Forty years ago this weekend the world of cinema as we knew it altered irrevocably with the release of Jaws (Steven Spielberg). For months you couldn’t buy another novel in Woolworths, at least not in the small town where I lived. It was all anyone was reading – except for little kids like me. Richard Zanuck and David Brown acquired the property and after failing to develop it with their first two directors of choice offered it to Steven Spielberg before the theatrical release of Sugarland Express (1974),
He declared that his favorite part of the book was the shark hunt on the last 120 pages, and told Zanuck when he accepted the job, “I’d like to do the picture if I could change the first two acts and base the first two acts on original screenplay material, and then be very true to the book for the last third.”
The rest is history.