Sunday Matinee: Jaws

JawsYesterday marked the 40th anniversary for Steven Spielberg’s first blockbuster Jaws and the start of what became the summer blockbuster. After all this time, it’s still a great suspenseful movie. No matter how many times I know that severed head is going to float out of that damaged boat, I still end up jumping when it happens.

The plot is set at the start of summer on the island of Amity. A young woman goes night swimming and is attacked and killed by a great white shark. New town sheriff Brody (Roy Scheider) is quick to close the beaches much to the chagrin of the mayor and town council. They talk Brody out of closing the beaches, claiming that it was NOT a shark attack. A couple of days later at the beach the shark attacks again. This time a boy is killed in front of ton of witnesses. Panic ensues. Soon a massive hunt for the shark starts.

Looking over Steven Spielberg’s resume and you’ll such accomplishments like Schindler’s List, E.T. The Extraterrestrial, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Saving Private Ryan, Jurassic Park and many more. There’s a lot of good movies on Spielberg’s resume and while a lot comes close (and I’m sure people will argue with me) and I don’t think anything beats Jaws. It’s the perfect action suspense blockbuster. The timing, the pacing, the characters all merge to create this masterpiece that still influences Hollywood today.

Author: Shane Hnetka

Shane Hnetka spends most of his life watching movies and reading comic books, using his vast knowledge of genre culture for evil instead of good.