Jaws is not only one of the best movies on Netflix, but it’s also regarded as one of the best of all time. Part adventure, drama, action, and horror flick, Steven Spielberg’s Jaws transcends any one genre, which is what continues to make it one of the most popular movies on Netflix (and throughout our pop culture for decades). When it was initially released in 1975, it became the highest-grossing film in U.S. history (toppling The Godfather’s $86 million), and it was the first movie to make over $100 million in cinema rentals. Jaws is also attributed as being the first summer blockbuster movie.
The film was nominated for four Oscars, including Best Picture (losing to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest), and it would ultimately win three (Best Original Music Score, Best Film Editing, and Best Sound Mixing). The musical score was done by industry marvel John Williams, who is known as one of the best composers for creating scores for some of the most legendary movies of our time: Star Wars, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Superman, Jurassic Park, and dozens more. Like the violins in the famous shower scene in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho, Jaws wouldn’t be complete without the eerie theme song that would become a pop culture staple.
Three more movies would follow (also available on Netflix) in the franchise; the second got favorable reviews, but the last two were panned horribly by critics and fans alike. The fourth’s (Jaws: The Revenge) tagline, “This Time It’s Personal,” should give you an idea about the direction they went in with that gem.
But the ’75 original stands the test of time. With a stunning rating of 97 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, the site’s Critic Consensus describes why this is one of the best movies on Netflix.
“Compelling, well-crafted storytelling and a judicious sense of terror ensure Steven Spielberg’s Jaws has remained a benchmark in the art of delivering modern blockbuster thrills.”
For younger generations that haven’t discovered this timeless classic, you won’t go wrong by putting it on the top of your Netflix to-do list. But like many who have seen Jaws dozens (or even over a hundred) times, there is a refreshing way to revisit this masterpiece on Netflix. Hosted by MB, James, Mike, and Cody, Box Office Pulp (BOP) is a podcast about movies that’s been airing for roughly five years. Several of those episodes also serve as audio commentary, including one that’s dedicated to our favorite shark flick (which you can find in the link above).
The hosts have great chemistry together, and they provide some excellent insight into the film. The team points out interesting observations like how Jaws is a throwback to monster movies of yesteryear, like Creature from the Black Lagoon, and how Spielberg’s style in Jaws is similar to that of Hitchcock; the audiences’ imagination is far more terrifying than any on-screen gore. This occurred because of happenstance as the mechanical shark was constantly breaking down, and they had to show the great white in partial glimpses. They also point out a ton of fun facts during the feature, including how the scar Richard Dreyfuss’ character reveals at the end of the movie is a real scar of when the actor had his appendix removed.
Some of the trivia they reveal is commonly known and others are more obscure, but what makes this show so enjoyable is the natural humor the hosts have paired with the observations that come from an outside (or fan) perspective. Of course remarks from the filmmakers (often found in bonus features on a DVD or Blu-ray) are interesting and educational, but when you hear opinions coming from fans, it tends to be more unbiased and creates a fun environment to re-watch the movie; it feels like you’re watching Jaws with a group of friends.
Thanks to BOP, audiences can enjoy high-quality commentary for the modern ways they watch movies (like on Netflix or Hulu) that they’re used to getting on traditional formats like DVD. If you’re a Jaws’ fanatic or a fan of cinema in general, then BOP’s commentary is a must-listen. They also have audio for other movies available on Netflix (like O Brother Where Art Thou?), as well as other horror films like A Nightmare on Elm Street and John Carpenter’s The Thing.
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[Featured Image by Universal Pictures]