When ‘Jaws’ took a bite out of the summer of 1975

The film “Jaws” landed in the early days of the summer of 1975 and it was all anyone talked about.

In describing “Jaws,” The Sun’s film critic, R. H. Gardner, wrote on June 23, 1975, “For nerve-racking suspense sustained over a long period of time, even the final scenes of ‘Moby Dick’ can’t compare to it.”

The film opened simultaneously at four Baltimore theaters: the Westview, Senator, Liberty Road and Strand in Dundalk.

“Every time the creature surfaced unexpectedly on the afternoon I saw the film, the audience, composed largely of children, screamed,” Gardner wrote.

It hauled in money and became the highest-grossing film of all time until “Star Wars,” released in 1977, made even more money.

Lou Cedrone, in The Evening Sun, wrote, “I don’t think I have ever seen a more terrifying movie...”

The film earned praise for its 28-year-old director, Steven Spielberg, its cast — Richard Dreyfuss, Roy Scheider and Robert Shaw — and its composer, John Williams, who won an Academy Award for his creepy score.

“I think that Hollywood, to a certain degree, had forgotten how to entertain until Spielberg reminded them,” said film historian Tom Shone in The Sun in 2005. “The big directors at the time were more interested in experimenting, or taking a page out of the French filmmakers’ book. They’d forgotten that basic sort of duty, which is to entertain.”

 

 

jacques.kelly@baltsun.com

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