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"Jaws," first attack

The film version of Peter Benchley's novel, "Jaws," gets all the attention. Spielberg took a novel which was a very interesting hybrid horror and social commentary and changed the tone considerably, making a summer popcorn movie with some real bite, pardon the expression.

It's a shame the novel is neglected today. It's very adult and at the same time supremely readable, and in my opinion more suspenseful than the movie, because the attacks are described with chilling realism -- you'll get the very uneasy feeling you're right there, bobbing up and down, watching it happen. Here's the text of the first attack from the novel. An unnamed man and woman (and another guest couple) are staying at the beachfront home of a friend. They've had a lot to drink and a meal and they look at the nighttime ocean, then make love on the beach. The man, very drunk, falls asleep immediately, but the woman ventures into the night water, unaware of what awaits her below the surface....

replies 168Jul 11, 2017 4:56 AM +00:00

The woman rose and walked to where the gentle surf washed over her ankles. The water was colder than the night air, for it was only mid-June. The woman called back,” “You’re sure you don’t want to come?” But there was no answer from the sleeping man.

She backed up a few steps, then ran at the water. At first her strides were long and graceful, but then a small wave crashed into her knees. She faltered, regained her footing, and flung herself over the next waist-high wave. The water was only up to her hips, so she stood, pushed the hair out of her eyes, and continued walking until the water covered her shoulders. There she began to swim—with the jerky, head-above-water stroke of the untutored.

A hundred yards offshore, the fish sensed a change in the sea’s rhythm. It did not see the woman, nor yet did it smell her. Running within the length of its body were a series of thin canals, filled with mucus and dotted with nerve endings, and these nerves detected vibrations and signaled the brain. The fish turned toward shore.

replies 1Jul 11, 2017 4:57 AM +00:00

The woman continued to swim away from the beach, stopping now and then to check her position by the lights shining from the house. The tide was slack, so she had not moved up or down the beach. But she was tiring, so she rested for a moment, treading water, and then started for shore.

The vibrations were stronger now, and the fish recognized prey. The sweeps of its tail quickened, thrusting the giant body forward with a speed that agitated the tiny phosphorescent animals in the water and caused them to glow, casting a mantle of sparks over the fish.

The fish closed on the woman and hurtled past, a dozen feet to the side and six feet below the surface. The woman felt only a wave of pressure that seemed to lift her up in the water and ease her down again. She stopped swimming and held her breath. Feeling nothing further, she resumed her lurching stroke.

The fish smelled her now, and the vibrations—erratic and sharp—signaled distress. The fish began to circle close to the surface. Its dorsal fin broke water, and its tail, thrashing back and forth, cut the glassy surface with a hiss. A series of tremors shook its body.

replies 2Jul 11, 2017 4:58 AM +00:00

For the first time, the woman felt fear, though she did not know why. Adrenaline shot through her trunk and her limbs, generating a tingling heat and urging her to swim faster. She guessed that she was fifty yards from shore. She could see the line of white foam where the waves broke on the beach. She saw the lights in the house, and for a comforting moment she thought she saw someone pass by one of the windows.

The fish was about forty feet from the woman, off to the side, when it turned suddenly to the left, dropped entirely below the surface, and, with two quick thrusts of its tail, was upon her.

At first, the woman thought she had snagged her leg on a rock or a piece of floating wood. There was no initial pain, only one violent tug on her right leg. She reached down to touch her foot, treading water with her left leg to keep her head up, feeling in the blackness with her left hand. She could not find her foot. She reached higher on her leg, and then she was overcome by a rush of nausea and dizziness. Her groping fingers had found a nub of bone and tattered flesh. She knew that the warm, pulsing flow over her fingers in the chill water was her own blood.

Pain and panic struck together. The woman threw her head back and screamed a guttural cry of terror.

replies 3Jul 11, 2017 4:58 AM +00:00

The fish had moved away. It swallowed the woman’s limb without chewing. Bones and meat passed down the massive gullet in a single spasm. Now the fish turned again, homing on the stream of blood flushing from the woman’s femoral artery, a beacon as clear and true as a lighthouse on a cloudless night. This time the fish attacked from below. It hurtled up under the woman, jaws agape. The great conical head struck her like a locomotive, knocking her up out of the water. The jaws snapped shut around her torso, crushing bones and flesh and organs into a jelly. The fish, with the woman’s body in its mouth, smashed down on the water with a thunderous splash, spewing foam and blood and phosphorescence in a gaudy shower.

