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Friday, November 25, 2011

Jaws (1975)

On a small New England island summer resort, a young girl is killed by a shark while swimming. The town's mayor and council refuse to close down the beaches and fearing that it will keep tourists away, keep a lid on the shark attack. But when a child is killed by a shark in full view of a beach crowd, it can't be hidden any longer and an eccentric fisherman (Robert Shaw) is hired to bring the shark in. One of the greatest thrillers ever made, Steven Spielberg's JAWS is a milestone in film making. Spielberg's first feature SUGARLAND EXPRESS indicated a major talent and JAWS fulfilled that promise. Spielberg expertly laces the intense film with humor (it might have been too intense if not) so that you're gasping one moment and laughing the next. This might be one of the most flawless casts ever assembled down to the smallest bit player. An unknown actress by name of Lee Fierro (who has only 2 credits, this film and the 1987 JAWS: THE REVENGE) has a beauty of a scene as the mother of one of the shark's victims. Spielberg wisely avoided too many close ups of the shark until the second half of the film but despite its artificial appearance in close up, it's still preferable to a CGI shark image. Then, of course, there's that justifiably iconic John Williams score. With Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary and Murray Hamilton.

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