Every summer, chances are you line up to see all the big, fun, and usually escapist movies Hollywood throws at you. You know that between May and August, it’s “Summer Blockbuster Season”, and it’s probably been this way for your whole life. Except it wasn’t always like this; once upon a time, summer wasn’t even thought of a particularly good time to release movies by the major studios, because surely the American people would rather go camping or swimming or have barbecues, right? Well, that all changed forty years ago this weekend, when a little movie called Jaws was released, directed by a newbie 27-year old director named Steven Spielberg.
Audiences flocked to see Jaws in record numbers; it was the first film in Hollywood history to get a major wide release nationwide (prior to this, a movie was slowly released from one major city to another over a long period) and it was, at the time, the fastest movie to reach $100 million dollars. It was also the first movie of its kind to have a major pre-release marketing and merchandising blitz. Star Wars would take all of these things to the next level two summers later, making the summer blockbuster a new tradition and not just a fluke one-off, but Jaws was the movie that set the standard first.
Of course, besides all of that stuff, Jaws also still happens to just be an incredible film. It’s as much a great action/adventure film as it is a scary movie, and expertly written and directed by Steven Spielberg, with amazing performances from the entire cast, and one of John Williams’ most iconic scores ever. Sure, Bruce (that’s the mechanical shark, fyi) doesn’t really hold up, but who cares? A movie like this is so much more than the sum of its parts. So if you’ve never seen Jaws before, this weekend is the perfect time to do so. And if you have seen it, then this video of Jaws in 3 Minutes – 40th Anniversary Tribute from YouTube user Robert Jones will make you want to see it all over again.
HT: Robert Jones