The One...The Only...JAWS

Tino

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The more I think about Jaws, the more I believe it is the greatest summer film ever made and my favorite Spielberg film.

I watch it every summer and it never gets old. It’s still as thrilling and exciting as the first time I saw it in the summer of 1975.

I’m actually showing it this Wednesday night in my backyard on a 100” screen with family and friends and everyone is excited.

I think if this film was rereleased in theaters in IMAX it would be a huge success even today.

Bruce Lives!!;)
 
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Tino

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Jaws Trivia


On June 20, 1975, the now-iconic movie Jaws was released, igniting a nationwide terror of sharks that’s still going strong 40 years later. The film also revolutionized the movie industry by inventing the idea of the summer blockbuster (back then, most highly anticipated movies were released around Christmastime). Jaws became the first motion picture to gross more than $100 million and won three Academy Awards (for Best Sound, Best Film Editing, and Best Original Dramatic Score).

Here, more fascinating Jaws trivia even film buffs might not know.

1. The movie Jaws was developed from a book of the same name by Peter Benchley. Though he says the book is pure fiction, Benchley says he was inspired by the capture of a 4,500-pound shark off the coast of Montauk in 1964.

2. Benchley originally titled the book Silence in the Deep before he asked his father, the children’s books author Nathaniel Benchley, for suggestions. The senior Benchley sent back a list of 200 possible titles, including the now-famous monosyllabic title, and some lengthier options; for example, Wha’s That Noshin’ On My Laig? The title Jaws was the only one both Peter Benchley and his editors could agree upon.

3. Steven Spielberg, the film’s director,first became aware of the book when he noticed it on top of a large stack of papers in his producer’s office. He initially thought it was about a dentist.

4. Spielberg was not the original director chosen for the film. The first director was fired after a production meeting in which he continually referred to the shark as a whale.

5. Three months before production was set to begin, Spielberg decided he wanted to direct a different movie (he didn’t want to be typecast as a “truck and shark” director). He went to speak with the producers, who knew he wanted to back out. When Spielberg saw that they had worn Jaws crew t-shirts, all three started laughing, and Spielberg said, “Never mind.”

6. Benchley later became an ocean conservationist, and said he regretted writing a book that portrayed sharks in such a cold-blooded manner.

7. Producers knew they couldn’t use a real great white shark in the movie because this breed died quickly in captivity; at the time, the current record for keeping a one alive in confinement was 11 days. Scientists believe that great whites died from depression and self-starvation due to the stress of capture.

8. Three mechanical sharks were constructed to play the part of the great white: a “left” and “right” shark for side shots, and a full-sized one.

9. Collectively, the sharks were referred to as Bruce—after Spielberg’s lawyer.

10. After the full-sized shark sankduring its first time in the water, the crew also nicknamed the shark “Flaws” or the “Great White Turd.”

11. The sharks were to be attached to a 16-ton platform sitting on the ocean floor. The malfunctioning arm used to control the sharks was referred to as the “Iron Monster.”

12. The mechanical sharks were such a disappointment, partly because their combined cost was $225,000 (nearly $1 million in today’s currency).

13. The shark malfunction issuesmade it necessary to film most of the movie’s scenes without them. In fact, the first shark doesn’t appear until one hour and 21 minutes into the two-hour film.

14. In lieu of more face time with sharks, Spielberg says he channeled Alfred Hitchcock to let an invisible threat terrorize the audience.

15. Another filming roadblock: The odd-looking mechanized sharks attracted fellow mariners, who would often ruin a shot by steering over to ask what the production crew was doing. It would take up to six hours to set up shots again.

16. The original filming took place off the coast of Martha’s Vineyard during May and June, but Spielberg had to extend the filming by three months because of shooting complications. A local prankster, apparently angered by the outsiders overstaying their welcome, left a dead brown shark on the porch of the production office.

17. Jaws was set to be released over the Christmas season, but Spielberg took so long filming that the movie had a summer release date, which was traditionally reserved for low-end movies. The filming delay is what spurred Jaws to become the first movie to define the concept of a “summer blockbuster.”

18. The crew also lost 10 days of filming during the summer boating season. The first issue was the New York Yacht Club’s Annual Cruise; boat after boat passed by on the supposed-to-be-empty horizon. This was followed by another parade of boats en route to the America’s Cup race in Newport, Rhode Island.

19. The film’s initial budget was $3.5 million, but it wound up costing around $8 million to make, the equivalent of $35 million in today’s dollars. (Compare that with Pirates of the Caribbean’s $341.8 million budget or Titanic’s $294.3 million cost).

