Jaws (Jaws #1) Jaws question


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The movie was definitely better
Paul Harry Paul Jul 21, 2012 08:16AM
What do you think? I thought the book was terrible. The movie, however, was kick a**.



I think that the book was more interesting than the movie, and explained a lot more about the plot and characters.


The movie is definitely better than the book, I think we all can agree on that. The reason why, I think, is because Spielberg decided to make the film a straight A to Z adventure story about a group of men hunting a great white shark. The novel contains that story, which is skeletal compared to the meaty subplots involving the love triangle between Brody's wife and Hooper, as well as the Mayor's involvement with the New York mafia forcing him to keep the beaches open to pay off debts. Overall, the book is still a good read.

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Lori Krause I agree. The movie was better because of the visual component of underwater filming but isn’t that what makes it worth seeing the movie? If all books ...more
Jun 30, 2019 04:11AM

Michael (last edited Nov 22, 2012 04:21AM ) Nov 20, 2012 05:28AM   1 vote
I saw the film when I was eight years old. A few years later, the book bored me to tears and damn near put me off reading. (I was only 12 though - easily dissuaded). The film meanwhile gets better with age. The technology is irrelevant once the mood grabs you - these days, I'm more disturbed by the flared trousers than I am by the admittedly rubber shark.


The novel was far better than the movie. I just wish the movie would be re-made using the technology that is available for today's movies.


Both are awesome for different reasons.


The shark wasn't killed in the movie. It got caught above the cage but was eventually able to escape.

That having been said, yes, the movie is definitely better. It's been one of my favorites since I was quite young. The book isn't bad, but it's unfocused.

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Feliks 'The shark wasn't killed in the movie'? Since when? Half of its body was blown away, the other half can be seen sinking to the sea-floor, streaming bl ...more
Mar 21, 2014 11:10AM

The movie was definitely better. I've never been a big fan of the book since it was a potboiler with a lot of hackneyed subplots (the mafia, the adultery, etc). Spielberg wisely left those out and concentrated on making an effectively tense thriller.


I enjoyed them both for different reasons. The film focused on the shark in the water. The book is about predators of all kinds. I read it when it first came out and then again recently for a book club. I got way more out of it the second time around.


Even Benchley thought the book was bad, but the royalties from the book and the flick surely made him smile.
I saw the movie in 1975 when it hit the theatres and it was some scene. People were berserk over it and rightly so--it was an excellent piece of filmmaking and was hotly anticipated after the success of the book. (Did you know that John Williams (Jurassic Park) wrote the score? Ah, who cares...)
Anyway,which was better? Different, but the movie was truly badass...


Gerd (last edited Jul 21, 2012 08:55AM ) Jul 21, 2012 08:55AM   0 votes
The novel is kind of slow in comparison, but I did like it at the time - though not as much as Hank Searls's script based sequel to the book.

However, Jaws (the movie) dropped considerably in my favour after reading in the Jaws Log that they had a real Shark get hunted down and killed for one of the movies scenes.

I can't really watch the movie without remebering that, and thus, because I'm decidely opposed to the idea of killing animals for entertainment the novel now wins out by far - for me.


In my opinion Jaws is one the greatest horror films ever made. A movie that impacts millions (who doesn't think of a shark now when swimming in the ocean; or think of the threatening shadow beyond the shower curtain when showering, thanks to Psycho) will stand on it's own merits.
That being said, I would agree with Terry above.


You can't truly compare the two. The movie is about shark attacks and the book is about a town affected by shark attacks. The ending in the book is a little underwhelming compared to the movie but then again the ending in the movie was there to appeal to the masses. No one would have like to see a shark drift down into the depth's of the ocean, just not exciting enough to appeal to the masses. The book has better character development and there is conflict besides the fact that there is a shark attacking people. Though the characters in the movie were more likable the book had better endings for all the characters in that they got what they deserved. Both are amazing in their own ways and not so amazing in others, but there is not a better one.


I love them both and would rate them the same even though there are some differences.


If a remake is made I hope they go more by the novel instead of the sensasionalism of the shark.
If I hadn't read the book before the movie I would have been confused as to why the beaches weren't closed and why there was so much antagonism between the sheriff and the ocean guy


The novel "Jaws" was a very good book. I thought the ending was actually better than the movie. It was creepier. I loved how the guys on the boat were toward each other. The movie is awesome, but the book had far more conflict than the movie did and conflict, as we all know, is what makes for a great book.


