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One of the experiences that made me fall in love with movies
gogoschka-117 December 2013
I will never forget the first time I saw Jaws. I was glued to the seat from start to finish. I jumped, I held my breath; this was one of the experiences that made me fall in love with movies. This was probably the first film where I completely forgot everything around me. I was there, in that boat, in that gloomy cabin, with those people - everything seemed so real (and alas, the sea never looked the same again). When I watch it these days I still marvel: the atmosphere and the performances in this film are simply magical. Spielberg without the schmalz. He has never been better.

My vote: 10 out of 10

Favorite films: http://www.IMDb.com/list/mkjOKvqlSBs/

Lesser-known Masterpieces: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls070242495/

Favorite Low-Budget and B-Movies: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls054808375/

Favorite TV-Shows reviewed: http://www.imdb.com/list/ls075552387/
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A monster of a movie
fairlesssam23 May 2017
I re-watched this film recently and was blown away by the absolute suspense it invoked in me. My daughter (whom is 17) and I were both stunned at the quality and realism of a film made in 1975!! Our TV is 55 inches which showed the movie off to it's full potential and it certainly did not disappoint.

That iconic moment of the young lady going skinny dipping in the dark with her male friend is utterly haunting. You know the horror of what's going to happen, the buoy dinging in the background gives you the chills. Steven Spielberg captures pure terror in that scene.

Jaws completely absorbs you, as the trio of shark hunters venture off to try to snare the great white you begin to feel part of their adventure. You fear for them, get excited with them and dread what will happen next. When that fishing line starts spinning your heart starts pumping. This is pure class.

The dynamics of Richard Dreyfuss, Roy Scheider and Robert Shaw's relationship(s) work brilliantly. The differences in their characters persona's is such that they rub each other up the wrong way, disrespect one another and wind each other up but in the end they are there for each other and develop a bond that I think surprises them all.

As things begin to unravel your heart goes out to the trio and trepidation is the only way forward. They have the fight of their life on their hands, their bravery is boundless. You feel in awe of them.

An absolute legend of a movie which I am grateful to have been able to watch and enjoy.
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A brilliant landmark film that's beloved the world over.
Idiot-Deluxe8 November 2016
Warning: Spoilers
JAWS = Timeless Cinema.

It's true, few movies tell a story better and in a more compelling way than JAWS - the original summer blockbuster, which was a world-wide smash-hit or "phenomenon" upon it's initial release in May of 1975. Forty-one years later it still stands as one of the best movies of all time and having seen it well over 100 times in the past 30 years, I can firmly attest to it's extreme longevity and at this point it would seem JAWS' ability to entertain me, myself and the masses is indefatigable. In other words: JAWS IS ETERNAL. An ageless, universally beloved masterpiece and due to the films great originality, it has always been easy for me to admire it.

The films great cast of Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfus, Robert Shaw, Lorraine Grey and Murray Hamilton really pull together here and throughout the film they play off each other beautifully, the cast exudes a type of "naturalistic chemistry" that's rarely attained in movies. That's one of the key reasons why JAWS is such a cohesive and enduring movie and if you haven't noticed over the years, all of the scenes in this movie gel perfectly, with not a single scene being wasted or without purpose. Deftly directed by a 27 year-old Steven Spielberg throughout the course of mid 1974 to early 1975, the production was a troubled one (primarily due to malfunctioning mechanical sharks) and the budget ballooned to several times it's original estimate, but as the film resoundingly shows they succeeded in creating a gripping masterpiece of cinema - that's often mimicked in one way or another, but has certainly never been bettered.

Set in the fictitious locale of Amity Island (as most know, in actuality it was filmed in and around Martha's Vineyard Massachusetts) JAWS tells the story of a once-pleasant sea-side community, that suddenly finds itself being terrorized, by a huge Great White shark "That's a 20-footer... 25, 3-tons of em'" that's gone -rogue- and has staked a claim off the beaches of Amity Island. Naturally this causes confusion and commotion among the town folk, bounties are set, amateur shark-hunters recklessly take to the water and throughout the bloody-tension-filled affair, the towns various entities of local government are constantly clashing with each other; in other words lots of friction and stubborn, thick-headed resistance bubble up and the tension is at times so thick, you can cut it with a knife. Basically what it is, is enough people have to be eaten by the shark, before the mayor and his circle of cronies finally pull their heads out of the sand and come to the same obvious conclusion - that Martin Brody, the sharp-witted and instinctual sheriff had already concluded. So add governmental haranguing as yet another element weaved into this intricate, yet cohesive story.

The film is bi-sected into two distinctly different acts, with the first half taking place mostly on the dry ground of Amity Island, with a few boating and swimming excursions, but still largely land-based. However, in the second half, we find ourselves adrift at sea aboard Quint's boat, for the remainder of the movie - which most would agree is the more exciting part. The role of the shark-hunter "Quint" is BRILLIANTLY played by the late-great Robert Shaw and is, by far, the films most-memorable and most-colorful character. Rarely is a film character so vividly well put together and as memorable as the cantankerous Quint, with his voice being the key reason; plus he has some mighty colorful "fisherman's tales" to tell, as you will find out. You can thank the numerous other "bigger names" that, for varying reasons, turned down that role of which there were several, with Charlton Heston and Robert Mitchum being just a couple of them. The action and excitement are all cranked up several notches in the latter half of the film, with much tension between the three ship mates, Brody, Matt Hooper (a marine biologist) and the ever-salty Quint. This iconic film concludes with what's literally "Smile you son-of-a!" an explosive finale! That which has long stood as one of cinema's most memorable, if not improbable, endings.

The Music: As Steven Spielberg has said, the music of John Williams is half the movie and it easily ranks as one of the most memorable and effective film scores of all-time. A powerful and ingenious orchestral score, dripping with gloomy atmosphere and with much in the way of toothy serrated menace and of course JAWS has what's probably the best-known movie theme ever written. Williams' award-winning music for JAWS not only took his career to the next level, but in a very big way helped resuscitate a dying art-form; that of course being large-scale orchestral film scores, which had been in steady decline since the mid to late 1960's. Williams' score for Star Wars just two years later would yet further benefit that cause to even greater effect.

