Movie Minutiae: Jaws (1975)

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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 – Bruce (after his lawyer) and “the great white turd” (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 shark’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.

Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts, where the movie was filmed, did experience an increase in tourists following the film’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 time’s right for his own kids to enjoy some of his scarier work.

“I haven’t shown Jaws to my 10 or 11-year-old, and I won’t. I showed Jaws to Sawyer when he was, I think, 13. Because then they use the argument, ‘Dad, I was bar mitzvahed last week. Everybody said today I’m a man, and you still won’t let me see Jaws?’ Sometimes the kids outsmart me.”

Source: Articulate.


  1. Great article. Iam tring to find out if the shark they catch they believe to be the killer but isnt, is a real shark? You could end a long debate between me and boyfriend. Please help.

  2. i love your movie i am a big fan i love broady

  3. Does anybody know about the meteor/falling star/airplane?? that travels across the upper part of the background. It appears yellowish-golden and travels diagonally from the upper right across the screen thru Roy Scheider’s head. It occurs at 1 hour 36 minutes into the movie. What is it??

  4. I’ve Been Fascinated With The Movie Since I Was A Kid. Not Scared Like I Was Then, But It Still Spooks Me. I Would Have Loved To Have Been There When They Made It.

  5. Yeh nice atricle m8 n LOL the way Speilbergs kids outsmart him. The best film ever made

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