The shark on the Jaws poster isn't a Great White — The Daily Jaws

JAWS (1975)

This movie was chock-full of many memorable lines of dialogue, none of which were more riveting than the monologue delivered by Robert Shaw (as Quint) when he described in detail the sinking of the USS Indianapolis by a Japanese submarine during World War Two. The horrific and tragic circumstances endured by the hundreds of American sailors who found themselves in the water after the sinking, as they strove to fend off the hundreds of hungry sharks that infested the area throughout the night and following day prior to their rescue. Here is the quite terrifying account of those hours from the mouth of Quint, one of the survivors:

Quint (Robert Shaw), Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) and Chief Brody (Roy Sheider) are discussing scars and tattoos when Hooper asks about the tattoo on Quint’s arm:

Quint: ‘Mr. Hooper, that’s the USS Indianapolis.’

Hooper: ‘You were on the Indianapolis?’

Police Chief Brody: ‘What happened?’

Quint: ‘Japanese submarine slammed two torpedoes into our side, Chief. We was coming 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 twelve minutes. Didn’t see the first shark for about a half an hour. Tiger – thirteen footer. You know how you know that when you’re in the water, Chief? You tell by looking from the dorsal to the tail. What we didn’t know…was our mission had been so secret, no distress signal had been sent. Heh.’

Jaws: Why the USS Indianapolis Speech is Steven Spielberg's Favorite Scene | Den of Geek

Robert Shaw as Quint

‘They didn’t even list us overdue for a week. Very first light, Chief, sharks come cruising. So we formed ourselves into tight groups. Y’know, it’s kinda like old squares in a battle like, uh, you see in a calendar, like the Battle of Waterloo, and the idea was, shark comes to the nearest man and that man, he’d start pounding and hollering and screaming, and sometimes the shark’d go away…sometimes he wouldn’t go away. Sometimes that shark, he looks right into ya. Right into your eyes. Y’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…oh, then you hear that terrible high-pitch screaming, the ocean turns red, and spite of all the pounding and hollering, they all come in and they…rip you to pieces.’

‘Y’know, by the end of that first dawn…lost a hundred men. I dunno how many sharks. Maybe a thousand. I dunno how many men, they averaged six an hour. On Thursday morning, Chief, I bumped into friend of mine, Herbie Robinson from Cleveland – baseball player, boatswain’s mate. I thought he was asleep, reached over to wake him up…bobbed up and 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. Young pilot, a lot younger than Mr. Hooper. Anyway, he saw us and come in low and three hours later, a big fat PBY comes down and starts to pick us up. Y’know that was the time I was most frightened, waiting for my turn. I’ll never put on a life jacket again. So, eleven hundred men went into the water, three hundred and sixteen men come out, and the sharks took the rest, June the 29th, 1945. Anyway…we delivered the bomb.’


At the town meeting Quint scratches the chalk-board to get everyone’s attention, before stating his fee to Police Chief Brody for catching the shark that has been terrorizing Amity Island:

Jaws (1975) - IMDb

Making his proposal at the town meeting

Quint: ‘Y’all know me. Know how I earn a living. I’ll catch this bird for you, but it ain’t gonna be easy. Bad fish. Not like going down the pond and chasing bluegills and tommy-cods. This shark, swallow you whole. Little shaking, little tenderizing, and down you go. And we gotta do it quick; that’ll bring back your tourists, put all your businesses on a paying basis. But it’s not gonna be pleasant. I value my neck a lot more than three thousand bucks, Chief. I’ll find him for three, but I’ll catch him, and kill him, for ten. But you’ve gotta make up your minds. If you want to stay alive, then ante up. If you want to play it cheap, be on welfare the whole winter. I don’t want no volunteers, I don’t want no mates; there’s just too many captains on this island. Ten thousand dollars for me by myself. For that you get the head, the tail; the whole damn thing.’

The Art of Transitional Dressing by Ellen Brody. – little golden age

Lorraine Gary as Ellen Brody

Chief Brody’s wife Ellen (Lorraine Gary) reveals to Matt Hooper her husband’s aversion to the water and boats:

Ellen Brody: ‘Martin hates boats. Martin hates water. Martin…Martin sits in his car when we go on the ferry to the mainland. I guess it’s a childhood thing. It’s a…there’s a clinical name for it, isn’t there?’

Brody: ‘Drowning.’


Matt Hooper examines a graffiti-vandalized billboard and endeavors to convince Mayor Vaughn (Murray Hamilton) that the proportions are accurate and that the shark is a serious threat:

Jaws (1975) Hooper was the one who vandalized the Amity Island billboard : r/FanTheories

Hooper: ‘Mr. Vaughn, what we are dealing with here is a perfect engine, an eating machine. It’s really a miracle of evolution. All this machine does is swim and eat and make little sharks, and that’s all. Now, why don’t you take a long, close look at this sign? Those proportions are correct.’

Mayor Vaughn: ‘Love to prove that, wouldn’t ya? Get your name into the National Geographic.

Hooper: ‘I’m not going to waste my time arguing with a man who’s lining up to be a hot lunch.’


You're gonna need a bigger boat": The story behind the iconic line — The  Daily Jaws

[Police Chief Brody to Quint after getting his first good look at the great white shark up close]: ‘You’re gonna need a bigger boat!’


Mayor Vaughn [reacting to the suggestion that it was time to cut open a shark caught by bounty hunters after it had allegedly killed a small boy]: ‘Fellows, let’s be reasonable, huh? This is not the time or the place to perform some kind of half-assed autopsy on a fish…And I’m not going to stand here and see that thing cut open and see that little Kintner boy spill out all over the dock.’

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