On The Oscar Front: JAWS took home three Oscar's (for, best sound recording, best score and best film editing) and damn well should of had another or two, Best Picture being one of them.

Ultimately JAWS stands as a grand and regal film classic - that only an idiot (or a heretic) would not like.

......and yes, because of this movie and it's infinitely lesser sequels, I shudder at the mere thought of being in the ocean.

**Update**: The wreck site of Quint's ship the U.S.S. Indianapolis was discovered on August 19th 2017, by a deep-sea search team lead by Microsoft billionaire Paul Allen 72 years after her infamous sinking. Her watery grave rests some 18,000 feet below the surface of the Philippine Sea.

Thanks Paul, it's been a long time coming.
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One of the Greatest Thrillers Ever Made
eht5y23 July 2004
'Jaws' is the original summer blockbuster, setting the standard by which all others are measured. It's the Michael Jordan of cinema: there will never be another 'Jaws,' simply because the film so profoundly changed the way movies are made and marketed.

Based on Peter Benchley's bestselling novel, 'Jaws' centers around the fictional North Atlantic resort island of Amity, which finds itself terrorized by an enormous great white shark. Our hero is Martin Brody, a New York cop who took the job as Chief of the Amity PD to get his family out of the city and then finds himself in the midst of an unprecedented crisis none of his prior experience has prepared him for. The remains of young Christine Watkins are found on the beach, the apparent victim of a shark attack(Chrissie Watkins' death scene at the opening of the movie is one of the most legendary in the history of film). Chief Brody wants to close the beaches, but is refused permission by Mayor Larry Vaughn (Murray Hamilton) and the Amity selectmen, all of whom fear that news of a shark attack off of Amity will threaten the summer tourist trade, on which the town depends for its very survival. The Mayor and his lackies persuade Chief Brody that such incidents are always isolated, and, inexperienced in such matters, he grudgingly agrees to keep quiet.

Consequently, the shark kills again (and again), and Chief Brody eventually finds himself dealing both with his own moral guilt for agreeing to hush up the first shark attack and with an enormous human and social catastrophe which appears to be his sole responsibility. Help comes first in the form of Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss, in the role that propelled him to stardom), an icthyologist and oceanographer dispatched to Amity to lend his expertise. Together, Hooper and Brody struggle in vain against both the shark and Mayor Vaughan, who is certain that keeping the beaches open for the sake of the town's economy (and his own real-estate business) is worth the gamble.

Finally, Brody and Hooper charter an expedition with the enigmatic, vaguely malevolent Quint (Robert Shaw), Amity's most feared and respected shark hunter, to find and kill the shark and save the town from financial disaster. What ensues is an epic, archetypal man vs. beast quest that would make Herman Melville and Joseph Campbell proud. Our shark, it turns out, is way above average size, terrifically swift and powerful, and uncannily smart, to boot. Hooper, the scientist, is awestruck at having encountered the Bigfoot of the sea; Quint, the crafty fisherman with a serious chip on his shoulder against sharks, realizes he has met the ultimate test of his skills; Brody, who swims poorly and is afraid of water, must overcome abject fear and disorientation just to maintain his composure.

Robert Shaw's Quint is one of the greatest anti-heroes the movies have ever seen. He is funny and frightening all at once, and the famous soliloquy in which he recalls the tragic sinking of the USS Indianapolis--where, over the course of a week waiting for rescue, at least 90 US Navy personnel died from shark attack wounds--is one of the most chilling and unforgettable performances ever committed to film.

'Jaws' is the movie that made Steven Spielberg's career, and it's among his finest. It's easy to forget because of his enormously successful blockbusters that Spielberg is a phenomenally skillful and artful director. His timing is superb, he mixes horror with comedy to brilliant effect, he gets great performances out of his actors, and his love for special effects has never overwhelmed his understanding of the importance of story and character.

That said, the most brilliant aspect of 'Jaws' was a serendipitous accident.

The special effects team had yet to fully troubleshoot 'Bruce,' the mechanical shark, by the time filming was to begin. Under tight budget restraints and enormous studio pressure, Spielberg had no choice but to press on while his crew labored vainly to make the shark work in the cold and corrosive north Atlantic seawater. To compensate for the absence of the non-functional fake shark, Spielberg used shots from the shark's point of view and John Williams' famous two-note theme to create the illusion of the shark's presence in the early scenes. Fortunately the crew was ultimately able to get Bruce into operational status in time to film the big showdown, and some of the scenes are filled in with live-shark footage filmed by Australian underwater video pioneers Ron and Valerie Taylor. Consequently, the audience's fear is magnified by the fact that, for the majority of the film, they cannot see the shark, creating suspense towards the climax of the confrontation between man and beast on Quint's fishing boat.

'Jaws' succeeds on almost every level. It is terrifying without being grotesque, and spectacular without being unbelievable (if the shark looks a little fake, remember that, at the time 'Jaws' was released, 'Space Invaders' was on the cutting edge of computer graphics design and there was no such thing as 'Shark Week on the Discovery Channel'). Roy Scheider's Brody is a quintessential everyman, an average guy beset by fear and guilt who finds himself in extraordinary circumstances and rises to the occasion. Dreyfuss' Hooper is brash and brave enough not to come off as nerdy or self-righteous, and his friendship with Brody becomes the backbone of the movie (Spielberg and screenwriter Carl Gottlieb wisely deviated from the novel in regards to the character of Hooper, who was originally Brody's nemesis). Robert Shaw's Quint is a modern-day Captain Ahab, a worthy foe for the malevolent shark. The suspense is potent and the action thrilling, but the humor, emotion, and character development make this movie much more than a summer blockbuster.
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If this movie scares you to the point where you can't go back into the water, then Spielberg has done job well done
Smells_Like_Cheese13 April 2003
Jaws is a movie the I grew up with, it's like the first real horror film I ever watched. What a great one to start with, right? This movie not only scarred me out of the water, I was afraid to go to the bathroom! I thought Jaws was going to pop up out of the toilet and bite my butt! :D I know it was silly, but that was how much Jaws effected me. I know also that it has not lost it's effect to this day. I'm questioning, because it seems like all the terrific horror films came out of the 70's.

