It’s 46 years since Steven Spielberg’s Jaws first terrorised beachgoers, and it remains one of the greatest thrillers ever made today. With it hitting 4K recently in newly-restored glory, we thought we’d dip our toes in the Jaws pool with ten fun facts that you may or may not know…
One of the most quoted movie lines ever, “You’re gonna need a bigger boat” was ad-libbed by actor Roy Scheider.
Like herding cats
There were apparently plans originally to train an actual great white shark for the title role. They were soon shelved due to it just being too hard, and a mechanical shark was created.
Steven Spielberg named the mechanical shark “Bruce” in honour of his lawyer, although when he was unhappy with the prop he apparently called it “the great white turd”. There were three Bruces made for the film, each costing around US$250,000. One was whole, while the other two each had an open side.
When he first heard John Williams’ proposed – and now iconic – soundtrack, Spielberg thought that the composer was kidding. He later admitted that it significantly aided the film’s success.
New England summer spot Martha’s Vineyard played the part of Amity Island, as even 12 miles out the water was relatively shallow at around 30 feet, which aided filming.
Australia was Steve’s chum
Australia had a hand in Jaws, in that live shark footage was filmed at popular great white tourism spot the Neptune Islands, off South Australia.
Steven Spielberg’s pup Elmer appears in the movie, as Brody’s dog.
They fight, and bite…
Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss didn’t get along in real life, which leant greater power to the enmity portrayed in their roles as Quint and Hooper.
By the book?
Steven Spielberg has claimed that upon first reading the novel – which the movie ended up varying quite significantly from – he found himself barracking for the shark, simply as the human characters were so unlikeable.
The director makes a cameo of sort in Jaws – Spielberg is a voice on Quint’s radio when Mrs Brody tries to make contact with boat the Orca.