In 1974, Universal Studios sent a new young director to the Island to make a movie about a big shark terrorizing a little town. The plan was to spend five weeks and 3.5 million dollars. The reality was a film shoot that stretched to over five months and a cost overrun to more than 8 million dollars.

The director was Steven Spielberg, the movie was Jaws, and the bottom line was history. Three Academy Awards. The first movie to earn $100 million from American audiences. The first to be released on more than 450 screens at once.

And this weekend Jaws returns to the screen once more and to the Island from whence it came. The movie, originally released in June, 1975, is back for a 25th anniversary special engagement. It plays Friday and Sunday at the Island Theatre in Oak Bluffs and on Saturday and Tuesday in Edgartown.

“It’s an exclusive print, the only copy in the country,” said Benjamin Hall, a motion picture exhibitor whose family runs the Island, Strand and Capawock theatres.

“I’d been after my booking agent to get this every year,” Mr. Hall explained. “We succeeded in getting it for the 20th anniversary. But, really, for Martha’s Vineyard, this picture could play for two days every summer and we would do some business with it.”

Mr. Hall said getting Jaws from the distributors has been no easy feat. “They kept saying it was their only print, and they didn’t want to lend it out,” Mr. Hall said. “So we said, ‘You’ve got the negatives don’t you? We’ll send you the money, and you send us a copy.’ Finally they gave in.”

Mr. Hall recalled the summer that Jaws premiered. “It opened for a hospital benefit at the Island Theatre,” he said. “And it played every day that summer, two shows a day.”

Mr. Hall laughed. “I remember standing outside the Strand, looking at the side wall and trying to decide what we wanted to paint on it. All of a sudden we heard this shriek from the Island Theatre. Everyone in unison. I’d say that’s the only time the Island tTheatre has ever been louder than the Ritz.”

The head whose sudden appearance caused all the commotion belongs to the character of Ben Gardner, played by Vineyard Haven resident Craig Kingsbury. Mr. Kingsbury said of the terrifying scene, “I’m still trying to figure how a shark spit his head back out into the boat. But that’s the movies, I guess.

“I pretty much played myself,” he mused. “A cantankerous old fisherman.”

Mr. Kingsbury, now 88, also was paired with Robert Shaw — who played Quint — to coach him in fisherman-speak and attitude. “Yeah, I helped him turn from a smooth, yacht club kind of boy into a rather nasty, dirty fisherman,” Mr. Kingsbury said. Shaw “was a nice guy, but everyone really worked well together. And that’s why we made such a humdinger of a picture.”

The Jaws 25th anniversary has caused something of a media flurry. Vineyard Haven resident Lee Fierro — who was cast as Mrs. Kitner, the grieving mother who slaps Roy Scheider after the funeral of her shark-eaten son — has been approached by the Cape Cod Times, the Boston Globe, People Magazine, Inside Edition, an independent film company and several Boston and Providence television and radio stations.

After considering all the hoopla, Ms. Fierro said, “Well, it is a 25th anniversary. It is a blockbuster. It is a good movie, one that stands the test of time.”

Ms. Fierro actually turned down her part after reading the slap scene’s swear-laden lines. “I was being firm, and I would not swear. So I walked out and thought, ‘That’s the end of that.’ ”

She said the producers realized her instinct for toned-down language may have been right. They wrote an alternate scene over the weekend and tried both of them, she said. Afterward they decided to go with the revision, and Ms. Fierro rejoined the production.

“It was a good experience, something I never planned on or expected,” Ms. Fierro said. “But it was never quite real to me. We were never in Hollywood — it was all done here. So it became this exciting, dream-like interval outside my real life.”

Edgartown resident Robert Carroll, an Edgartown selectman at the time of the filming, appropriately was cast as an Amity selectman. “Every week they had a meeting to cancel that movie, but they pulled it through,” Mr. Carroll said. “I was lucky. They did a lot of business through me, with the restaurants, and we had just expanded the Kelley House. Five weeks turned into five months, and that was just fine.”

In preparation for the weekend, Mr. Hall said, “We’re digging out this old, big arch shaped like the jaws of a shark. We’ll set it up so they have to walk through it to get into the theatre, or we’ll put it in front of the box office.”

Once bitten, twice shy, or so they say. But after 25 years? It’s time to go back in the water and get bitten all over again.