Jaws is based on the best seller book by Peter Benchley. Steven Spielberg, before he was STEVEN Spielberg turned this horrifying book and made it into a reason to hate sharks. He brilliantly took what could have been a cheesy movie and turned it into a classic that will never be forgotten. To this day, I still need a friend to hold onto, it's that score! Duh na... duh na.... dun dun dun dun.... Oh, my gosh, that music just scares the heck out of me! On such a low budget, Jaws not only turned into one of the greatest horror movies of all time, it turned into one of the greatest movies, period.

Jaws starts off with one of the most terrifying scenes in horror movie cinema, a young pretty girl goes into the water and is brutally attacked and killed by an unknown creature in the water. The next day Chief Brody investigates suspecting a shark attack, and urges the mayor, Larry Vaughn, to shut down the beach, but afraid of a panic and less tourists, Larry ignores the chief's suggestions and keeps the beach open leading to another attack on a young boy. Brody calls in Matt Hooper, a marine scientist to see if they can find the shark. But when another attack ensues and almost kills Brody's young son, Michael, he, Matt, and a cocky man, Quint go out to find Jaws themselves.

This turns into several of the greatest cinematic scenes of all time, like the "Indianapolis" speech brilliantly given by Quint, how he describes seeing his first shark was just so intense and you couldn't turn away from the screen. Then, one thing that is interesting about this movie, you do not see the shark until Brody is just chucking blood to attract the shark over his shoulder and Jaws appears roaring out of the water! "We're gonna need a bigger boat!" he replies to Quint. And then the scene where Jaws jumps onto the boat and Quint is trapped sliding into Jaw's, well, jaws! That's the scene that nightmares are made out of! Jaws is one of my favorite films of all time. It's one of those films that should never be missed, because it is so important. To many, including myself, the shark looks fake, but it's your imagination that gets with you. Spielberg embraced that and you could tell there was just something special about him. Jaws will scare you out of the water just like The Exorcist scared you to the church!

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"You yell barracuda, everybody says, 'Hunh, what?' You yell shark, and we got a panic on our hands on the Fourth of July."
TacoBilly14 August 1998
This is the movie that started it all. I'm not talking about the Hollywood blockbuster, or the insane madness that sent thousands of misunderstood Great Whites to their deaths, I'm talking about the beginning of my interest in movies. This is the movie that did it. I couldn't tell you how old I was when I first saw it, but I do remember this is the movie I made my parents rent time and time again when we went to the video store. This is the movie that drove my parents and some of my friends nuts while I watched it day after day after day when my mom gave it to me for Christmas. This is the movie that made me want to turn a real interest in the movies from just a hobby and into a career. For that, I owe Spielberg, Benchley, Scheider, Shaw, Dreyfuss, Williams, Fields and everyone else a sincere and heart-felt thank you. I own this movie on every format in which it is available. I love it that much. I've probably seen it between 200 and 300 times. I guess you can say it is an obsession. A sick obsession. The plot, the pacing, the editing, the score, the acting, and, oh yes, the shark. Who cares that is fake? By the time we finally get to see it, do we care? Truly, a more suspenseful movie was never made. Several come close, but none quite reaches the primal level the JAWS does. No other film so effectively taps into our fear of the unknown, and then gives it a riveting score to boot. No other movie grips us so strongly with heart stopping suspense that we find ourselves nearly falling off our seats. And no other movie leaves us feeling so spent and wasted after a viewing. And the reason for all the fear, suspense and emotional withdrawal is not top-notch special effects. It was the mid-70's. You can barely apply top -notch to anything of that era. The reason the movie does all that to us is that it is a great story. It is filled with real people, who have real jobs, and who have real fears. And who must now confront a real shark. Can you think of anything more terrifying that getting on a rickety, leaky boat to kill a 25-foot shark when you already have a paralyzing fear of the water? I can't. And Martin Brody sure can't. And so, no matter what ranking JAWS may get on AFI's list of the 100 greatest movies, or TV Guides list of the top 50 movies, or any list for that matter, JAWS will always come in number one on mine. Steven, Peter, Roy, Robert, Richard, John, and Verna -- thank you. Not for just giving me a sense of direction in my life, not for just making me want to be a screenwriter, but also for making a movie that still thrills me as much now when I watch it as when it did when I saw it for the very first time.
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Spielberg's original blockbuster
Tweekums29 August 2016
Warning: Spoilers
On the fictional New England resort island of Amity tourism is the main industry and each summer the beaches are backed with people hoping to swim in its beautiful waters… the last thing the authorities want is news that a shark has killed somebody. When I girl disappears at sea it is first assumed she just drowned but when her body is found the Island's new Police Chief, Martin Brody, wants to close the beaches but the mayor is determined to keep them open and pressures the local doctor to certify that she was killed by a boat… a second death, just off a crowded beach, causes a major panic and the mother of the victim offers a three thousand dollar reward to whoever catches the shark. This attracts everybody with a boat but doesn't impress local fisherman Quint, who demands $10,000, or shark expert Matt Hooper, who Brody invited to the island. After further deaths Brody, Quint and Hooper set of in Quint's boat, the Orca, to hunt down the great white shark that has been terrorising the island. Once they find the shark it becomes clear that catching it will not be easy.

This iconic film has certainly stood the test of time and is as gripping as ever. The story is relatively simple without any real twists and that is one of its strengths. It is very much a film of two halves; the first land based as Brody tries to get the town authorities to take the shark seriously and the second out at sea as Brody, Quint and Hooper hunt down the shark. These three, brilliantly played by Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss respectively, are great characters and the scenes between then on the boat are a delight; sometimes tense, sometimes funny and, when Quint tells the story of what happened when the USS Indianapolis was sunk positively chilling. The shark effects are pretty impressive, only in the final scenes does in took a bit rubbery; of course it helps that we aren't shown too much of the shark early on. The music, by John Williams, is great… not just the famous 'shark theme' but also the other music. There are plenty of scary moments throughout the film; some at least as frightening as horror films largely because of its familiar setting and the fact that even though shark attacks are rare we all know that they do occasionally happen. Overall this is a great film that can be enjoyed by most people… if you don't mind a few scares. It is a must see for anybody who enjoys classic movies.
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Spikeopath12 June 2008
A man eating shark is terrorising the holiday island of Amity. Police chief Martin Brody, shark hunter Quint and marine biologist Matt Hooper set sail in the hope of killing the great white monster.

