The science fiction B-Movies in 1950s America heralded a new way of envisioning American, used in the context of this essay to refer to the USA, anxieties in the post-war period. “Structured around key metaphors”, these films became reflections of the “U.S. perception of the Cold War”[1] revealing implicit apprehensions that proved difficult to articulate. The B-movies, like many cinematic productions that arose from the last decade of the Golden Age of Hollywood, were consistently uniform in their structure and content. Yet their structural and thematic tropes are not inane products of mass culture: their significance has evolved over time and their prevalent influence means they are conducive to evaluating films of New Hollywood.

After the fall of the studio system – the deconstruction of the Big Five studios control over movie theaters, the relinquishing of the Hays Code, as well as the rising prominence of TV – the 1970s witnessed an unprecedented increase in potential for experimentation as influences from TV and European film movements, such as the New Wave, propagated inventive approaches to film. But with Jaws (1975), Steven Spielberg defied this invitation to innovate, instead reaching back and rewriting the contemporaneously tongue-in-cheek B-movie for the mentality of modern American society. Andrew Britton says, that the “material, social conditions, and effects, of his own practice are a closed book to [Spielberg]”[2] and as such, the audience is never clarified in their speculations as to the meanings or significances of his filmmaking choices. Yet, Jaws is intimately linked to contextual developments in America from the 1950s to the early 1970s: Spielberg merely sought to follow the belief “that the Hollywood of fifty years ago could, or ought to be revived,” that the “fifty years [since then didn’t] matter”[3].

For us no longer wanting to “[read] science fiction B-movies of the time in sole relation to explicit international concerns surrounding Communist invasion and the birth of the nuclear age” because it “can […] lead to generalisations”[4], analysing two films, Them! (1951) and Jaws, is revealing as to the paradigm of guilt and innocence in the American consciousness during these periods. While Spielberg revived the filmmaking structure of the 1950s in Jaws, his expansion of the monster B-movie, he motioned to create a blank slate for the American consciousness in film. In reaffirming American innocence, moralistic supremacy, and traditional values, he confronted the B-movies’ original themes of subtle, maybe even unconscious, projections of guilt on the screen via the aesthetics of destruction. As Andrew Britton articulates, this being the beginnings of Reaganite entertainment, it was part of the “general movement of reaction and conservative reassurance in […] contemporary Hollywood cinema”[5], which was involved in a broader attempt to revive the values of “a vanished golden age in which the nation was great and the patriarchal family flourished in happy ignorance of the scourges of abortion and a soaring divorce rate, gay rights, and the women’s movement”.[6] It is fitting that this evokes imagery of the early 1950s, from which Spielberg also seems to appropriate his monster tropes.

Gordon Douglas’s Them! sees the discovery of giant ants – produced as a result of nuclear experimentation during the Manhattan Project – as they attack surrounding parts of White Sands, a town in the New Mexico desert, and the subsequent attempts to eradicate them. This leads to climatic battles in the ants’ burrows and then, ultimately, in the sewers of Los Angeles as the protagonists fight to save two children and stop the destruction of humankind at the hands of these diminutive creatures turned gigantic monstrosities. Them! utilises “the double metaphor of ants-as-monsters and ants-as-people to dramatise [the prevalent concerns surrounding] the unpredictability of the Bomb and fears of Communist attack”[7], as well as reflecting the general climate dominant within science fiction as one obsessed with polarisations. Mark Jancovich calls it a world where “there was a clear distinction between right and wrong, order and chaos, the self and the other”[8], while at the same time public information films were “instilling all due diligence and paranoia” making it more than obvious that “the end of the world could be brought about by the mere pressing of a button”.[9]

However, as Andrew Tudor declares:

“One of the distinguishing characteristics of horror moves is that they are implicated in the distinctive subset of cultural patterns through which we construct our understanding of what is fearful to us. That understanding is not psychologically fixed for all human beings. It alters in different historical and social circumstances”[10].

