded to mayor following the death of Murray Hamilton, who played Larry Vaughan, the mayor in the first two Jaws films.

Gary states that one of the reasons she was attracted to the film was the idea of an on-screen romance with Oscar winner Michael Caine. Caine had previously starred in another Peter Benchley-adapted flop, The Island.

The first day we were to work together I was nervous as a school girl. We were shooting a Junkanoo Festival with noisy drums and hundreds of extras. But he never faltered in his concentration and he put me completely at ease. It was all so natural. He's an extraordinary actor – and just a nice human being. [15]

Caine had mixed feelings about both the production and the final version. He thinks that it was a first for him to be involved with someone his own age in a film. He compares the relationship between two middle-aged people to the romance between two teenagers. Although disappointed not to be able to collect an Academy Award because of filming in the Bahamas, he was glad to be involved in the film. In the press release, he explains that "it is part of movie history . the original was one of the great all-time thrillers. I thought it might be nice to be mixed up with that. I liked the script very much." [16] However, Caine later claimed: "I have never seen it [the film], but by all accounts it is terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific!" [17] In his 1992 autobiography What's it All About?, he says that the film "will go down in my memory as the time when I won an Oscar, paid for a house and had a great holiday. Not bad for a flop movie." [18]

Lance Guest played Ellen's eldest son Mike. Guest had dropped out of his sophomore year at UCLA (1981) to appear in another sequel to a horror classic Halloween II. [19] Karen Young played his wife Carla. She commended the director's emphasis upon characterization. [13]

Mario Van Peebles played Jake, Michael's colleague. His father, Melvin Van Peebles, has a cameo in the film as Nassau's mayor. [20] Mitchell Anderson appeared as Ellen's youngest son, Sean. Lynn Whitfield played Louisa, and stunt performer Diane Hetfield was the victim of the banana boat attack.

Filming Edit

Principal photography for Jaws: The Revenge took place on location in New England and in the Bahamas, and completed on the Universal lot. Like the first two films of the series, Martha's Vineyard was the location of the fictional Amity Island for the film's opening scenes. Production commenced on February 2, 1987, by which time "snowstorms had blanketed" the island for almost a month, "providing a frosty backdrop for the opening scenes." [21] Because the sequel had to be ready for release by July of the same year and the mechanical shark had to be filmed in warmer temperatures, Martha's Vineyard only makes a cameo appearance in Revenge.

In addition to the 124 cast and crew members, 250 local extras were also hired. The majority of the extras were used as members of the local high school band, chorus and dramatic society that can be seen as the Brodys walk through the town, and during Sean's attack. A local gravestone maker produced 51 slabs for the mock graveyard used for Sean's funeral. [21]

The cast and crew moved to Nassau in the Bahamas on February 9, beginning principal photography there the next day. Like the production of the first two films, they encountered many problems with varying weather conditions. The location did not offer the "perfect world" that the 38-day shoot required. Cover shots were filmed on shore and in interior sets. [21] The film was shot in the Super 35 format. [22]

Special effects Edit

The special effects team, headed by Henry Millar, had arrived at South Beach, Nassau on January 12, 1987, almost a month before principal photography commenced there. In the official press release, Millar says that when he became involved "we didn't even have a script . but as the story developed and they started telling us all what they wanted . I knew this wasn't going to be like any other shark anyone had ever seen." [21]

The shark was to be launched from atop an 88-foot (27 m) long platform, made from the trussed turret of a 30-foot (9.1 m) crane, and floated out into Clifton Bay. Seven sharks, or segments, were produced.

Two models were fully articulated, two were made for jumping, one for ramming, one was a half shark (the top half) and one was just a fin. The two fully articulated models each had 22 sectioned ribs and movable jaws covered by a flexible water-based latex skin, measured 25 feet (7.6 m) in length and weighed 2500 pounds. Each tooth was half-a-foot long and as sharp as it looked. All models were housed under cover . in a secret location on the island. [21]

The film company returned to Universal to finish shooting on April 2. Principal photography was completed in Los Angeles on May 26. Millar's special effects team, however, remained in Nassau, completing second unit photography on June 4.

Underwater sequences Edit

Cinematographer John McPherson also supervised the underwater unit, which was headed by Pete Romano. Whereas underwater photography was normally filmed with an anamorphic lens, requiring overhead lighting, Romano filmed these "sequences with Zeiss, a 35 mm super-speed lens, which allows the natural ambiance to come through on film." [21] Additional underwater photography was completed in a water tank, measuring 50 feet (15 m) by 100 feet (30 m) across, and 17 feet (5.2 m) in depth, in Universal Studio's Stage 27. Also, a replica of Nassau's Clifton Bay and its skyline was created on the man-made Falls Lake on the studio backlot. [21]

A television documentary, "Behind the Scenes with Jaws: The Revenge", was broadcast in the U.S. on July 10, 1987. Twenty-two minutes in length, it was written and directed by William Rus for Zaloom Mayfield Productions. [23]

Ending changes Edit

In the original theatrical version's ending, Ellen rammed the shark with Mike's boat, mortally wounding it. The shark then causes the boat to break apart with its death contortions, forcing the people on the boat to jump off to avoid going down with it. [12] American audiences disapproved of this ending. Following this, a different ending was ordered to be shot for foreign distribution in which the shark gets stabbed with the bow sprit and then inexplicably explodes, with Jake being found wounded but alive. Universal used this ending on home media releases.

A rumor persisted that the re-shooting of the ending prevented Michael Caine from collecting his Academy Award for Hannah and Her Sisters in person. [24] The re-shot ending began filming only five days after the film was released in the United States. The new ending was the version released in Europe. [25] The original ending can only be seen on cable broadcasts and has not been released on any home video format. [24] In his review of the film, Roger Ebert said that he could not believe "that the director, Joseph Sargent, would film this final climactic scene so incompetently that there is not even an establishing shot, so we have to figure out what happened on the basis of empirical evidence." [26]

The score was composed and conducted by Michael Small, who had previously provided music for Klute, Marathon Man (both of which featured Jaws star Roy Scheider) and The Parallax View. [29] John Williams' original shark motif is integrated into the score, although Small removed the Orca theme. Soundtrack.net says that "Small's score is generally tense, and he comes up with a few new themes of his own." [28] The film also contained the songs "Nail it to the Wall", performed by Stacy Lattisaw, and the 1986 hit "You Got It All", performed by The Jets. [30]

A soundtrack album was announced when the film opened however, the release was cancelled following the film's disappointing performance at the box office. [31] A promotional version of the album was released in 2000 on Audio CD and Compact Cassette. Reviews for the soundtrack album were more favorable than for the film. Indeed, writing for Film Score Monthly, AK Benjamin says that "on a CD, Small's material fares better since it's not accompanied by the film." [32] Dismissing the film as "engagingly unwatchable", he says that "Small certainly gave Revenge a lot more than it deserved – and this a much better score than Deep Blue Sea . whatever that means." [27] Benjamin portrays Small as 'knowing' and his work as being superior to the film.