Jaws is responsible for many things, it's responsible for propelling director Steven Spielberg's career into the stratosphere, it was responsible for a downturn in the package holiday trade, and it was responsible for shaping the summer blockbuster release practise's. There are many other things which one doesn't need to bore you with, it's just true to say that Jaws is firmly ensconced in movie history, if one hasn't seen it then one surely knows about it, it is, even today, part of popular culture.

But is it any good? Is it worthy of a long standing reputation as one of the greatest monster movies of all time? Hell yes it is, one or two easily overlooked flaws aside, it busted the box office {world wide} and tapped into a primal fear that resides in the majority of mankind, the unseen that resides in the sea.

Jaws sets out its marker right from the start with a truly shocking and attention grabbing opening sequence, from then on in Spielberg {learning from Hitchcock for sure} tweaks the tension to have the audience living on their nerves, even as character building {by way of Brody's family arc} sedates the pace, we just know that it's all relative to an extension of fear and terror that is around the next corner. After the first victims remains are found Brody glances out at the ocean, Spielberg perfectly framing the shot to say so much that we are about to be witness to. Jolts and shocks pop up from time to time to help build the unease whilst Spielberg makes the audience wait before we even see what it is that so coldly and efficiently destroys man, and then the claustrophobic switch as our brave protagonists are out at sea on Quint's boat, unaware that the giant menace is now hunting them, eyes as black as death itself.

So many great scenes linger for all time in the memory, the entrance of Quint is a hum dinger, a mournful widow reducing Brody to a stunned realism, the Indianappolis monologue, the bigger boat! Just some of the reasons why I personally love cinema so much. The score from John Williams is as effective as any for the genre and Robert Hoyt's sound team's work furthers the dread unfolding. The cast are superb and uniformly excellent, casting aside technical problems {and genuine resentment at times} to portray this story with verve and genuine depth of feeling. Yet Roy Scheider {Brody}, Robert Shaw {Quint} and Richard Dreyfuss {Hooper} were from from original choices, Charlton Heston was wanted for the role of Brody, Sterling Hayden and Lee Marvin were both mooted for Quint, and John Voight was Spielberg's preferred choice for Hooper, whilst Jaws author {and co screen writer here} Peter Benchley was heading for the top by asking for Newman, Redford and McQueen!! Imagine that!

Still it all turned out well in the end because Jaws stands the test of time as one of the best films of its type to have ever been made. No amount of complaining about continuity and a rough looking mechanical shark will ever dim its appeal, even as I revisited it recently for the hundredth time I still got tingles all over my body, file it along side King Kong in the pantheon of Monster Masterpieces, 10/10 always, now go enjoy your dip in the ocean.
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Not your average fish story...
WehoSteve23 September 2001
Widely regarded as the film that began the "summer movie blockbuster era", JAWS (1975) was also rightfully one of the year's most critically acclaimed movies. It was also the recipient of an Academy Award Nomination for Best Picture and a winner of Oscars for film editing (Verna Fields) and music score (John Williams). One of the reasons the film received no acting nods is that everyone involved is so good, how could one single out just one or two? (I personally feel Robert Shaw should have gotten a Best Actor nomination, however). Roy Scheider is wonderful as New York cop Martin Brody, who has relocated to a small coastal island town, only to have his bad case of "aquaphobia" put to the ultimate test. Richard Dreyfuss is perfectly cast as a shark expert and provides some truly funny comic bits along the way. Lorraine Gary (who director Steven Spielberg says was the first person to be cast for the film) does an excellent job of being the concerned wife and mother. Finally, there's Murray Hamilton, who gives one of the best performances of his career as Mayor Vaughn, who seems to be more concerned about the economy of the town than the safety of the residents. In a way, Vaughn is really the film's villain. Solid cast indeed. The screenplay (by Peter Benchley and Carl Gottlieb) is tight and well-written, as is Spielberg's direction. Whether it was the mechanical shark's failure to operate correctly or Spielberg's decision to simply see less of the shark until the end of the film, the "less is more" idea works perfectly, particularly in the opening scene, which is chilling to this day.

One thing I do want to add: if you choose to watch this film at home, do yourself a favor and rent or buy the WIDESCREEN version. The full-screen pan and scan version is a travesty that ruins the great camerawork that Spielberg and cameraman Bill Butler made. I always recommend the widescreen version but it is especially important for JAWS.

No offense to fans of ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST, but this is the film that should have taken home the Oscar gold. Grade: A+
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A cinematic achievement.
drawlife3 August 2014
Warning: Spoilers
I know what some of you may think, the shark looks fake, sure it does, but put yourself into the shoes of a movie-goer in the summer of 1975.

Jaws is one of the greatest films ever made, not because of it's technical achievement at the time being, but because how Steven Spielberg, frankly took a far-fetched idea and made it scary.

Jaws has a simple story of a twenty-five foot great white shark terrorizing civilians of Amity Island. Eventually, the town's chief of police(Roy Scheider), a marine biologist(Richard Dreyfuss), and a fisherman(Robert Shaw) are tasked to taking down the shark.

The film was known for have technical difficulties with the animatronic shark, but that was a blessing in disguise. Because of this, Spielberg manages to create tension and fear among the audience because you don't see the shark at all. Leaving your imagination to do all the work. The opening scene is downright terrifying hearing the woman screaming in agony, being dragged around by a shark we cannot see. Also the use of barrels was a stroke of genus by Spielberg and his team as it implied that the shark was near or present.

