Why JAWS has become a classic movie

Everyone knows the movie JAWS. This suspense movie has thrilled millions of people all around the world and gained an impressive success in many countries, becoming the first summer blockbuster of all time. Until the release of Star Wars, in 1977, JAWS was the highest-grossing movie of all time. The story is based on a novel of the same name. Written by Peter Benchley, the novel was a commercial success. The critics gave mixed reviews about the prose but all agreed on the quality of the story’s evolution and suspense. It soon attracted media interest, as well as the interest of cinematographers. Even before the publishing of the novel, several studios had already made offers to get the right to make a movie adaptation.

It was finally the movie producers Richard D Zanuck and David Brown who got the movie rights. They chose Steven Spielberg to direct the movie. They began writing the screenplay. Doing so, they chose to focus only on the main plot of the story as they considered the subplots to be too confusing and Spielberg preferred the shark hunt part of the book. That is why the movie focuses on the shark and the characterizations of the three protagonists. Released in 1975, the movie was an incredible commercial success as well as a critically acclaimed masterpiece. Since then, it is still a widely known suspense movie. Here are the reasons why it has become this amazing classic movie we all know.

The qualities of the movie

First, the story of JAWS seems quite simple. The use of common fears in horror movies was not new. But there is some depth to the whole story that does not revolve only around the shark. Of course, it is a shark movie, but all along the film (and the novel), the story moves from a cautionary tale of woe to paranoia and small-town politics and corruption. This definitely brought something to the movie which, as terrifying as it is, can not be only categorized as a “horror movie”. Plus, you can see a research on the characterization. The three main protagonists of the movie are complex. No one is really a bad person, neither are they good. Even the police chief Martin Brody is humanized in order to understand his struggle to make the right decision.

Then there is the efficiency of the suspense. More than the shocking and bloody scenes, what makes of JAWS a masterpiece is the way they succeeded in suggesting the presence of the shark rather than showing it. With important influences from Hitchcock’s movies and his amazing skills as the creator of the greatest suspense movies of all time, Steven Spielberg chose the suggestion as a way to always have the audience in this uncomfortable and scary situation, asking themselves what they should expect. Reality was that the mechanical sharks did not work as expected and that Steven Spielberg then decided to use them as little as possible. Still, the choice seems perfect when you watch the movie.

Last but not least, the music is just perfectly made and used. Composed by John Williams, the music matches perfectly the scenes and the images displayed on the screen. Plus, it was used at the right time and place in order to get the audience to be completely immersed in the movie and its scary story. The music has become just as iconic as the movie itself. Even now, everyone who listens to the music would know the movie it is from.

What it brought to the world of cinema

The movie is really good by itself. It had an immediate success that brought it to the level of highest-grossing movie of all time. Over the years, many people have considered it as the best movie of all time, and it is definitely a classic of the modern culture. But it also brought many changes to the modern era of Hollywood. Indeed, JAWS is the first summer blockbuster of all time. Before the release of the movie, summer was seen as a difficult period for the cinema industry. At the time, the most calculated hits were released during the Christmas holidays. JAWS brought the concept of summer blockbuster and the business plan that comes with it to Hollywood.

Indeed, they invested a lot in advertising. The goal was to talk about it as much as possible. So the production spent more money than any producers would have before in the television advertising. Still a novelty at the time, JAWS set the trend for many movies to come afterward. In addition to this, there were JAWS tie-ins everywhere. Through this heavy promotion, they transformed the movie into an event people must not miss. Then, the movie would open on as many screens as possible in order to reach the widest audience possible. And the success was unprecedented. The whole strategy they thought worked perfectly and the movie became the highest-grossing one at the time with a worldwide box office now estimated at close to $2 billion.

The success and the quality brought the fascination of both audiences and critics. The whole cinema industry witnessed these achievements. At that time, with its unique promotion strategy, JAWS set the rules for a great number of blockbuster movie to come.

This movie completely deserved his level as a classic one. Even now, it terrifies the audiences and is still loved by millions of people all around the world. From the movie poster to the music, everything has become iconic. Are you a fan of the movie too? Check out the many JAWS merchandise available on this website and show the fascination you have for this amazing movie.

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