Below the surface, the fish shook its head from side to side, its serrated triangular teeth sawing through what little sinew still resisted. The corpse fell apart. The fish swallowed, then turned to continue feeding. Its brain still registered the signals of nearby prey. The water was laced with blood and shreds of flesh, and the fish could not sort signal from substance. It cut back and forth through the dissipating cloud of blood, opening and closing its mouth, seining for a random morsel. But by now, most of the pieces of the corpse had dispersed. A few sank slowly, coming to rest on the sandy bottom, where they moved lazily in the current. A few drifted away just below the surface, floating in the surge that ended in the surf.

Excerpt From: Benchley, Peter. “Jaws.” Ballantine Books Trade Paperbacks, 2013-08-06. iBooks.

This material may be protected by copyright.

replies 4Jul 11, 2017 4:59 AM +00:00

Why in God's name did he post this? I'd almost rather another discussion of LUCY/MAME.

replies 5Jul 11, 2017 5:07 AM +00:00

R5 types fat.

replies 6Jul 11, 2017 5:10 AM +00:00

Why do twats such as the OP bother us with phrases like "It's a shame the novel is neglected today" and "it's supremely readable"?

So she can do violence porn, because the violence is out of context like a cum shot?

replies 7Jul 11, 2017 5:11 AM +00:00


replies 8Jul 11, 2017 5:13 AM +00:00

"She was the first"

replies 9Jul 11, 2017 6:06 AM +00:00

I liked reading it.

--Thanks, OP.
replies 10Jul 11, 2017 6:08 AM +00:00

Now post the scene where Mrs Brody starts her period in a way that isn't physiologically possible.

replies 11Jul 11, 2017 6:15 AM +00:00

Cheap misogynist pulp violence. Don't you have anything better with which to occupy your mind, OP?

replies 12Jul 11, 2017 6:18 AM +00:00

Second victim is a boy. Still misogynist, Miss r12?

replies 13Jul 11, 2017 6:19 AM +00:00

Where's The Wisdom of Zinnia Jones when you need it?

replies 14Jul 11, 2017 6:24 AM +00:00

I'm sure the most gruesome parts of the novel wouldn't haven't gotten past the Hollywood censors in 1975 OP.

replies 15Jul 11, 2017 6:25 AM +00:00

You see body parts in the movie. A leg, bitten off, floats to the bottom. A head with a eye hanging out comes popping up. That's pretty gruesome!

replies 16Jul 11, 2017 6:28 AM +00:00

This is the largest great white shark ever captured alive on film. Just look at it compared to the divers. The shark in the book is considerably larger.

Her name is Deep Blue. She is the biggest great white shark ever filmed in its natural habitat…enough said. Great White Shark ‘Deep Blue’ Footage © Mauricio ...
replies 17Jul 11, 2017 6:38 AM +00:00

If you're going to watch the video, watch with the sound off to spare yourself the narrator's extremely annoying voice and the stupid music.

I like the book and the movie, OP. The cuts turned it into a more traditional adventure film and the shark's death in the original ending read well on paper but would have been anticlimactic on film, and Robert Shaw should have won an Oscar for the USS Missouri soliloquy alone. I'm glad Spielberg cut the Mafia subplot and the affair between Mrs Brody and Hooper. The movie was fine without it and it also didn't invoke in the viewer the memory if the most horrifying phrase in the entire book: "glistening vagina."

replies 18Jul 11, 2017 7:43 AM +00:00

It was the book that kept me out of the water the first summer, and the movie the next. I don't think I've ever gone in the ocean, since, without thinking about the possibility of shark attack. Ironically, Cape Cod is now rife with Great Whites. Have a nice summer and make sure the sharks have enough seals before you go in the water.

replies 19Jul 11, 2017 7:50 AM +00:00

I was the inspiration for that.

replies 20Jul 11, 2017 7:51 AM +00:00

R18 How does the shark die in the book?

replies 21Jul 11, 2017 7:51 AM +00:00

Been so long now, I don't remember, R21. Anyone?

replies 22Jul 11, 2017 7:52 AM +00:00

I read the book back in the day, and vaguely remember it as dull and unpleasant. I also remember it as the very first time I thought "Hey, the film IS better than the book!".

