Jaws Turned 45 and It’s Still Perfect

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Steven Spielberg’s classic, Jaws, just turned 45 on Saturday and many fans are taking to the internet to pay homage and respect to the father of summer blockbusters.

In case you live under a rock and haven’t seen this movie (something you need to fix RIGHT NOW), Jaws tells the story of a small island town terrorized by a huge great white shark. It was Steven Spielberg’s first film and showed the kind of magic he was going to be bringing us for decades to come. And, arguably, it remains his best.

The film is full suspense, terror, and tremendous acting. We can’t think of a single character that isn’t cast and played perfectly. This is especially true for Roy Schneider, Richard Dreyfuss, and Robert Shaw, the three characters who we follow for much of the end of the film. In our opinion, the film is perfect. It builds suspense to the perfect moment, never showing its hand too early or over-staying its welcome, and every scene both captivates and drives the film forward.

It’s even better when you realize that the film is somewhat of an accident. Jaws is known for showing the shark as little as possible, instead relying on a lone fin above the water, John Williams’ iconic score, and underwater, POV shots to show the shark’s presence. This was not the original plan, as they intended for the shark to be shown much more throughout the film, but due to the mechanical shark they were using being difficult and breaking down often, Spielberg transitioned to the less-is-more technique, and we are sure glad he did.

Jaws Turned 45 and It's Still Perfect

Not seeing the shark makes it all the scarier, and when we finally do catch those glimpses, we have been shown so little that its size is truly terrifying.

The film changed the industry forever, creating what we now view as the summer blockbuster season. And while summer blockbusters have changed in many ways since, the influence of the film is still seen in today’s movies.

Many fans have taken to social media to show their love of the film, and speak to its timelessness. Many of them are even sharing their favorite shots, scenes, and moments.

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As for us, our choice would have to go to the famous scene in which all three men drink, share scar stories, and are ultimately attacked by the shark. It is acting being done to its absolute best and Quint’s USS Indianapolis is told perfectly. The scene is funny, heartfelt, and scary, all at once. Film-making just doesn’t get better than this.

What about you? What’s your favorite scene from this seminal classic? Let us know in the comments and remember it’s not safe to go in the water.

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