1975 summer blockbuster about corrupt man, not nature

The bleak subtext of the film was emphasized even more in Benchley’s novel, where Mayor Brody and the town were implicated in shady mafia dealings and Brody’s wife, missing her exciting life in New York, has an affair with a Hooper who was more WASPy and dashing than the character played by Dreyfus. Life on shore was just as treacherous as any danger posed by the sea, and Benchley’s ending, with the shark simply expiring from its wounds before it can finish off the shipwrecked Brody, was so downbeat that Spielberg knew he had to come up with something more cathartic for the film.

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