Them!, while not originally recognised as a manifestation of guilt, can be when read from a modern perspective. In analysing it alongside Jaws, we can see that the latter’s need to reaffirm innocence, as will later be explored, means, historically, that guilt for America’s actions must have had an origin point from which to accumulate.

Science, in the 1950s, was the ultimate paradox – both apocalypse and salvation. Them!, not ignorant of this matter, explores it through the use of Dr. Harold Medford and Dr. Pat Medford. The scientists of the film, both entomologists, specifically myrmecologists (people involved in the study of ants), arrive from the Department of Agriculture to study and determine the origin of the problems in White Sands. In these situations the B-movies, portray scientists usually adopting the philosophy that “if it was science […] that has caused the problem, science would solve it too”.[11] Andrew Tudor additionally says that “knowledge [was] central only in so far as a kind of counter-factual [could] be established: were it not for scientific work on atomic energy the threat would not exist”.[12]

In an article called ‘The Agony of Atomic Genius’ Algis Valiunas describes J. Robert Oppenheimer’s “proud yet guilty”[13] attitude to his efforts in creating the A-Bomb when leading the Manhattan Project. In his reluctance in helping America’s efforts to create the H-Bomb, as well as his alleged political leaning towards communism, people involved with post-war efforts to develop atomic weapons became suspicious and eventually ousted him from the project. These transgressions against the minds behind the bomb, combined with their own moral confusion as to what they had created formed an extremely complex dilemma over scientists’ functions in film. The “growing public concern about atomic energy during the fifties”[14] propagated the “belief that science [was] dangerous”.[15] These apprehensions led to scientists fulfilling antagonistic roles such as Dr. Arthur Carrington in The Thing from Another World (1951).

Them! proposes the alternate situation where science works in “‘co-operation’ with the military,” encouraging “the reader to ask which group is presented as dominant”.[16] The scientists here become completely dominant, taking “pride of place”[17] and the ultimate responsibility for the actions of the Americans. They do not do so for passive reasons; the scientists take centre stage in a symbolic apology for the moralistic weights they had to bear and the eventual turning of America against their work, additionally suggesting that science was not dominant in the use of the atom bomb – their genius somehow being appropriated by the military.

At several points throughout the film both Harold and Pat Medford take precedence over all the politicians, town or city officials, and military representatives (see Fig. 1 and Fig. 2). They are relied on to explain and find solutions to the giant ant problem and by reflecting “the new prestige of science by placing scientists at the center of world-shaking events”,[18] Douglas revalidates science’s voice, acknowledging that its advice should be heeded. In one instance Harold even stands in league, or arguably above, military officials. When the final press conference informs San Francisco of the problem lying beneath them, an official introduces the chief figures on the panel: “This is Dr. Harold Medford of the Department of Agriculture. Gen. O’Brien, Air Force Intelligence. Gen. James, Army Intelligence”.[19] Medford’s foregrounding in this introduction announces his prominence and, that if the military works in cooperation with, or as subordinate to scientists, excess destruction is avoided and a viable path of retaliation can be established.

Fig. 1


Fig. 2

The raw destruction involved in Hiroshima and Nagasaki left “the search for the appropriate weapon, more discriminating and selective than the H-bomb” at the forefront of “corporate-liberal sci-fi”.[20] Medford states that instead of bombing the ants, they should use phosphorus to generate “enough heat to drive the ants deeper down in to the nest” then “drop cyanide gas into the opening and kill them”.[21] These moments manifest themselves as self-reflexive points where America is considering its own abuses of science and scientists, and its newfound wariness over the use of excessive force.

