DIRECTOR: Steven Spielberg
The movie which heralded the summer blockbuster has never looked so good. At 36, this is a well but gently paced slow-burn thriller, with a mix of easy on eye thrills and gritty human discourse. Robert Shaw may well have made this his film, but he was far from alone. Almost all the lead cast were more than worthy, and it was Spielberg’s young direction along with John William’s iconic score which propelled this from just another thriller into a timeless tale.
Though in many ways it looks dated, it doesn’t feel it. It has a very general sense of a seaside resort, without the gratuitous Baywatch glamor, nor the dinge of the horror genre. The people and locations feel very real and even though the shark itself is a bit of a let down, it is not a total loss and has taken nothing away from the film.
But for my money, the defining moment is the ‘Indianapolis’ anecdote as told be Shaw. The entire scene is played and shot so well and its placement within the film is perfect. This was a real story about an almost fantastical threat, but like he would go onto do later with Jurassic Park, taking you out of every day life without taking you into space is what Spielberg does best.
This is a must see and always will be. This is one of the best films of the 70’s and beyond…
Original review: 5th may 2010