The original summer blockbuster is swimming its way to Blu-ray after 27 years. Jaws scared audiences senseless back in 1975 and it's now been remastered as part of Universal Studios' centenary, bringing 1080p visuals and 7.1 surround sound to home viewers.
A masterpiece from young filmmaker Steven Spielberg (who obviously went on to dominate popular entertainment), Jaws is adapted from the best-selling novel by Peter Benchley, and tells the story of a coastal community terrorised by a 25-foot man-eating Great White shark.
The most impressive thing about Jaws is how little you see of the eponymous menace (primarily because the rubber shark, nicknamed "Bruce") was unreliable and unconvincing. Spielberg therefore relied on audience imagination, teased along by the iconic Jaws theme by John Williams, which to this day is audio shorthand for a lurking underwater threat. It also helps that he got some terrific performances from a brilliant cast; from Roy Scheider as Brody the chief of police, to Richard Dreyfuss as a young marine biologist, and Richard Shaw as the inimitable shark-hunter Quint.
Jaws was #1 at the US box-office for 14 weeks and became the first movie to gross over $100m, which became the yardstick for all movies later termed blockbusters. Star Wars cemented the idea in pop-culture a few years later (and added merchandising to the business model), but it was Spielberg's marine thriller that laid the foundation for everything that followed.
This is one of my favourite movies and I'm excited to see a remastered print approved by Spielberg himself. It's been a long time since I got back in the water with Jaws, but now is definitely the time.
Jaws is released on Triple-Play Blu-ray on 3 September 2012 in the UK.
This article has been sponsored by Universal Studios, but content is my own.