Quentin Tarantino told Jimmy Kimmel that Steven Spielberg's Jaws is the best movie ever.
Quentin Tarantino has gotten himself in hot water for criticizing the current landscape of cinema in recent years, most notably by joining Martin Scorsese in attacking the legitimacy of the MCU and its place within movie culture. Now, fans of Quentin Tarantino can rejoice as the acclaimed filmmaker actually has something constructive to say, praising Steven Spielberg’s Jaws as the greatest movie ever made. This news comes courtesy of the website The Daily Jaws, which celebrates and catalogs everything regarding the 1975 classic killer shark film, reporting on an interview Tarantino gave during a 2021 appearance on Jimmy Kimmel Live.
During his appearance to promote the novelization of his 2019 film Once Upon A Time In Hollywood, Quentin Tarantino praised Steven Spielberg’s work on Jaws as one of the greatest films of all time. The conversation mostly centered around films adapted from novels, or vice versa, with a focus on the difference in quality between the film Jaws and the 1974 Peter Benchley novel of the same name. While discussing the novel, Tarantino stated that the characters were bland and poorly realized, so much so that he found himself rooting for the bloodthirsty shark to take them all down, whereas Spielberg’s film had excellent character adaptations and performances, creating a feeling of attachment to the doomed boat crew.
This poor character building on the part of Peter Benchley even led Tarantino to another criticism of the book, stating that subsequent ripoffs of the source material, such as 1977’s Orca, written by Arthur Herzog, had far richer and more interesting characters. Quentin Tarantino’s critiques of the novel were, in fact, shared by Steven Spielberg, who enlisted the help of The Odd Couple writer Carl Gottlieb to rework the screenplay to breathe fresh life into the human characters in Jaws. This move obviously panned out, launching Spielberg into a host of other near-perfect films, and led to one of the most iconic films ever and one that lands on Tarantino’s list of all-time favorites.
In addition to the coverage of his Jimmy Kimmel Live interview, The Daily Jaws also included a scan of a handwritten list of Quentin Tarantino’s favorite movies of all time, including Steven Spielberg’s Jaws penciled in at the bottom. The list results in a veritable film school crash course, which any movie fanatic should make a point to scratch off their watch list, including classic features such as the Clint Eastwood-led The Good The Bad And The Ugly, Rio Bravo, Taxi Driver, 5 Fingers of Death, Carrie, and many more. The list seems semi-interchangeable, with the Pulp Fiction director’s tastes changing over time, but Jaws is added at the end, as Tarantino couldn’t help but keep it on the completed list.
Quentin Tarantino isn’t the only super fan of Steven Spielberg’s Jaws, as entire websites have been dedicated to the film’s seismic impact. The film inspired dozens of aquatic creature features in the years following its release, with films such as Orca and 1978’s Piranha each topping the box office in Jaws‘ wake.