The Secret Romance of JAWS: The Scandalous Love Affair Spielberg Hid from You
TextYou thought you knew everything about JAWS, the iconic thriller that terrorized beachgoers worldwide. But what if we told you there was a secret love affair brewing behind the scenes? That’s right, in Steven Spielberg’s adaptation, marine biologist Matt Hooper and police chief Brody’s wife, Ellen, shared a steamy romance that the director chose to keep hidden from the public eye.
JAWS is an iconic movie that has stood the test of time. It’s hard to believe that it was released in 1975 and yet continues to entertain audiences worldwide. The film is an excellent example of what a book-to-movie adaptation should be.
The movie JAWS is based on Peter Benchley’s novel, which was published in 1974. While the book has its merits, the movie version of JAWS is a masterpiece in its own right. The film takes place in Amity Island, a small New England town that depends on summer tourism to boost its economy. However, the town is terrorized by a great white shark that has been attacking and killing people in the waters off the beach.
As any self-respecting film buff will tell you, movies based on books must have a different angle from their source material to make sense. Take Harry Potter, Forrest Gump, or Pride and Prejudice adaptations as examples. When it came to JAWS, Steven Spielberg had to revamp the storyline significantly to create a cinematic experience that the viewers would love.
For instance, the subplot of Mayor Vaughn’s Mob link was removed, which made perfect sense. While the book gives a solid explanation of Vaughn’s motive for keeping the beach open, the movie version doesn’t need this added layer. The most significant part removed from the JAWS movie was the steamy love affair between Ellen Brody and Matt Hooper.
In the book, Ellen is dissatisfied with her married life and seeks to fill her emotional void by inviting Matt over for dinner. Their clandestine meetings progress to a point where she reveals her marital problems, and Matt boasts about his wealth and belittles his brother’s wife as a meatball. However, Spielberg decided to remove this portion from the film.
He knew that to make a thriller, he had to remove any unnecessary diversions from the main storyline. After all, who would want to watch two characters having an illicit relationship when a killer shark is on the loose? In the movie, Ellen Brody is portrayed as a loving and supportive wife, and Matt Hooper is the quirky and lovable marine biologist played by Richard Dreyfuss.
In the novel, Hooper is described as tall, tanned, and wearing bell-bottomed blue jeans and a red Lacoste shirt. His character would be perfect for actors like Armie Hammer or Chris Evans. In the film, Dreyfuss played the character with an incredible sense of humor and a charming personality, which helped to lighten the mood of the film.
Spielberg’s version of JAWS was a critical and commercial success, grossing over $470 million worldwide. The film won several awards, including three Academy Awards for Best Film Editing, Best Original Score, and Best Sound. It was also nominated for Best Picture, but lost to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.
While the JAWS novel has many exciting subplots, it’s essential to understand that a movie based on a book requires a different approach. Spielberg’s version removed the unnecessary parts to keep the audience on the edge of their seats, making JAWS the blockbuster we know and love today. JAWS is a movie that everyone should watch at least once, and it’s a testament to the power of great storytelling and filmmaking.
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