Monday, July 13, 2009


In my mind there is not a movie more appropriate for the 4th of July than Jaws. As such I made sure to watch it over the Independence Day weekend.

The thing about Jaws is that I used to be downright terrified of this movie and refused to watch it for years after I first saw it. At one point in college I remember my brothers forcing me to watch it (each wedging me into my seat by cramming in next to me) and I don’t remember if I like it. Jaws preys on my irrational fear of bodies of water, and teeth/sharks – I know this movie should drive me insane with fear because that’s what it used to do. I really can’t remember when exactly I began to like this movie, much less when it became one of the movies I idolize.

Jaws is pretty much a perfect movie. It is not only engaging and fun but it is a text book example that if you have an involving plot, engaging, developed characters and make a conscious effort to put a good film together greatness can happen.

This movie was an inspiration to me while I made my own feature directorial debut. I have a quote by Ebert on my desk wall about Jaws where he raves that it is “a sensationally effective action picture, a scary thriller that works all the better because it’s populated with characters that have been developed into human beings.” This quote is amazingly true.

Above and beyond all of the thrills, jokes, scares and beauty inherent in Spielberg’s first feature the scene that captivates me and haunts me every time I watch the film is when Quint tells Brody and Hooper about being on the USS Indianapolis when it was sunk in WWII. No matter how many times I see that movie the scene captures my attention.

Jaws is one of the MANY reasons I am a diehard Spielberg junkie.

Hooper: I'm not going to waste my time arguing with a man who's lining up to be a hot lunch.


Adam said...

Actually, "Jaws" is Spielberg's 2nd feature film. 1974's "The Sugarland Express" is his first.

Megan said...

I forgot about Sugarland. I actaully like that film quite a lot too, but JAWS is really the movie where he became known.