Director: Steven Spielberg
Stars: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss
Plot: A giant great white shark arrives on the shores of a New England beach resort and wreaks havoc with bloody attacks on swimmers, until a part-time sheriff teams up with a marine biologist and an old seafarer to hunt the monster down.
Several decades after the release of Jaws (1975), Lee Fierro, who played Mrs. Kintner, walked into a seafood restaurant and noticed that the menu had an "Alex Kintner Sandwich." She commented that she had played his mother so many years ago; the owner of the restaurant ran out to meet her, and he was none other than Jeffrey Voorhees, who had played her son. They had not seen each other since the original movie shoot.
According to writer Carl Gottlieb, the line, "You're gonna need a bigger boat," was not scripted, but was ad-libbed by Roy Scheider.
When composer John Williams originally played the score for director Steven Spielberg, Spielberg laughed and said, "That's funny, John, really; but what did you really have in mind for the theme of Jaws
Robert Shaw could not stand Richard Dreyfuss and the two argued all the time, which resulted in some good tension between Hooper and Quint.
According to director Steven Spielberg, the prop arm looked too fake in the scene where Chrissie's remains are discovered, so instead, they buried a female crew member in the sand with only her arm exposed.
According to The Making of Steven Spielberg's 'Jaws' (1995) documentary, the shooting star that appears during the night scene where Brody loads his revolver was real, not an optical effect.
Director Steven Spielberg named the shark "Bruce" after his lawyer.
When the shark was built, it was never tested in the water. When it was put in the water at Martha's Vineyard, it sank straight to the ocean floor; it took a team of divers to retrieve it.
Roy Scheider stated in an interview that in the scene where Lee Fierro (Mrs. Kintner) smacks him in the face, she was actually hitting him. Apparently, the actress could not fake a slap and so the seventeen takes were some of the "most painful" of his (Scheider's) acting career. Also, Lee Fierro stated in several interviews that in one of the takes when she slapped Roy Scheider, his glasses fell off.
Although director Steven Spielberg wanted Charlton Heston to play Brody, the main reason he decided against casting Heston was because of his "saving the day" role in his previous movies, Airport 1975 (1974) and Earthquake (1974). Spielberg reasoned that if Heston would have been cast, it signifies to the audience that the shark has virtually no chance against the hero.
When the Egyptian resort of Sharm El Sheik experienced killer shark attacks in 2010, they used the plot of Jaws (1975) as their guide, including denying the problem, resisting closing the beaches, reluctantly closing them after a near shore attack, killing the wrong shark and declaring it the right one despite clear evidence to the contrary, re-opening the beaches with a fanfare declaring them safe, then having more attacks take place. After that, however, the shark simply left of its own accord.
Director Steven Spielberg observed at the first testing screening that the first surprise appearance of the shark got the biggest scream from the audience. However, after he re-shot the scene at Ben Gardner's boat, the surprise appearance of Ben Gardner's head got the biggest scream, while the appearance of the shark received half the reaction it used to. Spielberg said it taught him a lesson that a movie can have only one major scare moment, because afterward the audience will be on guard against the film. The scene where the head pops out from under the boat was not originally scripted. Director Steven Spielberg says he "got greedy" after he saw the preview audience's reaction to the scene where the shark jumps out behind Brody's head and wanted "one more scare."
Following the release of the film, a sort of hysteria overtook some members of the public, resulting in numerous incidents across the country. In one, a beach in Southern California was cleared by lifeguards due to sharks in the water, which turned out to be dolphins; and in a sadder incident in Florida, an immature pygmy sperm whale that beached itself was beaten to death by bystanders who mistook it for a shark.
A real shark became entangled in a line that had been laid down over the underwater cage. This footage was subsequently used in the film.
Movie is based on Peter Benchley's 1974 novel of the same name. In the book, it is revealed that Mayor Larry Vaughan is being blackmailed by the Mafia to keep the beaches open. The Mob has invested in Amity real estate, and is hoping for a multi-million dollar sale.
Made film history as the first film to gross more than $100 million.
After finishing the film, George Lucas came and visited Steven Spielberg while Bruce (the mechanical shark) was still in the water. George Lucas wanted to get a picture with his head inside of Bruce's mouth. Lucas put his head inside Bruce's mouth, and Spielberg played a prank on Lucas by closing Bruce's mouth. The prank backfired and Lucas ended up getting his head stuck inside Bruce's mouth and it took nearly three hours to set Lucas free.
With the schedule expanding from 52 to 155 days, director Steven Spielberg had to juggle Universal's impossible deadlines, an unfinished script, chaotic conditions off Martha's Vineyard, and a belligerent Robert Shaw. On the last day of shooting, Spielberg had heard rumors of a dunking from the mutinous crew. So, while the last shot -- the blowing up of the shark -- was being filmed, Spielberg was on a plane back to Los Angeles.
In the original novel, Hooper has an affair with Brody's wife, and is killed by the shark in the cage at the end. However, because the relationship between Brody's wife and Hooper was considered by many to be irrelevant to the plot, and arbitrarily included in the novel just to "sex it up", it was omitted from the film script, and Hooper was allowed to survive.
In the original script, Quint was killed off by drowning. The rope from the harpoon that he fires at the shark wraps around his foot and he is pulled under by the shark, calling for Brody to give him the knife. (This was also the way the character was killed off in the book and, according to an interview with Steven Spielberg about this scene, it is similar to the way Ahab dies in "Moby Dick".) However, it was decided that Quint should be eaten as this would be the most tragic for the character based on his experiences on the USS Indianapolis, so the script was changed to what is in the movie.