Friday, June 23, 2023


By Tim Rohr

This is another one of those "not typical JW" posts, and just an interesting thing.

Happy Anniversary (June 20, 1975) to the movie JAWS. It was a great movie, and I still think it was Spielberg's greatest. But it became the greatest quite by accident. 

According to a story I read, Spielberg couldn't get the shark to work. He had planned a much more active role for his mechanical shark than what we see in the movie. 

But because the thing kept breaking down, Spielberg had to give up on a movie about a shark and instead turned it into a movie about the "idea of a shark," which morphed, in our psyches, into a movie about fear, generally, and especially fear of what we cannot see.

In fact, Spielberg's shark doesn't actually show up "in person" until more than an hour into the movie. And even after it appears, the shark's appearances probably don't amount to more than a couple minutes, if that. 

The real "shark" is John William's score, especially the most famous two notes in music history. 

Had Spielberg's shark actually worked the way it was supposed to, Jaws probably never would have been the success that it was, and still is. 

I think there's a lesson there somewhere. 

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