Jaws was perhaps best known for its successful attempt to scare the living wits out of all cinema goers at the time, as well as its suspenseful, terror-inspiring theme song. We should thank tuba player Tommy Johnson for that one.
The 1975 film directed by a then-fresh-faced 28-year-old, Steven Spielberg, is nothing short of a classic.
The massive creature headlining the film had two other names by Spielberg â€“ Bruce (after his lawyer) and â€œthe great white turdâ€ (when frustration mounted during production). Not quite as terrifying.
Apparently, the mechanical sharks, at $US250,000 a piece, had a penchant for breaking down. Because they were out of operation for some of the shots (there were three sharks), Spielberg improvised by using the camera as the sharkâ€™s point of view. In fact, that may have saved the film from the cheesy fake shark for more of the film.
Well, something must have worked. Jaws, a summer blockbuster that year, became the highest grossing film of all time in the States. Star Wars topped it in 1977.
Marthaâ€™s Vineyard in Massachusetts, where the movie was filmed, did experience an increase in tourists following the filmâ€™s release. However, other seaside resorts did not fare so well that year. Overall, the holiday industry suffered as a result.
The movie undoubtedly rattled a few people. So how scary did Spielberg think Jaws was? Too much for a 13-year-old?
In an interview with Vanity Fair in 2008, Spielberg explains the dilemma of deciding when the timeâ€™s right for his own kids to enjoy some of his scarier work.
“I havenâ€™t shown Jaws to my 10 or 11-year-old, and I wonâ€™t. I showed Jaws to Sawyer when he was, I think, 13. Because then they use the argument, â€˜Dad, I was bar mitzvahed last week. Everybody said today Iâ€™m a man, and you still wonâ€™t let me see Jaws?â€™ Sometimes the kids outsmart me.â€