What really makes this film work are the three leads. They share an impeccable chemistry between each other. Brody is a paranoid police chief, effectively portrayed by the great Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss is hilarious as the wisecracking marine biologist Matt Hooper, who frequently butt heads with the rough and tough fisherman Quint, brilliantly portrayed by Robert Shaw. The three leads make these character believable and so the audience can go on a real journey with them.

I cannot see this film without Steven Spielberg. In the end he put all this together, with no script, no crew, technical malfunctions, and scrutiny. How Spielberg managed to pull this movie off under massive pressure is beyond me. It's a testament on how great he is. Give credit to the writers Peter Benchley, Carl Gottlieb, and uncredited writer Howard Sackler for providing the film's story and sharp dialog.

Who can also forget the incredible score by John Williams. Outstanding.

Along with Star Wars, Jaws was pivotal in establishing the modern Hollywood business model, and the start of the blockbuster trend.

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An instant classic!
TruPretender10 March 2004
When I first saw the film, "Jaws" I was immediately frightened by the unseen terror that pulls the human psychosis to the depths of the ocean...literally! Steven Spielberg had made himself the most successful director of all time when he went all out with this one! Running to the back of the house and turning all the lights on were just a few things I resorted to after watching the opening for the first time!!! I Never watched anymore of it until 1-3 years later. I was highly hesitant because to a young child, a skinny dippers suffering to the wrath of the giant unknown mouth was the most horrifying sequence in film history at the time...and it still is now! Once I finally got the courage to view the film, I was still in for a lot of surprises. The cinematography is superb in its ruthless attempt to bring the audience to the depths of a powerful ocean, and to the eyes of the dark, wretched creature the inhabits it. The story of the killer shark attacking the unfortunate island in the world is more than scary. It could have been any place in the world, and it had to be Amitty Island. The shark could have easily lost it's way in the swaying currents of the ocean, but as the opposite inhabitants of the beach get angry, this big mother is here to stay! The technique is wild, absolutely wild, and John Williams score earned more than an Oscar for it! Creepy piano notes enter this films titles, and the blue depths of the uncharted territory beneath the sea let us all know that no sense, however small, was to be spared. The first victim, alone will haunt those who view it for the rest of their days, and the rest of the story is more like a battle. This strange battle is often more focused on understanding the other side. What Brody, Quint, and Hooper must do is plunge into the depths themselves, and seek out the unruly monster of the sea. The common theme in this terrific classic is survival, and why not? Survival is a natural instinct to all animal alike. The shark must survive, as it makes so clear by snagging unsuspecting swimmers, but also the people, they to have to survive, but the island is not big enough for both man and fish together. Always a joy to experience over and over again, this film is the ultimate scare show to end them all! Sometimes, a lot of us fans can not seem to get enough of this instant classic!
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A well-made film which efficiently manipulate its elements of suspense and horror...
Nazi_Fighter_David9 August 2003
Warning: Spoilers
The film opens with a shot of a group of teenagers enjoying a campfire out on Amity beach... A couple leaves the group for a midnight swim... The silhouette of a woman is seen in full flight toward the sea... Her dress, bra, and panties fly toward her drunk admirer who can't make a fist to catch them...

In a delicate splash, Chrissie goes swimming in the cold ocean, drawing herself into deeper water... When a wave of pressure lifts her up and eases her down, her face begins to show a certain fear... Her eyes go to the beach where her friend, too drunk to stand, is struggling with his shoe...

Chrissie turns and starts for shore... But her expression freezes... Something terrible is hurting her underneath... She struggles with all her forces, but she is soon submerged in a horrifying scene...

Police Chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) reacts quickly to the news of shark attack, and emerges with enough poster-board, wooden stakes, nails, paint and brushes to close every beach on the island...

But as Amity is a beautiful summer resort with clean air, clear water, and beautiful white sand beaches... Mayor Larry Vaughn (Murray Hamilton) tries with his town officials to convince the insecure police chief to file the incident as a 'boating accident.'

Brody reluctantly agrees, but later regrets his decision after few more fatal incidents... The shark has claimed Amity Island as his territory...

Quint (Robert Shaw), an eccentric old shark killer, offers to kill the menacing Great White Shark for ten thousand dollars...

Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss), an arrogant young oceanographer, proves that the giant shark that killed Christine Watkins is still on the loose... 'They caught a shark. Not the shark,' he determines... and predicts future outbursts of attack activity in the area...

Brody, Quint and Hooper become allied in a life-and-death hunt... They go after the monstrous creature with rifles and poison pistols... They try to tire him, slowing him down with coiled ropes and barrels... They fight him with everything, harpoons, poles, gaffs and compressed air tanks...

Shaw is absolutely convincing as the colorful master fisherman whose obsession for destroying sharks was triggered by an actual incident in World War II...

Scheider is quiet likable as the dedicated family man who doesn't even like the water, swimming or boating... His line to Quint ('You're going to need a bigger boat.") suggests a specific cause...

Dreyfuss manages to humanize the picture while stealing it...

Spielberg alarms us with unexpected twists, and heart-stopping scenes wonderfully engaging... His grasp for sustaining the feeling of terror comes not only from what we see, but from what we're afraid we're going to see... He uses an imposing classical score to prepare the audience for something really scary that is about to show up...

With every breath, every thought, heart beat and movement, the realism of the increasing menace is present from the opening to the end... And believe me, we are never allowed the relief of looking away from the screen…
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One Of The Best Films Ever!
seandown201024 December 2010
Warning: Spoilers
I wasn't alive when this film first was released. I wasn't there to witness the hysteria that followed in its wake. By the time, I was born it was already well-established in Western culture (and had spawned three atrocious sequels). Only films like Star Wars can match this movie for sheer cultural impact. Even today, over thirty years after it's original release, when people think of sharks, they think of Jaws.

Perhaps much of this owes to its realistic fright factor. Jaws reached people in a way very few films have because it seemed oh-so-plausible and, more importantly, it made people wonder 'Could that happen to me?'.

But let's look past the social impact of Jaws and at the film itself as a piece of entertainment/art.