Because the film is better. The characters are more like able, the story is more focused, and there's an epic tone to the second half I don't remember in the book, and the authors fondness for gory details is gone.

replies 23Jul 11, 2017 8:25 AM +00:00

The film divests itself of the book's seamier side, i.e. Brody's wife's adultery and the mayor's Mafia connection, in order to concentrate on Brody's connection to his family, which was a counterpoint to someone else's family members being killed.

But the book took Benchley's idea of showing the shark's point of view, and ran with it, particularly with the chilling John Williams score. That worked brilliantly, and still works on further viewings. Though the film was ready months earlier, it wasn't released until summer of '75, which up until then was traditionally not a time for big releases. It was a major blockbuster, and ushered in the era of big summer releases.

And, you're all right: the movie is far better than the book.

replies 24Jul 11, 2017 8:34 AM +00:00

No "you're all." The movie is better than the book if you consider Spielberg to be a visionary I guess.

replies 25Jul 11, 2017 8:51 AM +00:00
Second victim is a boy
replies 26Jul 11, 2017 9:07 AM +00:00
A leg, bitten off, floats to the bottom
replies 27Jul 11, 2017 9:08 AM +00:00
A head with a eye hanging out comes popping up.
replies 28Jul 11, 2017 9:09 AM +00:00
--R26, R27 & R28 providing graphics for R16
replies 29Jul 11, 2017 9:11 AM +00:00

That scene in R28 always makes me jump thanks to the music.

replies 30Jul 11, 2017 9:13 AM +00:00
That scene in [R28] always makes me jump thanks to the music.

That's part of Spielberg's schtick -- telegraphing through music how the audience should be feeling right now.

replies 31Jul 11, 2017 9:18 AM +00:00

I do give Spielberg and Williams credit for mixing it up, R31. For 2/3 of the movie the shark's presence is announced with it's leitmotif.. until the time it appears without one and everyone shits their pants.

replies 32Jul 11, 2017 9:36 AM +00:00

I always thought the general consensus was that the book was junky and the movie took it to a new level, much like The Godfather.

replies 33Jul 11, 2017 9:40 AM +00:00

Wait, there was a movie version too? I must have missed that.

--R V. Winkle, Catskill, NY
replies 34Jul 11, 2017 10:48 AM +00:00

R21, in the book, Hooper gets eaten by the shark and I think Quint gets tangled in a rope attached to one of the harpoons and is dragged under and drowned. The shark comes back for Brody and is about to chomp him...and then finally succumbs to his wounds and stops literally dead in the water a few feet from him. He then sinks into the deep, taking Quint with him, and the last Brody sees is his dead black eye.

See what I mean? On paper, it's a powerful ending to a book which is decently written but not quite Moby Dick, makes you think of our place in nature and the last man standing, etc. But it's all internal, you can't really film that. I think audiences would have felt cheated, so Spielberg came up with this superpredator who can't be killed except by extraordinary means, which is way more cinematic.

Quints death is much bloodier and horrible in light of his experiences in WW2. I still don't remember of the Missouri speech was in the book.

replies 35Jul 11, 2017 10:57 AM +00:00

It was the Indianapolis, and no it was not in the book. Shaw penned it himself.

replies 36Jul 11, 2017 11:01 AM +00:00

Well, there are undoubtedly weaknesses in the book. The characters are not particularly well developed. It's a good read though and the attacks are superbly written.

Also it is powerfully nostalgic for me, as I was a kid in that period and it really is evocative of that vanished time.

replies 37Jul 11, 2017 11:05 AM +00:00

Damn. That's even more impressive, R36. Where did you hear about that.? Did he write it beforehand or improvise it?

Can't believe I had a brain far about the Indy, probably because I'm reading "Downfall" about the last few months of the war with Japan and just came to Shigemitsu signing the Instrument of Surrender on the Mo.

replies 38Jul 11, 2017 11:29 AM +00:00

Thanks, OP. Good thread.

--No snark, either.
replies 39Jul 11, 2017 11:30 AM +00:00

The real-life "Jaws":

USS Indianapolis was sunk in the Pacific Ocean in the final weeks of WWII. A survivor describes how the sharks circled until their rescuers arrived days later.
BBC News
replies 40Jul 11, 2017 11:39 AM +00:00

I always wondered why they didn't make a movie about the's a compelling story and there are details coming out now that were classified when Jaws came out in 1975. Then I saw they had and wondered how I managed to miss it...till I saw the words, "Starring Nicholas Cage..."

