Saturday, June 9, 2007

Jaws (1975)

Directed by Steven Spielberg. Starring Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss, and Robert Shaw.

Nowadays, this film takes a good portion of the blame for the downfall of risk-taking Hollywood and the rise of the blockbuster mentality. Seen on its own, however, it remains a crackling suspense yarn. Spielberg sets the audience up beautifully, establishing the beachfront community setting, while tantalizing us with scenes in which, well, something is killing the swimmers (love the shot in which the floating pier turns around). In the film's second hour, it becomes more of an adventure story, in which the film's three main characters hunt down the great white shark. These scenes are where JAWS takes off, with three specific men- Scheider's pragmatic and water-fearing police chief, Dreyfuss' nebbishy young scientist, and most memorably Shaw's crusty sea salt- on a single mission. One of the most popular movies ever made- and it still works.

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