Thursday, January 19, 2012

40 times seems excessive

I watch Jaws every 4th of July. Its a tradition that probably started back in 1975, the year the film was released (June 20, 1975) and the year I first saw it. Me and two friends waited 3 hours in line to see the Spielberg film. While waiting in the lobby, you could hear screams coming from the theater. I had never experienced that before.

But seeing Jaws once wasn't enough for me. That summer I saw Jaws every weekend until I started school in September - probably 10 times.

Jaws was re-released in May, 1979, and I'm sure I saw it another three or four times during that period. And, shortly after, MCA released Jaws on VHS in 1980. But I probably didn't see it on tape until 1983, as that was the year I purchased my first VCR.

Subsequently, starting in 1986, I started to watch Jaws every summer around the 4th of July. I've never missed a year. So, home viewing alone, I've watched the movie 26 times. And a couple years ago, it was screened at the Hollywood Palms Cinema in Naperville, IL, with Richard Dreyfuss in attendance. Naturally, I was there.

In total, I've probably seen Jaws 40 times. I can repeat lines, name side characters (Ben Gardner...Polly ["Let Polly do the printing!"], Harry ["That's some bad hat, Harry."]), hum all the variations of the John Williams score.

But one line I continued to miss - until recently (like maybe a year or so ago) was the penultimate line of the film, uttered as Sheriff Brody points his rifle at the rampaging Great White:

"SMILE you son of a bitch!"

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