One sign of an abysmal script is that a character will say something based on information it sounds like he acquired… by reading the script. In “USS Indianapolis: Men of Courage” (a tit…
--Apparently it sucked
replies 41Jul 11, 2017 11:44 AM +00:00

Oh God, r41, that's just like Stonewall ... brought to you by Roland Emmerich ....

replies 42Jul 11, 2017 12:23 PM +00:00

Directed by Mario van Peebles no less....trivia buffs may remember him from Jaws 3. Or was it 4?

The one where Lorraine Gary spears the shark on the broken bowsprit of Michael Caine's boat.

Whatever number it was, it was a stinker.

replies 43Jul 11, 2017 12:31 PM +00:00

I didn't see that one, R42, but I remember thinking the same thing. Did it have good explosions at least?

replies 44Jul 11, 2017 12:33 PM +00:00

That opening was definitely scarier than the movie's - and I love the movie.

replies 45Jul 11, 2017 1:14 PM +00:00

Quint's speech from Jaws. Delivered by Robert Shaw.

“Japanese submarine slammed two torpedoes into her side, Chief. We was comin’ back from the island of Tinian to Leyte. We’d 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-hour. Tiger. 13-footer. You know how you know that in the water, Chief? You can tell by lookin’ from the dorsal to the tail. What we didn’t know, was that our bomb mission was 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’ by, so we formed ourselves into tight groups. It was sorta like you see in the calendars, you know the infantry squares in the old calendars like the Battle of Waterloo and the idea was the shark come to the nearest man, that man he starts poundin’ and hollerin’ and sometimes that shark he go away… but sometimes he wouldn’t go away.

Sometimes that shark looks right at ya. Right into your eyes. And the thing about a shark is he’s got lifeless eyes. Black eyes. Like a doll’s eyes. When he comes at ya, he doesn’t even seem to be livin’… ’til 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 your poundin’ and your hollerin’ those sharks 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 there were, maybe a thousand. I do know how many men, they averaged six an hour. Thursday mornin’, Chief, I bumped into a friend of mine, Herbie Robinson from Cleveland. Baseball player. Boson’s mate. I thought he was asleep. I reached over to wake him up. He bobbed up, down in the water, he was like a kinda top. Upended. Well, he’d been bitten in half below the waist.

At noon on the fifth day, a Lockheed Ventura swung in low and he spotted us, a young pilot, lot younger than Mr. Hooper here, anyway he spotted us and a few hours later a big ol’ fat PBY come down and started 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 into the water. 316 men come out, the sharks took the rest, June the 29th, 1945.

Anyway, we delivered the bomb.”

replies 46Jul 11, 2017 2:29 PM +00:00

R46, that scene has always been very creepy, as creepy as any of the scenes with the shark, maybe more.

replies 47Jul 11, 2017 2:37 PM +00:00

Maybe more. Thanks, R47. Here's the scene delivered on film. Decide for yourself which delivery is more creepy, written or voiced.

Jaws movie clips: BUY THE MOVIE: Don't miss the HOTTEST NEW TRAILERS: CLIP DESCRIPTION: Quint...
replies 48Jul 11, 2017 2:46 PM +00:00

I was very young the first time I saw JAWS and didn't much notice the finer points until the third or so time.

replies 49Jul 11, 2017 2:48 PM +00:00
It was the Indianapolis, and no it was not in the book. Shaw penned it himself.

Not according to Spielberg

Steven Spielberg advised that Howard Sackler, who was an uncredited writer, didn’t want a credit and didn’t arbitrate for one, but he’s the guy that broke the back of the script before we ever got to Martha’s Vineyard to shoot the movie.
Howard one day said, “Quint needs some motivation to show all of us what made him the way he is and I think it’s this Indianapolis incident.” I said, “Howard, what’s that?” And he explained the whole incident of the Indianapolis and the Atomic Bomb being delivered and on its way back it was sunk by a submarine and sharks surrounded the helpless sailors who had been cast adrift and it was just a horrendous piece of World War II history. Howard didn’t write a long speech, he probably wrote about three-quarters of a page.
But then, when I showed the script to my friend John Milius, John said “Can I take a crack at this speech?” and John wrote a 10 page monologue, that was absolutely brilliant, but out-sized for the Jaws I was making! (laughs) But it was brilliant and then Robert Shaw took the speech and Robert did the cut down. Robert himself was a fine writer, who had written the play The Man in the Glass Booth. Robert took a crack at the speech and he brought it down to five pages. So, that was sort of the evolution just of that speech.
Robert Shaw is probably the main reason for Jaws being one of my favourite films of all time, mainly of course for a scene that is three and half minutes of near-perfection. Shaw steals the scene e…
Neil Hughes
replies 50Jul 11, 2017 3:02 PM +00:00