But as mentioned, the position of the scientist within these films is a complex interplay of guilt, both towards them and their own personal guilt. This is where the closing lines of the film begin to ring apocalyptically. In the film’s finale Robert asks “if these monsters got started as a result of the atomic bomb in 1945 … what about all the others that have been exploded since then?” to which Pat replies “I don’t know”. Harold says instead: “nobody knows Robert. When man entered the atomic age he opened a door into a new world. What we’ll eventually find in that new world, nobody can predict”.[22] This ambiguity, the complete unknowable that lies within this new world, is what completes this feeling of guilt. This is not just guilt towards science, this is science’s and America’s guilt. While the Medford’s expertise probably saved humankind, science has still “create[d] a world which we can no longer recognise, a world in which giant ants or man-eating plants threaten to overwhelm us”.[23] While the threat of the nuclear may not be so fantastical, America had begun to manifest its guilt regarding its scientific and military impact on the world, and what implications could arise on national and international levels.

The ants of Them! are essential in exploring this so-called new world. While certainly a manifestation of the fear surrounding an underground movement of communists (blank slates working toward the good of the state), the ant can also be seen as the embodiment of guilt in physical form. The ants, at first merely designated a “fantastic mutation. Probably caused by lingering radiation from the first atomic bomb”[24], are simultaneously considered “nature run amok”.[25] Once again however, we witness the reemergence of a central contradiction. While they may simply be “nature run amok”, none other than science is to blame for the ants’ augmentation.

Noting the aesthetics of the ants, one has to acknowledge the level of detail as to the attempt to create an anatomically correct magnification. Considering the motion and form of their antennae and pincers; the gleam of the moisture on their backs; their shuffled movement; their high-pitched communications and predilection for sugar (see Fig. 3), Them! creates a sense of realism by retaining the ants’ basic appearance and behaviour, only making the ants transcend the parameters of normal entomology in terms of size. The film “simply allows the ants to behave like ants,” in fact, they “don’t act out of character for their species”[26]; they are destructible, driven by instinct, and nomadic.

Fig. 3

Compared to other monster flicks and invasion narratives of the 1950s like The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) and The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951),

which had a much more humanistic shape to their Others, alongside plastic-like lizard features and techno-chique attire respectively, Them! made the monstrous recognisable. They achieve a sense of credible monstrosity; these beasts aren’t aliens or creatures of mysterious origin but, rather simplistically, they are mutations of the everyday; as Dr. Harold Medford says, “these ants and related species are [actually] common to most of America. In fact, you can find them in backyards, empty lots, and fields throughout the temperate zones of the world”.[27] The naturalistic balance of Other and familiar gives this body of guilt legitimacy – it’s not purely an outlandish reckoning. These monsters, unable to perceive their own subjectivity, are transformed into “pure bod[ies] […] as an embodiment of a certain cultural moment,” their “bod[ies] quite literally [incorporate] fear, desire, anxiety, and fantasy (ataractic and incendiary), giving them life and an uncanny independence”.[28] The ants’ bodies are guilt given form, a self-served karmic retribution.

The ants’ genesis in the wastelands of the New Mexico desert is not coincidental. While the experiments of the Manhattan Project may have taken place here, there is also the symbolism behind this birth-from-nothing; these creatures are explicitly post-nuclear and the new environment allows them to thrive in areas that were previously desolate. The home of “Them! Them! Them!”[29] does not signify the habitation of the ants alone but that these areas could give naissance to any number or variation of monster. Their birth in this place acknowledges that “monsters are our children” and America’s accountability “ask[s] us to reevaluate [their] cultural assumptions about race, gender, sexuality, our perception of difference, [and] our tolerance toward its expression. They ask us why we have created them”.[30]

These monsters manifest themselves as beings of guilt in a form of escapism. As Susan Sontag says in “The Imagination of Disaster”, “in the films it is by images and sounds, not words that have to be translated by the imagination, that one can participate in the fantasy of living through one’s death and more, the death of cities, the destruction of humanity itself”.[31] This image of the ant, as monolithic as it is for the film’s imagery, makes it possible for Americans to live through their own deaths. The fantasy of destruction means they could come to a cathartic conclusion with their own guilt because they viscerally, yet passively, experience retribution through the screen.