20. The production crew wasn’t allowed to build sets for movie scenes on Martha’s Vineyard, save for the set of Quint’s boathouse. Town officials only gave their consent because the crew agreed to build on an abandoned lot, tear down after, and replace everything that had been there—including the pre-existing trash on the ground.

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21. A real shark (not a great white) used in filming got tangled in rope and smashed the underwater cage, which contained a real actor for scale. Spielberg liked this footage so much, he decided to change the script and have Hooper, the out-of-town oceanographer, escape during this attack. None of it was planned.

22. The sharks used in the film were smaller than Spielberg wanted, so he hired a short actor specifically for those scenes.

23. Spielberg was not originally a fanof the film’s now-iconic theme song. The first time he heard John William’s opening track, he laughed at its simplicity. He later conceded that the music made the movie more thrilling.

24. In an early scene, a high school band is playing a Sousa march. The music was actually recorded by John Williams and his band, but according to Williams, many of the talented musicians found it difficult to play so poorly. Spielberg played the clarinet for the recording, which Williams said, “added just the right amateur quality to the piece.”

25. Charlton Heston was considered for the role of Police Chief Martin Brody, but Spielberg decided to go with a less-known actor because he didn’t want the audience to immediately identify Brody as the heroic savior (based on Heston’s previous film roles). Heston reportedly refused to ever work with the director.

26. Roy Scheider, the actor who did get the leading role, happened upon it by coincidence. At a party, he heard Spielberg describing the scene where the shark leaps up onto the boat, and immediately asked for a role in the film.

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27. Scheider improvised the now-famous line, “You’re going to need a bigger boat.”

28. The name of the production company Bad Hat Harry, which has produced such movies as X-Men and Superman Returns, was inspired by a scene in Jaws. Chief Brody tells a beachgoer that he has an ugly swimming cap: “That’s some bad hat, Harry!”

29. Jaws book author Peter Benchleymakes a cameo in the film as a newspaper reporter; he worked at the Washington Post before penning Jaws.

30. Townspeople of Martha’s Vineyardwere paid $64 each for playing extras who ran across the beach and screamed during the shark attack scene.

31. The beachgoers in the Fourth of July scene didn’t need much prodding to get them out of the water when the supposed shark attack occurred: The ocean temperature that June day was a frigid 64 degrees.

32. Cameraman Bill Butler invented a “water box” with glass windows that allowed cameras to be submerged because Spielberg wanted the audience to feel like they were about to drown in the ocean.

33. Jaws was initially given an R ratingbefore a graphic scene involving a severed leg was cut from the film. The rating was readjusted to PG (there was no PG-13 rating at the time).

34. Artist Roger Kastel originally designed the film’s iconic poster. The swimmer in the poster was a model he was sketching for an ad in Good Housekeeping; he asked her to stay a little longer and lie on a stool in a swimming position.

35. While the mechanical sharks were destroyed after filming, the Orca—the film’s famous boat—ended up at Universal Studios in Hollywood. Steven Spielberg would often visit the boat and reminisce about the movie that launched his career.

36. One day in 1996 when Spielbergwent to visit the Orca, he discovered it had disappeared. According to Spielberg, a Universal Studios employee had decided to chop up the mildewed and termite-infested boat. All that remains now is the steering wheel, a propeller, and the anchor.

37. In the movie’s original ending, the shark anticlimactically dies from blood loss while circling Brody. Spielberg changed this to the famous explosion scene, but not everyone agreed with his decision. Peter Benchley was kicked off the set after protesting the change to his novel. He later conceded that Spielberg had made the right decision.

38. But Spielberg didn’t direct the infamous explosion scene. Exhausted from shooting, he had already returned to Hollywood to work on post-production, leaving the filming to the secondary crew.

39. Spielberg would later say: “Jaws was my Vietnam. It was basically naïve people against nature, and nature beat us every day.”

40. Among the movie’s biggest fanswas Fidel Castro, who reportedly interpreted the shark attacks as symbolic of an attack on American capitalism.

More at
https://www.rd.com/culture/jaws-movie-trivia-facts/
 

benbess

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I'd enjoy seeing a whole Spielberg marathon in IMAX, starting with Jaws.

Probably beside the point, but does anyone know if there's some truth to this story.....?

Quint: "Japanese submarine slammed two torpedoes into our side, Chief. We was comin' back from the island of Tinian to Leyte, just delivered the bomb. The Hiroshima bomb. Eleven hundred men went into the water. Vessel went down in twelve minutes. Didn't see the first shark for about a half an hour. Tiger. Thirteen-footer. You know how you know that when you're in the water, Chief? You tell by lookin' from the dorsal to the tail. What we didn't know... was our bomb mission had been so secret, no distress signal had been sent. Heh.