R46, if you swap the word 'Shark' for 'Cow,' it's alot more creepy and way more more realistic.

replies 51Jul 11, 2017 3:03 PM +00:00

R48, Robert Shaw was amazing in that scene, perfect delivery.

replies 52Jul 11, 2017 3:04 PM +00:00
That scene in [R28] always makes me jump thanks to the music.

Just to look at the gif of the man's head appearing it's not much. But I can testify that during the first run, EVERYONE in the theater jumped in their seat. The same also happened when Brody sees the shark breach the water just a few feet from him.

replies 53Jul 11, 2017 3:10 PM +00:00

R51 is George, and she's drunk again, and grabs more pussy than Donald Trump.

--Blue Nun
replies 54Jul 11, 2017 3:12 PM +00:00

R52, I read that that scene was Shaw's first take after a very drunken day before. Apparently he was too drunk to deliver on the first day, but by the second day he'd sobered up enough, and here is what he left with us.

replies 55Jul 11, 2017 3:14 PM +00:00

LOL, I wonder how many times Shaw had to delay a filming a scene because he got drunk.

replies 56Jul 11, 2017 3:21 PM +00:00

R56, his eyes, blood red.

replies 57Jul 11, 2017 3:25 PM +00:00

God, I was young when I saw the film. I remember my favorite part was the audience screaming. I remember thinking how great someone has to be to make a movie that makes so many people scream all at the same time and so many times during the film. Back then it was a glorious big screen. They had not yet chopped movie theaters into 6 tiny theaters. LOL, I remember this lady in back of me screamed so loud and jumped to curl her entire body into the seat and her popcorn flue in the air and came down all over me and everyone near her.

Back in the day going to a movie theater was an enjoyable experience. No one talked, no cell phones and real matrons in starched white nurse like uniforms with big flashlights that kept kids in the children's section safe. For a dollar you could get decent snacks. I hate movie theaters now. I haven't been in years. Then again I can't think of one movie in the past decade at least that I would want to see, let alone pay to see.

I did read the book and IMO the movie was better or so I thought then. But OPs excerpt from the book makes me think my judgment might have been off. I'm sure I will have nightmares tonight.

replies 58Jul 11, 2017 3:28 PM +00:00

R58, are you by any chance a cow?

--Mooo. (Not George.)
replies 59Jul 11, 2017 3:31 PM +00:00


replies 60Jul 11, 2017 3:48 PM +00:00

I dont know why that's so funny, R51, but it is.

replies 61Jul 11, 2017 3:57 PM +00:00

When I was a kid, I was too big of a pussy to see the movie--not that my parents would have let me, anyway. The one thing they didn't keep an eye on was what I read. I read JAWS at way too young an age, probably. The sex scenes were probably among the first I ever read, and I was gobsmacked. I don't remember a whole lot,about the book other than being creeped out. I was probably in 6th grade and a lot went over my head I think.

Around that time I also read THE EXORCIST which REALLY fucked me up! I didn't even see the movie until I was in my early 20s.

replies 62Jul 11, 2017 4:17 PM +00:00

R62! Our sixth grade, Catholic school teacher Mr. Mikenis nearly lost his job over recommending that book to our class. Like you, the sex scenes were the first we'd ever read. I clearly remember folding down those pages for a later read in the church annex with my chums while the oblivios choir practiced their Halleluias. Poor Mr. Mikenis. For us kids, it was never about the shark, it was about sex, sex and more sex.

--He put his mouth WHERE???
replies 63Jul 11, 2017 5:20 PM +00:00

I was also too scared to see Jaws back when I was a teen but I vividly remember one of my friends telling me that she cracked up during that scene where Jaws bites off a man's entire leg and it floats down to the bottom of the sea with his sneaker still on - I always laugh during that scene because of her even though it's not meant to be funny.

replies 64Jul 11, 2017 5:53 PM +00:00
That opening was definitely scarier than the movie's - and I love the movie.

