Is there still enough left of the Jaws legacy to pull out a three hour documentary on the film, its lasting effects, and impact? More than we know apparently. The Shark is Still Working, a smile-worthy title on multiple levels, is the type of feature you wish more commercial DVD releases would include to satisfy the insatiable appetite film fans crave. This is unquestionably the best piece on the phenomenon of Jaws you’ll see, regardless of what media its on.
Even mild movie fans know the story of Bruce the shark, the pains it took to make him work, and how a frustrated young director named Spielberg spared nothing to bring Jaws to life. Wisely, without competing with the 1995 laser disc release of The Making of Steven Spielberg’s Jaws, Still Working spends minimal time on the film itself. This is far more encompassing, dealing with nearly every aspect of fandom, the smallest bit players, memorabilia, props, and far too many things to possibly list here.
There is no central focus here. The only core connecting piece is the narration by Roy Scheider who couldn’t possibly be a better choice. That’s not to say the film is convoluted or confusing. To a non-fan of the film Jaws, there’s a staggering amount of material to cover and it does so with a proper flow. To the fans, there’s a staggering amount of reminiscing or confirmation their obsession is hardly unique.
For the true die-hard, the amount of detail that went into securing interviews (however brief) with even backgrounds characters that don’t even speak in the film is a treasure chest of information. From the guitarist of the opening beach party, bit-part Vineyard residents, to minor boaters who managed one line, it’s hard to imagine anyone still living that has gone undetected for this documentary. Even the stunt doubles have their chance to talk.