August 14, 2012
Universal Home Video
From the best-selling novel by Peter Benchley, the Massachusetts resort town of Amity Island is terrorized one summer by surprise attacks from a great white shark who starts preying on the inhabitants and vacationers alike. Three unlikely partners team up to hunt down the rogue and destroy it: the new chief of police from New York, a young university-educated oceanographer, and a crusty, old-time fisherman.
Based on the book by Peter Benchley, son of author Nathaniel and grandson of author Robert Benchley. The tourist season of a resort island is devoured by a Great White Shark. The ensuing "fishing trip" to catch the monstrous maneater is filmed with power and suspense and set to a thrilling score by John Williams. Academy Award Nominations: 4, including Best Picture. Academy Awards: 3, including Best Original Score.
Color by Technicolor; shot in Panavision on location in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts.
Titles and opticals by Universal Title; cosmetics by Cinematique.
Ron and Valerie Taylor were responsible for filming actual sharks in Australia, and their sequences were later mixed with footage of the mechanical shark. They filmed these scenes using a small diver to make the sharks seem abnormally large. However, this effect was undercut when the role of the diver in the film went to the diminutive Richard Dreyfuss.
Released in the USA on June 30, 1975 with an enormous public-relations campaign. "Like the novel, the movie was launched with an almost unprecedented promotional campaign, complete with cross-country tours by stars and $700,000 worth of prime-time TV time to trumpet the release in 450 theaters throughout the land." (excerpt from Newsweek) The film became the highest-grossing film of all time, until "Star Wars" surpassed it two years later. Spawned three sequels, "Jaws 2" (1978), "Jaws 3-D" (1983), and "Jaws: the Revenge" (1987).
Additional cast: Jonathan Filley (Cassidy).
Rated BBFC PG by the British Board of Film Classification.