Movie Review

Jaws

Reviewed by: Eric Paddon
CONTRIBUTOR

Average
Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Young Teen to Adult
Genre:
Action/Suspense
Length:
2 hr. 4 min.
Year of Release:
1975
USA Release:
_____
Cover graphic from “Jaws”
Featuring: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton
Director: Steven Spielberg
Producer: David Brown, Richard D. Zanuck
Distributor: Universal

“Jaws,” the familiar story of a small New England town terrorized by a killer great white shark, remains to this day the greatest work of director Steven Spielberg. Instead of doing what a less talented director might have done and make it a vulgar horror film, Spielberg instead went for the more effective blend of unseen terror mixed with grand adventure. Coupled with outstanding performances from Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw, and a memorable John Williams score, the end results are cinema magic.

There is some violence in the film, though not enough to make one question the film’s PG rating (it would probably be PG-13 though by today’s standards). A handful of profane words permeate and the salty fisherman Quint (Shaw) does use Christ’s name in vain at various points. On the plus side though, Spielberg is to be commended for cleaning up the dirty aspects of Peter Benchley’s novel which inspired this movie. Unlike the novel, Chief Brody (Scheider) and his wife are happily married and deeply in love (in the novel she has an afternoon tryst with the Hooper character), and the film’s violence far less graphic than what the book described. The book gave us selfish people who were difficult to sympathize with, while by contrast the movie gives us characters you’re glad to root for (even Quint, who gives a powerful speech about why he has a vendetta against sharks, stemming from his WWII experience surviving the sinking of the Indianapolis. This inspired touch wasn’t in the book either).


Viewer Comments
…I have seen “Jaws” and it was one of the most offensive films I have seen in a long time. The characters took the Lord’s Name in vain at the least six times, and used every other swear word thought up at least twice, other than the f-word. Overall: this movie should be skipped. If blood and gore is what you are after, then see “The 13th Warrior”. My Ratings: [1/5]
—Adam Ross, age 15
Don’t show this one to little children (or anyone else, for that matter) who wants to learn how to swim. The scenes with the shark chomping down on people unlucky enough to be in the water are still chilling. I liked the little hommage to Moby Dick that is shown in Robert Shaw’s character.
—Hillari Hunter, age 38
Flat out classic… to this day the reason why my wife won’t swim in the ocean. A few swears here and there. SS at his best. Would be a PG-13 today, should be kept to teens and above… My Ratings: [3/5]
—Mark D. Wiggins, age 34