STEVEN SPIELBERG | USA | 1975 | 124 MIN | PG | 35 MM
This screening will feature live music 30 minutes prior to start time.
It was the summer of 1975. The “New Hollywood” era continued its reign with seminal films from American auteurs, like Robert Altman’s Nashville. Yet on June 20, wunderkind director Steven Spielberg unleashed one of the 20th Century’s most celebrated and successful films with JAWS. The film didn’t just rock the boat; it caused a seismic shift in the Hollywood system that would be cemented two years later with a little space opera from Spielberg’s colleague George Lucas. Despite a simple premise that abandoned the typical counter-culture themes that defined “New Hollywood,” and suffering from a well-documented and troubled production that would leave the eponymous shark unseen for half the film, JAWS became a national sensation with audiences and critics alike.
Accompanied by a menacing motif from composer John Williams, the opening scene in JAWS is what celluloid nightmares are made of. When the remains of a local teen are washed ashore, Amity Island Police Chief Martin Brody (Roy Schneider) demands that all beaches close despite it being high tourism season. Yet even a giant shark can’t stop the money-hungry mayor from attributing the gruesome remains to a boating accident and opening the beaches to more fresh bait. As the attacks and sightings rise, Chief Brody enlists the aid of marine biologist Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) and seadog drunk Quint (Robert Shaw) to take down the great white beast in a cinematic showdown for the ages. Merging master class scenes in suspense with patented Spielberg levity and wonder, JAWS will remain a touchstone for American cinema for decades to come.
Cast: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary
“Perhaps the most perfectly constructed horror story in our time.” –The Hollywood Reporter