15/09/2011

is Jaws the best Steven Spielberg film ever made?


Jaws is an awesome film isn't it?  I mean, you get the whole man vs. monster thing but the monster is like an evil, deadly, well..fish!  What's not to love.

I've watched Jaws over and over again, it's definitely my most-watched movie EVER (the other contender for this title is Cliffhanger but that's a whole different story)!  Which is kind of odd considering it's a boy film about men trying to be manly via the medium of killing a big fish.  Also I'm a lady, my most-watched should be Titanic or something, shouldn't it?

The things I like about Jaws are:

The 1970s vibe, and clothing especially when all the holiday-makers descend on Amity from the ferry...what a crazy wardrobe...man!

The hot summer vibe with beaches and bikinis...this is maybe because we never have such a thing (a hot...what?) in Blighty.



The characterisation of masculinity; Roy Scheider as Brody is all middle-class and a handsome good boy, Richard Dreyfuss as Hooper is all geeky and obsessive and Robert Shaw as crazy Quint - all the scenes of them on the boat ("we're gonna need a bigger boat"), are brilliant, not least the drunken rendition of "Show me the way to go home".

The fact that Jaws is not revealed until quite late into the film - this suspension of the inevitable is brilliant, the suspense (even after watching it 100 times) is palpable (what a great word, must find ways to use it more).

That it crosses genres...is is a horror or a thriller, a monster or a disaster movie? It's catagorised as a Thriller on IMDB, but its genre-crossing must add to it's appeal.  Personally I think that it's filmed like a horror with all the suspense, blood, gore and of course the first victim...naked? female? instigating sexual relations? = female must be punished = horror movie.

Things I didn't know about the film:

That the 1974 book by Peter Benchley had sold 3.5 million copies before the film was released.

That Charlton Heston desperately wanted the role of Brody....oh I don't think I would have watched it even the once if he had got the part.

That a major storyline in the book; Brody's wife Ellen has an affair with Hooper, is removed from the film.....WOW, that's kind of a shocker, it makes me wonder if I would love the movie so much if I'd read the book first.

I will never know.  Must try and pick up a copy of the book, bet it's good.

PS. remember...don't go in the water, especially not naked and definitely not in the dark...c'mon!

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