JAWS (Steven Spielberg) Rating: NNNNN Rating: NNNNN
Jaws remains one of the greatest scare machines of the last three decades, a tribute to author Peter Benchley's ability to tap into a primal fear and to director Steven Spielberg's astonishing kinetic invention in the face of an impossible obstacles. The shark didn't work, the sun wouldn't stay out and they kept rewriting the script. The two most famous bits of dialogue came out of an improvisation (Roy Scheider's "We're gonna need a bigger boat") and a last-minute contribution by John Milius, rewritten by star Robert Shaw (the Indianapolis speech).
Of course, the fact that the shark rarely worked necessitated some of the director's most striking inventions, like its opening incursion into a moonlight swim, and the documentary-like frenzy of the beach scenes.
To watch Jaws on the big screen is to again appreciate Spielberg's technical dazzle. He uses the famous Hitchcock zoom-in/track-out shot that forms the climax of Vertigo as a throwaway effect.
This is also a chance to appreciate the work of legendary editor Verna Fields. Spielberg has always lauded her editing-room wizardry on a film that was over budget and behind schedule - and scared the hell out of Universal's executives long before they saw a bit of footage.
The outdoor screening is at sunset, Tuesday (July 25), at Yonge-Dundas Square.