Thriller, Horror, Adventure

Director: Steven Spielberg Cast: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton, Carl Gottlieb, Jeffrey Kramer, Susan Backlinie, Jonathan Filley, Lee Fierro, Jeffrey Voorhees

Academy Awards: Best Sound; Best Film Editing; Best Original Dramatic Score (John Williams)

Also Nominated For: Best Picture

I First Saw In: c. 2003

Synopsis: When a gigantic great white shark begins to menace the small island community of Amity, a police chief, a marine scientist and grizzled fisherman set out to stop it.

Did You Know? The shark does not appear in the film until an hour and twenty-one minutes in. While this was not the initial plan, it gained Spielberg much acclaim as a “master of suspense”. The first day that the model shark was used on set, it sank to the bottom of the ocean; it required a great deal of maintenance and thus didn’t appear very terrifying. Spielberg said, “I had no choice but to figure out how to tell the story without the shark.” He reasoned that, “It’s what we don’t see which is truly frightening.”

Quotables: BRODY: Smile, you sonofabitch!

And now a Word from the Guise:
Most people would say this is a film about a man-eating monster, but I’ve always thought it was a film about the atrocities of man. We’re so hellbent on vengeance, that we grab our torches and pitchforks to hunt and kill every bear, cougar, wolf, shark, or whatever in sight, because one of them killed a person. Yet most of the time, we don’t extend that same attitude toward human murderers. People kill for sport, whereas animals kill to eat, to defend themselves and their young. They kill to survive. But as soon as there’s a shark attack, we start a manhunt to “bring it to justice”. It’s ridiculous. The only monsters are people.

Oscar Madness Ranking – ??? out of 233