You Let Our Kids Watch What?!? Happy 35th Birthday Jaws

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Image by Jaws Movie Archives and Universal PicturesImage by Jaws Movie Archives and Universal Pictures

Image by Jaws Movie Archives and Paramount

It’s been a while since we did a proper YLOKWW post, and this isn’t really going to be one. I am however going to admit something slightly geeky that may also get me a “bad dad” award somewhere: by the time my kids were in 3rd and 5th grades (respectively), they’d each seen Jaws at least ten times.

Jaws was a perfect storm of film-making. Steven Spielberg was pretty untested, and the only reason the movie built up the tension of never actually seeing the shark was because the mechanical beast they’d created for the shoot broke down every other day, plus one of the stars was a serial alcoholic, and many of the scenes were re-written within hours of shooting. But it all came together into something special. Something truly scary.

Jaws is my wife’s favorite movie of all time. It was the way I first justified getting a surround system in the house: they came out with a special 25th anniversary version, which I just *had* to get her for her birthday. And, you know, the home entertainment system with which to play it properly. By association, I’ve seen it at least 20 times, and while I won’t say it’s my all-time favorite, it is an incredible, near-perfect movie.

So the movie was often on around the house when the kids were growing up, and at some point they sat and watched, and enjoyed the heck out of it. And asked to watch it again, and again, and again. It became a staple. And in a way, as “horror” films go, I was okay with it. It is, in some way, purer and more naturalistic than all the hack-em’/slash-em’ movies of those days or now. The scares were earned honestly, and the performances were amazing.

Which is all a lead-up to mention that this week marks the 35th anniversary of the release of the film. Quint at Aintitcool News wrote up a very nice piece describing his passion for the movie, and also posting some pictures from an online archive I didn’t previously realize existed. Some great stuff there you should check out.

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