Jaws

on June 20, 1975 by BOXOFFICE Staff
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Killer sharks cause deaths and provide much excitement in Universal's release of the Richard D. Zanuck/David Brown production of the international best seller by Peter Benchley. The potential was realized well in advance, film rights having been purchased a year before the book's 1974 publication. As directed by Steven Spielberg, following his theatrical debut with the excellent "The Sugarland Express," the Benchley-Carl Gottlieb screenplay shapes up on screen as one of the year's biggest moneymakers. Cast is headed by three actors of note, all of whom have made their marks in recent hits: Roy Scheider, Richard ("Duddy Kravitz") Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw. Each creates an individually rugged character, yet it is no comment on their fine work to state that the real star is the mechanical shark which menaces the seaside area. By now, most people should be aware of the shark's inner workings, via articles or interviews on the film. Yet the illusion of reality is so great that even veteran reviewers at a recent screening made audible gasps at each appearance of the shark. Music by John Williams. Shot in Panavision and Technicolor at Martha's Vineyard, Mass.

THE STORY:
Amity Island is a seaside resort on Long Island, where Police Chief Roy Scheider, who fears water, has been transplanted from New York City with wife Lorraine Gary and sons. Young Susan Backlinie is killed by a shark while she takes a moonlight swim. With the Fourth of July Regatta approaching, Mayor Murray Hamilton isn't anxious to close the beaches and lose the tourist trade. After a boy, Jeffrey Vorhees, is killed, the townspeople launch a search for the shark. Oceanographer Richard Dreyfuss determines that a shark which was caught by the local fishermen did not cause the two deaths. Only when the shark attacks again, taking off the leg of a bather, are the beaches closed. Dreyfuss, who earlier had found the severed head of fisherman Craig Kingsbury, joins an expedition to find the killer shark with Scheider and disagreeable Robert Shaw, a veteran fisherman who wants a high price for his services. The shark attracts Dreyfuss in his steel observation cage, then smashes Shaw's boat. Shaw is killed, but Scheider blows the shark to bits. He and Dreyfuss reach shore.

EXPLOITIPS:
Tie in with the Doubleday novel and Bantam Books paperback edition, plus the original soundtrack album on MCA Records and Tapes.

CATCHLINES:
From the new best-seller... One man, a giant killer shark and a town that wouldn't face the truth. Universal 100 mins.

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