'Jaws' Movie Franchise

Premise: The Brody family has a nasty habit of attracting giant, man-eating sharks. Usually, people won't believe them right away when they suggest that a shark is to blame for recent deaths, but they have a sixth sense about these things...and they're always right. Jaws was a maga-hit aquatic horror movie that helped usher in the era of summer blockbusters and made director Steven Spielberg a household name, and even though the Jaws movies declined in popularity and quality as they went along, they still remain culturally significant today.

Potential spoilers ahead!

Jaws (1975)

Jaws movie poster
© Universal

Amity Island sheriff Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) has his hands full when the body of a young woman turns up with big shark-like bites. The mayor doesn't want to drive away tourists, so he has the medical examiner proclaim the woman to be the victim of a boating accident. But this was no boating accident. The truth becomes evident when other locals find themselves shark food. The mayor gives in and hires shark hunter Quint, who teams with Brody and zoologist Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) to hunt the beast. Quint turns into an obsessed Ahab and pays the price when the shark attacks, while Brody jams an air tank in its jaws and shoots it, blowing the shark to bits. The boat sinks, and Brodie and Hooper paddle back to shore on driftwood.

Jaws 2 (1978)

Jaws 2 movie poster
© Universal

Jaws 2 plays like a case of déjà vu. Back on land, Brody finds himself again investigating a series of attacks he suspects are the doing of a shark. And again, the mayor doesn't want to believe him, for fear of damaging the town's tourist industry. Once again, however, it turns out that he's right; inexplicably ANOTHER giant shark is terrorizing the town. To his horror, Brody finds out that his two sons have gone sailing, and he heads out to rescue them. The older Michael returns relatively unharmed, but young Sean is stuck on a disabled boat that was attacked by the shark. The sheriff sails to the rescue, running his boat ashore on a small rocky island and enticing the shark into biting a power cable, electrocuting the beast.

Jaws 3 (1983)

Jaws 3 movie poster
© Universal

Taking place several years after Jaws 2, Michael Body (Dennis Quaid) is now an engineer at Sea World in Orlando. A shark enters the park from the ocean and kills a worker. A hunter, Phillip FitzRoyce, proposes to kill the shark, but Michael's girlfriend, biologist Katherine Morgan, convinces them to capture it. It dies in captivity, but it turns out that the shark was a baby, and the mother is also in the park, hell-bent on revenge. The shark chomps on various people around the park, including FitzRoyce, eventually bursting through the glass in the underwater observation area -- in 3-D! Mike sees FitzRoyce's corpse wedged in the shark's jaws, the hunter still clutching a grenade. Mike pulls the pin, blowing up the shark and saving the day.

Jaws: The Revenge (1987)

Jaws the Revenge movie poster
© Universal

This time, it's personal. On Amity Island, after Martin Brody dies from what widow Ellen claims is "fear of the shark," son Sean is killed by yet another shark. Ellen visits Michael in the Bahamas, where he works as a marine biologist, and warns that he could be next on the shark's hit list. Ridiculous? Tell that to Michael's daughter, who almost dies when the shark invades her banana boat ride. When Ellen ventures out in a boat alone, her new beau Hoagie (Michael Caine) flies Michael and Michael's associate Jake (Mario Van Peebles) to help. The shark leaps out of the water to attack, only to be impaled on the boat's bow. Then, somehow, a gadget makes the shark blow up. It doesn't make much sense, but neither does anything in this movie.