I sat down and watched Jaws the other day. I didn't mean to. Somebody else was watching it, I came in and decided to sit down and watch a few minutes. I stayed for the rest of the film, loving every minute. That quality- that watchability (if that is a word)- is one of the things that make Jaws great and helps it to stand out even from its illustrious brethren in the IMDb top 250.

Some films, like Jaws, are fantastic. However, not all fantastic films are instantly and consistently watchable like Jaws. For example, Shawshank Redemption is a top movie but its not the sort of film you can sit down and watch at any time. Jaws is a top movie and you can sit down, watch it from start to finish and enjoy yourself no matter how many times you've seen it before.

What specifically makes Jaws good then? First off, the story- a small island community heavily reliant on the tourist trade finds itself menaced by a man-eating shark. Simple but effective.

The main character, Sheriff Brody (superbly played by Roy Schneider), is tasked with managing this crisis. However, he is continually hindered in his efforts by the Mayor (and other locals) who are adamant the rising body count should be no impediment to the summer trade that is their lifeblood.

Eventually, Brody calls in marine biologist Matt Hooper (another great performance, this time by Richard Dreyfuss) who helps him convince the Mayor (with the help of the growing number of dead) that there is a real danger to the island in the form of a great white shark. In a bid to end Jaws' reign of terror, they hire grizzled shark hunter/fisherman Quint- a brilliant character brilliantly portrayed by, in my opinion, the standout star of this film, Robert Shaw- and together, the three go off to hunt for the eponymous villain.

This triad of superb characters played by sublime actors is key to Jaws' triumph as a movie. The second half of the movie is simply these three men in a boat but with their chemistry (admittedly aided by a very strong script and good direction) who needs breathtaking scenery, romance, mind-blowing special effects (though I have no qualms with what is essentially a prop, I know people think the shark looks crap) and the like? I think the proof of the pudding- and perhaps one of my favourite scenes in all of cinematic history- is the scene where the three heroes are comparing scars. I have two reasons for saying this.

One, it shows the growing bond of respect between the two seamen in Quint and Hooper who, despite their differing methods and upbringings, find common ground and good laughs in the wounds they have suffered in their travels. At the same time, poor old landlubber and mild mannered Brody only has his appendix scar to reflect on- which is masterfully shown in a subtle piece of acting/directing.

Two, I think that Quint's 'Indiannapolis' speech is the best I have ever seen. Robert Shaw's impeccable delivery (plus the reaction of his allies)and the script itself help make this moment my favourite in the entire film. It's worth buying the DVD for this scene alone- believe me.

I've eaten up a lot of words with my worship of the characters and that particular scene but don't go thinking that's all there is to this film. There are other great elements- there's plenty of action, adventure and thrills and spills. The only thing that's missing is a needlessly tacked on romance- yay! As for themes and messages, Jaws has plenty of them too. You have man's struggle against nature, the value of money over life, Quint's Ahab-esquire obsession with gaining revenge for his fallen comrades and even the 'ever present in every Spielberg film' sub-story involving fatherhood.

As you may have guessed, I can't rate this film highly enough. If you've never seen it, you are missing out. Pure gold- 10/10.
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One of the best films ever.
schmee3spades20 March 2009
Synopsis: A police chief of a popular summer retreat island finds the tourist season in jeopardy when a great white shark attacks. With the mayor pressuring him to keep the beaches open for financial reasons, he teams up with a marine scientist and a certifiable fisherman to hunt the beast.

My Take: Is there a better horror film out there? I say no. This movie has it all, jumps, tears, laughter, and (most importantly) tension. Spielberg proved out of the gate that he knows where all of your strings are and that he can pluck any single one at will. What makes this film so incredible isn't the shark at all. It's the people. They are real three dimensional characters who share our fears and feelings. A simple example being when one mother walks up, slaps the police chief and sobs, "My boy is dead. I wanted you to know that."

Recommendation: I would also recommend Spielberg's made for T.V. movie Duel.
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The Number One Movie Of ALL Time
MovieCaveDave14 June 2016
In My Opinion, This movie does what it should do.. keep you glued to the screen, gripping the arms of your loved one or sofa and 100% re-watchable. I grew up on this movie and book, And can say without a shadow of a doubt, Steven Spielberg did indeed make a classic, not only that he set the path for other amazing movies by other amazing directors, proving 'Young Talent' should be given a chance, as he was... He choose the right cast members, the right scene locations, an amazing and truly epic composer in John Williams and made us all remember that iconic music. its had its critics and its 'Follow Up' movies but to me there is not one scene or moment I would change in Jaws. it is exactly what it was intended to be.. a Summer blockbuster, To scare you into keeping out of the water and in your cinema seat
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The best film ever made.
baumer26 June 1999
Warning: Spoilers
I saw this film when I was about 8 years old. And what I remember most about it, is thinking that I had found the most frightening film that I had ever seen. When I asked my parents if there really was a Jaws and they reassured me there wasn't, I still thought they were lying ( and they were, he does exist, I'm sure of it ). To this day, almost 20 years later, I am still frightened to go swimming. I have been to the Caribbean twice in my life. Once to the Bahamas with my high school graduating class and once to Acapulco for March Break. Neither time did my classmates or friends venture into the water because of me. " Did yo know that most shark attacks happen in three feet of water of less? " I asked them. Needless to say the hotel pool was well utilized on both trips.

Jaws is perfect on every level of film making. It has incredibly well developed characters, so well that we feel their fears and their bravado when we are supposed to. The direction is some of the best I have ever seen. We are but marionettes in Spielberg's fingers. When he wants us to feel, he pulls our strings and masterfully we feel scared or horrified or even amused. A perfect example of this is the killing of the Kinter kid, the second death of the movie.

The scene starts off shortly after Chrissie Watkins is killed. There are people playing on the beach and in the water. Brody ( the police chief ) is sitting tentatively watching things intently. He hears screams from a young girl. But of course they are playful screams. Then we see a man playing fetch the stick with his dog. Finally we meet Alex Kinter. He goes out on his raft into the water. Then we see the shots from under water. It's as if something is approaching. We're really not sure if we are being teased here or not. But then we see a stick floating in the water and the man calling out for his dog. But he is not there. Then we see more kids splashing and then we cut to a shot approaching the Kinter boy on his raft from under water. And the music. And then...... well, we all know what happens. Now that is a director masterfully manipulating us.