Quint: They didn't even list us overdue for a week. Very first light, Chief, sharks come cruisin'. So we formed ourselves into tight groups. Y'know, it's... kinda like ol' squares in a battle like, uh, you see in a calendar, like the Battle of Waterloo, and the idea was, shark comes to the nearest man and that man, he'd start poundin' and hollerin' and screamin', and sometimes the shark'd go away... sometimes he wouldn't go away. Sometimes that shark, he looks right into ya. Right into your eyes. Y'know the thing about a shark, he's got... lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll's eyes. When he comes at ya, doesn't seem to be livin'... until he bites ya. And those black eyes roll over white, and then... oh, then you hear that terrible high-pitch screamin', the ocean turns red, and spite of all the poundin' and the hollerin', they all come in and they... rip you to pieces.

Quint: Y'know, by the end of that first dawn... lost a hundred men. I dunno how many sharks. Maybe a thousand. I dunno how many men, they averaged six an hour. On Thursday mornin', Chief, I bumped into a friend of mine, Herbie Robinson from Cleveland- baseball player, boatswain's mate. I thought he was asleep, reached over to wake him up... bobbed up and down in the water just like a kinda top. Upended. Well... he'd been bitten in half below the waist. Noon the fifth day, Mr. Hooper, a Lockheed Ventura saw us, he swung in low and he saw us. Young pilot, a lot younger than Mr. Hooper. Anyway, he saw us and come in low and three hours later, a big fat PBY comes down and start to pick us up. Y'know, that was the time I was most frightened, waitin' for my turn. I'll never put on a life jacket again. So, eleven hundred men went into the water, three hundred sixteen men come out, and the sharks took the rest, June the 29th, 1945."
 
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benbess

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In 1975, right after Jaws came out, I was playing on a hot day in the front lawn of a friend of mine on a Slip-N-Slide. We were ten years old. Another friend of ours who was also ten walked by, looking scared. We asked him if he wanted to join us on the Slip-N-Slide. He said, "No! I just saw Jaws and I really don't think I want to touch water right now!" We laughed, but he actually seemed more serious than not about not wanting to touch water right after seeing Jaws.
 

Tino

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It was no joke. That summer no one went swimming in the ocean. We were all terrified. And if you did go swimming, inevitably you would sneak up on a friend mouthing dundun dundun dundun dundun and smack the water!:emoji_scream:
 
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Walter Kittel

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The film holds up remarkably well. The scenes on the water sort of have a timeless feel to them. I sometimes will catch a bit of the film when it is on cable and it is very easy to fall into watching way more than I had planned. Is it my favorite Spielberg film? It is on the short list, but I think I'd have to go with Raiders of the Lost Ark as a personal favorite.

Even though it wasn't nominated for cinematography, I've always loved certain shots from the film Jaws. One of my favorites is of the nighttime sky with Quint standing in the pulpit of the boat (facing the stern of the boat) rocking with the motion of the craft.

- Walter.
 

Malcolm R

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38. But Spielberg didn’t direct the infamous explosion scene. Exhausted from shooting, he had already returned to Hollywood to work on post-production, leaving the filming to the secondary crew.
I'd heard Spielberg purposely left the set before filming of the final shots as the crew had threatened to throw him overboard when filming wrapped.
 
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Tino

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I'd enjoy seeing a whole Spielberg marathon in IMAX, starting with Jaws.

Probably beside the point, but does anyone know if there's some truth to this story.....?

Quint: "Japanese submarine slammed two torpedoes into our side, Chief. We was comin' back from the island of Tinian to Leyte, just delivered the bomb. The Hiroshima bomb. Eleven hundred men went into the water. Vessel went down in twelve minutes. Didn't see the first shark for about a half an hour. Tiger. Thirteen-footer. You know how you know that when you're in the water, Chief? You tell by lookin' from the dorsal to the tail. What we didn't know... was our bomb mission had been so secret, no distress signal had been sent. Heh.

Quint: They didn't even list us overdue for a week. Very first light, Chief, sharks come cruisin'. So we formed ourselves into tight groups. Y'know, it's... kinda like ol' squares in a battle like, uh, you see in a calendar, like the Battle of Waterloo, and the idea was, shark comes to the nearest man and that man, he'd start poundin' and hollerin' and screamin', and sometimes the shark'd go away... sometimes he wouldn't go away. Sometimes that shark, he looks right into ya. Right into your eyes. Y'know the thing about a shark, he's got... lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll's eyes. When he comes at ya, doesn't seem to be livin'... until he bites ya. And those black eyes roll over white, and then... oh, then you hear that terrible high-pitch screamin', the ocean turns red, and spite of all the poundin' and the hollerin', they all come in and they... rip you to pieces.