“But,” as Sontag notes, “collective nightmares cannot be banished by demonstrating that they are, intellectually and morally, fallacious. This nightmare – the one reflected, in various registers, in the science fiction films – is too close to our reality”.[32] This repressed guilt cannot merely fade away or be overlooked. Like Cohen says, “the monster is transgressive, too sexual, perversely erotic, a lawbreaker; and so the monster and all that it embodie[s] must be exiled or destroyed. The repressed however […] always seems to return”.[33] While the ants at the end of Them! have been completely and utterly destroyed by flamethrowers, the lingering obscurity of the film’s closing statement, that “nobody can predict”[34] the effects of nuclear experimentation, signifies this as an act of repression rather than destruction.

Jaws saw the return of this monster of guilt in the 1970s, transformed into a monster of pure nature. Here we see, the monster returning as the ultimate Other, attacking America and transforming the conquering nation into the victim. This was the unaffiliated enemy, the enemy that could be destroyed without guilt, and a destruction that would mark the beginning of the cycle of reassurance in American cinema.

This transformation inherent with moving from B-movie to blockbuster is symptomatic of Claude Levi-Strauss’s analyses in “The Structural Study of Myth”. Both Them! and Jaws show a propagation of the structure of the monster myth but each take a different perspective on the guilt and innocence paradigm. As Sontag prescribed from a retrospective standpoint, the science fiction films usually unfolded as follows:

“(1) the arrival of the thing […] (2) confirmation of the hero’s report by a host of witnesses to a great act of destruction […] (3) conferences between scientists and the military take place, with the hero lecturing before a chart, map, or blackboard […] (4) further atrocities […] [with] (5) more conferences [and the] final repulse of the monster or invaders.”[35]

Spielberg’s monster/disaster movie hybrid subscribes to this structure as much as Them!. As Claude Levi-Strauss states, the myth “explains the present and the past as well as the future”[36] and its persistent repetition works to “provide a logical model capable of overcoming a contradiction”.[37] The myth’s growth becomes “a continuous process, whereas its structure remains discontinuous”.[38]

Spielberg retained the structure but attempted to rewrite the American monster myths embodied in the B-movies, in fact Peter Benchley stated that “at the time […] they were expecting to make [Jaws (the novel)] into a good B-movie”.[39] But Spielberg slimmed it down to overt necessity, making the content explicitly simplistic as well as transforming battles of moral intricacies into a battle of moral absolutes in which America symbolises the heroic. Spielberg himself mentioned that “it was once again about […] a very large predator, you know, chasing innocent people and consuming them irrationally, it was an eating machine”.[40] What better way to rebuild innocence than usurping the very structure that previously symbolised its antithesis, guilt?

Spielberg, by jury-rigging the structure of the old time science fiction B-movie into the more contemporary disaster genre exploited a “revived audience” who “knowing what to expect from these movies” were “now joined by others looking for ‘old fashioned’ (i.e. simple) thrills”.[41] While not as hyperbolic in regards to destruction as The Towering Inferno (1974) or Airport (1970), Spielberg streamlines the genre; he “trimmed the flab, and turned it into a pure mechanism”.[42]

Spielberg confines the narrative into a small seaside town, where instead of being at the peril of a collapsing skyscraper, they are instead plagued by a shark lurking in the depths. It is said that “at the simplest level, it can fairly be asserted that the 1970s cycle of disaster movies both responded to and exploited contemporary phobias”.[43] During this time America had been accused of “overreaching to impose the will of the United States upon the world” which “had led to accusations that America had become an imperial power […] while the complexities of the post-war geopolitical environment meant that faith in the ability of an individual to maintain control over the situation declined”[44]; Nixon’s resignation following Watergate as well as the protracted failure in Vietnam damaged the American psyche, seemingly scarring it forever.

