Denny, John, and TC are watching the top 250 movies of all time. 

Behind the Scenes Look at JAWS

Behind the Scenes Look at JAWS

This week's podcast episode we watch one of our personal favorites and a movie that put the fear of swimming into multiple generations of viewers....JAWS.

JAWS may be one of the most well-known movies between generations, so we figured we'd share some interesting facts about the movie that some of podcast listners might not know!


  1. The shark’s name is Bruce. Did it inspire Finding Nemo's shark named Bruce? We think so.
  2. The movie was supposed to prominently feature a mechanical shark. When that didn't work Spielberg was force to improvise. He then re-envisioned the movie to be about people fearing a creature that they couldn’t see, that attacked them silently from below. The shark’s presence was implied, not shown

  3. When Spielberg first heard the now famous two note theme song, he laughed thinking it was a joke.

  4. The film is said to be one of Fidel Castro’s favorites.

  5. Unhappy with one scene, Spielberg re-shot it in film editor Verna Fields’ swimming pool, using his own money to pay for the shoot.

  6. Some of the original proposed titles for the book Jaws were “Silence in the Water”, “Wha’s That Noshin’ On My Laig”, and “The Jaws of Leviathan.”

  7. The movie is considered the world’s first-ever summer blockbuster.

  8. Steven Spielberg skipped being present for the final scene of shooting, fearful that the cast and crew would throw him in the water.

  9. Spielberg’s dog, Elma, makes a super brief cameo as Brody’s dog.

  10. Author and writer of the book the movie is based on, Peter Benchley, also has a small role in the film. 

  11. Peter Benchley later became a shark conservationist, due to the negative publicity the movie generated towards sharks.

  12. The famous line “you’re gonna need a bigger boat” was ad libbed by Roy Scheider.

  13. The movie was originally to be directed by Dick Richards, but he was fired by producers for repeatedly referring to Jaws as a whale.

  14. Charlton Heston very nearly got the role of Brody.

  15. Richard Dreyfus was not the first choice to play Hooper. Jeff Bridges, Jon Voight, and Timothy Bottoms were all approached for the role first.

  16. Scheider himself first heard about the role when he overheard Spielberg describing the movie at a party.

  17. Shooting of the movie was scheduled to last 55 days, but ended up taking 159.

  18. The shark doesn’t fully appear on camera until 1 hour and 21 minutes into the film.

  19. The film’s budget was $3.5 million, but ended up costing close to $9 million.

  20. BUT (ending on a positive note) The movie ended up making more than $471million – a record at the time.

Check out some behind the scenes photos:

Next Week's Episode: Sin City

Next Week's Episode: Sin City

Win a Free JAWS T-Shirt from Threadless!

Win a Free JAWS T-Shirt from Threadless!