Steven Spielberg's Jaws will go down in history as both one of the greatest horror films ever made and the film that kicked off the whole "summer blockbuster" phenomenon. It's also worthy of a third, though less recognized distinction: It's one of cinema's all-time best book-to-film adaptations.

Spielberg's killer shark flick is based on novelist Peter Benchley's 1974 best-seller, which draws inspiration from shark attacks that dampened beach spirits at the Jersey Shore—Long Beach Island, to be exact—in July of 1916. Five swimmers were attacked, with only one able to step out of the water still breathing. On July 14 of that year, a taxidermist/lion tamer, Michael Schleisser, caught a 7.5 foot, 325 pound Great White Shark in Raritan Bay. Once the shark (or, as it was nicknamed, the "Jersey man-eater") was cut open, materials thought to be flesh and bones were discovered within.

After that, no one else was killed in LBI. Personally, we prefer Brody's explosion-via-scuba-tank dispatching of the shark to Schleisser's boring old fishing tactics.