Spielberg's Role: Director
US Release Date: 1975

Jaws was a blockbuster in its time, but more importantly it gave Hollywood a new perspective on what they were doing. Jaws was the first of the mass marketed super movies that we come to expect from studios today. Before Jaws, the studios cranked out a lot of small movies at low cost which only lasted a few weeks in the theaters. Jaws cost only $8.5 million to make and made $130 million in rentals in North America alone. Jaws brought the big movie concept which paved the way for movies like Star Wars, E.T. and eventually Jurassic Park and Independence Day.

Jaws was followed by a couple sequels including the Jaws 3D attraction at Universal Studios. If Spielberg had anything to do with these movies, he has hidden it well. (although another Spielberg film, Back to the Future III pokes fun of the sequels with their Jaws 13 billboard which swallows McFly).

The big break wasn't just Spielberg's. Roy Scheider and Richard Deyfuss both stared in the movie with Robert Shaw, neither of which has had trouble getting a job since.

AFI AwardIn June of 1998, Jaws was chosen as one of the 100 best American films in the 100 year history of cinema by the American Film Institute. Steven Spielberg had more movies honored than any other director, with 5. The other 4 movies were Raiders of the Lost Ark, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, E.T., and Schindlers List. Jaws was ranked 48th.