The Movie: Jaws (1975)
What Is It?: Steven Spielberg employed special effects to thrill audiences and drew record-breaking revenue, but its thrills do not make Jaws any less thoughtful or its characters any less complex. And after the kills have lost their shock value with repeated viewings and sophisticated contemporary special effects have rendered “Bruce” the Shark somewhat less realistic, Jaws continues to work wonderfully as a character piece. And what characters it has! Roy Scheider as the conflicted police chief; Richard Dreyfuss as the smart but inexperienced rich kid with an arsenal of shark-finding technology; Robert Shaw as the salty, glib sea captain who has seen more than his share of horror. His account of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis and the feeding frenzy that followed may be cinema’s most spellbinding monologue.
Why Today?: The 4th of July is when the shark goes on an all-out frenzy.