The 'Jaws' fear and phenomenon of 1975

Peter Jennings interviews author Peter Benchley, who penned the novel which inspired the blockbuster movie.
4:47 | 06/20/17

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Transcript for The 'Jaws' fear and phenomenon of 1975
Cause the book nine million copies in print. Jaws the film a movie executives dream it is already made more than a hundred million dollars why did you write your. I was basically mild curiosity I'd studied sharks since I was a child it looked in Nantucket. And we used to go fishing resources there were no sort of the ocean was littered with the stars that we catch the and I study the manhunt began to read about them. And that in 196484500. Pound great white shark the manager the one that's known in Australia is quite death. Was caught on talk Long Island and I think the war without of these animals would come into a resort area and not go away what would do the economy how people react to it. Definite threat to their survival. I knew that as a child. Dreams about a maniac would attack me about my head and unleashing an unreasonable thing she couldn't discuss with you couldn't argue with. I sort of thought people might react to sharks that way not at Mass. General public that I that I reacted. And which is strange animal that's the only animals that still poses a viable threat to human beings and environment in which they choose to go into the ocean. This is an animal that lives in this environment and we are basically from being on its environment and he's not a villain and he doesn't want to kill people he doesn't want to hurt people he wants the things and if you put away their lives there have been a lot of commercial. Enterprises going selling shark teeth ripping off the logo for T shirts and there are some of the universal owns people are creating menus now. And games but told them this article about a killer crocodile somebody's done McDill about a killer there's a killer that I think it's normal. Commercial instinct to ride the bandwagon while the band like us. Hot start is truly and shark story. It's probably right now. The biggest selling item the bishop hands and from what I gather all the shops and eat at other than wind up getting sent us because luckily that is that a little bit before. The popularity of Johns. Movies such. I don't think in days past and over two months someone hasn't come in said he had anything that shark's tooth. Or shark. Pictures of sharks or something. That the first of the peace and people of religion. I'm glad we're concerned about it's obviously thought them infinitely been all of that spinoff. The water is beautiful it's ninth. They're intellectually. I really cut and now I'm not gonna run into a shack but I really the last couple time that the dad. In the last couple of weeks that it kind of been an easy and keep turning around and let me give you get behind me as violent and back. Again we wouldn't talk about the phenomenon or the crazy has drawn attention to hundreds of shark attacks in the history of truck. Is the attack on the men of the USS Indianapolis. About the words. To my knowledge the single worst shark attack on record as the attack on all the people in the Indianapolis. You know the Indianapolis was a cruiser going home how to deliver the atomic bomb. And it was under radio silence it was torpedoed by Japanese submarine in the Pacific in 1945 July I'm forty. And eleven or 12100 people went into the water and because of the radio silence they were not picked up for almost a week. And when they were picked up only three or 400 people that tell about it. Nobody knows exactly how people Dutch architect when he died of drowning them anyway mad how many died of exposure. But there were so many sharks around some of the eyewitness accounts of people being attacked by sharks there's no question that hundreds of people were eaten by sharks. They were so many instances. Of a man saying I saw my buddy next to me and I reached over to touching as he looked asleep and he offended because nothing was left thunders like Jack. Whose dad we've got no place that had no place in. Big Brother water cooler this remember I don't know how you would this this. This sale wasn't afraid wouldn't be going the prove everybody that was there was afraid. I guess Baghdad in this special. Not just because of the Indianapolis based that would make anybody a the some of my best that is that you would build breast. In this shark craze which has to grips America which Peter eventually began and others have added to the search for objectivity about sharks as a pretty discouraging enterprise. The terror in the death of become the principal symptoms I think you Peter and others on this broadcast very much spreading a measure of truth you. For Peter Benchley and for ABC news I'm Peter Jennings good night.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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