Jaws stands up to and surpasses any film these days that is considered brilliant and it surpasses anything that came before it. This film should have cleaned up at the Oscars. After all, what film is remembered more? One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest ( a very good film ) or Jaws? The answer is quite clear.
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Spielberg turns weak story into a cinematic masterpiece.
Boba_Fett113819 July 2004
Every once in a while the right talented people are at the right place together and come up with a masterpiece. "Jaws" is definitely one of those movies, that is thanks to the amazing cast and the crew the classic masterpiece that it is today.

Let's face it, the story is dumb and silly and in a way very average. Spielberg magically turns the silly story into a tense exciting thriller with brilliant dialogue and classic scene's. Mark my words, "Jaws" is a movie that will never be considered outdated.

Everything in the movie works so well! The acting, the dialogue, the tension, the typical Spielberg humor, the music, everything! It's hard to name just one thing why this movie is such a masterpiece. It is the mix of everything combined that makes the movie work. Probably my favorite thing about the movie would be the dialogue, they are very raw and performed well by the perfect cast. Another thing of course would be the music and I'm not just talking about the main theme but about the entire musical score in general.

The cast is great but they are mainly great together. All of the Scheider/Shaw/Dreyfuss scene's are like three ingredients thrown together and the end result of it is pure gold.

And than Bruce the shark. Yes, he really looks believable even now days.

A real classic masterpiece that launched Spielberg's career


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Movie Nuttball27 December 2002
Jaws is an epic movie and it is My favorite shark film.Great acting by Roy Scheider and Richard Dreyfuss but the acting was superb in My opinion by Robert Shaw!The shark itself was awesome!The view of the water in Jaws is spooky and it makes you feel that anything can be in it!The music by John Williams is great and the direction by Steven Spielberg is terrific!Jaws has three other sequels but they aren't classics like this!If you like shark movies and haven't seen Jaws or even if you have check out Jaws today!
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The Ultimate Popcorn Movie
tfrizzell1 September 2000
"Jaws" is a thrill-ride of suspense that continues to deliver the goods to the audience 25 years later. The plot is somewhat thin: a large shark is terrorizing the tourists at the local beach. However, with that said Steven Spielberg's direction is amazing. The young director (only 28 at the time) showed unlimited potential that would only increase with age. A great accomplishment that could have been a multi-million dollar bust. 5 stars out of 5.
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Spielberg at the top of his game
MF21011 November 2003
My Rating: **** out of ****.

Steven Spielberg is one of the best American directors working today. He has made many films that have been hailed as classics. Yet before the Dinosaurs, Holocaust, Peter Pan, UFO's, and Indy there was the Shark. Jaws represents one of the masterpieces on Spielbergs resume. It is also probably the "Quintessential Spielberg Film."

Jaws was very popular when released, it was the gighest grossing film of 1975. It spawned three sequels, which were all inferior. In fact, no film about Sharks or any killer fish has been able to come close to the level of Jaws.

The genius in Jaws is its ability to build suspense. The Shark is never really shown till near the end of the film. When ever the Shark is approaching its victims, we get the Sharks point of view, instead of seeing the Shark. These POV shots combined with John Williams very effective score, make the scenes when the Shark is about to devour his victims much more effective.

Evry actor does a nice job with their performances. Roy Scheider brings Martin to life. Martin is not a showy character but Scheider is able to make us like him. Richard Dreyfuss exhibits energy in his performance as Matt Hooper. Robert Shaw is very effective as Quint, that Indiannapolis speech is still very chilling to me. Lorraine Gary and Murray Hamilton also give solid support.

People always talk about how fake the Shark looks. I think its passable but today it would definitely be done by CGI. However, the Shark is not seen that much in the film so its not that big of a deal.

I would like to say Jaws is Spielbergs best film, Schindlers List closely follows. But I would like to see Close Encouners and the Indiana Jones films again. I did not like Close Encounters the first time, and I like the Indiana Jones films but they never stood out to me. If these films dont surpass Jaws, then it is definitely Spielberg's best film.
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A landmark film.
G.Spider15 March 2001
Far from being a monster movie, this is a realistic and gritty example of a town which relies on summer trade having its beaches invaded by a dangerous shark. There are genuinely suspenseful sequences, a first-rate soundtrack and believable people. The character development of the three men in the boat shows there's a lot more to this film than just a rubber fin. I'd recommend this and Jaws 2 to any fan of drama/thrillers.
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A horror film I actually like
kyle-cruse19 August 2008
Most horror films are just brutal or disgusting, with the whole movie just consisting of people being brutally attacked by the horrifying creatures. "Jaws" is an enormous exception. In this film, Chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) who refuses to close down a New England beach over 4th of July weekend due to a recent shark attack. After more attacks, he, a marine biologist (Richard Dreyfuss), and the owner of a boat (Robert Shaw) set out to destroy the shark. The shark is not even really seen for over an hour into the film, making the concept of a shark rather than the shark the source of the horror, a sense of brilliance not found in most horror movies. Also, the film revolves more around the characters and the decisions they must make to deal with the situation, which really brings about a more interesting aspect of the film. Audiences don't want a film to dwell on the horrifying objects that can't communicate; they want to expand on characters and people. That's what makes this such a great film. It's intense, a bit scary, and has little bits of humor throughout that make it fun to watch. The ending proves to be a bit too intense for me, so I don't feel it's absolutely perfect, but very close.

**** out of ****
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"Love to prove that wouldn't you? Get your picture in the National Geographic"
gah0158 August 2006
Warning: Spoilers
The best way to start my review of "Jaws" is to just get right to it and say that this film is one of the greatest movies ever made. I love this movie, and that is that. Located somewhere in the northeast, the fictional town of Amity is run by a bureaucratic city council that has tunnel vision with nothing but the bottom line of dollars and cents in mind. The deputy is lost in his mind and the sheriff is one Martin Brody, a man who hates the water but lives on an island. "It's only an island if you look at it from a boat" Brody says. Amity also has a shark problem. A 25 ft long Great White shark has just staked a claim off the coastal waters of the island, and the shark has decided to feed on hapless beach goers.

