Jaws Turns 49 Mike Fleiss Shares Release Day Memory
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‘Jaws’ Turns 49: Mike Fleiss Shares Release Day Memory

By: John Glover (MBA) 

It’s hard to believe that the iconic “You’re gonna need a bigger boat” scene is nearly a half-century old. As Jaws celebrates its 49th anniversary on June 20, producer Mike Fleiss vividly remembers the iconic film’s profound impact on him as a young boy. Fleiss, whose love for the ocean and boating is well known, recounts an unforgettable experience of watching Steven Spielberg’s masterpiece not once but thrice in a single day.

“That movie sent me on a path. As a kid, I remember seeing it three times the first day it came out,” he exclaims. 

How Jaws Reeled in a Future Producer

The story behind this marathon viewing session is both amusing and heartwarming. With a broken arm, the future filmmaker found himself unable to visit the beach, a frustrating predicament for someone with a deep affinity for the water. Having already devoured Peter Benchley’s gripping novel, the cineaste eagerly awaited the film’s release.

When the movie finally hit theaters, his mother dropped him off at the local Cineplex at 11 a.m., and Mike Fleiss proceeded to immerse himself in the world of Jaws, emerging only after the last show at 6 p.m.

“It was incredible,” he reminisces. “We’ll be watching it on the boat. We play it on the boat, and it’s just the greatest movie.”

Fleiss’ fascination with Jaws extended far beyond a casual appreciation for the film. He’s encountered sharks numerous times during his boating and fishing excursions, even occasionally swimming alongside these majestic creatures. While he admits to being more afraid of cats than aquatic killers, his respect for the ocean’s apex predators is evident.

“I’ve swam with a shark, I’ve seen a shark. I’ve never been bit by it,” he shares.

The moviemaker’s admiration for the Jaws franchise knows no bounds. Unlike many fans who dismiss the sequels as inferior attempts to capitalize on the original’s success, the Hollywood content creator embraces them all, including the much-maligned Jaws: The Revenge.

“Even Jaws Revenge. Yeah, I love them all, and I watched them all,” he declares.

The third installment, Jaws 3D, holds a special place in Fleiss’ heart, albeit for unintentionally humorous reasons. “The third one is the 3D, and it doesn’t look good, but you can still leave it on in the background,” he says with a chuckle.

Why Jaws Is Expected to Lure New Audiences 

Inspired by the campy nature of Jaws 3D, Fleiss produced his own tongue-in-cheek homage, Shark Night 3D, aiming to create a more visually appealing 3D shark movie experience.

As Jaws continues to captivate audiences nearly five decades after its debut, his enduring love for the film exemplifies its lasting impact. His marathon viewing on that fateful day in 1975 began a lifelong obsession that has permeated his passions for boating, fishing, and even filmmaking. This summer, the producer encourages a new generation of viewers to take a bite out of Jaws.

Jaws is a horror movie, but not in the traditional sense,” Mike Fleiss explains.

Published by: Martin De Juan

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