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Our next Rialto Recommends celebrates the 45th anniversary of the release of a film that marked a seminal change in the Hollywood studio business model and ushered in the era of the modern studio blockbuster summer movie. Released on over 450 screens (exceptionally wide for the period) on Friday, June 20, 1975 was JAWS. It is regarded as a watershed moment in movie history and was the highest grossing motion picture in history until it was overtaken by a little 1977 film called Star Wars. According to Wikipedia "Both films were pivotal in establishing the modern Hollywood business model, which pursues high box-office returns from action and adventure films with simple high-concept premises, released during the summer in thousands of theaters and heavily advertised." JAWS was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation honors in the National Film Registry as "culturally, historically or aesthetically significant." JAWS, based on Peter Benchley's best selling novel, was directed by Steven Spielberg. When a killer shark unleashes chaos on a beach community, it's up to a local sheriff, a marine biologist, and an old seafarer to hunt the beast down. Legendary film critic Pauline Kael wrote in The New Yorker "It may be the most cheerfully perverse scare movie ever made. Even while you're convulsed with laughter you're still apprehensive, because the editing rhythms are very tricky, and the shock images loom up huge, right on top of you." In 2013 in the New Yorker's David Denby wrote "Spielberg may be the man who created the new Hollywood, but in his first megahit he summed up what was best in the old -- the humor, the perversity, and the storytelling integrity of Alfred Hitchcock." JAWS is streaming on HBOMax and DirectTV and is available to rent for a modest fee from RedBox, Amazon, GooglePlay, Apple, YouTube, Vudu and others HERE.

Film Facts
Running Time
MPAA Rating
Richard Dreyfuss
Robert Shaw
Carl Gottlieb
Roy Scheider
Directed by
Steven Spielberg
Written by
Carl Gottlieb
Peter Benchley
Howard Sackler
Admission & Prices
Virtual Cinema prices vary by film