Summer Of The Shark

31 Responses to “Summer Of The Shark”

  1. Frank B Says:

    Is it?

  2. I was just watching this last night. A film that I never get tired of and love the more times I watch it for all the little details, like when Brody sits at the dinner table with one of his sons after a ball-busting hard day. The little boy imitates every gesture that Brody makes until he tells, “Give us a kiss,” to which the boy asks why and he replies simpley, “Because I need it.” Such a simple yet effective moment that defines his characters, shows some vulnerability and humanity – something that is missing from a lot of films of its ilk that come out nowadays.

    • christian Says:

      A great scene along with so many others. What’s best about JAWS is that it has all the subtlety of 70’s naturalistic cinema, but combined with Spielberg’s staggering cinematic gifts — he was the first director to bring back Hitchcock’s “forward-reverse” VERTIGO shot when Brody’s on the beach.

      Dying to see the documentary THE SHARK IS STILL WORKING…

  3. christ, that entire newspaper cutting-movie-sheet thing looks like my cup of tea, i think i’m trapped in a time warp (but i don’t want to get out; i like it here in my crypt where i’m the keeper!)

    the funniest thing about that ‘jaws’ ad is this suggestion across the bottom:

    (For fullest enjoyment – see it from the beginning)

    was there some major problem with tardiness and people missing the start of movies back in ’75 that i’m unaware of?

    well looking at it again matt hooper & ellen brodie’s hair is also quite funny in those high-school yearbook-style mug shots

    (i re-read the book recently – along with ‘the deep’ and ‘beast’ – in a weird peter benchley retrospective fit of boredom)

    • christian Says:

      Said in best movie narrator voice: “In a world where JAWS and MANDINGO played back to back…”

      I think the “warning” to see it from the beginning was later replaced to “May Be Too Intense For Young Children” — a warning my Aunt Doris chose to ignore when she took me to see it. I shall never forget that screening, nor the screams from the audience, nor the fact I couldn’t even sleep on a friggin’ waterbed that night…Thanks Steven for ruining the ocean for me!

      I read the book later and was surprised how purple melodramatic it was, filled with sex and anger and soap opera…none of the characters liked each other and the shark was the metaphor for their rage. The movie made the right choice.

      • “aunt doris”, lol, best name for an aunt eva

        jaws was PG? who knew. really, really not suitable for little kids (i was 9 i think); the bad bad bad death of alex kintner and his bite-mark-ravaged raft by way of pippet was enough to give any kid night sweats, not to mention BEN GARDNER’S EYEBALL, the lone sailor dude’s severed leg, hooper examining chrissie’s remains (THIS IS NOT A BOATING ACCIDENT!), hooper’s cage terror, poor demented quint’s chomped torso, and oh yeah, the ginormous shark (that is really scarier when we only see its fins but never mind, it’s a monster after all)

        yeah, ‘jaws’ the book is quite a drama queen. the movie is a great example of how to selectively and effectively adapt page-to-screen

        • Christian Says:

          I suspect that JAWS would have received an R Rating had it not been a big studio film and more than likelytoday it wouldhave been toned down in editing.

          The KInter attack was more violent as you would have seen the shark fully rise and chomp down on him (a dummy). The photos are pretty cool and there’s footage in the new documentary.

          • the comic book adaptation was gory as hell. they even depicted the first girl death with a rising shark and her, in its maws, on a huge splash page. i remember at the time, my mum wouldn’t let me go near a theater to see the movie but it was perfectly alright to read the comic book ahahah

    • skizziks Says:

      Actually, Leah, I remember theaters back then having a more relaxed attendance policy than they do now. If you got to a movie late, you could stay for the next showing to catch what you missed, or even watch the movie two or three times if you were so inclined, as opposed to now where they kick yer ass out as soon as the lights come up. Dagnabbit, I miss the olden days.

      • christian Says:

        That’s absolutely correct. My friends and I stayed through two showings of TWILIGHT ZONE: THE MOVIE on opening night just because we got such a huge kick out of John Landis’s amazing prologue which got a terrific reaction.

        And Hitchcock warned that nobody would be seated if they missed the first ten minutes of PSYCHO.

        • yes, interesting and true re: the more relaxed days of yore

          does anyone else remember before the advent of the multiplex when one person would buy a ticket to a movie (usually waiting in a long queue OUTSIDE the cinema) and then skulk down to the theatre’s back exit as nonchalantly as possible and let in all their cheap-ass scruffy teen mates? and nobody seemed to give a shit either (at least not here. don’t want to make it sound like a nation of crims or anything, i’m just assuming this happened with teenagers everywhere before cinemas became hermetically sealed in a giant sprawling concrete maze of indoor theatres)

          • christian Says:

            We all wanted to — but I never saw anybody do it….