The hysterical coda tacked onto the end of "Revenge and Finale" is almost worth the price of the disc, as it no doubt sums up Small's opinion of the film. It's sad that the great Michael Small was delegated utter crap like Jaws the Revenge in the late '80s – and even worse that he never found his way back to the material that he deserves. [27]

Upon Small's death in 2003, The Independent wrote that the "composer of some distinction . had the indignity of working on one of the worst films of all time". Like most reviews of the soundtrack, the article criticizes the film whilst saying "Small produced a fine score in the circumstances, as if anyone noticed." [33]

In 2015, Intrada Records, which previously reissued Jaws 3-D on compact disc, released the complete score. [31] Intrada was given access to the complete session mixes, meaning that the disc included every cue recorded, including alternate print takes of several cues. [31]

Home media Edit

Jaws: The Revenge was the first film of the series to be released on DVD. It was released on Region 1 as a 'vanilla' disc by Goodtimes, featuring Spanish and French subtitles. The feature is presented in a non-anamorphic 2.35:1 widescreen transfer. The soundtrack was presented in Dolby Digital 4.1, with one reviewer saying that the "stereo separation is great with ocean waves swirling around you, the bubbles going by during the scuba scenes, and Hoagie's airplane flying around behind you." The same reviewer praised the image transfer of McPherson's "extremely well photographed" cinematography. [34] The film was re-released on DVD by Universal on June 3, 2003 in an anamorphic transfer. In 2015, Jaws: The Revenge was re-released on DVD as part of a three movie multi-pack, along with Jaws 2 and Jaws 3-D.

Universal Pictures released Jaws: The Revenge on Blu-ray on June 14, 2016. The bonus features on the disc are the film's theatrical trailer and the restored original theatrical ending in high definition. [35]

Critical response Edit

Jaws: The Revenge was universally panned by critics and audiences alike. On Rotten Tomatoes, with 37 reviews, the film has a rare approval rating of 0%, with an average rating of 2.04/10. The critical consensus reads, "Illogical, tension-free and filled with cut-rate special effects, Jaws 4 – The Revenge is a sorry chapter in a once-proud franchise." [36]

For her performance, Gary was nominated for both a Saturn Award for Best Actress and a Golden Raspberry Award for Worst Actress she lost to Jessica Tandy for *batteries not included and Madonna for Who's That Girl, respectively. It was rated by Entertainment Weekly as one of "The 25 Worst Sequels Ever Made". [37] It was voted number 22 by readers of Empire magazine in their list of The 50 Worst Movies Ever. [38]

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film zero stars, writing in his review that it "is not simply a bad movie, but also a stupid and incompetent one." He lists several elements that he finds unbelievable, including that Ellen is "haunted by flashbacks to events where she was not present." Ebert joked that Caine could not attend the ceremony to accept his Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor earned for Hannah and Her Sisters because of his shooting commitments on this film, because he may not have wanted to return to the shoot if he had left it. [26]

Many scenes are considered implausible, such as the shark swimming from a Massachusetts island to the Bahamas (approx. 1,920 km (1,193 mi 1,037 nmi)) in less than three days, somehow knowing that the Brody family went to the Bahamas, or following Michael through an underwater labyrinth, as well as the implication of such a creature seeking revenge. The Independent pointed out that "the film was riddled with inconsistencies [and] errors (sharks cannot float or roar like lions)". [33] The special effects were criticized, especially some frames of the shark being speared by the boat's prow, and the mechanisms propelling the shark can be plainly seen in some shots. [12]

Derek Winnert ends his otherwise lukewarm review by stating, "the Bahamas backdrops are pretty and the shark looks as toothsome as ever". [39] Richard Scheib also praises the "beautiful above and below water photography" and the "realistic mechanical shark," although he considers "the melodrama back on dry land . a bore." [40] Critics commented upon the sepia-toned flashbacks to the first film. A scene with Michael and Thea imitating each other is interspersed with shots from a similar scene in Jaws of Sean (Jay Mello) and Martin Brody. Similarly, the shark's destruction contains footage of Martin Brody aiming at the compressed air tank, saying "Smile, you son of a . ," The New York Times comments "nothing kills a sequel faster than reverence . Joseph Sargent, the director, has turned this into a color-by-numbers version of Steven Spielberg's original Jaws." [41]

In a 2019 scholarly article, I.Q. Hunter argues that the film "is valuable as a case study because it is not a ‘standard’ SoBIG ["so bad it's good"] failure. It is neither a weird anomaly with a passionate and visible fan-base, nor the product of an archaic cash-strapped production context. Nor was it a massive flop, redolent of budgetary overkill and artistic vanity. Jaws: The Revenge is simply, by universal consensus, a very bad film." [7]

When asked later about the film, Caine stated that "I have never seen it, but by all accounts it is terrible. However, I have seen the house that it built, and it is terrific." [42]

Accolades Edit

Awards and nominations
Award Category Nominee Result Ref.
15th Saturn Awards Best Actress Lorraine Gary Nominated [43]
8th Golden Raspberry Awards [44] [45] Worst Actor "Bruce the Shark" Nominated [46]
Worst Actress Lorraine Gary Nominated
Worst Supporting Actor Michael Caine Nominated
Worst Screenplay Michael de Guzman Nominated
Worst Picture Joseph Sargent Nominated
Worst Director Nominated
Worst Visual Effects Henry Millar Won

Legacy Edit

The increasing number of sequels in the Jaws series was spoofed in the 1989 film Back to the Future Part II (which was produced by Steven Spielberg and featured Jaws 3 star Lea Thompson), when Marty McFly travels to the year 2015 and sees a theater showing Jaws 19 (fictionally directed by Max Spielberg), with the tagline "This time it's REALLY REALLY personal!". This alludes to the tagline of Jaws: The Revenge: "This time it's personal." After being "attacked" by a promotional volumetric image of the shark outside the theatre, Marty says "the shark still looks fake." In celebration of "Back to the Future Day" in 2015, Universal released a parody trailer for Jaws 19, where the sequels after The Revenge would have included sharks in various environments, prequels, and even a love story titled Jaws 17: Fifty Scales of Grey. [47]

The film is listed in Golden Raspberry Award founder John Wilson's book The Official Razzie Movie Guide as one of The 100 Most Enjoyably Bad Movies Ever Made. [48]

Novelization Edit

The novelization was written by Hank Searls, who also adapted Jaws 2. While Searls' Jaws 2 novelization was based on an earlier draft of that film and was significantly different from the finished film, his Jaws: The Revenge novelization sticks fairly close to the final film, although it does contain some extra subplots. The novel contains a subplot in which Hoagie is a government agent and he transports laundered money. The only reference to this in the film is when Michael Brody asks "What do you do when you're not flying people?" to which Hoagie replies, "I deliver laundry." In Searls' novel, the character of Jake is ultimately killed by the shark Jake was originally supposed to die in the film, but the script was changed to allow him to survive. [49]

The novelization suggests that the shark may be acting under the influence of a vengeful voodoo witch doctor (who has a feud with the Brody family), and the shark's apparent revenge has magical implications. Taken from the earlier drafts of the screenplay, the shark is directed by a voodoo curse laid by Papa Jacques, a Haitian witch doctor. Film scholar I.Q. Hunter explains, "The revenge of the title is, therefore, Papa Jacques’ and not the shark’s, which entirely changes the story’s meaning: the shark, impelled by ‘stranger forces man could never understand,’ is an instrument of postcolonial revenge." [7] This also explains the strange psychic connection Ellen and the shark have with each other. The plot was deleted as it strayed too far away from the plot of the killer shark. However, at one point in the theatrical version, Michael Brody says, "Come on, sharks don't commit murder. Tell me you don't believe in that voodoo." [50]

The novelization includes additional scenes that were not included in the final cut of the film, including chapters from the shark's point of view where it is explained that it doesn't understand why it is acting the way it is, as well as an attack on a preppy windsurfer, a drunken newscaster seeing the shark off the side of his yacht and a relationship between Ellen Brody and a gangster who later meets his demise in the sea with the shark.


