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Jaws is a 1975 American thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg and based on Peter Benchley's novel of the same name. The police chief of Amity Island, a fictional summer resort town, tries to protect beachgoers from a giant man-eating 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, Murray Hamilton as the Mayor of Amity Island, 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 film 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. Jaws is widely regarded as one of the greatest films of all time. It was number 48 on American Film Institute's 100 Years... 100 Movies, a list of the greatest American films of all time, dropping down to number 56 on the 10 Year Anniversary list. It ranked second on a similar list for thrillers, 100 Years... 100 Thrills and was number one on Bravo's list of The 100 Scariest Movie Moments. The film was followed by three sequels, none with the participation of Spielberg or Benchley. A video game titled Jaws Unleashed was produced in 2006.
During a late night beach party on the fictional Amity Island in New England, a 23-year-old woman named Chrissie Watkins (Susan Backlinie) goes skinny dipping only to be pulled under by an unseen force. Amity's new police chief, Martin Brody (Roy Scheider), is notified that Chrissie is missing, and deputy Lenny Hendricks (Jeffrey Kramer) finds her remains. The medical examiner informs Brody that the death was due to a shark attack. Brody plans to close the beaches but is overruled by town mayor Larry Vaughn (Murray Hamilton), who fears that reports of a shark attack will ruin the summer tourist season. The medical examiner reverses his diagnosis and attributes the death to a boating accident. Brody reluctantly goes along with the explanation.
A short time later, a boy is brutally killed by a shark at the beach. The boy's mother places a bounty on the shark, sparking an amateur shark hunting frenzy and attracting the attention of local professional shark hunter Quint (Robert Shaw). Brought in by Brody, ichthyologist Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) examines Chrissie's remains and concludes she was killed by a shark.
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