So June 20th will mark the 40th anniversary of one of the great classics of our time. A movie that crushed the box office record, beating out Star Wars gross numbers. Jaws ended up with 3 Oscars, $470 million, and scared millions of movie-goers out of the ocean for years to come. Myself included.
Here are a couple little know facts about Jaws…and a clip of one of the great scenes. Enjoy!
* Three mechanical sharks—all named “Bruce,” after director Steven Spielberg’s lawyer, Bruce Ramer—played the Great White in “Jaws.” Made in California of polyurethane and steel, they traveled at great expense to the filming location on Martha’s Vineyard. Because of deadline pressure, there was no time to test them first in ocean water.
* Spielberg originally wanted to cast Robert Duvall as police chief Brody, Jon Voight as oceanographer Matt Hooper, and Lee Marvin as the crusty shark hunter, Quint. But the director never felt he needed big-name actors and happily settled on Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw. As Spielberg later explained, “The superstar was going to be the shark.”
* The “superstar” didn’t cooperate. The mechanical shark sank like a stone the first time it went into the water, after which the crew renamed it “the Great White Turd.” Yet Spielberg would come to see the technical disaster as “a godsend.” It forced him to rely less on the shark—to become, as he put it, “more like Alfred Hitchcock.”
*Props included a plastic arm for the scene in which the girl’s remains turn up on the beach. But Spielberg thought the prosthesis looked fake. He replaced it with a real arm—that of a local waitress named Andrea, who was partially buried, with her crab-covered hand poking out of the sand so the limb would appear severed. Before the scene was shot, Andrea soaked her arm in icy water to make it turn blue.
* Roy Scheider ad-libbed one of the most memorable lines in the movie: “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.”
* For the explosive ending, Bruce’s head was “filled with ten gallons of ‘blood and guts’ and four sticks of dynamite,” Blake writes. The scene was shot with an array of cameras with various lenses to make sure there was “enough footage to satisfy even perfectionist Steve.”
* Produced at a cost of $9 million—more than double its original budget—”Jaws” broke box office records in the U.S., grossed $470 million worldwide, won three Oscars and ushered in the era of summer blockbusters. It also gave Spielberg carte blanche on future projects. He turned down the opportunity to direct “Jaws 2.”
Source: Purple Clover – Facebook