Thursday, April 22, 2010

Thursday American Cinema Classic

Welcome to a new weekly feature here at Movies with Abe, Thursday American Cinema Classic. I’m taking a course called American Cinema Since 1960 where we’re charting the history and development of American Cinema from the 1960s to the present. We’ll be watching some pretty iconic films, some of which I haven’t seen before. Each week, I’ll be providing a short review of one contemporary classic from the annals of recent history.

Directed by Steven Spielberg
Released June 20, 1975

This is one film that pretty much everyone in the world has heard of, and for good reason. It was director Steven Spielberg’s first big hit, and broke the box-office record at that time, besting the take by “The Godfather” three years earlier. “Jaws” stills stands as the seventh highest-grossing film of all time, having earned nearly $975 million adjusted for inflation. The screening of this film was designed as an example of the rise of the blockbuster, and it was either this or “Star Wars,” which was released two years later. This fun flick helped to instill terror in beach-going audiences for years to come with the deadly shark chewing up multiple human victims and taking a boat or two with him in the process. Thirty-five years later, the film is devastatingly corny but just as awesome as it is hilarious, and the cast is a big part of that. Richard Dreyfuss is at his neurotic, nerdy best as a visiting oceanographer with a particularly passion for studying sharks. Roy Scheider is a great do-gooder who always knows what’s best even if his sea legs aren’t that strong, and Robert Shaw is fantastically unhinged as a hardened and insane shark hunter. The three of them together make for quite an oddball, entertaining team. The movie is just as much an adventure film as it is a horror movie, and the visual effects contribute to the effectiveness greatly. The film’s most spectacular asset, of course, is its incredibly iconic score by legendary composer John Williams, only just beginning his prolific career. This is a wonderfully enjoyable and fun film, and it’s one I don’t feel I need to recommend highly because I suspect that most readers have already seen it.


1 comment:

Greg Boyd said...

B+? Are you kidding me? This is one of the best films ever made. Grade A for sure.

"E.T." is better, though.