The iconic film “Jaws” won the People’s Choice: Thrills poll for May and will be shown at the Backstage Theatre in Breckenridge on Wednesday, May 22. The movie just edged out “The Shining,” “Raiders of the Lost Ark” and “2001: A Space Odyssey.” It is No. 2 on American Film Institute’s 100 years, 100 Thrills list, right behind “Psycho,” which the Backstage screened in October 2013.
“Jaws” is part of the Backstage Theatre’s Classic Film Series, which aims to introduce iconic films to new audiences in a real theater. “Jaws” will be presented on a big screen with no interruptions because, after all, the film can’t be as suspenseful in your living room (unless you have a 10 foot by 15 foot big screen and 20 of your closest friends with you.)
“Jaws” succeeds on almost every level. It is terrifying without being grotesque and spectacular without being unbelievable (if the shark looks a little fake, remember that, at the time “Jaws” was released, “Space Invaders” was on the cutting edge of computer graphics design and there was no such thing as “Shark Week” on the Discovery Channel). Roy Scheider’s Brody is a quintessential every man, an average guy beset by fear and guilt who finds himself in extraordinary circumstances and rises to the occasion.
Richard Dreyfuss’ Hooper is brash and brave enough not to come off as nerdy or self-righteous, and his friendship with Brody becomes the backbone of the movie.
The film will begin with a dose of legend and trivia. For example, did you know that Steven Spielberg named the shark “Bruce” after his lawyer and the shark was ranked the 18th greatest villain on the American Film Institute’s list of 100 Heroes and Villains?
The next People’s Choice poll features Buddy Movies, with the winner to be shown Wednesday, Aug. 20. Vote online at www.backstagetheatre.org for your favorite: “Some Like It Hot” (1959), “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid” (1969), “The Sting” (1973), “The Blues Brothers” (1980), “Dumb and Dumber” (1994) or “The Big Lebowski” (1998).
All films start at 7 p.m. Concessions are available for all film screenings and include Milky Ways, beer, wine and mixed drinks, which can be taken into the theater with you. For more information about the film series or to purchase tickets, visit www.backstagetheatre.org or call the box office at (970) 453-0199.