America was no longer necessarily perceived as the wholesome, individualistic, progenitor of the values of “life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness”.[45] The populace needed a film that responded to these anxieties and worked to reaffirm the beliefs that founded America by aligning those values within the core of the virtuous; like J. Hoberman states, “there can be no doubt that […] Jaws appeared at a moment when Americans were looking for some way to feel good about themselves”.[46] Strong patriarchal characters such as Brody, Quint, and Hooper reaffirmed singular identities, distinct from one another yet bound in unlikely and argumentative brotherhood with the aim of protecting the freedom and safety of ordinary, working, nuclear families. On the other side lurked the shark. The condensation of threat into one singular metaphor of a nondiscriminatory Other, which allowed Spielberg to reconstitute the idea of America fighting against a threat from a morally superior standpoint but this time, without negative consequences.

To establish this perspective an attack comes when Brody is on the beach with his family still reeling from his discovery early in the morning of the day before. The disturbing shot of the girl’s arm near the beginning of the film, and the subsequent repulsion of Brody and his deputy, establishes the rarity of the situation: such violence seldom strikes Amity Island. Despite this no serious action is taken. Following orders from the mayor, Brody has opted to leave the beaches open and all is seemingly normal. That’s when true disaster strikes. Compared to the sexually charged initial attack, in which extreme violence is performed against a teenage girl (who could be seen as a throwback to the 60s counterculture), the attack, enacted against the ultimate symbol of innocence, a young boy, is much more potent to the American consciousness: it works to victimise that which is American.

Brody’s son’s proximity to the incident resolutely establishes the disaster/monster cycle by finally provoking the first steps against the shark. The reaction to this attack from Brody, encapsulated by one of the most prolific utilisations of the dolly zoom in cinematic history (see Fig. 4), harks back to Hitchcock’s more psychologically driven camera work, in which the camera can come to reflect inner turmoil and reactions of the psyche.

Fig. 4

Encapsulating the trauma of the event, not just for Brody, but the American people, Brody’s face becomes a stand-in for the distress of the situation and the accompanying screeching violins echoes this harrowed reaction. The crowds on the beach immediately mobilise in order to ensure their children’s safety as Brody shouts “MICHAEL—! EVERYBODY OUT OF THE WATER! MICHAEL!”.[47] While immediately involved with his own family, he also shows concern for the other beach dwellers, and hence embodies a sort of idealistic code of morals, both justified self-concern and selflessness. Conversely, this scene does not just define the parameters of innocence alone. This, along with the other attacks of the film, “can be seen as an expiation of the guilt felt about [the threatened traditional value or contemporary phobia] and a punishment of the implied transgression[s]”.[48] Like Them!, this community is paying for the sins of the nation by taking the brunt of the Other’s attack, but equally in this sense, this neutral Other, not explicitly affiliated with any political leanings, ideologies, or nationalities, has thus legitimised itself for innocent destruction.

Before this destruction takes place however, the film needs to expand on the bases for a major constituent of its guilt. Interestingly, we have an orderly link back to Them!, as the manifestations of nuclear guilt surrounding the use of the A-Bomb against Japan is directly confronted within the character of Quint – he becomes symbolic for the tumultuous guilt within the American psyche. Quint’s presence on the U.S.S. Indianapolis sunk by “two torpedoes from a Japanese submarine’ while ‘still under sealed orders after deliverin’ the bomb … the Hiroshima bomb” ties him into the origin of the guilt we are discussing, the guilt America attempts to ignore.[49]

The Americans are guiltless in this story, instead painting them as victims post-Hiroshima. “Eleven hundred men went over the side” as the “vessel sank in twelve minutes” and they didn’t “see the first shark till [they]’d been in the water about an hour”. But what the men didn’t know was that “the bomb mission had been so secret, no distress signals [were] sent” and that “they wouldn’t even [be listed] as overdue for a week”. “As the light went, the sharks came cruisin’” and Quint began to see terrible atrocities, recalling “hear[ing] that terrible high screamin’” as “the ocean would go red, then churn up as they ripped” into the men. Quint admits that he didn’t “know how many sharks” there were but that they “averaged six men an hour”. There were “suicides, sharks and all this goin’ crazy and dyin’ of thirst” but eventually they were rescued. Quint ends with “anyway, we delivered the bomb”.[50] The harrowing monologue, while visceral and affecting, paints the picture of the overlooked story that Americans suffered because of Hiroshima and Nagasaki too. The closing of his speech is dismissive of the bomb, as fruitless and damaging to both sides. But it also rewrites the end of the war in a tale of American loss – America paid for its role in the destruction.

