Saturday, July 13, 2013

1975 - JAWS on the big screen

Two thumbs up, four stars, ten stars you name it Jaws really holds up for a 30 plus year old film.

Saw this film at a midnight showing in a neighborhood revival house it was in a very good digital copy that hadn't sucked all the grain out of the film.   Jaws looked a lot like I remembered it and I saw it a few times when it came out that summer.

Spielberg was a young guy when he filmed Jaws, he clearly worked his ass off.  Everyone knows that the mechanical shark gave him nothing but trouble and most of the film was shot on the ocean which escalated the cost and pushed the film from a five week shoot to a five month ordeal.   Spielberg was lucky that he had a couple of producers who had faith in the film and stuck by him getting him the best Hollywood talent available.  A lot of the production people on the film deserve credit for the success of Jaws.

Peter Benchley's book had the gem of a good idea which was basically a giant shark that seemed to be almost supernatural eating its way through a bunch of vacationers.  However as a work of literature the book was actually kind of crummy.  Benchley wrote the first draft of the screenplay but Carl Gottlieb, Spielberg the actors and lots of uncredited writers apparently added the humor and fleshed out the characters.  This is the prototypical summer entertainment that focused on characterization along with the exciting action scenes. 

124 minutes.

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