Jaws 2 (1978)

Film and Plot Synopsis

It has been four years since the events of the first Jaws film. The town of Amity is still recovering economically from the negative attention that was drawn to the small town after a killer great white shark terrorized the town. Now, another great white has begun hunting off the shores of Amity and Police Chief Martin Brody must once again convince everyone that it is no longer safe to go into the water… again.

‘Jaws 2’ Movie Summary

The summary below contains spoilers.
Jaws 2 (1978)It has been four years since the events of the first Jaws movie. The town of Amity is still recovering economically from the negative attention that was drawn to it due to a killer great white shark eating people along the shoreline. However, things are starting to turn around. A new hotel is opening near the beach and real estate developers are looking for investors and buyers for a new development. Unbeknownst to the Amity residents, another great white shark, this one 30 feet long, has come to the waters of Amity. The shark’s first two victims are two scuba divers who are photographing the wreckage of the late Captain Quint’s (Robert Shaw) sunken boat, the Orca. One of the divers takes a picture of the shark before being eaten. The camera falls to the bottom of the ocean near the Orca.

The next day, the shark kills Terri (Christine Freeman), a water skier, while she is water skiing along the shoreline. When the skier’s boat driver, Diane Hetfield (Jean Coulter), stops to try and find Terri, the shark attacks the boat itself. Diane tries to kill the shark with a gas tank and a flare gun but only ends up blowing herself and her boat up. The shark is seriously burned on its face but survives.

Later, the decomposing carcass of a killer whale washes up along the shore of Amity. Police Chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) believes a shark is responsible for the killer whale’s death. However, the marine biologist examining the sea creature cannot confirm that speculation. Brody explains his concerns to Mayor Larry Vaughn (Murray Hamilton), who, once again, expresses doubts that the town has another shark problem. Brody tries to find more information about Diane and Terri’s presumed deaths and finds some floating debris just off the shore.

He is shocked to find Diane’s charred corpse attached to the boat remains. Brody attempts to contact Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) for assistance, but is informed that the young marine biologist is out on a research expedition. Unable to control what the town does, Brody takes charge of his own family and prohibits his two sons, Mike (Mark Gruner) and Sean (Marc Gilpin), from going out in their boats in fear of their safety, much to Mike’s dismay. Brody’s fears are not supported by his wife, Ellen (Lorraine Gary), who believes that Brody is suffering from post-traumatic stress.

The following day, Brody watches the beach from a shark observation tower while one of the real estate developers, Len Peterson (Joseph Mascolo), is showing the beach to potential buyers. Brody believes he sees something in the water and rings the alarm. He orders everyone out of the water and begins firing on a shadow in the water with his hand gun. The beach goers point out that the shadow is merely a school of blue fish.

The display scares off the buyers and Brody is called before the Amity Town Council to explain himself. Before the meeting, he is shown the pictures found in the diver’s camera which has been found by the police investigating the divers’ disappearance. Brody is convinced that one image is a picture of the shark and takes it to the town council. The council is not convinced and fire Brody as chief of police, with only Mayor Vaughn not voting for Brody’s removal. Brody returns home and reconnects with his wife over a bottle of alcohol.

The next day, Mike disobeys his father’s orders and goes sailing with his teenage friends. Mike won’t let Sean ride with him, but another teenager, Marge (Martha Swatek), allows Sean to ride with her. The teenagers head out of the harbor in six separate boats. The boats pass a team of divers led by instructor Tom Andrews (Barry Coe).

Moments after submerging into the ocean, Tom encounters the shark. Tom panics and rushes to the surface to get away from the great white. Tom causes an embolism due to the expanding air bubbles in his blood. Tom is taken back to the harbor where Brody and Ellen witness his evacuation by ambulance. Brody overhears the other divers in Tom’s training group talk about how something scared Tom and Brody immediately believes it was a shark. To make matters worse, Brody’s former deputy and newly appointed chief of police, Deputy Hendricks (Jeffrey Kramer), tells Brody and Ellen that Mike went out in his boat. Brody and Ellen commandeer the police boat to rescue their son and Hendricks goes with them.