Fig. 5

Concentrating on Quint as the codification of nuclear guilt gives us the prime example of how Jaws reconciles contemporary issues surrounding America, both nationally and internationally. As J. Hoberman indicates, “Jaws […] is haunted by the idea of nuclear holocaust and a fear of retribution”.[51] But Quint’s death at the end of the film, described by Hoberman as a sacrifice, “has the additional advantage of cancelling the nuclear guilt he articulates and the historical nightmare represented by his service on the Indianapolis”.[52] As a remnant from the U.S.S. Indianapolis, however, his death is not merely a sacrifice; it is necessary for the film’s reconciliation of guilt toward an age of innocence. Through this death, through the complete devouring of Quint, we come to a situation in the film where innocence can gain the ultimate reassurance. It casts the contravention of America into the belly of repressed. However, instead of leaving the repressed to resurface once more, Jaws creates the ultimate reassurance by annihilating the shark. With an oxygen tank, a nod to the role of science in disposing of the creature, shoved into its mouth and Brody taking potshots from the ship’s sinking mast, the eventual utter obliteration of the shark (see Fig. 5) gives us two instances of innocence reformulating. The monstrous id now defeated sees America triumphing over the hideous Other with no unsightly repercussions.

But there is a second, more complex level to this event. In the stomach of the beast lies Quint’s body, and symbolically numerous others such as the girl of the counterculture. Alongside the shark’s obliteration, comes that of its victims. Spielberg, instead of simply destroying the unaffiliated, sends the metaphorical id that has had America’s guilt and shame shoved in its stomach to the bottom of the sea (see Fig. 6), never to resurface. Ultimately, America gains the conclusive reassurance: setting the clock of history back to zero, it tacitly says that if they can overcome the guilt that Quint’s body symbolised, the death of the innocent young boy who suffered for their sins, and the girl who embodied the most contemporaneous period of instability in America’s history, they can overcome anything.

Fig. 6

At the end of the film, the everyman and the scientist float surrounded by the debris of yet another ship but here, unlike the U.S.S. Indianapolis, there are no other sharks waiting for them. Casually they paddle like they are riding into the sunset similar to the historic westerns: “the heroes of the disaster movie rejoin the heroes of the American frontier”[53], back in the state where America began – guilt wiped clean, innocence bolstered, once again, blissfully ignorant. Unlike the science fiction B-movie where the more “Doomsday devices you see go off, presumably the less they faze you,”[54] the blockbuster, no longer encouraging desensitisation, introduces confrontation and moral absolutism. Instead of leaving it to fester in their consciousness, Jaws gives America its ultimate coping-mechanism: the ability to obliterate that which is the source of their anxiety while simultaneously elevating themselves with sentiments of righteousness and moral superiority.



[1] David Seed, American Science Fiction and the Cold War: Literature and Film (Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, 1999), 1.

[2] Andrew Britton, “Blissing Out: The Politics of Reganite Entertainment “ in Britton on Film: The Complete Film Criticism of Andrew Britton, ed. Andrew Britton, and Barry Keith Grant (Detroit, MI: Wayne State University Press, 2009), 142.

[3] Ibid.

[4] Stephen Keane, Disaster movies, the cinema of catastophe (London: Wallflower), 12.

[5] Britton, “Blissing Out: The Politics of Reaganite Entertainment”, 97.

[6] Ibid, 109.

