Imitated many times but never equaled, Jaws will always be the ultimate shark movie. It scared the hell out of audiences in 1975, it still holds up great today, and it’s got a strong fan following that will never die.
The news recently hit that Jaws Blu-ray will be available August 14, digitally remastered and restored of course, with a 7.1 surround sound sound mix.
As reported on Moviefone and Entertainment Weekly, Steven Spielberg confirmed he went back to the film’s original negative, which was “pretty crummy,” but with today’s digital technology, “we can bring these classics back to life in a way that makes them even more vivid than we remember them.”
For those who can’t get enough behind the scenes stories of Jaws, the Blu-Ray will have four hours of new material, including an all-new documentary on the making of Jaws, and the long in gestation The Shark is Still Working, which I was beginning to wonder if it would ever see the light of day. (This behind the scenes fan made documentary, which Spielberg cooperated for, was so long in the works, it has an interview with Roy Schieder, who passed away in 2008).
Jaws is still considered the original summer blockbuster. Before Jaws, the summer was a dead zone that only played B movie junk and major features in second run. Now of course, the summer is the big season where every major studio brings out their biggest movies competing for the most money they can grab.
Says Thom Mount, who went on to become president of Universal, “Jaws changed the landscape. No one understood how much money there was in the movie business before Jaws. Not only was it the first blockbuster by any reasonable definition, it was the first wide release picture, and what we now see as a standard pattern. It set new standards at the company for what we had to do, and how we had to do it.
“The picture really is a horror film, and it would have been made by Universal in the 50’s in the classic pantheon of classic Universal monster horror pictures. But by broadening the public accessibility of the story, making it a kind of everyman’s story, the picture really worked in the same way that no monster movie had worked in American filmmaking since King Kong.”
And as Jaws screenwriter Carl Gottlieb says, “Jaws is #2 on the AFI list of 500 scariest movies… #1 is Psycho. That’s grand company to be in.”