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Published on Sep 9, 2009
Jaws is a 1975 American horror/thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Peter Benchley's best-selling novel. The police chief of Amity Island, a fictional summer resort town, tries to protect beachgoers from a giant great white shark by closing the beach, only to be overruled by the town council, which wants the beach to remain open to draw a profit from tourists during the summer season. After several attacks, the police chief enlists the help of a marine biologist and a professional shark hunter. Roy Scheider stars as police chief Martin Brody, Richard Dreyfuss as marine biologist Matt Hooper, Robert Shaw as shark hunter Quint, and Lorraine Gary as Brody's wife Ellen. Jaws is regarded as a watershed film in motion picture history, the father of the summer blockbuster movie and one of the first "high concept" films. Due to the film's success in advance screenings, studio executives decided to distribute it in a much wider release than ever before. The Omen followed suit in the summer of 1976 and then Star Wars one year later in 1977, cementing the notion for movie studios to distribute their big-release action and adventure pictures (commonly referred to as tentpole pictures) during the summer. The film was followed by three sequels, none with the participation of Spielberg or Benchley: Jaws 2 (1978), Jaws 3-D (1983) and Jaws: The Revenge (1987). A video game titled Jaws Unleashed was produced in 2006. Despite the high levels of violence in the film due to the graphic depiction of the shark's attacks, it was only rated PG.