Thursday, July 30, 2015

Jaws (1975)

A NYC cop (Roy Scheider) takes the job of Chief of Police on a small island. A young girl is killed by a shark, but the townspeople are hesitant to close the beaches because the forth of July is coming and they rely on tourist dollars. After several more attacks, they hire an old salt to hunt the fish down.

Before I continue, allow me to confess that Jaws is one of my essential films. I could go on and on (and on AND ON!) about my personal history with Jaws, but that would bore even me. Just let me say that I read the book before they made the film (even did a book report on it), my parents vacationed on Martha's Vinyard during filming, and the local dive cinema played it the entire summer so I went again and again. I started seeing films at Movies on the Block and brought my family to see Jaws.

Seeing it again, and on the big screen, emphasized that every scene is a masterpiece. Nothing was included that wasn't exceptional. If anyone doubts Spielberg's genius, point to Jaws. He's not infallible, mind you, but there is no improving on this film.

Here's what I found interesting: I remembered every nuance of this film. Every turn of phrase, every meaningful glance. Everything. Ingrained permanently in my grey matter. Susan Backlinie played Chrissie, the first victim. Denise Cheshire played Chrissie when swimming. The two would team up the same way again for 1941. There is so much interesting (to me) trivia about this film that I am incapable of editing myself. Go to IMDb and read it for yourself. Better yet, watch the film, then the video included at the bottom.

Wonderful visual storytelling, pitch perfect dialog, incredible acting, and perfect editing. The only thing that could have made it better would be if the two jack-asses didn't get into a fist fight right at Ben Gardner's big scene. AMRU 5.
"Here's to swimmin' with bow-legged women!"


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