            • darn it! (hopefully it was clear i meant looooong ago teenybopper hijinx in like the olden days of the 70’s when tickets were 20cents and sneaking in occasionally seemed harmless when your allowance/babysitting/tinpot job spending $ for the week had run out, rather than grand larceny)

  4. Ah, CD. My dad also disregarded the warnings when he took us to see it at the Prescott Drive-In. I was scared outta my head that night. My dad patiently trying to remind me that Modesto was landlocked. No sharks for more than 100 miles.

    Die! You sunnuvaBLASTO!

    • christian Says:

      Drive-in! Even better. JAWS was screened once at a lake or near the ocean some with the audience in the water. No fucking way.

  5. what about this myth that spielberg and gottlieb bought tons of the Jaws book to make it a hit best seller and get universal to commit ?


    OH ! and look ! the land that time forgot !!!!! crazy ad !

    • christian Says:

      I would assume that’s a major myth as Spielberg nor Gottlieb could afford so many books. And that’s a long shot anyway.

      And to think I saw THE LAND THAT TIME FORGOT and JAW within months of each other.

  6. THE FUTURIST! Says:

    THE FUTURIST! loves those newspaper movie ads. Local Newspapers have just about eradicated them from their pages. Now … just movie timetables. THE FUTURIST! saw JAWS in its original run and went again 2 days later. The screams in the first viewing were deafening and some people actually jumped up in their seats blocking screen view. A return visit was necessary just to see scenes he missed due to audience muscle shock reactions. THE FUTURIST! recalls taking a friend several years later when JAWS was re-released in ’79 (perhaps) to see it … this friend had NEVER seen it … due to religious parents who thought the poster indicated nude bathing on screen. Outrageous!

    • christian Says:

      Yep, no more newspaper film ads. Sad. Even as a kid I loved looking at the spread of movies. Especially in the day when lots of the double features would be random, old or new.

      Nude bathing…jeepers. But it is an iconic poster with just a hint of sexual symbolism, eh? KnowwhatImean? Eh? A bit of the shark, eh? Are you a swimmer? KnowwhatImean? Swim, eh?

  7. JAWS is still Spielberg’s finest movie, and I say that as someone who generally buys the idea of him as the auteur his super-fans claim him to be. (Though, for such a good director, he takes leaps in common sense that are truly unbelievable.)

    • christian Says:

      It is his best movie. Ever scene is damn near perfect and even tho I was too young to explicate, I remember thinking that this was a new kind of film and the audience response was so intuitive to the presentation.

      I also just love Spielberg’s work with the amazing actors. The scene where Quint grabs Hooper’s hands and feels them for strength is one of my favorite moments. I love the look of incredulity on Dreyfuss’s face. Then one of Brody’s great lines: “You’re not going to do this aboard the ship are you, Mr. Quint?”

  8. totally agreed : spielberg is a genius for combining authorship and production values. i still have a crush on him, and sometimes he can still crafts a gem in this empty world (like the first hour of war of the world)…..

    i m just wondering if we can forgive him Indy 4, biggest childhood rape rape ever.

  9. Christian:

    I also wanted to add that I just bestowed the Versatile Blogger Award for all the great work you do on your blog:

    • christian Says:

      Thank you so much, JD! I’m honored you would think of TD with such a great list of fellow online scribes (looks down, fists in pockets, kicking the ground).

  10. Oh, you meant ’75. Yeah it was.

    Maybe 2012 or ’13…

  11. I agree this is Spielberg’s best film and one of the great American films. Over time I think it’s gotten somewhat devalued by getting tossed into the “blockbuster” vault. It is a “blockbuster” & may even have been built for that, but it is by no means the lesser piece of work because of its (intended) popularity (& those three pointless sequels). The opening sequence, from the bonfire to that haunting ringing buoy, is a masterpiece of suspense (one of many in the film). The first attack has lost none of its bite and will slap you to attention with its horror. Chilling, funny, touching and damn near perfect.

    “We know all about you, Chief. You don’t like to go into the water.”

    • christian Says:

      Agreed. That first attack is still horrible and effective — and it actually conveys the explicit gory description from Benchley’s novel without showing it. I recall it vividly at my first screening.

      Of course, I did see JAWS 2 and 3-D opening night.

      “That’s some bad hat, Harry.”

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