I agree -- the book's attacks are so scary for the same reason Quint's Indianapolis speech is scary. It's very human. You can relate to it because you can very much imagine it happening to you -- to being the one in the water and suddenly lifted by the bow wave of the huge animal swimming past you and, in a panic, seeing a large dark shape in the water and thinking, "fucking hell I've got to get away now," but not being able to.

The Spielberg attack is very cinematic -- meant to show the power of the shark, the way the girl gets moved all around. It's shocking and effective at what is it does, but it's not very realistic. An enormous animal attacking a girl right at the surface would not be able to move her around like that without showing at least a little bit of itself.

He did the same thing at the beginning of Jurassic Park -- when the raptor cage is being slid into position and the raptor grabs the Costa Rican guy? You see the guy slide straight up the side of the cage, and that's meant to show how scary and powerful the raptor is, but it just doesn't register as something that's really happening ... because an animal that size could not move a man's body the way it happens in the movie.

I'm not shitting on Spielberg's sequences -- they're very fun and exciting, but I don't think they are particularly scary. Something terrible that's really happening is much scarier IMO, and that often requires that it be more prosaic.

replies 65Jul 12, 2017 5:41 AM +00:00

I should add that the attack on Alex Kintner is much more realistic than the one on Chrissie Watkins in the beginning of the movie -- you at least get to see the slightest hint of the shark as it bites him from below IIRC.
replies 66Jul 12, 2017 5:48 AM +00:00

R35 Thanks for answering. You're right, that wouldn't have worked for the movie.

R43 That would be Jaws 4.

replies 67Jul 12, 2017 6:06 AM +00:00

Thanks/you're welcome, R67.

Is it my imagination or did they have the shark roaring as it advanced on the boat at the end of Jaws 4? What I do remember is that it seemed like there was a shot missing, you heat the boat impact the shark and then you see the speared animal sinking in a cloud of blood. No money shot. Maybe there were technical difficulties with the shark when they shot it or it looked fake so they fudged it. At that point it was more or less a comedy anyway.

Sad to think of the downward progression from the classic original film. I'd say there's a lesson in there for the industry and its sequel-mania, but I doubt it, I figure by number 3, the creative minds behind the originals have usually departed and it's just a cynical money-printing operation.

replies 68Jul 12, 2017 6:22 AM +00:00

R68 It's been a while since i've seen Jaws 4. But the films did tend to get sillier as they went on.

replies 69Jul 12, 2017 6:32 AM +00:00

I thought Jaws 2 was pretty darn good, as sequels go; but the third one was the pits, you have to know that once you bring Bess Armstrong and Jean Stapleton's son into the mix you've reached the point of no return.

replies 70Jul 12, 2017 7:28 AM +00:00

I didn't mind Jaws 2 but 3 was silly. I couldn't stop laughing at how terrible the shark looked.
replies 71Jul 12, 2017 7:45 AM +00:00

Back in the day, sequels were cheap knockoffs of the original, with diminishing budgets and diminishing returns.

Nowadays sequels are big affairs, with the budgets growing and hopefully the grosses growing as well.

replies 72Jul 12, 2017 8:04 AM +00:00
Where's The Wisdom of Zinnia Jones when you need it?

Where's Jaws when you really need HIM?

replies 73Jul 12, 2017 8:21 AM +00:00

Even the first sequel to Jaws was completely ludicrous. ANOTHER huge shark attacking the SAME beach community?

What they should have done is build on the Brody and Hooper pair in a new adventure that involves sharks as well. Let's admit the giant shark is basically a force of nature, not a character, with the two leads being the real draw. They could have done something with sharks of course, many different opportunities there. If it was a really good story and something really different they could probably have gotten Dreyfuss back too.

replies 74Jul 12, 2017 8:35 AM +00:00

R74, I don't know that Dreyfuss and Scheider we're willing to return for a crappy sequel. Their careers were pretty hot then.

replies 75Jul 12, 2017 8:58 AM +00:00

The first film just reminds me how much better filmmakers were back then at telling stories.

replies 76Jul 12, 2017 9:01 AM +00:00

I remember liking Jaws 2 as a kid.

It was focused on the teenagers, and Brody's oldest son was a cutie.

I can still see Roy banging on that power cable with an oar to get the shark's attention.