Quint: Y'know, by the end of that first dawn... lost a hundred men. I dunno how many sharks. Maybe a thousand. I dunno how many men, they averaged six an hour. On Thursday mornin', Chief, I bumped into a friend of mine, Herbie Robinson from Cleveland- baseball player, boatswain's mate. I thought he was asleep, reached over to wake him up... bobbed up and down in the water just like a kinda top. Upended. Well... he'd been bitten in half below the waist. Noon the fifth day, Mr. Hooper, a Lockheed Ventura saw us, he swung in low and he saw us. Young pilot, a lot younger than Mr. Hooper. Anyway, he saw us and come in low and three hours later, a big fat PBY comes down and start to pick us up. Y'know, that was the time I was most frightened, waitin' for my turn. I'll never put on a life jacket again. So, eleven hundred men went into the water, three hundred sixteen men come out, and the sharks took the rest, June the 29th, 1945."
Pretty much all true regarding the actual event.
 

Tino

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Spielberg on that speech.

Steven Spielberg: I owe three people a lot for this speech. You’ve heard all this, but you’ve probably never heard it from me. There’s a lot of apocryphal reporting about who did what on Jaws and I’ve heard it for the last three decades, but the fact is the speech was conceived by Howard Sackler, who was an uncredited writer, didn’t want a credit and didn’t arbitrate for one, but he’s the guy that broke the back of the script before we ever got to Martha’s Vineyard to shoot the movie.

I hired later Carl Gottlieb to come onto the island, who was a friend of mine, to punch up the script, but Howard conceived of the Indianapolis speech. I had never heard of the Indianapolis before Howard, who wrote the script at the Bel Air Hotel and I was with him a couple times a week reading pages and discussing them.

Howard one day said, “Quint needs some motivation to show all of us what made him the way he is and I think it’s this Indianapolis incident.” I said, “Howard, what’s that?” And he explained the whole incident of the Indianapolis and the Atomic Bomb being delivered and on its way back it was sunk by a submarine and sharks surrounded the helpless sailors who had been cast adrift and it was just a horrendous piece of World War II history. Howard didn’t write a long speech, he probably wrote about three-quarters of a page.

But then, when I showed the script to my friend John Milius, John said “Can I take a crack at this speech?” and John wrote a 10 page monologue, that was absolutely brilliant, but out-sized for the Jaws I was making! (laughs) But it was brilliant and then Robert Shaw took the speech and Robert did the cut down. Robert himself was a fine writer, who had written the play The Man in the Glass Booth. Robert took a crack at the speech and he brought it down to five pages. So, that was sort of the evolution just of that speech.
 

Sam Favate

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It is a masterpiece and really invented the summer blockbuster. It came out when I was a kid and every kid in my school was talking about it, even though, seeing it now, I think they were way too young to see it (8 yrs.). Thank goodness they did a good job on the blu-ray transfer.
 

TravisR

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I probably saw Jaws when I was in first grade and have loved it ever since. I'm a huge horror movie fan and I think it's probably because of Jaws.

I'll be seeing a 35mm screening again at the end of July. Over the years, I must have seen the movie 10 times or more theatrically. Considering I wasn't born when it came out, that's a pretty high number. :)

"It is as if god created the devil and gave him... Jaws."
 
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Neil Middlemiss

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I love your love for this film, Tino. I love it when folk get to share the cinema they passionately adore (one day I will start my own Aliens thread), but seeing this thread today has made me wan to watch Jaws again! And that's always a good thing. Cheers!
 

Joe Wong

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My parents took me to see Jaws in the cinema when I was about 6 years old. Had nightmares the next couple of nights. But it ignited my lifelong passion for films.

To this day I still consider it Spielberg's most perfect composition. I know he was a relative unknown at the time, but the fact that he was hungry certainly contributed. I think in one of the commentaries/documentaries it's even stated he was "greedy" in the underwater / corpse-popping-out-from-hole-in-the-boat scene!

And I consider Jaws to be one of only a handful of films to match or better (in Jaws' case, better) the book it was based on (the others being The Godfather, The Exorcist, The Silence of the Lambs, The Lord of the Rings... pretty elite company).
 
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Joe Wong

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I love your love for this film, Tino. I love it when folk get to share the cinema they passionately adore (one day I will start my own Aliens thread), but seeing this thread today has made me wan to watch Jaws again! And that's always a good thing. Cheers!
Not to change subject, but I eagerly await your Aliens thread, Neil. Probably my #2 film of all time. Saw it 5 times in the cinema. Incredibly atmospheric and cinematic experience.
 

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