Feliks (last edited Mar 29, 2014 08:25AM ) Mar 21, 2014 11:28AM   0 votes
The book was definitely better. If not for the least of which reason, because any novel is better than any film. Its fundamental to the format; novels are inherently a richer, more-fully-fledged experience than a brief, merely-90-minute film.

But 'Jaws' in particular is an instance where the book offers more depth. Steven Spielberg is a kiddie director. This was the last even marginally adult-minded film he gave us, for a long time. And even so, its still predominantly a movie made for children and teens; hence all the gory shocks and jolts. This movie launched the 'summer blockbuster' concept for kids-with-nothing-to-do-on-lazy-summer-days-except-watch-the-same-movie-over-and-over-again. Another reason for all the gory shocks and jolts.

I put it to you that an adult wouldn't need to watch this flick more than once. First, the flick really only 'works well' if viewed on the big screen with massive Dolby surround-sound. On the second-or-third viewing, the flick crumbles into a trite set of episodic 'scares' knit together by the viewpoint of Brody's kids. Its the same movie as the later 'CE3K': "what's our daddy doing?" Oh, and the obligatory Spielberg jokes (crushing cans, Brody's hydrophobia, etc)

Adult themes --rife in the novel--are totally avoided except for Quint's speech. The characters are caricatures.

But in the novel, what a different world. Benchley's product is an adult experience. Much more impactful and memorable. Vivid characters and real-world psychology. Ellen Brody's affair --the Biblical parallel of King David--shark lore--a modern 'Moby Dick'.

Meanwhile, Spielberg falls back on the corny old 'killer's POV' (we see the sea bottom through the shark's eyes? Come on.)


Paul wrote: "What do you think? I thought the book was terrible. The movie, however, was kick a**."

I rarely enjoy the movie more than the book but in this case, I totally agree. The movie was much better...just like in the case with Forrest Gump. Horrible book but the script writers deserve all the credit!!


i thought the book was good but the movie and the book are not the same so if ur judging it off the movie your gonna be dissappointed


The book, by far... Fair enough, in the movie you got to 'see' the shark chomping on the boat and then chomping on the boat owner. By reading the book, however, you got to "Feel" every saw-like-tooth tearing at 'your' flesh! Moreover, the characters in the book were more 'fleshed-out' (excuse the pun) and the plot & suspense more tangible because it's all going on inside your head and via your 'third-eye.' - Much more powerful organs than the time it takes from screen to eye, to brain! However, I would say that if anyone hasn't seen the movie... C'mon, there can't be many of you. But if you haven't, go see it in a BIG-SCREEN movie-theatre RATHER than on the TV. It's 'way better' but still not nearly as good as reading the book and thanking God, when you wake up, that BOTH your legs are still there!


Paul wrote: "What do you think? I thought the book was terrible. The movie, however, was kick a**."

the book was better, but the movie was also one of the best.


From what I have read about Spielberg... he deliberately 'jettisoned' most of the material that did not directly pertain to the man vs. shark story-line (i.e. the organized crime stuff) ... just wanting to make a very simple adventure movie.


I agree, finished reading it last week and was not impressed. The film is so much better


I loved both the book and the movie, but they were incredibly different. They are like apples and oranges for me. I definitely wouldn't say the movie was 'better' than the book. They took a lot of liberties with the plot to make a blockbuster movie. It was successful, as was the book. It isn't my favorite Benchley book though. I'd have to go with White Shark or the Beast.


the movie is prob. the greatest horror movie of all time...the musical score made the entire movie IMO...you hardly ever see the shark until the end but you hear the music and know its there...it signals something frightening about to happen...thats something you dont get from the novel...the book was good tho and i did enjoy the aspects of the novel that werent in the movie...i wasnt looking for an exact replica...i read the book hoping to have a diff. experience and i did...


I read the book when I was in my teens and really enjoyed the story. The film was a great movie of it's time and genre but I think that although the book might be considered just a 'holiday reading' type book, the actual story had a lot more interesting sub plots than the movie. I agree with someone who commented earlier, a remake now might be very interesting.


I agree that if they do make a remake it will be interesting to watch. also I do agree that the book was a phenomenon.


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