Sheriff Brody wants to shut the beaches down until the matter can be resolved with the proper shark experts, but the mayor and city council fear that shutting the beaches down will impact the vital summer tourist economy of Amity. It doesn't matter how many people get devoured by the shark, the people in charge don't want to lose their summer dollars. The beaches must remain open and Brody is in a constant volleying act between the suits that run Amity and the shark itself. This film is what I consider to be one of the first "modern" movies. It was made in 1975 and it simply feels much more modern then anything that came before it. Filled with one liners, this is an action movie that predates the current action flick genre. The plot is fantastic and the acting is excellent. But not only did this film have a well oiled story that was tightly directed, and an esteemed cast of actors, but the film had such a profound impact on pop culture that will be timeless. Jaws is loaded with quotable fun lines that resonates and stays with you:

"You yell barracuda and everyone says 'hunh, what'?. You yell SHARK, and we got a panic on our hands on the 4th of July".

"We're gonna need a bigger boat".

"That's one bad hat Harry".

"I don't think you're going to understand this problem until it swims up and bites you in the ASS!"

The line I quoted for my summary heading is probably my favorite, just because it adds insight into the mentality of the sleaze bag mayor of Amity. Mayor Vaughn is out to protect the financial interests of his town and he views the brash young oceanographer Matt Hooper as someone who has arrived in Amity with nothing but his own rich boy interests working for him . Hooper couldn't possibly be here to do anything but lobby himself for a possible National Graphic cover could he? The notion that Hooper would want to help Brody protect the people of Amity doesn't even seem to cross Vaugh's mind. No Hooper must be here to be a glory hound and nothing else. Such is the mindset of the bureaucrats that run Amity.

The mechanical shark in Jaws (nickamed "Bruce") reportedly would not work very well for director Steven Spielberg, subsequently Spielberg resorted to point of view shots to achieve the terror he desired. This was an inspired piece of genius, far better then actually seeing the shark. The shark later is represented by an assortment of different floating objects, from dock piers, yellow keg barrels, and of course it's own dorsal tail fin. We don't always see the animal, but we are convinced it is there. When we finally do see the shark towards the end of the picture, it doesn't matter that it looks fake as hell, it's real within the context of the movie and that's all that matters. Probably the aspect of this film is bringing together three different characters to take part in the journey of man vs. nature. Brody is the level headed family man, Hooper is the intellectual college grad, and Quint is the gruff old seamen with his own vendetta against sharks. Perhaps the single best moment of the movie is near the end when the shark has 3 barrels attached to him but still won't drown, the engine of the ship is burnt out and Quint calmly comes out and throws a couple of life preservers to Brody and Hooper. Quint however does not put HIS life preserver on (because of his own creepy tale with sharks). Quint knows very well what sharks can do to a man and this moment all 3 men realize the ship is sinking and they are running out of options. Just a fantastically shot and brilliantly acted moment. I was born on July 3rd of the year this film was released, and every 4th of July it has become a habit of mine to watch this film. Watch this film, and don't hold the mechanical shark against it, I promise you won't regret it.
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Changed Cinema For the Better
ThomasDrufke26 May 2014
I don't think its any argument that this can go down as one of the most influential films of all time as it set Hollywood on a road filled with blockbusters. At the time it was the biggest box office hit in the world and for its budget, it was quite an achievement. It still isn't without problems. There isn't much character development and the movie relies heavily on its shark attacks to keep the movie moving forward. But there isn't much arguing the movie's overall significance in the history of cinema.

The first few scenes are quite a thrill even with it being almost 40 years later. Once you see the blood cover the water it instantly sends chills down your body. It takes a while for Richard Dreyfuss to get to the screen, who is by far the best part of the movie. But I would still say that the 3 men who are chosen to kill the shark aren't that interesting. But in terms of the look of the shark, I was stunned at how real it appears to be. There are some movies made now that have worse effects than this. It also amazed me at how dumb the people in this movie can be. The people on the beach are ALL aware of the recent shark attacks but yet they still feel they need to swim in the ocean. It reminds me of the citizens of New York during the Spider-Man movies. People in the world aren't that dumb.

I was also taken back by the idea to break their only communication to the world on the boat. I still don't know why they destroyed it with a random baseball bat? Why is that on a boat? Nevertheless the movie did a lot for cinema and cemented its impact on special effects used.

+big impact on cinema today

+Richard Dreyfuss

-dumb citizens and unrealistic choices

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Bone-chilling movie with eerie scenes and astounding direction
ma-cortes2 January 2006
The film is developed in New England in a shore community named Amity . There , people are terrorized by a giant shark that attacks pacific tourists at the local beach . Police chief Brody (Roy Scheider) happily married (to Lorraine Gary) tries to convince local authorities (Murray Hamilton) who reluctantly listen him to empty the resort place , but the large shark attacks and the victims run afoul and provoking a real carnage and those serving for lunch . Then , the policeman , an icthyologist (Richard Dreyfuss) and an expert seaman (Robert Shaw) determine to track down and kill it . The valiant trio is forced to fight for their lives in a mortal confrontation .

It's a magnificent film with an excellent creation of tension , thriller , terror , emotion and brief gore . The shark attack images deliver excitement united to creepy score by the master John Williams (prized with an Oscar) who heightens the suspense . Outstanding movie features true to life interpretations of the trio protagonist with an amusing and marvelous relationship from them and specially Dreyfuss and Shaw for an intelligent and thoughtful dialog based on Peter Benchley novel . Luxurious cinematography by Bill Butler and being stunningly directed by Spielberg who is only 27 years old . The picture won three well deserved Academy Awards . The motion picture is today considered an authentic classic . Followed by three much worst sequels , they were respectively directed by Jeannot Swarc , Joe Alves (Production designer of the original) and Joseph Sargent . Rating : Above average , indispensable watching , you will have on the edge of your seat .
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