Often considered the first modern summer blockbuster, Jaws was released in 1975 and became a breakthrough for director Steven Spielberg. With mostly TV work under his belt, Spielberg reteamed with Richard D. Zanuck, the producer of his first film, The Sugarland Express. However, many production difficulties on the film stemmed from the malfunctioning mechanical sharks, nicknamed “Bruce.”

Undaunted, Spielberg and the crew came up with inventive solutions involving unusual editing and camera angles. Spielberg didn’t want to cast major names in his film, feeling “the superstar was gonna be the shark.” Complete with an innovative ad campaign, Jaws defied the odds and continues to influence films today. Now, take a look at how this monster hit remains a cinematic saga unlike any other.  

Featuring highlights from the Margaret Herrick Library and the Academy Film Archive.