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36 Years Ago Today ‘Jaws’ Opened – 5 Things You Didn’t Know About ‘Jaws’

Universal Studios
36 years ago today the great white shark took to the big screen terrifying people all over the world in 'Jaws'. Directed by Steven Spielberg, 'Jaws' opened on June 21, 1975 in 464 theatres around the country, expanding in July to 675 theatres, the biggest mass release to date, 'Jaws' went on to gross $460 million worldwide which is ranked #94 on the all time list, but #1 in scary shark movies. Here are 5 things you might not know about 'Jaws'.

Wikimedia Photo
Wikimedia Photo


The Shark Has a Name



The mechanical shark that was used in the movie was named after Steven Spielberg's lawyer, “Bruce”, this wasn't the only name it was given, Spielberg also called it “the great white turd” because the shark had so many technical problems. George Lucas visited his friend Spielberg on the set of the movie and got his head stuck in Bruce the shark after he jokingly put his head in the mouth and it malfunctioned.


Getty Images/Universal Pictures
Getty Images/Universal Pictures


2 Hollywood Legends Were Considered For Chief Brody



Both Charlton Heston and Robert Duvall were considered for the role of Chief Brody before Roy Scheider got the role. Robert Duvall turned down the role, after he convinced Spielberg that he should direct the movie, his reasoning was it would make him “too famous”. Heston on the other hand was so mad about being rejected that he refused to work with Spielberg ever again.


flickr user Amstrong White
flickr user Amstrong White


‘Jaws’ Tripled The Population of Martha’s Vineyard



'Jaws', 'Jaws 2' and 'Jaws: The Revenge' were all set on Amity Island which was filmed in part at Martha's Vineyard in Massachusetts, it's the 58th largest island in the United States. The population of this tourist town before 'Jaws' was about 5000 people, after 'Jaws' that population swelled to over 15,000 and attracts over 75,000 residents during the Summer. Residents were paid $64 for playing extras in the movie.




Steven Spielberg Originally Thought The ‘Jaws’ Theme Was a Joke



After legendary movie score composer John Williams played director Steven Spielberg the classic 'Jaws' theme for the first time Steven was quoted saying “That's funny, John, really. But what did you really have in mind for the theme of Jaws?”. Well it went on to become one of the most famous movie themes of all time and Spielberg later said 'Jaws' wouldn't have been the success it was without it and it went on to win John Williams an Oscar.


Keystone Hulton Archive
Keystone Hulton Archive


Steven Spielberg Was Not The Original Director



Universal Studios originally had a director lined up for 'Jaws' but during a pre-production meeting with studio executives and producers he was describing the opening scene of the movie, he said he would have the camera coming out of the water showing the town, then the whale. A whale? The producers and studio didn't want a director who didn't know the difference between a whale and a shark, so after telling him they weren't making 'Moby Dick' and firing the original mysterious director, they hired Steven Spielberg.


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