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Jaws (free)

  • Memorial Union Terrace 800 Langdon Street Madison, WI, 53703 United States (map)

The head, the tail, the whole damn thing. Info

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Duh nuh, duh nuh, duh nuh duh nuh, duhnuhduhnuh….that is the sound of our beloved Bruce coming to screw up Amity Island's tourism economy. Don't go in the water but do get down to the Memorial Union Terrace to see the movie that ushered in the age of the American blockbuster, Jaws (1975). Based on Peter Benchley's best-selling novel, Jaws is quite simply one of the greatest thrillers ever made. Like a good few of the selections screening at the Terrace's Lakeside Cinema series this year, it's also one of the films that made me fall in love with the movies in the first place. A 27 year-old Steven Spielberg behind the camera, coming off the heels of Duel (1971), wove together white-knuckle tension, a backdrop of realism, and John Williams' unforgettable score to set a high bar for summer viewing.

Jaws is, of course, the tale of a great white shark that terrorizes an idyllic seaside community at the height of beach season. National treasure Roy Scheider plays Chief Brody, who tries to plead with Amity Island's mayor (Murray Hamilton) to keep the beaches clear until they can get the situation under control after a mysterious set of attacks. Only fools don't listen to Roy Scheider, though, so chaos ensues, and it's up to Brody, a marine biologist (Richard Dreyfuss), and a charismatically crusty fisherman (Robert Shaw) to slay the beast. If, for whatever reason, you are over the age of 12 and have not seen this movie, you have no more excuses. Go and see it on Mendota's shark-free shores. —Edwanike Harbour