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Jaws (1975)

By Michael Schilf · May 9, 2011

Screenplay Genre: Thriller

Movie Time: 124 minutes


While swimmers enjoy themselves along New England’s Amity Island beach, a boy splashes along on a yellow inflatable raft. Suddenly, he’s dragged under, red blood erupting above the water. Chief of Police Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) sees the attack from the shore and yells for everyone to get out of the water. A mass exodus from the water leaves one lone mother yelling for her son Alex as his yellow raft drifts up on the beach – shredded and bloody. (00:16:51)

2. LOCK IN (End of Act One)

Alex’s mother issues a $3000 reward for the capture of the shark, which propels amateur shark hunters from all over New England to descend on Amity. Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss), an expert from the Oceanographic Institute, is also brought in by the request of Brody, and a second shark attack fatality is confirmed when Hooper examines the remains of Chrissie Watkins, whose death was deemed a boating accident by the coroner under the pressure of the Mayor. (31:01)


Despite a third death of fisherman Ben Gardner, Mayor Vaughn (Murray Hamilton)

refuses to close the beach over the July 4th holiday, worried that closure will result in major revenue losses to Amity’s summer tourism. But another fatal shark attack occurs where nobody expects: in a nearby pond connecting into the harbor, in which Brody’s son Michael barely escapes with his life. This last straw propels Brody to demand Vaughn sign papers to contract Sam Quint (Richard Shaw) to kill the Great White. (1:01:49)

4. MAIN CULMINATION (End of Act Two)

Quint, Hooper, and Brody are now out on the ocean aboard Quint’s boat, the Orca, and after an exhausting first battle with the 25-behemoth, in which Quint successfully harpoons a rope with a large empty barrel attached into the shark’s flesh, the three men bond over liquor induced scar stories, culminating with Quint’s classic Indianapolis speech,when the shark attacks again, but this damaging the boat and the men’s resolve (especially Brody’s) in the process (1:34:27)


The next day, the three men engage in a final epic battle with the Great White, culminating with the shark leaping out of the water and onto the Orca’s transom, breaking the back of the boat, which begins to sink, causing Quint to slide down the now-angled deck and into the waiting shark’s mouth, screaming and dying in agony. (1:56:42)