A girl named Chrissie Watkins leaves a party on Amity Island and goes skinny dipping. While swimming out near a buoy, she is seized by a shark from below it thrashes her around and drags her under the ocean. The shark then begins its personal vendetta against a family.

Chrissie is reported missing and her remains are later found on the beach by the Deputy of police chief Martin Brody. The medical examiner informs Brody that she was killed by a shark. Brody plans to close the beaches to ensure the safety of the people, but is overruled by Mayor Vaughn, who fears that reports of a shark attack will ruin the summer tourist season, the town's primary source of income. After the medical examiner falsely concludes Watkins' death was on account of a boating accident, Brody reluctantly goes along with the explanation. The shark then kills a young boy swimming at the beach. His mother places a bounty on the shark, sparking an amateur shark-hunting frenzy and attracting the attention of local professional shark hunter Quint, who offers to kill the shark for $10,000. Marine biologist Matt Hooper examines Chrissie's remains and determines that she was killed by a shark, not a boat.

When fishermen capture a large tiger shark, the townspeople believe it to be guilty of the earlier killings and the case is now closed. Hooper asks to examine its stomach contents, but Vaughn refuses. That evening, Brody and Hooper secretly open the shark's stomach and discover that it does not contain any human remains. They head out to sea to find the shark, but instead find the wreckage of a boat belonging to local fisherman Ben Gardner. Hooper explores the vessel underwater and discovers a sizable shark's tooth protruding from the damaged hull before he is startled by Gardner's corpse, causing him to drop the tooth. Without evidence, Vaughn refuses to close the beaches or hire Quint.

Many tourists arrive on the Fourth of July, where a dorsal fin is sighted. This causes mass panic, only for it to come on land and be discovered to be made of plastic — it was a prank orchestrated by local teenagers. As people are calming down and recovering from the panic of the prank, the shark enters a cove and kills a man. Brody's son Michael, who narrowly escapes the attack, goes into shock. Brody finally convinces Vaughn to hire Quint, and Quint reluctantly allows Hooper and Brody to join the hunt. The three set out to kill the shark aboard Quint's vessel, The Orca.

Brody is given the task of laying a chum line but an enormous great white looms up behind the boat, and the trio watch it circle the Orca. Quint estimates its size as twenty-five feet in length, with a weight of over three tons. He harpoons it with a line attached to a flotation barrel, but the shark pulls the barrel underwater and disappears.

The men retire to the cabin, where Quint relates his experience with sharks as a survivor of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis. The shark returns, damages the hull and slips away. It reappears in the morning. Brody attempts to call the U.S. Coast Guard, but Quint destroys the radio, enraging Brody. After a long chase, Quint harpoons two more barrels to the shark, and the men tie them both to the stern, but the shark drags the boat backwards, forcing water onto the deck and flooding the engine. Quint severs the line to prevent the transom from being cut. He then heads toward shore, hoping to draw it into shallow waters and suffocate it. In his obsession to kill the shark, Quint burns out the Orca's engine.

With the boat immobilized, the trio attempt a desperate approach: Hooper dons scuba gear and enters the ocean inside a shark proof cage, intending to lethally inject the shark with a hypodermic spear filled with strychnine. The shark attacks and demolishes the cage from behind, causing Hooper to drop the spear before he can inject it. When the shark becomes entangled in the wrecked cage, Hooper escapes and hides in the seabed. The shark then leaps onto the boat and attacks it directly, crushing the transom. Quint slides down the deck and is devoured alive by the shark. When the shark attacks again, Brody shoves a pressurized scuba tank into its mouth, then takes Quint's rifle and climbs the sinking Orca's mast. The shark, with the tank still in its mouth, begins swimming toward Brody, who shoots the tank, causing it to explode and blowing the shark to pieces. Hooper swims to the surface and he and Brody use the barrels to swim back to shore.

The opening scene took three days to shoot. To achieve the jolting motions of the shark attacking the swimmer in the opening sequence, a harness with cables was attached to actress Susan Backlinie’s legs and was pulled by crewmembers back and forth along the shoreline. Spielberg told the crew not to let Backlinie know when she would be yanked back and forth, so her terrified reaction is genuine.

Spielberg went on to spoof his own opening scene for Jaws in his 1979 World War II comedy 1941. The scene features Backlinie once again taking a skinny dip at the beach, but instead of being attacked by a shark she’s scooped up by a passing Japanese submarine.

Theaters in this post

Another good one Michael! I remember it at the Plitt Century Plaza & the Pix Theatres. And saw it afew more times at the Mann Criterion Theatre. Boy the Criterion had a great scope image.

Great story. I saw it at some theater in South Jersey, but I absolutely cannot remember where. Your list says the Towne 4, which makes sense.

William, I saw it opening day first show at the Plitt Century Plaza. It was last day of school (6th Grade), as soon as they let us go I was there. My friends and I all read the book months before the film opened. I also re-watched it when it played at the Criterion on a Double Feature with The Great Waldo Pepper.

Fun stuff! Back then Summer movies were actually fun. Now Summer movies are over hyped, over produced and pretty much forgotten about my Labor Day.

Yes, Summer was Fun back then. That&rsquos right it was playing &ldquoThe Great Waldo Pepper&rdquo.

My family and I saw &ldquoJaws&rdquo at the Fox in Hackensack NJ on the second or third day, but that short time was enough for every kid in town to have already seen it. And most of them were all back again at the matinee show we attended, and making more noise than any other movie audience in my 53-year moviegoing life: &ldquoWait till you see what happens&rdquo, &ldquoA head is gonna come out of that hole&rdquo, &ldquoHis leg is gonna come off&rdquo, etc. Not just talking low, but screaming everything out. During the movie&rsquos quiet moments, they were just talking about other stuff as loud as they could. My brother and I changed our seats several times, but wherever we ended up we were surrounded.

When the movie ended I felt like I hadn&rsquot even seen it. Fortunately we saw it again a couple of weeks later at the Colony in Brant Beach NJ, with an audience that was deathly quiet from fear and suspense. Maybe the location of the theater (a block away from the Atlantic Ocean) had something to do with that?

Great article, Michael. I remember seeing it about 3 weeks into the first run at the UA Wayne in New Jersey on a Saturday afternoon sold-out show. The place went nuts during the Ben Gardner boat sequence.

One minor correction &ndash Jerry Goldsmith scored Spielberg&rsquos segment from &ldquoTwilight Zone: The movie&rdquo.

Great article,Michael. You have outdone yourself again this time around. Glad that you mentioned the theatres in North Carolina.

