“Getting right to the point, “Jaws” is an artistic and commercial smash. Producers Richard D. Zanuck and David Brown, and director Steven Spielberg, have the satisfaction of a production problem-plagued film turning out beautifully. Peter Benchley’s bestseller about a killer shark and a tourist beach town has become a film of consummate suspense, tension and terror. The Universal release looks like a torrid moneymaker everywhere.”
A.D. Murphy gives Jaws a positive review in his 1975 write-up of the film for Variety.
“‘Jaws’ is no less important to those who create Star Wars: The Clone Wars. The first time I realized there was a hardcore Jaws fan on the crew of The Clone Wars was watching the thirteenth episode of the third season. “Monster” served as our introduction to the now-iconic villain Savage Opress. The homage from Jaws was subtle and CG supervisor Joel Aron later told me that he thought I might have been the only person who noticed it. But in Jaws (and in a few other Spielberg pictures) there is a lovely shot of a night sky, a quiet moment, and a falling star streaks across the frame. The moment is repeated in loving memory in “Monster” and it brought a smile across the face of the film nerd inside of me.”
Bryan Young of Big Shiny Robot writes for the official Star Wars blog about Jaws’s influence on George Lucas’s signature universe.
“I thought it was a wonderful movie [‘The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz’], but I didn’t like my performance, because I had no experience in watching me for that amount of time. I saw all the things I didn’t do. I didn’t’ see it as story-telling. It took me 20 years to really look at it and see it for what it was.
“Then I saw Duddy and called Steven and begged for the part [in ‘Jaws’]. “Because I thought if that film got sold in America, I would never work again. I called [Spielberg] from New York and said, ‘Have you cast it?’ He said. ‘No.’ I said, ‘I’ll do it!’”.
“Back then [Spielberg] was the uncrowned king. I was a prince in L.A. And I made myself a prince by turning down work. People didn’t do that. I also was a very good actor. But Steven was signed to a contract before he was legally able to sign a contract—that’s how young he was. He directed Joan Crawford before he was 21 years old. One either survives the experience or doesn’t.”
“If you walked on the set of ‘Jaws’, you never would have picked out Steven as the authority figure. If you walked on the set of ‘Close Encounters’, you would.
“The only time I ever bad-mouthed another actor to get a job was Close Encounters, because that was originally written for Gene Hackman. I knew something about that part. And so I would walk by Steven’s office and say ‘Al Pacino’s crazy’ or ‘Dustin Hoffman’s neurotic.’ I finally got the part because I said ‘Steven, you need a child.’ He looked up and said, ‘You got the part.’ I knew he needed a man who had a child-like view. I told Steven once the name of the book I’ll never write is Steven, Have They Figured Out What I’m Looking up in Awe at.’ … (Sharks, aliens).”
Richard Dreyfuss talks about how he landed the roles of Matt Hooper and Roy Neary in Jaws and Close Encounters.