20th of this month Jaws turns 40. It was the very first summer blockbuster--it started the whole phenom of the wide release--now such a yearly rite of passage in the US. Author Peter Bentley had a serious change of heart about writing the novel that gave rise to the film idea and his subsequent screen adaptation; stating that he never would have wrote it later in life after finding out much, much more about Great Whites in particular, and sharks in general. He became a celebrity voice for shark conservation before his untimely passing in 2006.
After the release of the film, wholesale sport fishing of large sharks (and even attempts to get rid of sharks all together) was rampant in US waters, especially along the east coast--where shark populations were already under stress. Great Whites has largely disappeared from New England water after the near extinction of the seal populations there, subsequent to the release of Jaws, the few that were left were fished out. My, my how times have changed! These videos below are from 3 days ago taken on a beach near Cape Cod, when this young male became stranded after trying to catch floating seagulls. In the first video, you can actually hear people encouraging the animal to live, going as far as to call it "baby."
Now for some classic clips from the very first summer block buster.
And about that exploding tank...