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This Day in Pop Culture for June 20


1975: ‘Jaws’ is Released in Theaters

Universal Pictures producers of the film Jaws hired 27-year-old Steven Spielberg to direct the film before the release of his first movie, The Sugarland Express. Based on the novel by Peter Benchley, shooting the film took longer than expected and drove costs up to $8 million while the budget was set at $4 million. At one point, Universal threatened to shut down production of the movie, but had a change of heart and instead promoted with a $700,000 marketing campaign. The mechanical shark used in the picture was affectionately named Bruce. (Pixar named the shark in Finding Nemo after him as well.) The famous “daa-daa” music was composed by John Williams and was performed by tuba player Tommy Johnson. Jaws made about $7 million during the opening weekend becoming one of the first summer blockbuster films ever. It also caused a lot of people to be afraid of going into the water. Any water. (Image: Universal)


  • 1924: Chet Atkins (singer)
  • 1931: Olympia Dukakis (actress)
  • 1942: Brian Wilson (singer)
  • 1945: Anne Murray (singer)
  • 1949: Lionel Richie (singer)
  • 1952: John Goodman (actor)
  • 1963: Kirk Baptiste (Olympic sprinter)
  • 1986: Dreama Walker (actress)

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Jeffrey Totey View All

I write about pop culture, arts and entertainment in the greater Seattle area.

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