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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.
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.
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.
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
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
in french, it was paired in a jumbo book with the Meteor adaptation…
weird though, this image was so vivid in my mind….
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.
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)
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)
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.
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!
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.)
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?”
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.
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.”