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The Jaws Log

4.07  ·  Rating Details ·  522 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
Carl Gottlieb's account of the making of Steven Spielberg's classic shocker is a compelling insider's story of the making of a film phenomenon. Jaws grossed $100 million, won 3 Oscars and launched its 26-year-old director. Screenwriter Carl Gottlieb was on board throughout the production process, and chronicled his year-long adventure: a riveting portrait of a famously ard ...more
Published November 5th 2001 by Faber & Faber (first published 1975)
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Jeff Miller
I like this kind of book, written from the viewpoint of someone who was actually there, and in this instance the actor and scriptwriter Carl Gottlieb. Like Bob Balaban's reflection on the making of Close Encounters, which I heartily recommend, this is a film that I really, deeply love. As I child of the 70's and a teen of the 80's of course I loved Star Wars and later Raiders, but it was these two films that had the larger, and more long term impact.

Back to the review. This is a really interest
No, this is not about a ginormous shark turd, although Steven Spielberg and his cohorts worried ginormously that their trouble-plagued production of Jaws would never be finished, would look terrible, and would possibly lay a big shark turd at the box office. The results proved otherwise, and this book is one of the choicest examples of its type: a spirited behind-the-scenes "making-of" account about the vagaries of movie production. I remember quite well how much I enjoyed reading this more than ...more
Laura Buechler
Aug 03, 2009 Laura Buechler rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction, movies
This is a great book about a great movie. The making of Jaws has become a famous story, and Gottlieb does an excellent job of taking us right behind the scenes and giving us enough movie-making context to understand the technicalities discussed. It's fun to read about how the producers originally thought they could just hire an animal trainer to teach a great white shark the needed stunts; it's eye-opening to understand how much this movie changed movie-making (not to mention swimming habits) fo ...more
Matthew Goodwin
Oct 13, 2015 Matthew Goodwin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I consider Jaws to be one of the greatest American films, but I discovered Gottlieb's book later in life. I love reading about the creative process - often arduous - behind making movies, and I've come to the conclusion that some of the best and well-loved movies emerged from chaotic circumstances.

Gottlieb recounts his experiences with warmth and wry humour, and I recommend The Jaws Log to all fans of the film.
Jun 12, 2015 Andrew rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A great book documenting the making of my favourite film, by one who was there.
Andrew Crouch
Engagingly clever, but superficial account of the making of one of the classic thriller movies. Gottlieb thankfully isn't interested in airing any particularly dirty laundry, but I wish he had opened up a bit more into on-set relationships (such as the notoriously stormy one between Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfus). On that note, I wish he had let the cast and crew speak a bit more with their own voices. In the end, it comes across as what he basically admits it is, a hurried, somewhat shallow h ...more
Jul 15, 2010 Lori rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Duh-DUH. Duh-DUH. DUH DUH DUH DUH DUH DUH DUH! Don't go in the water!

If you're like me, you consider the 1975 film Jaws to be one of the best motion pictures of all time. Before the age of CGI and various special effects, then novice director Steven Spielberg had to depend on an often irritable and uncooperative mechanical shark, underwater film footage, phenomenally well cast actors and a superb script. And the rest, they say, is cinematic history.

Carl Gottlieb, one of the screenwriters on Jaw
Doctor Gaines
Jul 31, 2015 Doctor Gaines rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
For the hardcore Jaws fan, this is fun and certainly worth a read. However, after finishing this I watched the two hour documentary featured on the Jaws BluRay and essentially most of the same stories surrounding the production are told there as well, and more colorfully.
Gottlieb is an okay writer, but he tends to go off on small tangents throughout the book that are not directly relevant to the making of Jaws. Granted, he wasn't shooting for some grand literary feat, and basically the book cons
Mar 24, 2011 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Film Makers, Film Directors, Film Historians
When making a movie, most people do not really consider all the work that goes into making a film and for those that do, they understand the process can be very tedious and difficult. This book is about the enternal struggle it took to make the movie Jaws. Most famous film makers have read this book and keep it by them on set when making their movies, why? because nothing can be as bad as what took place to make this book into a movie. Everything you can imagine going wrong during the process di ...more
Jun 02, 2012 Gerard rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A couple of weeks ago, Amazon had a summer sale on Kindle books, and this was one of them. Just $1.99. I'd never heard of it, but the reviews were good. While I wouldn't say that reading it was a transcendent experience, it was an entertaining one. Gottlieb was brought on as the third writer to take a whack at the script, and had a bit role as the newspaper reporter in the movie, meaning that he saw quite a bit firsthand, from pre-production through the long, long, long shoot on Martha's Vineyar ...more
Jul 20, 2010 Patty rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book. Yes, I know we just had the 35th anniversary but it was while they were talking about the 35th that I heard about this book, so I requested it through ILL. There are lots of insider tidbits about the making of the movie, the struggles the cast and crew had with a long location shoot at Martha's Vinyard, and just the behind the scenes stuff that goes into making a movie.

