Jaws movie facts are a fun way to delve deeper into that classic movie that made everyone rethink that trip to the beach. The Jaws franchise is a bona fide classic that has managed to stand the test of time. Some of the stories from the behind the camera are as interesting as the action on the screen.
Jaws Movie Facts - The Basics
The original Jaws, which was based on the book of the same name by Peter Benchley, was released on June 19, 1975 and distributed by Universal Pictures. The film was directed by Steven Spielberg and starred:
- Roy Scheider (as Martin Brody, police chief)
- Richard Dreyfuss (Matt Hooper, marine biologist)
- Murray Hamilton (Mayor)
- Lorraine Gray (Ellen Brody)
- Robert Shaw (Quint, shark hunter)
The film was set in on a fictional island called Amity and was filmed primarily in Martha's Vineyard. Most of the actual shark footage used in the film came from waters off of Florida and Australia because the crew couldn't find footage of a large enough shark in Martha's Vineyard area.
There were three sequels to Jaws:
- Jaws II (1978)
- Jaws 3-D (1983)
- Jaws: The Revenge (1987)
A video game based on the movie was released in 2006.
Jaws Movie - Trouble on the Set
Jaws didn't have a smooth path to the silver screen. First, there were director problems. The original director, Dick Richards, was fired from the project because he wanted to adapt the story to make it about a whale. A then relatively unknown Spielberg was hired for the project, but script problems soon followed. Benchley was given the right to pen the first draft of the screenplay when the studio purchased the rights to his book, but it soon emerged that nearly everyone involved in the project had different ideas about which direction the movie should take. At least three drafts of the script were written, and it was constantly revised during filming. Benchley eventually quit the project over a dispute about the ending of the movie. The credit for the screenplay writing is still in dispute.
Another problem on the set was the mechanical sharks used for filming. There were three identical mechanical sharks used in filming, and they malfunctioned constantly. Because the sharks were not tested in water before filming, the first one sunk as soon as it was put in the water. The crew that worked on the film took to calling it "Flaws" because of all of the on-set trouble.
Jaws Movie Trivia
Ready to brush up on some obscure Jaws movie facts? Wow your friends with these fun Jaws trivia:
- After Robert Shaw finished filming his scenes as Quint, he had to flee to country to escape the IRS. Ironically, Shaw was the second choice for the role and was given the spot after the first actor selected had to leave the country to escape his IRS problems.
- Roy Scheider didn't believe that the crew would save him if something went wrong when he filmed his scene on the sinking Orca. He hid axes at various spots around the boat in case he needed to use them to save himself.
- Spielberg's own dog played the role of Brody's dog.
- One of the mechanical sharks used in the movie was lost at sea during filming.
- The movie was supposed to feature many more shots of the mechanical sharks, but they broke down so much that Spielberg was forced to change his plans and use shots from the shark's perspective instead of actually showing the shark. In retrospect, the director believes that this change made the movie much scarier.
- The scene featuring the death of character Alex Kintner had to be re-shot because the film rating's board said if it stayed in the film as it was, they would be forced to rate the movie R instead of PG.
- Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss did not get along and fought often on set.
- When Shaw showed up to film the scene in which he tells the story of the Indianapolis, he was too drunk to deliver his lines and instead kept going off track and talking about his family. The scene had to be redone the next day, and he got it in one take.
Jaws movie facts are a great way to wow your friends. With all of the trouble experienced while filming, it's quite a feat that the movie ever made it so big.