We're all familiar Jaws, the iconic shark-attack thriller and original 'summer blockbuster' 0f 1975. This Steven Spielberg film is considered groundbreaking for a number of reasons, its use of a near-lifelike mechanical prop shark being one of them. You've (hopefully) seen the movie, but there are pieces of behind-the-scenes trivia from Jaws' creation that will further enhance your enjoyment of the flick.
Here are 20 crazy obscure facts about the behemoth animatronic shark from one of the most famous films of all time.
What’s in a name?Reacquaint yourself with Bruce, the 25-foot long animatronic shark...named after Steven Spielberg’s then-lawyer.
Bruce's use in the film was, originally, a process of trial-and-error.When the shark was brought to set in Martha's Vineyard and placed in the ocean, it immediately sank. A team of divers had to swim down and retrieve it form the ocean floor.
Little-known is the fact that Bruce was tested before its sinking in Martha's Vineyard, and had worked flawlessly during the test run. The test took place in unsalted water, however, and the salty ocean water is what messed with Bruce's controls.
Spielberg wanted the shark to win.
Jaws is based off a novel of the same name by Peter Benchley. When Spielberg read the novel, he found the human characters to be so unlikeable that he was rooting for the shark!
Live shark footage was used for the production.Footage of real great white sharks circling an underwater cage was used for live-action film sequences.
A shark of many names..."Bruce" wasn't the only nickname for Jaws' villain. Due to all of the technical issues the production team faced during filming, Spielberg took to calling it "the great white turd."
Crazier than The Joker and wilier than Hans Gruber:Bruce was ranked the eighteenth greatest villain on the AFI's list of 100 Heroes and Villains. That's one dastardly shark!
Mistakes were made.Fellow director George Lucas visited the Jaws set, and wanted to photo of himself with his head in the shark's mouth. Spielberg tried to prank Lucas by closing Bruce's mouth, but the plot backfired. Lucas's head got stuck inside of Bruce's closed mouth, and it took nearly three hours to free him.
Surprise!A fourth version of Bruce was found, years after the movie's release, in a junkyard. This version, affectionately christened "Junkyard Bruce" by fans, was pulled from the original molds used to make the movie's sharks.
The boat in Jaws is named "Orca," after a species of whale and the only known predators of the great white shark.