What a movie. And can I just say, as impressive as this film is.....what's even MORE impressive is that Spielberg was only 27 when making it!! Great. So now in 1.5 years if I haven't made a beloved cinema classic I'm pretty much a failure.... Oh well, we can't all be Steven Spielberg (no matter how hard many people try..) But back to the film itself and not its filmmakers: this is a truly solid film.....a film very deserving of all the accolades it has been given throughout the years. It is chilling, thrilling and tense.....just masterfully crafted in every way. I have seen the movie a few times before, but it had been a few years since. When I went to grab the DVD she advised that we watch it on the biggest screen possible to get the true effect.
Good call mom.
So apart from all of Steven Spielberg's touches, (as well as his editor and cinematographer who were also fantastic..) it, of course, must be mentioned the giant contribution that John Williams' score added to the film. From reading all about the making of Jaws it seemed there were a lot of serendipitous accidents that really made the movie what it is now...one of which was a malfunctioning mechanical shark that forced Steven Spielberg to show the shark less than he planned....and this is where the musical score stepped in. The score personifies the shark and gives it character....it makes it clear how menacing it really is, it shows the shark without SHOWING the shark....in fact it might be one of the most effective scores (along with Psycho) in all of film history. Also to the film's credit is the fine performances by the cast...in particular the trio of Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss, and Robert Shaw. Despite the kerfuffles on the set, their performances all work together seamlessly and have a very good chemistry that makes the movie work. The result of all of these efforts? The ULTIMATE shark movie.
ETA: Rottentomatoes has a good list of shark movies HERE