Jaws: Here's Where Amity Island Was Located (2022)

Does the movie Jaws take place in New York or Massachusettes? We break down where Jaws was supposed to take place and where the movie was filmed.

Here's whereJaws' Amity Island was supposed to be located and where the location in the movie was actually filmed. Spielberg's shark thriller is one of the greatest movies ever made. Nearly 45 years have passed since its release and it still terrifies people enough to reconsider swimming in the ocean. The setting for Jaws' shark attacks, however,is a little murky.

Setting Jaw ina smaller resort town was incredibly important to Spielberg becausehe wanted to make audiences feel like this horrifying event could happen anywhere.He also wanted to show how one shark could destroy tourismfor a town that relied on vacationers.Jaws took place in the fictional beach town of Amity but it was also referred to as Amity Island. The deadly shark attacks took place along Amity's beach before the focus shifted offshore. So where was Amity Island in Jawsintended to be located?

Amity's Chief of Police, Martin Brody (Roy Schneider), was said to have come from New York City. He hated the water since he was a kid but still took the lead in gathering a team to hunt down the infamous shark. Peter Benchley's novel indicated that Amity Island was a seaside town off of Long Island, New York. That was never directly clarified in the movie but it would make sense that Chief Brody took his family to spend the summer at a New York beach.

(Video) JAWS Filming Locations | Then and Now | Interesting changes to the beaches.

Jaws: Here's Where Amity Island Was Located (1)

The confusion about the setting of Jaws has stemmed from the fact that theJaws was filmed in Martha's Vineyard, Massachusettes. The crew behind Jaws considered filming in Long Island to match the novel but they decided on Martha's Vineyard because of the demographic that vacationed there. They also noticed that the island was less crowded, which made it easier to shoot on location and in the water. Even though the movie doesn't identify it's exact location, many New Englanders, specifically those who live in Martha's Vineyard, still take pride in their connectionJaws.

The town of Amity may have been fictional but some of the details come fromreal events. Quint (Robert Shaw), the experienced shark hunter, was based on Frank Mundus, ashark fisherman from Montauk, New York. Benchley used Mundus' experience catching a gigantic great white shark off of the New York coast as inspiration for writing Jaws in the '70s. The story itself was also loosely based on theJersey Shore shark attacks of 1916, a time when five people fell victim within two weeks in early July. Similar to Jaws, the Jersey Shore beach town paid people to hunt down the shark responsible as it was affecting tourism.

(Video) JAWS Filming Locations - Amity Island 2008

Despite the confusion surrounding where Jaws was filmed and where Amity was intended to be located, which is hopefully now cleared up, anyone looking to relive the Jaws franchise and get another look at Amity onscreen can easily do so. All four Jaws movies are now available to stream on Netflix and, while Jaws' sequels aren't remotely as good as Spielberg's original, all are at least worth one watch for shark movie enthusiasts. Note though that only the first two Jaws films are set on Amity Island, as Jaws 3 goes to SeaWorld and Jaws 4 to the Bahamas.

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(Video) Jaws [1975]: Mayor of Amity Island, Larry Vaughn: "Amity Means Friendship"

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Jaws: Here's Where Amity Island Was Located (3)

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Kara Hedash (1769 Articles Published)

Kara Hedash is a features editor and writer for Screen Rant. From time to time, she dives into the world's most popular franchises but Kara primarily focuses on evergreen topics. The fact that she gets to write about The Office regularly is like a dream come true. Before joining Screen Rant, Kara served as a contributor for Movie Pilot and had work published on The Mary Sue and Reel Honey. After graduating college, writing began as a part-time hobby for Kara but it quickly turned into a career. She loves binging a new series and watching movies ranging from Hollywood blockbusters to hidden indie gems. She also has a soft spot for horror ever since she started watching it at too young of an age. Her favorite Avenger is Thor and her favorite Disney princess is Leia Organa. When Kara's not busy writing, you can find her doing yoga or hanging out with Gritty.

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(Video) Jaws(1975) - Hooper Arrives to Amity Island


Jaws: Here's Where Amity Island Was Located? ›

The fictitious 'Amity Island' is Martha's Vineyard, the the swanky island holiday retreat off the coast of Massachusetts, accessible by air from Boston or New York.

Where is Amity located in Jaws? ›

2. Martha's Vineyard played the role of Amity Island ... because of a storm. Most fans know that the famed New England island, with its deep offshore waters and sandy beaches, was the real-life version of novelist Peter Benchley's fictional Amity Island from the book.

Is Amity Island in Jaws a real place? ›

Though the film takes place in the fictional town of Amity Island in New York, it was actually filmed throughout Martha's Vineyard, Mass. (Long Island was considered "too busy" — the filmmakers wanted an island that would feel eerily empty to filmgoers.)

Is Jaws based on Amity Bay? ›

In 1974, Peter Benchley moved the story from New Jersey resorts to the fictional Long Island resort of Amity in his best-selling novel, Jaws.

Where is Amity from Jaws 2? ›

It's back to Martha's Vineyard for 'Amity Island' with Edgartown once again portraying the main town.

