Paula-Loves-Marla's Blog

Observations about Art, Movies, Books, etc.

“Jaws” – Differing Generational Viewing Experiences

When I saw the movie “Jaws” back in the summer of 1975 it scared the crap out of me.

That nasty old shark kept me in suspense for the entire movie (as well as Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw & Richard Dreyfuss).

I happened to be at the beach at the time so there was the added thrill of being so close to the environment of actual predators.

Fast forward to 2010/2011 and I’m living with a couple of predators who happen to be my offspring. They’re 12 & 14 now (older than I was when I saw the movie in the theater) so I put it on for them one day with the warning that the movie was suspenseful and had scary parts. I made sure to tell them that we could turn it off at any time.

What a waste of breath!

They loved it, but thought it was very fake & schlocky.

Hannah actually laughed so hard she cried during the part where Quint is bitten in half. Oy!

They’ve seen soooo many special effects on TV and at the movies that they’re pretty jaded about older movies. I guess I am too. You couldn’t pay me to sit in one of those horror movies from the 50’s & 60’s – you know, the ones where you can see the zipper in the monster suit?

It is really funny to see the very young Richard Dreyfuss in the movie and frankly, I think he stole the show. His earnest face is so endearing. His exasperation was divine.

I saw Dreyfuss in person doing a talk at the University of Maryland back in the 80’s. He came on stage and discussed his movie “The Goodbye Girl” (with Marsha Mason) for a bit, and then they played the movie. Afterwards he came back out to talk at greater length about the making of the movie and the other actors. He was a wonderful speaker; very animated and engaging with the audience. People were encouraged to ask questions and in between times, he just talked about the film and shared Hollywood antecdotes.

But back to “Jaws”, my favorite part of the movie was in the boat cabin at night when they were comparing scars and singing:

Let's Drink To Our Legs!!!

We even sing the song “Show Me the Way To Go Home” because it’s such a catchy tune (followed by “What Do You Do With a Drunken Sailor” when we’re feeling particularly nautical).

As it turns out, Jaws is a pretty cool family movie.

Sharing classic movies is just as fun as sharing classic music. I wouldn’t mind taking the girls to see someone speak about a movie like Richard Dreyfuss did. It was an amazing experience.


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