Starring Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss
Thrilling. Scary. Masterful.
An island resort town is in chaos when it’s found out that a shark is terrorizing their water in the heart of the summer season. A bereaved mother puts a bounty on the shark’s head after it kills her son, which brings dozens of insane hunters to the beach. Sheriff Brody (Scheider), afraid of water, is left to deal with all of this with very little help from the rest of the town. Exemplary monster film. Holding off on revealing the monster is cliché now thanks to how perfectly that technique was demonstrated here and then copied by later films. There are only three real characters with any depth here, but Spielberg makes them interesting enough to carry the action. Quint (played by Shaw), a determined shark hunter, steals most of the scenes as the most colorful character. Later sections drag a little- I’d say early in the third act-the first half and the movie’s conclusion though are top notch.
-Walter Tyrone Howard-