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Four Star Films : 'Jaws'

June 25, 1995|Peter Rainer

This, of course, is the film that made people afraid to go dipping in the ocean--it's the oceanic counterpart to what Hitchock did to us in "Psycho." Just substitute Martha's Vineyard beachscapes for lonely motel showers. This was Steven Spielberg's first smash hit, and many of us still think it's his most enjoyable movie, though the enjoyments clearly are on the queasy side. Spielberg has such a phenomenal grasp of how to tickle and tease and terrify an audience that watching this film is a bit like setting yourself up as a lab experiment in psychological conditioning. We're worked over with superlative, sadistic expertise. But there's more to this movie than pure thrills. The cast, especially Richard Dreyfuss, Robert Shaw and Roy Scheider as the three stalwarts who go in hunt of the great white shark, is tip-top. The reason we're hooked into all the water-frothing shenanigans is because we care about the people who are in danger of being swallowed whole (TBS Wednesday at 7:35 p.m. and Thursday at 10:05 a.m.)).

Other four-star films airing this week:

Dumbo (DISN Sunday at 10:30 a.m.)

The Song of Bernadette (AMC Monday at 7 p.m.)

Ruggles of Red Gap (AMC Tuesday at 3:30 a.m.)

Stage Door (AMC Wednesday at 8 a.m.)

Father of the Bride (TBS Thursday at 7:05)

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