Where Was Jaws Filmed?

Jaws is a classic 1975 American thriller film directed by Steven Spielberg, about a giant man-eating great white shark that terrorizes a popular summer resort. 

During the plot of the film, the main character, Martin Brody seeks the help of a shark hunter and marine biologist to hunt the creature down and save the island from its horrifying clutches.

The movie is based on a 1974 novel of the same name by Peter Benchley, and has only grown in popularity and critical acclaim over the years. If you haven’t heard of Jaws by now, then it is definitely a Hollywood classic movie that you will love to get your teeth into.

Jaws has been considered one of the first examples of a major blockbuster film that changed the way that we look at suspense, thrill and monster movies. One of the most terrifying things about the film Jaws is that it left much up to the imagination.

By only showing snippets and small fractions of the beast, along with point of view shots of what the shark can see created an air of mystery, suspense and terror that was a new concept at the time.

It may surprise you to find out that you do not actually see the actual shark until one hour and twenty minutes into the feature. By only showing fins, POV shots, and quick jump cuts around the creature, director Steven Spielberg was able to create an atmosphere of horror that left the shark’s size, and stature up to the imagination.

One thing that really sticks in our minds about the movie Jaws is the stunning locations and the quirky town of Amity Island in which the story takes place. With multiple locations on the open water, in the island and the surrounding areas, it comes as no surprise that so many people want to find out where the movie was filmed.

Where was Jaws filmed?

The entire movie of Jaws was actually filmed at Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts. The film was wholly shot on location in the small town in Massachusetts, where some of the locations are still available to visit today!

Although the location of Amity Island is actually fictitious, the beautiful and stunning holiday retreat was actually just Martha’s Vineyard. This prestigious resort is stunningly kept, which is why the shooting location looks the same today as it did when Chief Brody first went searching for Jaws. 

The town center used in the movie is actually Edgartown in Martha’s Vineyard, and the corner of Water and Main Street. This area acts as the perfect location for the movie, as the grand mansions and stunning architecture blend in with the marine and whaling port in which the film was set.

Jaws Filming Locations:

Opening Scene

The opening scene of Jaws, paired with the unforgettably foreboding soundtrack sets the scene and the tone of the film beautifully.

Those low notes and quickening paces are now instantly recognizable, and lay the foundation for how tense the movie will be right from the beginning. The opening scene of Jaws shows the harbor as a steamship leaves which is filmed in the main Vineyard Haven Harbor. 

Then, we see a beach bonfire filled with happy faces, dancing flames and fun times with friends, which quickly turns into a dark nightmare. The bonfire scene is filmed on the sandy dunes of South Beach, Katama. 

Bonfire scene at South Beach, Katama

Beach Death Scene

The first time we see Jaws attack will always be etched in our memories. What started as a flirtatious midnight swim quickly turned into a toothy nightmare.

This iconic scene was actually filmed at Cow Beach in Edgartown.

Iconic Chrissie Watkins death

The Bridge

One of the most iconic scenes in the movie was filmed at the American Legion Memorial Bridge. The Jaws bridge connects Edgartown and Oak Bluffs in Martha’s Vineyard together.

This is where the monster shark, Jaws entered Sengekontacket Pond during the Fourth of July celebrations, and proceeded to attack and eat the young boy. The location has now become a popular tourist spot for visitors to come face to face with a Jaws attack spot. 

Jaws Bridge

American Legion Memorial Bridge

Brody House

The location of Chief Brody’s house was also filmed in Martha’s Vineyard.

Chief Brody’s beautiful seaside house has since been renovated, but the home still stands, and the address is 265 East Chop Drive.

The house as seen in Jaws

Chief Brody’s house today

The ‘Amity Island Welcomes You’ Billboard

How could we forget the argument where Chief Brody, and Hooper try to tell the Mayor that Amity has to close before the ‘eating machine’ attacks more people.

This is where the stubborn mayor decides to keep the beaches open for the fourth of July celebrations. The scene shows his disregard for the townspeople’s safety where he cares more for the defacing of the billboard than he does about the ominous threat in the water.

The infamous billboard sat atop of Gay Head Light in Aquinnah, just in front of the historical lighthouse. 

Chief Brody and Hooper at the billboard

Gay Head Light, Aquinnah

Quint’s Workshed

The scene in which we find Quint’s shack, and the Orca boat that will come to take down Jaws, was filmed in Menemsha Port, Chilmark, Martha’s Vineyard. 

Menemsha Harbor, Chilmark

Boat Scenes

The expedition that Brody, Quint and Matt make aboard the Orca to find and kill Jaws all take place in the open waters near Oak Bluffs and East Chop in Martha’s Vineyard.

This is where we first heard the words ‘you’re gonna need a bigger boat’ and boy, were they right. 

The Orca, and Jaws

Knowing that the entirety of the first ever blockbuster movie, Jaws, was filmed in the idyllic island of Martha’s Vineyard, will you be making a trip?

Just make sure you stay out of the water!