Where is Amity in America? ›

Martha's Vineyard, sitting off Cape Cod, was chosen to portray “Amity”, the white-picket idyll into which the finned wrecking ball smashes, thanks to its shallow seabed from which Spielberg could mobilise a 25ft mechanical monster.

Was Jaws filmed in Florida? ›

Filming took place mainly at Navarre Beach. Some shooting occurred west of Pensacola, near Fort Pickens.

Is Jaws a true story? ›

No. Jaws is not a true story. It is based on Peter Benchley's novel of the same name. The Jaws author had a lifelong fascination with sharks and said that he came up with the concept for the novel after reading about a great white shark that had been caught by fisherman Frank Mundus in 1964 (pictured below).

What lake was Jaws filmed on? ›

The scenes with the Orca, Quint's boat, that Brody, Quint and Matt take to capture the shark, are set near by the East Chop waters near Oak Bluffs. The film's gory shark eating random people scenes were done at Katama Bay near Edgartown.

Was the shooting star in Jaws real? ›

According to The Making of 'Jaws' (1995) documentary, the shooting star that appears during the night scene where Brody loads his revolver was real, not an optical effect. Though respected as an actor, Robert Shaw's trouble with alcohol was a frequent source of tension during filming.

What town was Jaws 2 filmed in? ›

Navarre, Destin, Gulf Breeze residents are the stars of upcoming 'Jaws 2' retrospective. In the late 1970s, the filming of the "Jaws" sequel, "Jaws 2," took the Florida Panhandle by storm when filming found its way to the Destin and Navarre Beach area.

Where did the shark attacks of 1916 take place? ›

The New Jersey shark attacks of 1916 helped make the animal an icon of terror. In the twilight of July 1, 1916, 25-year-old Charles Vansant bled to death in a beachfront hotel in New Jersey. Several men had pulled his maimed body from the water.

Was any of Jaws 2 filmed on Martha's Vineyard? ›

Location. Martha's Vineyard was again used as the location for the town scenes and Emerald Coast was included on this film. Although some residents guarded their privacy, many islanders welcomed the money that the company was bringing.

Where is Martha's Vineyard? ›

Martha's Vineyard is an island south of Cape Cod in Massachusetts. The indigenous Wampanoag Indians called it Noepe, which meant "land amid the streams."

Where does Jaws 3 take place? ›

The film follows the Brody children from the previous films to SeaWorld, a Florida marine park with underwater tunnels and lagoons. As the park prepares for opening, a young great white shark infiltrates the park from the sea, seemingly attacking and killing the park's employees.

Where in Navarre was Jaws filmed? ›

Commenters were quick to point out the location was in a famous movie back in 1975. Much of Steven Spielberg's movie sequel “Jaws II” was filmed at Navarre Beach and nearby Destin and Okaloosa Island, according to Florida Memory. All are located just east of Pensacola in the Florida Panhandle.

What hotel was used in Jaws 2? ›

Holidome Holiday Inn - 8375 Gulf Boulevard, Navarre, Florida, USA (Hotel dedication with Chief Brody arriving late, sadly it was destroyed by Hurricane Ivan in 2004.)

Was Jaws a Megalodon? ›

A new study from the University of Bristol and Swansea University has calculated the total body size of the Otodus megalodon - the distant ancestor of the great white shark depicted in hit blockbuster, Jaws, in 1975.

Is the MEG real? ›

The Meg was real and it was absolutely massive, scientists say | Metro News.

Who was Quint based on? ›

Frank Mundus, the hulking Long Island shark fisherman who was widely considered the inspiration for Captain Quint, the steely-eyed, grimly obsessed shark hunter in “Jaws,” died on Wednesday in Honolulu.

Where is the lighthouse in Jaws? ›

Jaws (1975)

This is the place where Jaws starring Roy Scheider, Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw was filmed at Gay Head Lighthouse in Aquinnah, United States.

Can you visit where Jaws was filmed? ›

To see all the top Jaws spots around Martha's Vineyard, book a tour with a local guide. Edgartown Tour Company offers a one-hour walking tour. You'll be taken to locations where classic scenes were filmed while learning insider stories about what went on during production.

Was Jaws filmed on Catalina island? ›

Many memorable productions have been filmed on the Island in the last fifty years, including The Glassbottom Boat (1966), Rosemary's Baby (1968), Chinatown (1974), Jaws (1974), MacArthur (1977), Waterworld (1995), Multiplicity (1995), Apollo 13 (1995), and Amistad (1997).

Was Jaws filmed in a swimming pool? ›

So Spielberg recruited a small crew and reshot the scene in film editor Verna Fields' backyard swimming pool in Encino, California. To make the clear, chlorinated water match the murkier look of the ocean, crew members poured a gallon of milk into the pool.

What do the yellow barrels symbolize in Jaws? ›

They couldn't get the shark to work — for months

It was a repeatedly malfunctioning shark that gave those yellow barrels seen throughout the movie their emblematic status. Every time the shark wouldn't work, they would use the barrels to symbolize its arrival or presence.

What does Brody say at the end of Jaws? ›

In the 30th anniversary DVD edition of the film, all the movie remains the same except for Brody's final encounter with the shark. His famous line is cut, thus, only letting him says, ” Smile, you son of a ” before he fires the gun.


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