Out at sea, two of the teenagers, Tina (Ann Dusenberry) and Eddie (Gary Dubin), fall back from the group to enjoy a little afternoon delight. The shark bumps the boat and Eddie is knocked into the ocean. The shark kills Eddie before he can climb back into the boat. The panicked Tina goes into shock and hides in the small hull of the boat. Brody, Ellen, and Hendricks come across Tina’s boat floating at sea and Tina confirms Brody’s suspicions. Brody hails another boat passing by to take Tina, Ellen, and Hendricks back to Amity while he pursues the other teenagers.

Meanwhile, the shark pursues and attacks the fleet of boats commanded by the teenagers. The shark attack causes most of the boats to either capsize or crash into each other. Mike is knocked unconscious and falls into the water during the initial attack. Mike is pulled out of the water just before he can be eaten by the shark by two of the teenagers whose boat is still operational. The teenagers decide for the one operating boat to take Mike back to Amity to receive medical attention and to get help for the rest of the group. The teenagers bind their boats together and hope that they can drift into a rocky atoll called Cable Junction where an electrical relay station that supplies power to Amity is located.

At the same time, a Coast Guard marine helicopter flies over the ocean looking for Brody and the teenagers. The pilot (Jerry M. Baxter) spots the kids and lands to throw them a rope to tow them to Cable Junction. However, the shark attacks one of the helicopter’s floating pontoons and drags the helicopter underwater, drowning the pilot and destroying the flotilla. Sean is knocked into the ocean and Marge jumps in to save him. She is able to get Sean back on top of an overturned boat, but the shark takes Marge down under the water and kills her.

Brody finds the boat taking Mike back to the harbor. His now conscious son tells his father he is sorry and that the rest of the group, including Sean, is heading towards Cable Junction. Meanwhile, the teenagers approach Cable Junction, but the overturned mast of one of the sailboats drags along the sea bottom, preventing them from getting closer to Cable Junction. Brody finds the group and approaches their tied together boat island. The teenagers’ cheers attracts the shark again which attacks the flotilla and Brody’s boat. The shark’s sudden appearance causes Brody to crash the police boat into the rocks on Cable Junction and sends several of kids into the water.

The teenagers are able to swim safely to the shore of Cable Junction, but Sean and Jackie (Donna Wilkes) remain on the smashed boats. Brody throws the police boat’s dredger hookers two Jackie so that he can pull them to the shore, but he hooks one of the electrical cables off the sea floor and brings it to the surface. Brody formulates a plan to use an inflatable raft and an oar to attract the shark towards the cable. The shark swims towards Brody and bites the electrical cable instead of the former chief of police, electrocuting it to death. Brody collects his son and Jackie in the rubber raft and they join the others on Cable Junction to await rescue.

Additional Film Information

Rate the Film!

Our Rating

Our Rating

Universal Pictures released Jaws 2 on June 16, 1978. Jeannot Szwarc directed the film starring Roy Scheider, Lorraine Gary, and Murray Hamilton.

User Rating: Be the first one !
Show More
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
3 years ago

Really looking forward to this podcast!

3 years ago
Reply to  Eddie

It’s not actually one that we are planning to review in the near future, although I would like to do it someday. I just finished reading a book about the making of the film, Jaws 2: The Making of a Hollywood Sequel, and rewatched the film afterwards to look at it with fresh eyes. I wrote a summary so Chris could put it on the site. However, since you are interested, I will see if we can get it on the calendar in 2021.

3 years ago
Reply to  Patrick

Didn’t know about that book, sounds like something I’d like. will try to get a copy.

3 years ago
Reply to  Patrick

The novelization of Jaws 2 is pretty good, a lot of differences from the film. It reads like a sequel to Jaws the novel more than Jaws the film. A bit plot point is when the shark returns, people think it’s the same shark as in Jaws and that Brody lied about it dying etc.

3 years ago
Reply to  Eddie

The making of novel refers repeatedly to the movie novelization being based on the original screenplay, not Carl Gottlieb’s rewrites that were being done every day during the long shoot. I also ordered a copy of that off of eBay so that I can see the difference. Should arrive any day now.

I have watched both Jaws and Jaws 2 with my 10-year-old son. He has loved them both. He wants to watch the remaining two in the series. I ordered them, but I am afraid of the disappointment that will likely follow.

Back to top button
Would love your thoughts, please comment.x