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Joe Alves

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Joe Alves
Joseph Manuel Alves

(1936-05-21) May 21, 1936 (age 88)
San Leandro, California, U.S.
Occupation(s)Film director and production designer
Years active1956–2000
Known forJaws, Jaws 2, Jaws 3-D

Joseph Manuel Alves (born May 21, 1936) is an American film production designer, perhaps best known for his work on Close Encounters of the Third Kind and the first three films of the Jaws franchise. He directed the third installment Jaws 3-D.



Alves has designed three features for Steven Spielberg, firstly for The Sugarland Express. He designed the three mechanical sharks for the movie Jaws (1975) with mechanical effects man Bob Mattey supervising their physical construction in Sun Valley CA. After the sharks were completed, they were trucked to the shooting location, but unfortunately they had not been tested in water causing a series of delays that have become quite legendary over time.[1]

He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Art Direction and won the BAFTA for Best Art Direction for his work on Close Encounters of the Third Kind.[2]

Alves worked on Jaws 2 (1978) in the capacity of both production designer and as second unit director. After John D. Hancock, the initial director of Jaws 2, was sacked, it was suggested that Alves co-direct it with Verna Fields (who edited the original Jaws). Jeannot Szwarc was hired, however, to complete the film.[3]

The model of New York he created for John Carpenter's Escape from New York (1981) has been described as "memorably derelict",[4] and he was visual consultant on Carpenter's Starman (1984).[5]

He directed Jaws 3-D (1983), which took advantage of the revival in popularity of 3-D at the time. The film received generally weak critical reception, with Variety criticising Alves for failing "to linger long enough on the Great White."[6] He was nominated as 'worst director' in the 1983 Golden Raspberry Awards.[7] Jaws 3-D was his only film as director.




Year Title Credited as Notes
Production Designer Art Director Director Other
1969 Change of Habit No Yes No No Assistant art director
1974 The Sugarland Express No Yes No No
1975 Jaws Yes No No No
1976 Embryo Yes No No No
1977 Close Encounters of the Third Kind Yes No No No
1978 Jaws 2 Yes No No Yes Also associate producer and second unit director
1981 Escape from New York Yes No No No
1983 Jaws 3-D No No Yes No
1984 Starman No No No Yes Visual consultant and second unit director
1988 Everybody's All-American Yes No No No
1992 Freejack Yes No No Yes Also associate producer
1993 Geronimo: An American Legend Yes No No No
1994 Drop Zone Yes No No No
1997 Shadow Conspiracy Yes No No No
Fire Down Below Yes No No No
2000 Sinbad: Beyond the Veil of Mists Yes No No No

Television (as art director)

Year Title Notes
1969 The Name of the Game 1 episode
1969–1970 Marcus Welby, M.D. 2 episodes
1970–1973 Night Gallery 42 episodes
1970 The Bold Ones: The Protectors 1 episode
The Young Country TV movie
1971 Sarge 1 episode
The Psychiatrist 6 episodes
1972 Ironside 1 episode
1972–1973 Hec Ramsey 4 episodes
1973 Isn't It Shocking? TV movie
Double Indemnity
Scream, Pretty Peggy


  1. ^ Spotlight on Location: The Making of Jaws, Jaws 30th Anniversary DVD documentary, [2005]
  2. ^ "Joe Alves Awards & Nominations". Yahoo Movies. Archived from the original on May 22, 2011. Retrieved 2006-12-11.
  3. ^ Loynd, Ray (1978) The Jaws 2 Log. London: W.H. Allen. ISBN 0-426-18868-3 pg74
  4. ^ "Escape From New York Blu-ray Details Fit for The Duke". Dread Central. 19 February 2015. Retrieved 2015-02-19.
  5. ^ "Joe Alves biography". TCM.com. Retrieved 2018-04-11.
  6. ^ "Jaws 3-D". Variety. 1983-01-01. Retrieved 2006-11-28.
  7. ^ "1983 Archive". Razzies.com. Archived from the original on 2006-10-28. Retrieved 2006-12-10.