Today we celebrate the 40th anniversary of a film that influenced a generation of movie goers, Jaws. On this day, June 20th in 1975, ‘Jaws’ was unleashed in theaters. Steven Spielberg directed the film, which was written by Carl Gottieb and Peter Benchley, who also wrote the novel that the film is based on. ‘Jaws’ stars Roy Scheider as Chief Brody, Richard Dreyfuss as Hooper (the shark expert), Robert Shaw as the fearless Captain Quint, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton, Carl Gottlieb, Jeffery Cramer, Chris Rebello, Jay Mello and many more. Let’s of course not forget the 26 foot behemoth and main star, Bruce. For those of you who didn’t know, Bruce is the shark that makes ‘Jaws’ so great. Steven Spielberg named the beast “Bruce” himself.
‘Jaws’ forever affected how we see the summer, the beach and the water. This incredible film also changed how we once saw the summer movie season, which was once slow and filled with the less than fantastic blockbusters. Since that summer we now gladly anticipate the flood of entertainment in the cool cushioned seats of theaters. ‘Jaws’ was the first real creature feature and opened the door for titles such as ‘Piranha’, ‘Arachnophobia’, ‘Anaconda’ and the list goes on, of course none ever reached the popularity of this still respected classic.
The truth is, there are so many different ways that ‘Jaws’ affected us all and to be honest, it’s still my favorite movie. Unfortunately among the good, there is always the bad. There was one bad repercussion of releasing a movie about a vicious shark, the slaughter of real sharks, of every types, skyrocketed due to ignorance and fear after droves of people saw the film. It also inspired many to fight to protect and study these amazing creatures, who are to often misunderstood. ‘Jaws’ will forever hold a place in movie history as one of the best movies ever made and one that’s influence still reaches movie goers forty years after its release.
Happy 40th anniversary to Steven Spielberg, the cast and the crew of ‘Jaws’ and to Bruce, may his legend live on.