Iconic Images: Jaws

When you think of Jaws’ most iconic images you probably think of the shark or Brody’s reaction to first seeing the monstrous fish. But this moment stands out for me…

One of the biggest reasons Steven Spielberg’s Jaws is so successful is thanks, ironically, to the failings of its production. The mechanical shark rarely worked properly, and when it did Spielberg was hardly enamoured with its “performance”. That meant the director relied heavily on his actors to present the reality of danger through their reactions to the threat. The monster was therefore created almost entirely in the audience’s imagination through our interpretation of the fear we were witnessing in the characters we were rooting for. There are many examples of this which I discuss in my article “Jaws: The Unseen Monster” but Hooper’s reaction to Ben Gardner’s disembodied head appearing from the darkness is a definite highlight.

More on Top 10 Films you might like: Top 10 Steven Spielberg Films | Top 10 Films produced by Steven Spielberg | Did Spielberg direct Poltergeist? | Lawrence of Arabia: The film that inspired Spielberg

More Top 10s: 10 reasons Jaws might be the best film ever made | Top 10 Steven Spielberg Characters | Top 10 Steven Spielberg Moments

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About the Author
Editor of Top 10 Films, Dan Stephens is usually found pondering his next list. An unhealthy love of 1980s Hollywood sees most of his top 10s involving a time-travelling DeLorean and an adventurous archaeologist going by the name Indiana.

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    Mark Reply

    Quint’s boat leaving the harbour as it embarks on the hunt, partly shot through a set of dried shark jaws hanging in front of a window – not sure if it’s iconic, but it’s definitely Spielbergesque …

    For performances, the reverse dolly zoom of Roy on the beach when the swimming boy is chomped is a good one as well ….

  2. Avatar
    Dan Reply

    …some great moments there Mark. I especially love that shot of the boat leaving the harbour. When it comes to Jaws I find it hard to stop thinking about great scenes, moments or shots.

  3. Avatar
    70srichard Reply

    So many shots and great moments. If you posted them all you’d almost have the whole film.

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