Until recently, I never saw Jaws. Now you might find that odd, or you could argue that since I was born and raised in Hawaii, this made perfect sense. We don’t fear the water over here; we respect it. I grew up listening to the surf report on the radio. Our islands have good warning systems in place to inform the population of strong surf or any other hazards. Lastly, I never heard of shark attacks.

the classic movie poster of 1975

So on the one hand, while it’s crazy that I never watched this epic film, it wasn’t as if I didn’t see many clips and pop cultural references throughout my life. (SNL’s land shark anyone?) It’s one of those movies where I knew, at least on the very surface level, what happened. But of course, it was about so much more that a shark terrorizing the small town of Amity. In fact, “in 2001, it was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant”.

The first half of the film is very different than the second.
Richard Dreyfuss famously said: “We started without a script, without a cast and without a shark”
Yup, Jaws is based on a book.

For a thriller, the acting is impressive, as is the fact that you could probably watch the film multiple times and get something else out of it. Funnily, there are debates as to what the movie really means, from Watergate to masculinity to capitalism to my favorite “three different approaches to solving an obstacle: science (represented by Hooper), spiritualism (represented by Quint), and the common man (represented by Brody).”

And you thought it just had to do with a shark.

Gotta love all these alternative movie posters…

I’m participating in Film Fridays hosted by Darren and Sarah. Care to join? Just hashtag that post.


I saved the best for last. We watched the film on the exact day of its release June 20 but we had no idea until afterwards. How crazy is that?

Have you seen Jaws? Do you prefer to swim in the ocean or the pool?

34 replies on “Film Fridays – Jaws

  1. I have seen jaws quite a few times. I can’t remember how young I was when I first seen it. But I remember being on the edge of my seat, gripped and heart racing.

    I am not a good swimmer, so you won’t see me too far out. I usually just paddle in it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Isn’t that funny. Usually I do end up seeing old popular movies many times too, but for some reason this one escaped me. I could see it being scary at the time.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Ha! I almost wrote about Jaws this week myself – so you helped me decide 🙂
    I watch this at least once a year. It is a masterclass in movie making and, for me, marks the start of a golden era of movies led by Spielberg, Lucas, Cameron, Scott, Carpenter et al.
    Each time I watch it I find something new to enjoy – you are so right about that.

    Funnily enough – I was 9 when I first got dragged to see it by my mother and it scared the hell out of me and I refused to watch it again until well into my 30s.

    Oh – and I learned to swim only 3 years ago at 51!

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Always wanted to and had an ambition to Scuba dive but not being able to swim was a slight disadvantage. The lessons I had were run by a hopeless company who would cancel with no notice or switch venues but I managed to swim a length on my final lesson and then felt confident to practice in the pool at my wifes gym at quiet times.

        Liked by 2 people

    1. There are definitely movies I have forgotten if I have seen it, but even movies that I have seen I tend to forget a lot and get lost in the moment.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. I THINK I’ve seen it all the way through, but with all the clips and spoofs, etc., I may not have. I do love to swim in the ocean, but (because I don’t surf) I prefer my good ol’ Great Lake, Erie. Small waves, nice beaches (and yes some crummy beaches, too) and not so cold. I would, however, love to visit HI–never have. Much easier trip for my family that live on the West Coast (WA), where it’s too cold to swim in the ocean–huh?

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    1. I know what you mean, I’ve seen so much of Jaws I knew how the shark died, but it became apparent that I hadn’t seen it once the film started. It’s nice to appreciate the past, how much things have or haven’t changed, etc.

      Since I’m an island girl, I’m actually not a fan of lakes and rivers. Rivers are too scary and unfamiliar, and it was on my first lake trip that I got my first sunburn! 😛

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I read the book first in my teens. Later I saw the movie at a Drive-In. Scared the crap out of me. I always think I can see sharks hiding in the shallows when I go to the beach, which I haven’t now for about 30 years. Maybe the movie has something to do with that! :O Or it could be because I am not taking my clothes off in public. Beached whale being the correct description. On reflection, it is probably the former.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Hahahhaa. I’m actually not much of a beach person myself which is why even though I live near one I never go. I’d rather walk along than get in the water and it’s not fear or anything, it’s just I’m not a beach person. I’d rather hike in the mountains.

      Ah, drive-ins. Post COVID revival please!

      Liked by 1 person

  5. I saw Jaws as a child and couldn’t sleep for a couple of nights after! 🙈
    As an adult I found it far less scary and a lil unbelievable. But I’m sure for its time, all the effects and the mechanised shark must have thrilled the audience!

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I haven’t seen Jaws in a while. I remember being in a house share back in the 90s, and Jaws was on atV, it must have been the 20th anniversary. We all dissed the film before it started but settled down to watch it anyway. Two silent hours later we all could breathe again and now were saying what a good film it was. In my teens I went to see Jaws 3 in 3D. That was not a good film.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh really? Interesting. You didn’t like the 3D effects? I’m guessing it took away rather than added to the film?

      Yeah, I don’t like 3D in general. It gives me a headache. Hahahhaha.

      Like

      1. It wasn’t the 3D effects so much as the laughable plot, which if I remember correctly the main protagonists got on a plane at some point and the shark was magically able to divine not only that they were leaving but also where they were going and swam down to meet them. Poor plot and none of the tension and suspense of the original.

        Liked by 1 person

  7. I think I’ve watched some parts of Jaws but not the whole thing. There’s so many classics I haven’t watched, like Alien which is also mentioned in the post. And I only watched Indiana Jones when I was like 26, because a friend forced me to, hahaha.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. OMG. You haven’t seen Alien? Wow, that needs to be part of your homework. What a great film!!! You should do a classics marathon 🙂

      Like

  8. I knew Jaws’ place in cinematic history, but I had no idea people were debating it to the point of an existential crisis, it seems. Guess you learn something new everyday!

    And I understand respecting the water since the country I was born in faces the Pacific Ocean as well. The ocean is wild. We don’t tame it; it tames us.

    Liked by 2 people

      1. Interesting, me too! Lakes in particular scare me; something about not seeing the bottom. Which is funny since it’s not like we can see the ocean bottom either.

        Liked by 1 person

  9. That’s super crazy that you watched it on its anniversary, Lani!! 😁 And I have watched it multiple times and got something out of it each time! It’s an amazing classic, and those first two musical notes? Brilliant if you ask me. Everybody who hears them knows exactly where it’s from. 😀 All the different posters are amazing! Where do you come up with then?! Great post, Lani! 🖒💙

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You’re too kind. I just search online. After finding the Graduate ones, it seemed natural to look for Jaws – and since HTTYD is more recent there’s a lot of fan art which is great.

      Movie posters are like album covers, I like the art work and appreciate it when some intelligent effort has been made into them. 😛

      Yes, the score is out of this world iconic. Thanks, Sarah! xoxo

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Oh, how I miss album covers! I mean, they’re still out there I know but I can’t even remember when I bought my last album on CD 😂

        Liked by 1 person

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