JAWS here in North Carolina only played in selected cities during its initial opening run on June 20,1975(Raleigh,Durham,Greensboro,
Wilmington,Charlotte,Asheville,Fayetteville,and Winston-Salem).

Other cities didn&rsquot get it until July of 1975 or later till August.

Chapel Hill: Carolina Theatre
Burlington: Terrace 1 & 2
Southern Pines/Aberdeen: Town and Country 1 & 2
Jacksonville: Cardinal Theatre
Rockingham: Cinema 1 & 2 aka Richmond Plaza Cinema
Henderson: Embassy Theatre
Roxboro: Person Drive-In Theatre
Dunn: Plaza 1 & 2

Other cities in North Carolina didn&rsquot get the film until late that year somewhere between September of October of 1975 and into early 1976.

Here&rsquos the CT link to the theatre referred to above as the &lsquoUA Wayne&rsquo in Wayne, NJ:

It&rsquos currently called &ldquoClearview&rsquos Wayne Preakness Cinemas&rdquo

Again Michael,great article.

I remember seeing JAWS about three weeks into its first-run at the Yorktowne Theatre in Durham in June of 1975. I do remember that the theatre had a 7:00 evening show and it was on a Sunday night,and it was sold-out within the first twenty minutes. The lines snaked all the way around the cinema(which at the time was still a single screen theatre with a seating capacity of 800)since the parking lot was already full&hellipfolks had to either park in the lot of the Hutton Building at the corner of Bedford Street and Chapel Hill Boulevard or some folks just parked their cars alongside Chapel Hill Boulevard which stretch from on end of the street to the other. Some folks like my parents had to park in the Shrimp Boats parking lot and take a risk crossing a dangerous street like Chapel Hill Boulevard to get to the theatre[Parking has always been a problem at this theatre too]

The 7:00 evening show was sold-out and every seat was packed to capacity including some folks who had to stand in the aisle or alongside the curtains of the auditorium or sit on the floor because there was no more seats available which was a problem for those who brought tickets earlier on. I mean capacity crowds for a Sunday evening show. The place went nuts during the boat sequence with Roy Scheider,Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss facing the sheer terror of the shark. In all a great movie,but where this played at was even bigger than the management of the Yorktowne even thought of.

JAWS played at the Yorktowne for a mere 21 weeks from June through mid-September of 1975,and it for the first two months it played to capacity crowds. However,construction was already started on the second auditorium too that opened in mid-June of 1975 for the showing of FRENCH CONNECTION II that had a 545 seat capacity to even boost bigger business for both films.

If anyone is going to watch the movie on DVD to commemmorate 35 years, I advise them to stay away from the Dolby 5.1 remix. It&rsquos terrible &ndash most of the sound effects have been changed for some reason and as a result, the whole movie becomes much less powerful and effective. What were they thinking? Stick with the Oscar-winning 2.0 mono mix, and turn it up. THAT&rsquoS the way &ldquoJaws&rdquo is supposed to sound. That&rsquos what helped scare all those audiences in 1975.

Wrong link for Poughkeepsie New Your. It was the Dutchess Cinema not the Dutchess Theater.

If any one cares the IMPERIAL THEATRE has a great ad put together by Jerry Tinney,City Manager on &ldquoJAWS&rdquo when so many managers in this city would cut and glue ads from pressbooks he would go the extra mile.Don&rsquot think you will ever see a &ldquoJAWS&rdquo ad like that.I need to get Nick DiMaggio to put the ad here instead of the IMPERIAL in Augusta,Georgia.And Yes,I worked &ldquoBENJI&rdquo during the day at National Hills then drove downtown to work &ldquoJAWS&rdquo on the evening shows, those were the real Theatre days,my Friends!

May 27.2010 post on the Imperial,Augusta,To make it easy to find.Hope you guys like it.

Another great job Michael. You must really love research, or the theatre business, or both. Hard to believe that the biggest movie of the summer waited until this late to open. These days, unless the title has the name Potter or Bourne it would have been out by Memorial Day and no one except the accountants and stockholders would be paying attention to it by July 4th. Those were great days when the two or three big summer movies would be anxiously awaited. Now it is one or more a week from May 1st until mid June.

When Jaws opened, the Atlanta market was entering the final years of featuring exclusive runs in big downtown or close in suburban theatres. It was always a topic of conversation among those of us who worked in these places as to which theatre would get which movie for Christmas or summer. It was more than just idle curiosity since most of these were single or twin locations, and whatever picture we got would usually run for the entire season even if it were a bomb. In those days, almost all Universal releases played at the Georgia Cinerama, operated by Martin Theatres, so most of us expected Jaws to open there. After The Front Page however, the next Universal release, The Great Waldo Pepper played at the Weis Cinema, the old Peachtree Art Theatre downtown.

In those pre downloading days it was customary for upcoming releases to get a &ldquosneak preview&rdquo of the finished product to get word of mouth going. For Jaws the &ldquoMajor Studio Preview&rdquo as it was billed took place on April 26. As Michael pointed out, the preview was combined with the current release for Universal which meant that Jaws played with Waldo at the Weis. This made a lot of people think that Jaws might open at the Weis Capri, one of the top first run theatres in Atlanta due to the willingness of Weis to put up almost any amount of upfront money to get a sure fire hit. As things turned out, Jaws opened at the ABC Phipps Plaza Twin #2. At one time Phipps had been the nicest of all of the 1960&rsquos era theatres with 860 seats, 70MM Optivision projection and a beautiful curved screen and seating. Unfortunately, we would never see this fine looking cinemascope picture on the massive curved screen. Just two months earlier the place had been gutted and twin 500 seat shoebox shaped theatres built in its place.

On opening day I showed up at the first show since my theatre had not opened its summer pictures yet and was still running an evening only schedule. The managers here were good friends of mine and I wanted to see how things went. As it turned out, exactly 499 tickets were sold, so I took the last one and watched the show. I thought it was a fine movie, very entertaining and suspenseful and the experience greatly enhanced by seeing it with a full house. However, I could not help but think of what it might have been like to see it in the original theatre. Jaws also opened in two nearby theatres, Belmont in Cobb County to the west, and Arrowhead in Clayton County to the south, but Phipps had an exclusive run in the Atlanta area for the entire length of its run.

As things turned out, that run lasted over six months. On Christmas Eve of 1975 I was working for a company that cancelled the last show on that night so the employees could go home early. Not having anything else to do, I stopped by Phipps on the way home. Since I had seen the first show I decided to catch the last one. The next day Phipps opened Lucky Lady while Jaws finally went into its intermediate run. Another friend was running the Village Twin at that time and sold out two of his four Christmas Day shows. Even though Jaws had been playing for over half a year there was still plenty of life left in a film that had opened exclusive when it finally made its way to the outlying neighborhood theatres. These days any movie opening in June would have already had its DVD release and made its way to the bargain bin at Wal-Mart by Christmas. In early spring of 1976, Jaws finally went wide, going to all of the neighborhood theatres and drive ins. At the drive in locations it was accompanied by its old preview partner, Waldo Pepper just as Brad and William noted in their posts above. So, it took about a year for Jaws to make a complete market sweep of Atlanta.