Jaws was one of those "seminal" movies for me - it was very scary without being very graphic, the suspense
Carl Gottlieb, co-screenwriter of "Jaws" and the actor who plays Meadows, the editor of the Amity town newspaper, wrote the original version of this book while the movie, itself, was being shot, edited, and prepared for distribution in 1974 and 1975. It's a highly entertaining account of a troubled production that nevertheless resulted in the biggest blockbuster of all time … up to that point. In fact, "Jaws" more or less invented the modern blockbuster (followed by "Star Wars" in 1977, which ce ...more
Mar 24, 2010 Victoria rated it really liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
As this book surrounds my favorite film, I was very excited when I found it in a used book shop. I promptly bought it and read it. However, a lot of the information covered within the book wasn't completely new to me. TV specials, special edition VHS and then later DVD extras and the like had given away much of this information. There just wasn't much that was completely new in the book... I suppose I shouldn't have been so surprised, but I was a little disappointed that there wasn't more to it. ...more
Jun 14, 2015 Amanda rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's no secret to anyone who knows me that Jaws is my favorite movie. I can't quite put into words just how much it has influenced and affected me, although I will say that I know where my deep fear of the ocean comes from (thanks for that Spielberg). I am fortunate enough to own two copies of The Jaws Log, and both have been signed by Carl Gottlieb. I have no excuse for taking as long as I have for reading this book. It is a wonderfully detailed written account of the greatest movie ever made. ...more
Jan 29, 2015 J.N. rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I'm a Jaws fanatic and a huge shark fan. Needless to say, I was pretty stoked to finally get my hands on a copy of this book.

If you're into film making, you'll probably love it. I've always been intrigued by film making, so I enjoyed this even though I feel a good bit went over my head because the author tends to get technical. However, I did learn some new things and appreciate how difficult it was to create one of my favorite movies.

There's some pretty neat facts about the movie in this book,
Nov 15, 2009 Patricia rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This book was a joy to read and a very fast read. Jaws has always been one of my favorite films and to this day I still think it is one of the most masterfully made films I've ever seen. And as it turns out one of the more difficult films ever made, no doubt. I was hoping the author would go into more detail about the editing process and the cinematography, but that not being his area of expertise, I don't hold that against him. Movies will never be made this way again. Highly recommended.
May 23, 2013 Brent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommended to Brent by: B. Dalton, Bookseller, at Lenox Square
Shelves: cinema
I read the heck out of this in anticipation of the film before Summer, 1975, having read the novel in 1974, wasn't it?
I was reminded listening to a forceful recommendation from director Steve Soderburg on Fresh Air with Terry Gross this week, in May 2013. Turns out he's my age, and having read Jaws Log, he cited it as one of the better "Making of..." books, when there were certainly fewer of them.
Highly recommended.
Apr 22, 2015 John rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Before there were the 'making of' series of specials on blockbuster movies.... There was 'The Jaws Log'. Great insights into the hardships encountered making the movie from the films screenwriter Carl Gottlieb.

This book was first published (and read by me) back in 1975, well before many of the movie's troublesome familiar stories we all know about now had been released. This is the book that started it all.
Lee Anne
How perfect that I read this book 40 years to the month when Spielberg and company took over Martha's Vineyard to make this movie. Gottlieb isn't as funny as he thinks he is (at least not here, but he is also the screenwriter of "The Jerk," so he is very, very funny elsewhere), but this is still a breezy, entertaining behind-the-scenes look at the making of the most watchable movie ever made. My favorite story involves a drunk Murray Hamilton and a skunk. Worth the read for "Jaws" fans.
May 27, 2008 Kathy rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Anyone who knows me knows about my utter fascination with Sharks (and zombies -but that's a story for another day). I read this book when it first came out 25 years ago and it has great behind the scene info about the movie. Too bad I lost my original copy from 25 years ago and had to re-buy this book.
Ross Vincent
Jun 26, 2016 Ross Vincent rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My Shark Week read.
2 years ago, I read the original "Jaws" and was surprised by the changes between it & the film.

This year, it was this book - one about the making of the movie "Jaws". The hassles & headaches. The problems with Roy, Robert, Richard. And Bruce - the diva star of the film.

This is more than a behind the scenes - it is more like a creative crew's commentary one finds on DVDs.
Apr 16, 2013 Martin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good, fast read on the travails of making a major motion picture. 25th anniversary end notes (or were they the 30th? book has been updated multiple times) are just as good as the text and a welcome epilogue. Also greatly appreciate the author taking a strong poke at John Milius for taking more credit than he's due for the Indianapolis speech.
Jan 14, 2014 Morgan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun, quick, nostalgic read! Hard to believe this movie came out 40 years ago, even harder to believe it was released after all the trouble encountered during the shoot...Makes me appreciate the movie even more, a very entertaining book!
Joe  Noir
May 10, 2013 Joe Noir rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is an updated edition of a cool book from the 70's. Carl Gottllieb not only worked on the script, and wrote this book, but had a small part in the film. He describes it all, and it's really funny too. Many photos.

Craig Moorhead
I read an old paperback held together with tape that was published shortly after the movie came out, so I can't vouch for the expanded edition. But this was a pretty sharp read. Made me miss the idea if working with actual film.
Aug 26, 2012 Todd rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Quite entertaining -- and all the more fascinating in light of its original release, around the time the movie came out. Also shoots a hole in the story that John Milius wrote the "Indianapolis" speech.
woody fanon
probably the only book on film production that didn't bore me to tears. excellent storytelling and explanations of certain positions in the film business that an ordinary person wouldn't quite grasp in other books. Carl is my dude
Caleb Abel
Feb 14, 2014 Caleb Abel rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014, me-bc
I'm more than a little biased considering I've long held Jaws as my favorite movie of all time, but this was absolutely fantastic. I gladly devoured the entire thing in two days and strongly suggest that anyone who loves movies should do the same.
Jun 15, 2015 Sam rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
A great read for any fan of the film, Spielberg, or film-making in general. Unlike some similar titles, this is tactful, to the point, and only as long as it needs to be. Some of the most interesting info is in the footnotes, some of which were added for the later editions, so don't skip them!
Nov 25, 2009 Jamie rated it liked it
Not a lot of relevatory information...the book was published right after the movie and I understand there is an updated version I will investigate...but if you like "Jaws", you'll enjoy the book.
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