I was old enough to remember the hoopla, and the freaking out about beaches. I remember the way sharks became something to be destroyed, although that was never Peter Benchley's intention.
I wasn't allowed to see it as a kid, because my parents didn't want me to be afraid of the water. Considering how adamant they were about my not seeing it, I was surprised later to discover that it was rated PG. I thought for sure it must be R. Nope.
I saw it anyway. One of my friends had HBO. Know what I remember most about it from back then? I didn't understand it. I didn't see the big deal about it, because there wasn't any real gore, but it seemed like every movie my father had dragged me to see as a kid. Boring and too much talking. Being about 9 years old, I thought it sucked. It also failed to scare me out of the water. I never stopped swimming in the ocean.
In my late teens I had the chance to see it again. There was nothing on TV one day, and I turned it on. By this time Shark Week had begun on the Discovery Channel, so I thought I'd give it another shot. I couldn't take my eyes off of it. All of that talking that had bored me at 9? Brilliant. The shark? Practically incidental. I would have sat and watched Robert Shaw, Roy Scheider, and Richard Dreyfuss talk about paint drying by the end of that movie. The throwaway moments are my favorites. Quint and then Hooper crushing the beer cans. Ellen asking Brody if he wants to get drunk and fool around. When Hooper tells Brody that he should let the wine breathe as Brody dumps half the bottle in a glass. I can't think of a single moment in this movie that's a clunker.
Jaws was the first DVD I ever purchased. When I finally got with the program in 2001 and bought a DVD player I decided that I needed to make the first purchase something special. The first thing that came to mind was Jaws. And even though I own it I still watch it every time it's on television. In fact, I think I've watched it on TV more in the past 8 years than I have on my DVD.
So this morning nothing was on TV. I'm not really a music person. I like music, but for background noise I prefer TV so that if something interesting happens I can stop and watch. I considered putting in a DVD, but everything I was in the mood for was totally inappropriate with a 2 year old around. I opened the DVD closet, and my eyes fell on Jaws.
So that's what I've been watching this morning.