Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia on June 29, 1975 · Page 112
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Sunday Gazette-Mail from Charleston, West Virginia · Page 112

Charleston, West Virginia
Issue Date:
Sunday, June 29, 1975
Page 112
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A killer shark attacks a swimmer in a scene from "Jaws," now showing at the Capitol. Benchley 9 s 'Jaws' no holds barred thriller By James F. Dent "JAWS," Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss. Capitol - «,This is the most enjoyable way to have the wits scared out of you I've seen since the original "Dracula' way back thare in the 1930's It is a Grade A, superior, no holds barred thriller that'll have you clinging to the arms of your chair as it goes barreling down to the final spectacular scenes. Adapted by Peter Benchley and Carl Gottleib (who both appear in the movie in minor parts by the way) from Benchley's sensational best selling novel, this is one case in which the film version is superior to the book. It's better because it dispenses with allthose secondary ; -Subplots about marital infidelity which cluttered up thr book and concentrates solely on the no holds barred battle between the gigantic great white killer shark and the three men who are trying to hunt it down. There are overtones hereof "Moby Dick" but that's all right ' 'Moby Dick'' at bottom was a pretty rousing adventure story too. Briefly, the story concerns the" appearance of the shark off the toast of a New England summer resort where it makes a meal off a young lady who's doing some night, time skinny dipping; r Wheh:the /6s CHARLESWM. W VA. Pttaifieflfcw^ X " ^v. ^ ^'^" X . ^ - ' . _-,'X^,- town's police chief (Roy Scheider) wants to close the beaches to keep other bathers off the shark's free lunch menu, the town fathers are aghast. The town lives off the summer visitors and if the tourists can't go into the ocean there, they'll move on somewhere else So the beaches stay open. And, sure enough, the shark finds a couple more victims before, finally, a hunt is mounted to kill him The hunters are on oddly assorted trio, bound together only by their determination to get the shark before it gets them. There is the wild eyed captain of the fishing boat (Robert Shaw) who, it turns out, only narrowly escaped being a shark's main course during World War II and who wants revenge as well as $10,000 promised him if he destroys the shark; the scholar (Richard Dreyfuss), a young oceanographer who is fascinated by the monster; and the police chief, who just wants to protect his family from the bloody depredations of the huge fish. The final climactic battle in which the shark 1 and the hunters Peter Benchley seek to kill each other will possibly have you screaming in terror--but don't be embarrassed. Because the rest of the audience will be screaming right along with you. This is the first movie I've seen in I don't know how long in which the audience gets so involved that their shrieking rattles the theater walls. The three principal human actors involved all are excellent with Richard Dreyfuss, one of the young protagonists of "American Graffiti," particularly good as the oceanographer Dreyfuss makes acting look as natural as breathing and it's obvious that he has a great career, with Oscars scattered here and there, ahead.of him. There is absolutely no one better than Robert Shaw as a steely eyed menace, with subtle shading? of insanity peeking through here and there. In the midst of all this, Scheider's quiet competence may be overlooked.. It shouldn't be because he's good. The non-human actor--the shark--js the mqst terrifying villain since Bela Lugosi first showed his fangs. The producers mixed shots of real, live sharks with film of the mechanical monster (or monsters, actually, since there were three of them) created espe- cially for the movie. But the fake shark never shows its Hollywood built core-- it looks fully and frighteningly as real as any of its living, breathing cousins. Director Steven Spielberg (who also did "The Sugarland Express") very nicely balances humor and horror-- letting the audience relax with a laugh line jus't before he brings them out of their seats with terror. , Altogether then, -"Jaws" is a very superior piece ofTnovie making and I recommend it to you without reservation-- although it probably will make you cancel your beach vacation and stay prudently out of any body of water larger , than a bathtub from now on. The movie does have a PG rating, which means children are admitted You are the best judge of how impressionable your own children are but I will tell you that I would be very careful about taking younger kids to see "Jaws":since it may frighten them too much. One small piece of free advice to the theater manager: 1 . : . ; ' · ' The crowds for "Jaws" have been large and probably will continue to be. So -turnup' the air conditioning. The movie is a: chiller, true, but some additional help is needed on these hot, hymid nights. . . - ·. - 2% IVTZS

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