6. The Genius of that Vertigo Shot
Completely defying the laws of physics, this classic distorted zoom in, track out shot, (nipped from Hitchcocks Vertigo), perfectly captures both the stunned reaction of Brody as he witnesses the first bloody beach attack and the subliminal sense of unease felt by the audience. Absolute genius! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svEPWBxpYjo
7. That Poster
The beautiful simplicity of the Jaws poster is all down to clarity of theme and purpose. The image of a bather swimming on the surface of the water with the threat of an almighty predator beneath instantly establishes what Jaws is all about. Furthermore it would serve as a the benchmark for all other Blockbuster horror banners to follow - from Alien's cracked egg to The Exorcist's silhouette preacher to The Blair Witch Project's torch lit face.
8. That Opening Attack
Arguably one of the most famous death scenes in movie history - the brilliance of Jaws' first attack is simply that the violence is purely implied. Susan Backlinie was the skinny-dipping bather who takes that fateful midnight swim. The silence is deafening, the sea an endless pool. Then all of a sudden...the whelping starts, the pathetic struggles for air, the sheer hopefulness of the situation is overwhelming as poor Chrissie is catapulted across the widescreen. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t21bLPhiZNs
The charming real life location of Marthas Vineyard provided the idyllic setting for Jaws. The picturesque suburban beach town with its fresh cherry-blossom coated housing and quaint secure boundaries of white-picket fences is the ideal location for Hitchcockian terror to strike! Just look at the examples set by the master of suspense in such sinister suburban thrillers as Shadow of a Doubt and The Birds.
10. Drunk Sailors Scene
One of the finest examples of how a little time-out can work wonders to both enhance characters and evoke some depth (no pun intended) into a story. Night falls, three characters marooned on a vessel with no where to go and nothing to do but drink, banter and compare scars. And what an enjoyable time we have watching them. From Quint's classic "you wanna see something permanent..." quip to the subsequent scar contest with Hooper (gaining some much needed respect from the drunken seadog!) and the wonderfully hilarious 'Mary Ellen Moffit - she broke my heart' chestnut - all of which beautifully loosens up the characters and serves as an ingenuous set-up to that iconic Indianapolis Monologue...