I first saw Laurent Bouzereau‘s The Making of ‘Jaws’, an extra feature on the Jaws laserdisc, in ’95. 27 and 1/2 years ago. It’s since been included on the DVD, Bluray and 4K Bluray editions. It runs two hours and six minutes or something close to that. I was instantly gobsmacked by how honest and thorough and meticulous it was. Every significant chapter, every step of the journey. And a lot of it is funny. And everyone looks so young!

Almost everyone took part except for poor Robert Shaw, who passed in ’78, and the late Murray Hamilton, who departed in ’86. Spielberg, Zanuck and Brown, Sid Sheinberg, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary, book author Peter Benchley, screenwriter Carl Gottlieb, Roy Scheider, dp Bill Butler, edtitor Verna Fields, John Williams, shark specialists Ron and Valerie Taylor, etc.

It’s absolutely the definitive account of how Steven Spielberg, Richard Zanuck and David Brown‘s 1975 thriller came to be. The doc is significantly better, it goes without saying, than Eric Hollander‘s The Shark Is Still Working (’12), which I caught a few years ago. Decent, approvable.

I re-watched Bouzereau’s doc last night, and it’s still transporting. I know the saga backwards and forwards and I loved every minute. The only thing it needs is someone acknowledging at the very end that the enormous success of Jaws yielded a mixed legacy. For Jaws and Star Wars basically brought about the end of the Hollywood’s greatest chapter (the late ’60s to late ’70s) by ushering in the era of the blockbuster. Nobody so much as mentions this in Bouzereau’s film; I can’t remember it anyone get into it in Hollander’s.