Summer of 1975 was a big summer for movies in Atlanta. While Jaws was packing them in at Phipps, Lenox Square Theatre directly across the street was doing even bigger business with Return of the Pink Panther thanks to its bigger auditorium. Panther had opened a week before Jaws. One week after Jaws, Lenox opened Love and Death in its much smaller second auditorium. After only six weeks, Panther had to leave so that Lenox, which had a marketing agreement with Untied Artists, could open Rollerball. With this kind of lineup, Lenox with its 990 seats easily outgrossed the 1550 seat Phipps complex due to the fact that Jaws, in the #2 house, got absolutely no help from its twin which was playing The Fortune, and the Penthouse which had French Connection II, two of the biggest stiffs of that year. (Raysson, French Connection II may have done well in Durham, but after one week it was dead here.) 1976 was about the end of the exclusive run days for the Atlanta market. That summer Phipps had three exclusives with Logan&rsquos Run, Omen, and Midway, and in 1977 was about the only first run theatre with exclusives, this time The Other Side of Midnight and A Bridge Too Far. By the time Jaws 2 opened in 1978, Phipps had to share the booking with half a dozen area theatres. Needless to say, Jaws 2 did not make it to Christmas Eve.

In 1996 I was working the projection booth at the Fox Theatre. One of our features was an all day Speilberg festival of Jaws, Raiders, and Close Encounters. In 2008 I had one more unusual Jaws experience. TCM runs a free summer outdoor movie series which that year was held in the downtown Olympic Park. The print Universal supplied was their archive print which they would not allow to be cut and spliced together. Whenever this would be the case, Cinevision would bring in their Airstream motor home projection booth modified to hold two century projectors, and would hire me to run the show since the regular projectionist had trouble working between the projectors as there was hardly any spare space anywhere. And talk about hot! Trying to work between two 5000 watt lamphouses in a confined motor home in the middle of an Atlanta summer was no picnic. Add the 450 foot throw to the screen, very thin cue marks, and all of the distracting background lights of the Coke museum, well, it was an interesting experience but not one that I would want to do on a regular basis.

Last week The Fox brought back Jaws for a 35th Anniversary showing. The print might have been the same one from my 2008 showing and was still in good shape, but attendance was only fair. Maybe the 15,000 people who saw it in the park felt no need to return two years later.

My God, this is a great one! Thank you for all of that &mdash and in particular for fleshing out my own memory of seeing it at the Pix in Hollywood!

Identifying that theater has been bugging me for quite a while. I remember standing in the kind of line that I&rsquod only been used to from &ldquoThe Godfather&rdquo and &ldquoThe Exorcist&rdquo up to that point. I sat near the front of the balcony, and the experience was thrilling beyond belief.

Is there no listing and page for the Pix here? If there is, or if some other name was involved, then I&rsquom missing it so I will appreciate it if someone speaks up. In my memory it was a few blocks east of Hollywood and Vine, on the south side of the street. It wasn&rsquot a huge theater, I don&rsquot think, and I always wondered if that was simply a spillover from the Chinese or somewhere else down the street. But you list no others, at least for the opening engagement, so I guess the Century Plaza was the &ldquoblockbuster&rdquo venue in L.A. for a while.

ChasSmith, the Pix is listed as the Music Box @Fonda, The.

Oops, sorry, never mind &mdash next time I&rsquoll read more closely the first time through. You provided the link to the Pix. Thank you.

This is the ad Mike Rogers was referring to. It&rsquos great!:

This is the ad Mike Rogers was referring to. It&rsquos great!:

Showtimes: 2:10-4:30-6:45-9:00. I cannot believe how tight the showtimes were on this engagement. The film runs just over 2 hours, essentially they started letting people in as soon as it emptied. No clean up of the auditorium and I guess very few previews.

This is another great one Michael! I saw &ldquoJaws&rdquo either the first or second week it opened at the
500-seat Hillsboro II in Tampa. I could actually feel the suspense and anxiety of the audience in the packed theatre amidst the screams and jolts as the film unfolded. After seeing Spielberg&rsquos &ldquoDuel&rdquo you realize he was the absolute perfect director for &ldquoJaws.&rdquo The film played at the Hillsboro II all summer long to record breaking crowds.

Saturday night 10:30 pm show at the UA Rivoli in New York. A great great full house crowd. As good as The Godfather at Loews Tower East on opening Saturday morning.

Thank you for another great retrospective, Michael.

It was 1975, which means I was still 15 years away from entering the world. Anyway, my dad took my mom & oldest siblings to see &ldquoJaws&rdquo at the General Cinema Ford City I-II-III on the southwest side of Chicago. My mother was pregnant with my second brother (who would be born the next month on 7/17). She has said that after the movie, she was feeling nauseous and had to go to the (women&rsquos) restroom, which had a long line of women also feeling nauseous. For the other women, it was probably the shark violence that got to them. For my mom, it could&rsquove been the movie, or it could be that she was eight months pregnant. Perhaps it was both?

Amazing how things change. 15 years later, General Cinema opened a new 14 screen theater on the other side of the parking lot, closing the old theater which had 5 screens at the time. It is now the site of an Old Navy & other shops.

I would also like to add (if Michael or anyone might be interested in Ford City) that screens I and II both held (according to BO magazine) 1,250 each, which means &ldquoJaws&rdquo opened in one of those screens. III was much smaller, possibly 500-700 seats. GC did some cut jobs in the 80s to make it a 5 screener.

Jaws was listed as opening at the Green Hills Theatre in Nashville,but I must have seen it somewhere else later.

Here&rsquos a scan of the opening day ad in Kansas City. I had to crop out the top since it didn&rsquot fit on the microfilm machine. I miss the days of huge movie ads in newspapers.

The movie that I remember as being the first really wide release with TV ad blockbuster was the Godfather in March of 1972.

The movie that I remember as being the first really wide release with TV ad blockbuster was the Godfather in March of 1972.

Nice KC ad. I too miss the days when the ads, especially Friday and Sunday were something to look forward to. Now it is like reading the phone book. I could not be sure, but the block in the lower right corner looked like an admission schedule. With that and the way the times were posted they were almost treating it like a roadshow.

That was also a nice ad from the Imperial. Nice to see that someone put a &ldquolocal&rdquo touch to attract attention. In Atlanta, Phipps would sometimes have a photograph of the crowds lined up in the mall outside the entrance to the theatre. They had one for Jaws in about the 7th week.

JAWS is really bringing back so many fond memories for so many. I also miss the Friday / Sunday ads. The Sunday LA Times Calendar always had a full page ad of what was opening the following Friday (or Wednesday) with usually the Westwood (Century City) and Hollywood opening locations. Now the ads are hit or miss and they do not always list the theatres, which are now Hollywood/Beverly Hills (The Grove)/Century City/Westwood/Santa Monica/Universal City/West L.A. (Landmark/Rave 18)/Archlight Sherman Oaks etc&hellip.

