Such a dilemma. I have two great 4th of July films, so which to do first?
Ah, what the heck, let’s go a bit lowbrow.
Just when you thought it was safe to go back to the pictures…
Yup, it’s time for the deathless (or deathful?) classic Jaws (1975), which launched Steven Spielberg into the stratosphere. Adapted from the frankly terrible Peter Benchley novel, the film tells the tale of Amity, a small seaside town that depends on summer tourism to survive. A rogue great white shark starts feeding on swimmers, killing a young woman in a tremendously chilling opening scene. Roy Scheider as Police Chief Brody wants to shut down the beaches until the shark is caught, but the town elders, led by Mayor Larry Vaughn (Murray Hamilton), squawk about the loss of revenue over the all-important holiday weekend.
Politicians ignoring a public health crisis for the sake of the economy?
Brody gets backup from brash and cocky Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) from the Oceanographic Institute, but it’s not till more carnage ensues that the town moves ahead to kill the shark. The expedition is led by Quint (Robert Shaw, who was also in Pelham One Two Three), a pretty nutty, sexist, and generally gross fisherman and hunter. It’s this part of the film that yields the classic quote, “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.”
The special effects still hold up after all this time, the pacing is perfect, the performances are tremendous. It’s definitely a boys’ club, as Lorraine Gray (the chief’s wife Ellen Brody) doesn’t have a whole lot to do except yell for the kids to get out of the water and weep when Brody goes out shark-hunting. But it remains one of the greatest thrillers of all time.
Cue that iconic soundtrack.
So what wine goes with fish?
Heh. But seriously, if we’re on the beach, you can’t miss with rosé! For the beachiest feel, go for Provençal rosé. Here’s a list on Wine-Searcher.com of their best value wines from Provence.
Another way to get that “downa shore” sense is with Chablis, from the northwest part of Burgundy. A bit of salinity will remind you of being by the sea. Grand cru can be a good value.
And by the way, never forget:
So what was the second film? 🤔