Steven Spielberg conceived Jaws as a spiritual follow-up to his TV movie Duel, a thriller about a murderous eighteen-wheeler chasing someone through the desert. After it was all said and done (one hundred days over shooting schedule, with a famously malfunctioning mechanical shark and a chronically seasick cast), he had revolutionized the creature feature and invented the summer blockbuster. Sometimes we surprise even ourselves. If all you remember about Jaws are the ominous strings of John Williams’s brilliant score and the gory horror of the shark (which, mind you, doesn’t even show up clearly on screen for over an hour), it’s a revelation to realize how much of the movie is warm summer scenes and witty satire — it’s got the naturalistic and improvisational feel of a Robert Altman movie, except there’s also a giant shark eating people.
Casting, performance, cinematography, even down to the poster; everything about Jaws is best-in-class, which is why – even though it came in second in our “Fans Pick the Classic” poll, we decided to show it, too.
Immediately after the screening, University of Tampa Associate Professor of Film, Animation and New Media Aaron Walker will lead a short discussion and audience Q&A. The session is included with film admission.
The Summer Classics Movie Series is presented by Bank of America. Additional support is provided by J.J. Taylor Distributing, Florida, Inc., New Belgium Brewing, and WEDU-PBS.