BradE41,Let me tell you I was Assistant Mgr. at National Hills and after my Matinee shift i went down to the Imperial to help out,Good old Mr.Tinney who was a whiz at Ads was not much at predicting movies.So he hired no one until about that coming Monday.He had Old Margaret Whitehead behind the concession,she had been there since the 1940&rsquos He had one other girl and a boxoffice girl.and one doorman. So Naturally the other ABC theatre staff was invited to help,but even in those days the staff at National Hills was lilly white and really didn&rsquot want any part of the Imperial.It never bothered me.One guy he hired justed popped popcorn for two weeks.The show times were just like that it is amazing we were sold any concession and he wouldn&rsquot dare hold the starting time.I have the original showtime sheet from the ticket chopper framed in my house.But I am sure there are hundreds of the same story on &ldquoJAWS&rdquo those were the days before Day and date booking.

And Bill,thanks for putting the ad on this site.It deserves to be here.I wish Bill Barkley was into computers.So he could see these stories.

I believe that was the admission schedule at the bottom of the KC ad. I need to dig out the original copy I printed off the microfilm. The Midland had an exclusive on it for a while so it was kind of like a roadshow minus the reserved seats.

You&rsquore welcome, Mike. You and anyone else who enjoys movie ads should check out this site:

It&rsquos the Google News edition of the Pittsburgh Press. This particular issue features the opening week review of &ldquoPsycho&rdquo on page 6. I wasn&rsquot able to find the &ldquoJaws&rdquo review &ndash there are some gaps in the collection. But I&rsquom hooked on this, looking up every classic movie I can think of. If you click on Browse This Newspaper and change the date, you can go all the way back to 1888.

I think the Pittsburgh movie ads are often much more interesting than the ones we got in New York City. Like Stan Malone said, a lot of them have that local touch &ndash more imaginative, more personal, more fun.

One bad side effect of looking here: you&rsquoll see how many great movies were showing back then on any given day (especially the 1960&rsquos and 1970&rsquos), and you&rsquoll be reminded how many crummy ones there are today. I&rsquove practically given up looking at current movie ads, such as they are. If you don&rsquot like comic book movies, you might as well stay home.

I bet you guys ran them in and out like we did.in those days i don&rsquot ever remember cleaning the theatre between shows.No one had ever thought of it in the 70&rsquos.

Pretty good ad,but haven&rsquot seen anyone top the Imperial.I am being objective,too.Bill,I can remember as a kid on Friday the first thing before the comics or sports was the movie ads.we didn&rsquot have all the theatres you guys had,but i enjoyed usually a full page of movie ads. Heck, I would even cut them out.

I didn&rsquot see this movie until 2002, when I rented it on DVD from a now-closed Blockbuster in Springfield, Missouri. Great movie.

As for Springfield, they didn&rsquot run the film until July 25th, when the Century 21 began a nine week run on it.

I remember when this opened at the Planfield Drive-In listed above. The movie played on the indoor and outdoor screens. UA was big on that up till the time they twinned the indoor. The crowds were so huge that Oak Tree Road, a two lane road with no shoulders had to be closed on several occasions because of the people entering and exiting. This went on for almost a month. Something I believe we will never see again.

I wasn&rsquot aware it opened first run at Drive-ins,but i guess it did.Thanks movie 534.

I posted on a thread a few weeks ago marking the upcoming 35th anni of the movie&rsquos release, but I&rsquoll put in a couple more cents here. I first saw &ldquoJaws&rdquo three days after its opening at what was then the single-screen Clairidge Theatre. As I&rsquove mentioned earlier, one of the great moviegoing experiences of my life. I remember a vociferous but well-behaved audience that screamed, laughed and applauded as if on cue. (Among other things, they burst into applause when the Richard Dreyfuss character, who&rsquod just been told by the mayor that he didn&rsquot understand the town&rsquos problems, shot back that the mayor was going to &ldquoignore this particular problem until it swims up and bites you in the ass.&rdquo) I also remember that during the opening credits, the projectionist gradually rolled open the giant maroon curtain covering the giant Cinerama screen, until you got the full shark&rsquos- eye-view effect&mdashand he did that throughout the movie&rsquos run, apparently, because I went to to see it there again in September, October and November of that year, and he did the same thing each time. A nice touch.

One other thing&mdashof the list that MC compiled (thanks for another terrific job of research, Michael), I wonder how many locations are even still open, let alone in the same configuration they were in 1975. For example, in the New York metro area (including Fairfield County in CT), there&rsquos maybe a dozen theatres that survive out of about 50 listed. All, so far as I know, have long since been subdivided into anywhere from two to seven smaller auditoriums.

I remember seeing this picture at the Capital Theatre in Grand Island Nebraska in late September and we stood in line 4 wide all Sunday afternoon to see this picture They had a small shark tank in the lobby This theatre seated 2200 if I remember right

Check this out with Universal with someone who is still alive and worked the JAWS release. I&rsquove heard, before the sneaks in Dallas and Lakewood, Universal planned to saturate the picture with over a 1000 prints in the US and Canada on June 20th as they felt the picture was a fast burn. They labeled it an exploitation (2) week release. No one at Universal had seen the picture as of yet and with the picture so far over budget, they were looking for as much boxoffice as they could get in a short period of time. Of course, everything changed after those sneaks. 500 theaters, even in 1975, was not a wide saturation release. It was more of a platform release.

I first saw Jaws at a sneak preview in Toronto&rsquos Odeon Fairlawn theatre. Being in the business, I knew which film was being shown but for most of the other 1200 in attendance that night, they could only guess. Mind you, the newspaper ads gave some good hints. I&rsquoll never forget what happened after the Universal logo hit the screen, we found ourselves forging forward underwater accompanied by John William&rsquos pulsating musical score&hellip when the title JAWS hit the screen there was an audible buzz of excitement from the audience. And when that head unexpectedly rolled out from the boat the audience screamed, jumped out of their seats and didn&rsquot quiet down until the film ended.

After it ended I ran into Barry Allen in the lobby. He owned a small theatre chain but wasn&rsquot interested in sitting through the sneak that night. He spent the time walking around the block. He asked me what I thought. &ldquoWill it do business?&rdquo I told him &ldquoyou gotta be kidding&hellip YES!&rdquo Barry asked me how I knew and I just told him that you had to be there. By the way, the main feature that night was Earthquake in Sensurround.

This was without a doubt the most fun I had ever had at the movies. It was thrilling!

I think the &lsquosaturation&rsquo press had more to do with how many markets opened at once rather than how many screens. In Florida, for example, some secondary markets like Pensacola and Fort Meyers would normally not open at the same time as Miami like they did for &ldquoJAWS&rdquo.

In South Florida &ldquoJAWS&rdquo opened in seven locations when the average release would have opened in twenty to thirty screens from West Palm Beach to South Miami.

Jaws was the only film that ever gave me nightmares! I kept dreaming about that shark eating the boat.

I saw the film the at Cinema East in Whitehall (Columbus), Ohio. This was a large single screen with about a 40' screen&hellipwhich seemed pretty large from the 3rd row, where I had to sit due to the crowd!!

Richard Dreyfuss will be spoofing his Matt Hooper character in the forthcoming Piranha 3-D.

jaws won&rsquot be on bluray until 2011.

I remember seeing Jaws 2 in the summer of 78 in Somers Point, I think. There was a lot of hype about this film, believe it or not, and it actually made some money.

