As it approaches its 37th anniversary, Jaws continues to be acclaimed as one of the greatest movies ever made.
Steven Spielberg’s seminal thriller about a shark which terrorises a beach community has forever etched itself into the public conscience, and launched the young director into Hollywood’s elite. It’s the film which single handedly kept generations of movie goers out of the water, and gave birth to the notion of the big-budget summer blockbuster.
With a stunningly remastered print making its way into cinemas this weekend (and a much anticipated Blu-ray coming in September) it’s clear that Jaws has lost none of its power to excite, thrill and terrorise film audiences. To celebrate its limited theatrical re-release, here are 10 facts about Jaws that you might not know.
1. Hitchcock Refused to Meet Steven Spielberg Due To Bizarre Jaws Ride Claim
It’s often been said that Spielberg feels deep regret over the fact that he never managed to meet one of his true idols, Alfred Hitchcock. That’s not to say however that he didn’t repeatedly try on numerous occasions, but Hitchcock refused to meet the young director. According to actor Bruce Dern, Hitchcock claimed that he couldn’t meet with Spielberg as he had voiced the Jaws ride, and is quoted within Dern’s autobiography as saying “I’m such a whore. I can’t sit down and talk to the boy who did the fish movie”.
There are several things that are incredibly odd about this statement, the most obvious one being that Hitchcock has never – according to record – voiced any Jaws attraction within Universal Studios. When you add to the equation that the Jaws ride didn’t properly exist until 1990 (Hitchcock passed away in 1980) it seems that he was probably referring to the Hollywood Studio Tour, which received a Jaws addition in 1978.
Hitchcock was however, infamous for his odd sense of humour. His bizarre claims about the voicing the Jaws ride are likely to be a ridiculous excuse to avoid meeting the director, the reason why remains unclear. It’s often argued that with Jaws clearly being influenced by Hitchcock’s thrillers, perhaps the master of suspense was irked that such a young director had managed to make a film as chilling as his very own creations.
This article was first posted on June 15, 2012