Cast: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton, Carl Gottlieb, Jeffrey Kramer, Susan Backlinie, Jonathan Filley, Ted Grossman, Chris Rebello, Jay Mello, Lee Fierro, Jeffrey Voorhees, Craig Kingsbury, Robert Nevin, Denise Cheshire, Peter Benchley, Donald Poole, Fritzi Jane Courtney, Belle McDonald, Chris Anastasio
Young people are partying on a beach at night. Beautiful Christine Watkins (Backlinie/Cheshire) rises and discards her clothes as she runs to the shore. The boy with her has had too many beers to follow her as she splashes into the water. Christine swims out a ways, enjoying the refreshing water. Seen from below, Christine’s body shimmers on the moonlit surface of the sea. A great animal shape swims towards her, moving with increasing speed. Great jaws close on her body, dragging her along with irresistible force. Martin Brody (Scheider) is the new Police Chief of Amity Island, a resort town in New England. He starts his day in the company of his wife, Ellen (Gary), and sons Michael (Rebello) and Sean (Mello). Brody is called to the beach, where he and Deputy Leonard Hendricks (Kramer) find the mangled remains of Christine Watkins washed ashore. The Medical Examiner (Nevin) tells Chief Brody that the victim’s death seems due to a shark attack. Chief Brody wants to shut down the beaches as a precaution, but is overruled by Amity Mayor Larry Vaughn (Hamilton), who wants Watkins’s death attributed to a motorboat accident. Vaughn and other town leaders are concerned that news of a killer shark in Amity’s waters will ruin the tourist business. Brody relents, but with his small force watches the beaches closely for a possible roaming shark. All is quiet, until a young boy swimming near the shore, Alex Kintner (Voorhees), is attacked by a large shark. Panic ensues, as others in the water swim desperately ashore. Mrs. Kintner (Fierro), the boy’s mother, is horrified as she realizes Alex is not among those that make it back to the beach. The grieving Mrs. Kintner places a bounty on the shark, and soon fishermen from all over New England converge on Amity. Harbor Master Frank Silva (Poole) is distressed by the number of boats crowding into Amity’s harbor, barely avoiding colliding with each other. Matt Hooper (Dreyfuss), a marine biologist, comes to Amity, hired by the town leaders to assess the situation. Chief Brody and the Medical Examiner are present while Hooper examines Christine’s remains. Hooper finds that the head, shoulders, left arm, and upper chest are intact, but the torso has been severed in mid-thorax. He concludes that the injuries were caused by an uncommonly large shark. Bounty-hunting fishermen arrive at Amity’s harbor, bringing in a large shark. A crowd forms, admiring the catch, and Mayor Vaughn announces that the shark crisis is over. Vaughn orders the beaches open, although Hooper tells him that the tiger shark the fishermen brought in is not the Great White that killed Christine and the boy. Hooper and Brody investigate a derelict boat. Hooper dives underwater and finds a large shark’s tooth lodged in the boat’s hull, but he drops it when he discovers the boater’s severed head. Hooper and Brody are unable to convince Mayor Vaughn that a killer shark is still on Amity’s waters. On the 4th of July, islanders and tourists crowd the beaches. The shark attacks again, biting off a man’s leg and killing him. Brody’s son Michael sees the attack and goes into shock. Otherwise unharmed, he returns home after a short stay in the hospital. Realizing the problem will not go away, Mayor Vaughn and other Amity town leaders hire Quint (Shaw), an experienced fisherman, to go after the killer shark. Quint, Chief Brody, and Hooper set out on Quint’s motorboat, the Orca, to track down and kill the shark. Cruising the waters near Amity, Quint uses chum to attract his prey. As the Orca drifts in the current, the men swap stories and watch the empty sea. Quint means to lure the shark to the surface, jab at it with harpoons, and finally kill it. Boredom sets in, and then, suddenly, the Great White appears. Ferocious and powerful, the huge animal sees the Orca as its enemy. When the twenty-five foot, three ton monster comes at them, Brody tells Quint, “You’re going to need a bigger boat.” The men are soon engaged in a fight to the death with a creature much more dangerous than they expected. Based on the novel of the same name by Peter Benchley.