Paul Bubny: You mentioned subdividing of the various theaters, but probably the saddest case of subdividing is what was done to the poor old Clairidge (Montclair NJ). I&rsquom glad you got to see Jaws on that amazing screen. I saw How the West Was Won there in 3-strip Cinerama, and also Star Wars 14 years later. Now it&rsquos a dreary sixplex with no trace in sight of what it once was.

Ken Mc &ldquoJAWS II &rdquo was horrible.I pulled for the shark in that one just to shut those dirty mouth teenagers up.

Oh yes&hellipI remember &ldquoJaws&rdquo! Although I first saw &ldquoJaws&rdquo when it was kind of out of date, and past the height of its popularity, and despite the obvious fakery in some spots, I&rsquove enjoyed it the few times I&rsquove seen it. Regarding &ldquoJaws II&rdquo, which I never saw&hellipwhy does Hollywood insist on making sequels all the time, instead of leaving well enough alone?

Btw&mdashdid anyone here on CinemaTreasures know that &ldquoJaws&rdquo is actually based on a true story of a Great White Shark that terrorized a New Jersey coastal resort town, in the early 1900&rsquos? If anyone can get hold of the book &ldquoClose to Shore&rdquo (the author&rsquos name escapes me at the moment), I strongly recommend reading it. It&rsquos a great book.

Impressive, Michael and everyone. Thanks for sharing.

I posted my memories of the first days of JAWS in Atlanta and Wilmington. Also, a photo of the Atlanta Fox for the recent 35th anniversary showing.

I was denied seeing JAWS in the theater by my parents when I was a kid. I saw it for the first time (edited) on the ABC Sunday Night Movie in 1979. In honor of that, take a look at this&hellip

My earliest memory of seeing a movie in a theater is this flick here. Summer 1975 at the Airway Drive-In in St. Louis. I was 2 years old when it dropped. Memories are very faint&hellipbut I do remember seeing this.

Eric F, It did have a warning tag by the PG rating.Sounds like you had pretty decent parents.I watched for years parents bringing kids to R-rated movies at theatres I managed.Couldn&rsquot believe it.&ldquoCOMING HOME&rdquo lets bring two pre-teens with mom and dad.

I didn&rsquot see Jaws in its original theatrical run in 1975.

My dad took my older sister,who was 7 at the time,to the Rosecrans Drive in to see it. I first saw it on tv in 1979.

Wow, I never would have guessed that a major first run film would play at so many drive-ins. I didn&rsquot count them but looking over the list I spotted a lot more than I expected, especially on the west coast and in Canada.

There also were a lot of theatres that showed JAWS in resorty/beach front type areas. I wonder if they were booked there on purpose due to the theme of the movie? That had to be a real kick seeing JAWS at one of those theaters on the coast and then come out of the movie and see the beach with people swimming. Me&hellipI saw JAWS within the safe confines of landlocked Kansas City&hellipand loved every minute of it.

I managed to see JAWS on screen only once &ndash in 1997 during a special one-night-only screening at Radio City Music Hall. This may have been 22 years overdue for me, but man, what a screen to see it on!

Glad so many folks enjoyed &ldquoJAWS&rdquo guess it is worth making about two bucks an hour to work.

The late actor Percy Rodrigues was the narrator of the &ldquoJaws&rdquo trailer. I don&rsquot think the picture would have been as successful if a different narrator had been used Mr. Rodrigues had the perfect voice for it. A lot of the success of the film should be credited to the trailer, and his great narration.
I saw the film on its second day at the Island theater in Staten Island it had just been twinned. Foolishly, only one side was used the second part was dark during the film&rsquos run. The theater oversold tickets, and some people were left standing in the back. Theater 2 was saved for a festival of Disney films that played during summers in the 70s. I had no kids than, and considered that a waste of space.

Never knew who did the voice over on the trailer.I saw it enough plugging it at the other ABC THEATRE i worked in Town.You are right AdamBomb 1701 his voice makes that one of the best trailers ever made if they are even ranked.Never saw the shark.

The 35th Anniversary screening of &ldquoJaws&rdquo will be coming to the Coolidge Corner Theatre, in Brookline, MA, on the 13th of September.

&ldquoJAWS&rdquo is pure and simple shark classic film that doesn&rsquot loss its bite even after 35 years.

Saw it in its original monaural form at ABC screen1 Bournemouth somewhere around January 1976.

I had a friend I worked with at the IMPERIAL in Augusta.He showed me his &ldquoJAWS&rdquo T-Shirt they wore opening week he still kept in a box.Tommy,why didn&rsquot GET ONE !

I saw Jaws July 4th weekend 1975 at the Cooper Theater in Denver on the giant curved Cinerama screen. I was a little guy at the time all of ten years old. I remember my sixteen year old brother coming home after seeing it himself and telling us how scary it was. He also proceeded to tell my parents not to take me see it as it was too intense for children to see, but they did anyway. Thank Goodness they did as It was great scary fun, but think my mom was more scared than I was.
I also remember when Jaws was moved over to the shoebox Cameo Theater adjacent to the Copper in December 1975 to make way for Liza Minnelli and gang in Lucky Lady.

Since I&rsquod bought a ticket for the 35th Anniversary screening of &ldquoJaws&rdquo at the Coolidge Corner Theatre, I saw it&hellipand enjoyed it immensely, as usual. Here&rsquos one thing, however, that emcees at cinemas don&rsquot make their audiences aware of: &ldquoJaws&rdquo was actually based on a true story&mdashit&rsquos prequel was actually the book (the author&rsquos name escapes me at the moment) &ldquoClose To Shore&rdquo, which took place in the early 1900&rsquos, about a Great White Shark that actually did terrorize a coastal New Jersey resort town.

Inadvertently left off the list:
Youngstown, OH &ndash Uptown

Listed with incorrect screen count:
Gainesville, FL &ndash Royal Park Cinema 3 (should be listed as Royal Park Cinema 4)
Green Bay, WI &ndash Marc (should be listed as Marc Twin)

You did a fantastic job with &ldquoJAWS&rdquo,no one noticed i am sure.

Noticed Athens,Ga. wasn&rsquot on. pretty good size city,maybe i missed it.

Although I&rsquod heard of Jaws in 1976 I didn&rsquot see it. In fact my cinema going days had not yet gotten into gear. But at school I do remember a friend and avid movie goer saying in English class (he sat behind me)that he&rsquod just seen something called Star Wars (winter of &lsquo78)and that it was even better than Jaws which he saw a couple of years earlier. He saw them both a what was then the premiere theatre in Birmingham, UK &ndash the Gaumont. This had a huge curved screen with a capacity of over 2000. See article here http://cinematreasures.org/theaters/2083. My first visit to this great cinema came in June of 1980 to see The Empire Strikes Back. But I never saw Jaws during its original theatrical run but as a double bill with Jaws 2 in a flea pit called The Globe while at University during the early 80s in Cardiff, UK.

But I did see it a few weeks ago on its release and introduced my daughter to it. She loved it and thought it stood up very well and that Robert Shaw should have gotten an Oscar! I thought it looked the best it ever has. And the sound mix was just great.

Other small cities and towns in North Carolina didn&rsquot get JAWS until late-June or August of 1975.

