Jaws has been and always will be a classic and one of the best films ever made (IMHO). The fact that I can watch it again and again and still really enjoy it is a testament to that fact. It’s especially remarkable to think that it is over 40 yeas old but doesn’t feel out of place compared to a modern offering (I will of course agree that Bruce, the mechanical shark, does look iffy, but at least it’s in a real way).
Acting is of course superb with Roy Scheider and Richard Dreyfus on top form as Brody and Doyle Hooper although without doubt the standout performance (aside from Bruce) is by Robert Shaw as Quint the shark fisherman. You are drawn to him whenever he is on the screen and every line he says is memorable, I think he was born to play that part. The bit were all three talk about their various injuries and the sinking of the Indianapolis is an acting master class.
Obviously you have to mention the direction which is extremely clever to build up the suspense by not showing you anything (you have to wonder if the film would have been so good if Bruce had worked properly……I assume not) and playing on your fears of the unknown by other means such as the music. Ah, the soundtrack, John Williams at his imperious best. I know everyone recognises the “da dum, da dum” etc. but the bits I really love are the town in the morning when all the fishermen turn up to catch the shark and the chase on the boat, they are both a joy to listen to.
Verdict: Simply put, everyone over the age of 12 should see this film, it is simply flawless and in my top 20 films of all time.
Note: If you’ve never read it I can thoroughly recommend reading the Peter Benchley book that Jaws is based on as it really fleshes out the characters and is a superb read.