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  • Writer's pictureRonny Duncan Studios

Jaws (1975)

Updated: Oct 16, 2022


Plot Summary: When a young woman is killed by a shark while skinny-dipping near the New England tourist town of Amity Island, police chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) wants to close the beaches, but mayor Larry Vaughn (Murray Hamilton) overrules him, fearing that the loss of tourist revenue will cripple the town. Ichthyologist Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) and grizzled ship captain Quint (Robert Shaw) offer to help Brody capture the killer beast, and the trio engage in an epic battle of man vs. nature.


*Recognition: Nominated for Best Picture; Won for Best Film Editing, Original Score, and Best Sound; It was number 48 on American Film Institute's 100 Years ... 100 Movies, a list of the greatest American films of all time compiled in 1998; it dropped to number 56 on the 10-Year Anniversary list. AFI also ranked the shark at number 18 on its list of the 50 Best Villains, Roy Scheider's line "You're gonna need a bigger boat" 35th on a list of top 100 movie quotes, Williams's score at sixth on a list of 100 Years of Film Scores, and the film as second on a list of 100 most thrilling films, behind only Psycho. In 2001, it was selected by the Library of Congress for preservation in the United States National Film Registry as "culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant". In 2003, The New York Times included the film on its list of the best 1,000 movies ever made. The following year, Jaws placed at the top of the Bravo network's five-hour miniseries The 100 Scariest Movie Moments. The Chicago Film Critics Association named it the sixth-scariest film ever made in 2006. In 2008, Jaws was ranked the fifth-greatest film in history by Empire magazine, which also placed Quint at number 50 on its list of the 100 Greatest Movie Characters of All Time. The film has been cited in many other lists of 50 and 100 greatest films, including ones compiled by Leonard Maltin, Entertainment Weekly, Film4, Rolling Stone, Total Film, TV Guide, and Vanity Fair.


What is this movie is about?: Adventure movie that teaches the importance of not taking situations seriously enough.


Best Performance: Steven Spielberg (Director)/Robert Shaw (Quint)

Best Secondary Performance: John Williams (Composer)

Most Charismatic Award: Robert Shaw (Quint)

Best Scene: USS Indianapolis

Favorite Scene: 4th of July

Most Indelible Moment: Final Sequence (Hooper in the Cage, Quint's Demise, and the Explosion)


Best Line:

Chief Martin Brody: You're gonna need a bigger boat.


Honorable Mention:

Matt Hooper: You were on the Indianapolis?

Chief Martin Brody: What happened?

Quint: Japanese submarine slammed two torpedoes into our side, Chief. We was comin' back from the island of Tinian to Leyte... just delivered the bomb. The Hiroshima bomb. Eleven hundred men went into the water. Vessel went down in 12 minutes. Didn't see the first shark for about a half an hour. Tiger. 13-footer. You know how you know that when you're in the water, Chief? You tell by looking from the dorsal to the tail fin. What we didn't know, was our bomb mission had been so secret, no distress signal had been sent. They didn't even list us overdue for a week. Very first light, Chief, sharks come cruisin', so we formed ourselves into tight groups. You know, it was kinda like old squares in the battle like you see in the calendar named "The Battle of Waterloo" and the idea was: shark comes to the nearest man, that man he starts poundin' and hollerin' and screamin' and sometimes the shark will go away... but sometimes he wouldn't go away. Sometimes that shark he looks right into ya. Right into your eyes. And, you know, the thing about a shark... he's got lifeless eyes. Black eyes. Like a doll's eyes. When he comes at ya, doesn't seem to be living... until he bites ya, and those black eyes roll over white and then... ah then you hear that terrible high-pitched screamin'. The ocean turns red, and despite all the poundin' and the hollerin', they all come in and they... rip you to pieces. You know by the end of that first dawn, lost a hundred men. I don't know how many sharks, maybe a thousand. I know how many men, they averaged six an hour. On Thursday morning, Chief, I bumped into a friend of mine, Herbie Robinson from Cleveland. Baseball player. Boatswain's mate. I thought he was asleep. I reached over to wake him up. He bobbed up, down in the water just like a kinda top. Upended. Well, he'd been bitten in half below the waist. Noon, the fifth day, Mr. Hooper, a Lockheed Ventura saw us. He swung in low and he saw us... he was a young pilot, a lot younger than Mr. Hooper. Anyway, he saw us and he come in low and three hours later a big fat PBY comes down and starts to pick us up. You know that was the time I was most frightened... waitin' for my turn. I'll never put on a lifejacket again. So, eleven hundred men went in the water; 316 men come out and the sharks took the rest, June the 29th, 1945. Anyway, we delivered the bomb.


Funniest Line:

Quint: Here lies the body of Mary Lee. Died at the of age of a hundred and three. For fifteen years she kept her virginity; not a bad record for this vicinity.


The Stanley Rubric:

Legacy: 10

Impact/Significance: 9.75

Novelty: 9

Classic-ness: 8.25

Rewatchability: 6

Audience Score: 9

Total: 52


Remaining Questions:

  • How much of Quint was still in the shark when it blew up?

  • Why was Brody afraid of the water?

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