Aberdeen/Southern Pines: Town and Country

Greenville: Plaza Cinema 1 & 2

Sanford: Kendale Cinema 1 & 2

@Mike Rogers &ndash sorry, but Jaws 2 was not &lsquohorrible&rsquo, it was a classic. In fact I know a lot of kid&rsquos who think it&rsquos better than the original.

&ldquoJaws&rdquo has its 40th anniversary this month. It&rsquos returning to selected theaters on June 21 and 24th. Go to fathomevents.com for more information.

If anyone is interested, a revised and updated version of this &ldquoJaws&rdquo article can be found here.

40 years of 'Jaws 2': Panhandle locals remember filming of movie

This year marks the 40th anniversary of the movie 'Jaws 2,' which was filmed in the Panhandle and brought the Emerald Coast into the national spotlight.

FORT WALTON BEACH — Forty years ago, a little movie called "Jaws 2" was released in theaters.

It was Hollywood's first summer blockbuster sequel and at $30 million, it was the most expensive film Universal had produced at that time. It may not be as broadly beloved as Steven Spielberg's "Jaws," but it does have a special place in the hearts of people who lived on the Emerald Coast at the time of its production.

From the Holiday Inn on Navarre Beach, where the cast and crew stayed, to the original Hog's Breath Saloon on Okaloosa Island, where extras played pinball for the cameras, "Jaws 2" was the big news in the area.

"Everybody has their own little story about it," said Ben Anderson, who got the role of the diving instructor, Sparky. "It was a lasting memory for the entire community. I'm excited to still be a part of it."

'Sand fleas and sand castles'

Long before he was the Okaloosa tax collector, Anderson was a 26-year-old Realtor who saw a notice for an open casting call for the movie. He remembers sending his application and writing that he was certified not only in scuba diving but also "sand fleas and sand castles." He got cast as an extra and was eventually asked if he'd be interested in auditioning for a speaking role. That's how he became Sparky. His pay went from $2 an hour to $850 a week.

Anderson said he doesn't get any residual check from the movie, but he did get a "lifetime of benefits." He used his acting salary to buy an engagement ring for his wife.

"We were married in April 1978 and the movie came out in June 1978," Anderson said. "So our anniversary coincides with the anniversary of the movie."

Filming was a lot of "hurry up and waiting," Anderson said. He remembers taking a whole day to film a scene at Shalimar Yacht Basin in which he and some kids had to jump in and out of the water on a cold January day. It amounted to about 12 seconds on screen.

"It was interesting to see how it all came together," he said.

Anderson remembers when the movie was released on June 16, 1978. A group of locals who worked on the movie made T-shirts for the occasion and arranged a private screening that morning at Cinco Cinema. Anderson still has the ticket stub — the price was just $3 back then — framed alongside a photo and newspaper ad for the movie.

He can easily recall his big line in the movie: "Get us in for Christ's sake, get us in."

"It was surreal to see and hear myself on the screen," he said.

Much of the film's locations have changed dramatically over the decades. Captain Dave's on the Destin Harbor is no more. The Holiday Inn on Navarre Beach is now a SpringHill Suites. Destin wasn't even a city when "Jaws 2" was filmed. It was just the "Village of Destin." Anderson said he doesn't watch the movie very often, but he enjoys seeing the Emerald Coast frozen in time.

"It's a reflection of the area 40 years ago," he said.

In 2015, authors Louis R. Pisano and Michael A. Smith released their book "Jaws 2: The Making of the Hollywood Sequel." Smith spent time in the Destin and Navarre Beach area collecting photos and conducting interviews with locals, like Anderson, who were involved with the film. Being a huge fan of "Jaws" and "Jaws 2," the research was a "labor of love." An expanded and updated version of the book was recently released with even more backstory on the Hollywood sequel.

"The new book has 200 new photos, most of them never seen before," Smith said. "I talked to three different people on special effects, both makeup artists and the assistant film editor. John Williams (the film's composer) is the one person from the opening credits that is still alive that I haven't interviewed. If I ever talk to him, I'll do another updated version of the book."

"Jaws" is Smith's all-time favorite movie. Since he first saw it in 1975, he hasn't stopped writing about it or its franchise.

"It's given me a great life," he said of the original film. "I had taken a tape recorder to one of the showings and recorded all of the dialogue. I'd go to bed listening to it. Then in school one day, I was playing it and another kid said 'Are you listening to Jaws?' We've been friends for 43 years."

For Smith, the movie's anniversary brings him back to his teenage years. To mark the 40th anniversary of "Jaws 2" Smith will be at the Destin Fishing Museum on Saturday to sign books.

"I remember driving around with friends in December 1977. We knew which theater and which showtimes were playing the 'Jaws 2' trailer," Smith said. "It has its own place in history. It wasn't 'Jaws.' It was a good movie and it brings back so many fond memories."

Quint repeatedly sings an old British naval song called "Spanish Ladies" while aboard the Orca. What's ironic is that this song is also sung by the crew in Herman Melville's classic book Moby Dick. In fact, Quint is similar to the classic's Captain Ahab. Quint is obsessed with killing sharks, while Ahab is obsessed with killing the whale. Both men are motivated by revenge, and both are killed by the creatures they despite.

When Hooper and Brody decide to cut open the tiger shark's digestive tract to determine if it was the shark which killed Alex Kitner, Hooper pulls out a license plate and tosses it over to Brody. The first three digits of the plate are 007. This could be a reference to James Bond, as Spielberg had long desired to direct a James Bond movie. In fact, the Indiana Jones franchise came from both Spielberg and George Lucas' desire to make a James Bond-style movie. Indiana Jones was their take on an American-esque James Bond.


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Britannica Online. s.v. “History of the Motion Picture.” http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/394161/history-of-the-motion picture Robinson, From Peep Show to Palace, 45, 53.

British Movie Classics, “The Kinetoscope,” British Movie Classics, http://www.britishmovieclassics.com/thekinetoscope.php.

Dictionary of American History, 3rd ed., s.v. “Nickelodeon,” by Ryan F. Holznagel, Gale Virtual Reference Library.

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Georgakas, Dan. “Hollywood Blacklist,” in Encyclopedia of the American Left, ed. Mari Jo Buhle, Paul Buhle, and Dan Georgakas, 2004, http://writing.upenn.edu/

Gochenour, “Birth of the ‘Talkies,’” 578.

Gochenour, Phil. “Birth of the ‘Talkies’: The Development of Synchronized Sound for Motion Pictures,” in Science and Its Times, vol. 6, 1900–1950, ed. Neil Schlager and Josh Lauer (Detroit: Gale, 2000), 577.

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Robinson, David. From Peep Show to Palace: The Birth of American Film (New York: Columbia University Press, 1994), 4344.

Rosen, Karen and Alan Meier, “Power Measurements and National Energy Consumption of Televisions and Video Cassette Recorders in the USA,” Energy, 25, no. 3 (2000), 220.

Sedman, David. “Film Industry, Technology of,” in Encyclopedia of Communication and Information, ed. Jorge Reina Schement (New York: MacMillan Reference, 2000), vol. 1, 340.

Watch the video: Jaws 1976. 720p. Opening Scene


  1. Frewen

    I here am casual, but was specially registered to participate in discussion.

  2. Scottroc

    Brilliant idea

  3. Talbert

    You were not mistaken

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