The Jaws Saga (1975-1987)
DIRECTORS: Steven Spielberg, Jeannot Szwarc, Joe Alves, Joseph Sargent
WRITERS: Peter Benchley, Carl Gottlieb, Howard Sackler, Richard Matheson, Michael de Guzman
STARS: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary, Dennis Quaid, Michael Caine
The Jaws series centres on the Brody family, led by Police Chief Martin Brody, and their repeated bad luck at seemingly being the target of attacks by Great White sharks. The original film was based on the 1974 book of the same name by Peter Benchley, and was directed by Steven Spielberg. It is widely recognised as one of the greatest thrillers of all time and became one of the first Summer blockbuster movies, grossing $470.7 million worldwide. The film’s main theme, composed by John Williams, is one of the most recognisable pieces of music in movie history and is cited by both Spielberg and Williams as being pivotal in the success of the film, and their careers from that point.
A man-eating Great White shark attacks beachgoers on Amity Island, a New England summer resort town, prompting the local police chief to hunt it with the help of a marine biologist and a professional shark hunter.
Jaws 2 (1978)
Chief Brody suspects another Great White shark is terrorizing Amity Island following a series of incidents and disappearances. However, few believe him, and he must take matters into his own hands after his sons are cast adrift at sea.
Jaws 3 (1983)
Years later, the Brody children now work at a Florida marine park with underwater tunnels and lagoons. As the park prepares for opening, a young Great White shark infiltrates the park from the sea. Once the shark is captured, it becomes apparent that a second, much larger shark also entered the park, and chaos ensues.
Jaws – The Revenge (1987)
A now-widowed Ellen Brody becomes convinced that a Great White shark is seeking revenge on her family, particularly when it kills her youngest son and follows her to the Bahamas. There she faces the shark, along with her older son and a friendly airline pilot.
|Jaws||1975||The shark may look a bit cheap these days, but with jump scares aplenty, an action-packed final showdown and John Williams’ masterful score, this film still has the ability to jangle your nerves. A genuine classic.||9|
|Jaws 2||1978||Another, slightly more realistic shark terrorises Amity Island but none of the returning cast seem to care, with Roy Scheider looking particularly bored. Even the shark seems subdued in this unnecessary sequel.||5|
|Jaws 3||1983||The returns continue to diminish with a poor story, largely terrible acting and a rarely-seen shark. The removal of the 3D format also showcases some awful special effects and murky cinematography.||3|
|Jaws: The Revenge||1987||The plot is ludicrous, the acting mostly awful and the shark looks worse than the original, but this is still more entertaining than the third film, mostly due to the unintentional comedy.||4|
From the sublime to the ridiculous, the Jaws series is a perfect example of a film that never needed a sequel. The first movie did everything right, and none of the sequels were necessary other than to wring money out of the movie-going public. Despite the generally awful nature of the follow-ups, the original is still a respected classic and remains a thrilling film to this day.
Boxset review by Mat Corne