Together, the Benchley-Spielberg tag team established Robert Shaw as a badass, Richard Dreyfuss as Richard Dreyfuss, the Jaws theme as the last thing you hear before you die, and the fact that the great white shark proves Mother Nature only wants to murder us.
The Ugly Aftermath:
You'd think the world's oceans would be safer now that books and movies like Jaws have inspired countless angry fishermen to kill sharks 'round the clock. Well, they are. In fact, things are now so safe that one-third of the world's sharks are facing extinction, thanks in part to a little phenomenon called "The 'Jaws' effect."
Pictured: The "Jaws" effect.
Once it became clear that sharks were suddenly and rapidly going the way of the dodo, Peter Benchley dedicated the remainder of his life to promoting awareness that sharks aren't as bad as he claimed: "We knew so little back then, and have learned so much since, that I couldn't possibly write the same story today."