[7] Seed, American Science Fiction and the Cold War, 1.

[8] Mark Jancovich, Rational Fears: American horror in the 1950s (Manchester: Manchester University Press, 1996), 15.

[9] Ibid, 13.

[10] Andrew Tudor, Monsters and Mad Scientists: A Cultural History of the Horror Movie (Oxford: Basil Blackwell, 1989), 212.

[11] Peter Biskind, Seeing is Believing: or How Hollywood Taught us to Stop Worrying and Love the 50s (London:Bloomsburh, 2001), 125.

[12] Tudor, Monsters and Mad Scientists, 89.

[13] Algis Valiunas, “The Agony of Atomic Genius,” The New Atlantis 12 (2006): 94.

[14] Tudor, Monsters and Mad Scientists, 134.

[15] Ibid, 133.

[16] Jancovich, Rational Fears, 16.

[17] Biskind, Seeing is Believing, 124.

[18] Ibid, 125.

[19] Them!, directed by Gordon Douglas (Warner Bros. Pictures, 1954), film.

[20] Biskind, Seeing is Believing, 126.

[21] Them!.

[22] Ibid.

[23] Jancovich, Rational Fears, 27.

[24] Them!.

[25] Biskind, Seeing is Believing, 107.

[26] Bill Warren, Keep Watching the Skies! American Science Fiction Movies of the Fifties, The 21st Century Edtion (Jefferson, NC: Mcfarland, 2009), 761.

[27] Them!.

[28] Jeffrey Jerome Cohen, “Monster Culture (Seven Theses),” in Monster Theory: Reading Culture, ed. Jeffrey Jerome Cohen (Minneapolis, MN: Minnesota University Press, 1996), 4.

[29] Them!.

[30] Cohen, “Monster Culture (Seven Theses),” 20.

[31] Susan Sontag, “The Imagination of Disaster” in Against Interpretation and Other Essays, ed. Susan Sontag (New York: Picador, 1965), 212.

[32] Ibid, 225.

[33] Cohen, “Monster Culture (Seven Theses),” 16.

[34] Them!

[35] Sontag, “The Imagination of Disaster,” 209-210.

[36] Claude Levi-Strauss. Structural Anthropology (London: Penguin, 1993), 209.

[37] Ibid, 229.

[38] Ibid.

[39] Inside Jaws, a Filmumentary directed by Jamie Benning, online film documentary on, 2:29:25, posted by Jamie Benning, 15 June 2013. Accessed Jan 8, 2017,

[40] Ibid.

[41] Fred Kaplan, “Riches from Ruins,” Jump Cut: A Review of Contemporary Media  6 (1975/2004) 4: para. 24, accessed Jan 8 2017,

[42] J. Hoberman, “Nashville Contra Jaws Or The Imagination of Disaster Revisited,” in The Last Great American Picture Show, ed. Thomas Elsaesser, Alexander Howarth, and Noel King (Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, 2004), 210.

[43] Nick Roddick, “Only the Stars Survive: Disaster Movies in the Seventies,” in Performance and Politics in Popular Drama, ed David Bradby, Louis James, and Bernard Sharratt (Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1980), 257.

[44] Gregory Frame, The American President in Film and Television: Myth, Politics, and Representation (Oxford: Peter Lang, 2014), 35.

[45] Thomas Jefferson, Declaration of Independence, Web Transcript, Jul 4 1776, Web, accessed Jan 8 2017,

[46] Hoberman, “Nashville Contra Jaws,” 203.

[47] Jaws.

[48] Roddick, “Only the Stars Survive,” 257-258.

[49] Jaws.

[50] Jaws.

[51] Hoberman, “Nashville Contra Jaws,”,

[52] Ibid, 218.

[53] Roddick, “Only the Stars Survive,” 256.

[54] Katy Waldman. “The Nuclear Monsters that Terrorized the 1950s,”, Jan 31 2013, accessed Jan 8 2017,