In at number three of our Halloween countdown is a movie that catapulted Steven Spielberg’s career into the stratosphere. Both DUEL and THE SUGARLAND EXPRESS we’re well received shorts upon release but it wasn’t until Spielberg sent audiences into a frenzy with ‘Bruce’* the shark that he had truly arrived.

Ironically as the film’s shoot was so troubled with the shark not working and certain actors proving to be troublesome the finished film is absolutely flawless. The fact that the mechanical sharks were a nightmare to use actually helped the movie ratchet up the tension a great deal more. Although the film uses primal fear to great effect and John Williams’ simple yet terrific score is menacing as hell, the real reason it works so well is in it’s human drama. Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw and Richard Dreyfuss all bring real fleshed-out characters to a thriller that lingers long in the memory and makes your heart beat faster.

*Bruce was the nickname Spielberg gave the mechanical shark – the name of his lawyer!

DirectorSteven Spielberg

CastRoy ScheiderRobert ShawRichard Dreyfuss

Most gruesome scene

In this case we’re going to go with the most shock-inducing and the scene where Ben Gardner’s head floats out of a hole in the underwater wreckage of his boat takes the prize!