Even Jaws star Richard Dreyfuss didn’t foresee the movie’s unprecedented success.
“Everyone had thought they had struck gold, and I said, ‘What are you talking about? It’s just a little movie,” Dreyfuss told Yahoo Entertainment in June 2019. “So when the film was released, I found myself going back to the talk shows and saying ‘I’m the guy who didn’t believe in it.’”
To be fair, the movie about a shark terrorizing a seaside community was far from a guaranteed hit: Director Steven Spielberg was not yet the known hitmaker he would go on to become, and the difficult-to-shoot project was often over-budget and behind schedule.
Dreyfuss and other naysayers were mistaken, though, as everyone would soon find out.
Jaws arrived in theaters on June 20, 1975 — 45 years ago this month — in several hundred venues at once, which was unusual at the time. Until then, studios preferred to drop a movie in a few theaters and let word-of-mouth fuel demand from there, and they certainly didn’t put out movies they expected to do well in the heat of summer. However, the strategy worked, and Jaws quickly became the top-grossing film of all-time. (In July 2019, CNBC calculated that, even after adjusting for inflation, it remains the seventh highest-grossing film ever, just behind The Ten Commandments and Titanic.)
In fact, Jaws was so big that it’s been credited as the original summer blockbuster.
It’s also become a classic piece of pop culture, from that unforgettable score to iconic lines, such as, “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.”
But how much do you remember about the actual film? In honor of its big anniversary, take our quiz to find out.
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