First released in the summer of 1975, the young Steven Spielberg’s Jaws went on to be a huge blockbuster and put the fear of God into many a sea bather for decades to come. The film’s iconic soundtrack by John Williams is perfectly designed to ratchet up the tension as it becomes known that a ravenous great white shark has set up residence in the carefree summer waters of Amity Island. With the town’s mayor and local business men wanting to keep the area’s summer economy buoyant, Amity’s local chief of police Chief Brody (Roy Scheider), Richard Dreyfuss’ young marine biologist Hooper and shark hunter Quint (Robert Shaw) are left to deal with with the teenager-hungry predator as quickly and quietly as possible.
This reviewer (whisper it) had never actually seen all of Jaws before attending this remastered screening of the film, so to see all of Jaws restored and on a cinema screen was truly a cinematic treat.
Spielberg never over plays the element of surprise that the shark embodies and the film constantly teases its audience with off beat angles and snippets of music to keep the nerves on edge whenever there is water in a scene. The films clear B-Movie story elements are lifted from being a simple story due to the acting chemistry between Dreyfuss, Scheider and Shaw helped in no small part by the quip filled flow of the dialogue. The immortal words ‘We’re going to need another boat’ arrive just as the audience begins to suspect that this shark is more akin to Captain Ahab’s Moby Dick than a mere mindless eating machine.
Jaws was made to be enjoyed in the cinema and with the full effects of its vibrant summer colours and a soundtrack now ingrained in our collective psyches. The Jaws legacy is clear in the colour palate of Wes Anderson films with the bright yellows, blues and 1970’s tastic tailoring being contemporary elements within the film and reflecting the summer setting of the story.
See it in the cinema if at all possible or enjoy it on Blu-Ray in comfort of your home when it is released in September of this year, just consider that it may be a while before you want to get back in the water.