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this day in history 1974

Filming began on Steven Spielberg’s Jaws

So Why Did They Call It Jaws?

Der-der. Der-der. Der-der-der-der-der-der-der-der. Yes, as we all know, it’s really hard to write out the theme tune to Jaws in onomatopoeic terms and make it sound either familiar or scary. So I wish I hadn’t bothered. But there’s one thing can’t be denied and that’s the fact that Jaws sprang into life on May 2nd, 1974. Filming of Steven Spielberg’s shark epic started on Martha’s Vineyard on this day and immediately ran into trouble, causing the crew to provide it with the hilarious moniker ‘Flaws’.

The various mechanical sharks provided for filming continually malfunctioned, boats sank, the actors got seasick, star Robert Shaw fled to Canada due to tax problems, cameras got filled with saltwater and everything went wildly over budget. But these disasters were actually the movie's saviour. Having no mechanical sharks to feature, Spielberg could only hint at the big fish’s presence which added to the suspense. And once that iconic theme tune was slapped on the top, the film went on to be one of the most successful of all time.