And all the teens losing their shit. And the nice girl making the supreme sacrifice!

With his large fan base in Germany, Mark has toured Europe in several critically acclaimed theatrical plays from Mamet to Shakespeare.
--Tits like a sparrow!
replies 77Jul 12, 2017 9:44 AM +00:00

r75 Scheider actually did return for a rappy sequel. I mean, Jaws 2 is not a horrible movie, but it's a ludicrous concept.

Dreyfuss was not willing to come back for what he realized would be a lame sequel. As I said he may have been more willing if there was a Brody/Hooper story that was different and interesting.

replies 78Jul 12, 2017 12:02 PM +00:00

Crappy, not rappy. Rap wasn't around yet and even if it were I doubt it would be Scheider's thing.

replies 79Jul 12, 2017 12:02 PM +00:00

Scared the shit out of me as a very small child. I didn't see it at the movies, I saw it on TV. I did see Jaws 2 in the movie theaters when I was 6. Scared the shit out of me too. I never want to swim in the ocean. Scares the shit out of me.

replies 80Jul 12, 2017 12:33 PM +00:00

That's a shame r80 because you are more likely to be struck by lightning if you go out in the rain, or to die in a plane crash, than you are to be bitten by a shark. Go swim already, nothing is going to happen.

replies 81Jul 12, 2017 12:38 PM +00:00

fuck that. i'm not swimming in the ocean. shark bites do happen and i'm not gonna be eaten by some big, fat shark!

replies 82Jul 12, 2017 12:42 PM +00:00

Maybe Roy Scheider would have done a sequel if Brody had been allowed more coffee scenes.

Subscribe to this channel, new vintage commercials are added daily! Folgers Classic Commercial with Roy Scheider II 1968
replies 83Jul 12, 2017 12:55 PM +00:00

I always thought it was sad in the sequal that annoying Donna Wilkes of 'Hello, Larry' and 'Angel' fame was not eaten instead of that girl who looked like the low rent Lani O'Grady.

replies 84Jul 12, 2017 12:56 PM +00:00

Hey now. Angel was good.
replies 85Jul 12, 2017 1:11 PM +00:00

In the book there was a memorable scene of Brody's wife's "vagina yawning open" during one of her trysts with Hooper.

replies 86Jul 12, 2017 1:27 PM +00:00

Apparently, R86, Lorraine Gary really wanted to do that scene...

replies 87Jul 12, 2017 1:41 PM +00:00

Eww the book sounds like soft porn.

replies 88Jul 12, 2017 1:47 PM +00:00

I'm still scarred by the memory, R86.

replies 89Jul 12, 2017 2:04 PM +00:00

SO BORING. Now I know why I don't read fiction except the classics.

replies 90Jul 12, 2017 2:11 PM +00:00

R87, Lucy really wanted to do that scene but ( Lorraine) Gary talked her out of it.

replies 91Jul 12, 2017 3:45 PM +00:00

No one seems to realize that the water is the shark's home. The people are the intruders. I cheered for the shark.

replies 92Jul 12, 2017 5:43 PM +00:00

I rooted for the shark in Jaws II. The teens were annoying.

replies 93Jul 12, 2017 6:05 PM +00:00

I hated the teens in Jaws 2.

replies 94Jul 13, 2017 3:53 AM +00:00

The original Alex Kittner attack...

replies 95Jul 13, 2017 4:30 AM +00:00
"vagina yawning open"
replies 96Jul 13, 2017 6:46 AM +00:00

More like
replies 97Jul 13, 2017 7:03 AM +00:00

Thanks for posting that OP. I enjoyed the book for summer reading, but I read it a few years after I saw the movie, and felt the movie was better. We were little kids, I was in maybe 5th grade or 6th. Anyway all the neighborhood kids, 7 of us piled into my father's station wagon and he took us to the drive -in to see Jaws and it is one of the most fun memories I have of being a kid in the summer. I saw it several times after that on TV, but then lost interest. I saw it again for the first time in years a couple of summers ago, and was disappointed at how fake the mechanical shark, Bruce, looked. The scene where he is attacking and eating Robert Shaw was way too artificial looking.

replies 98Jul 13, 2017 7:05 AM +00:00

R95 Pretty sure i'm going to have nightmares thanks to that image lol

replies 99Jul 13, 2017 7:07 AM +00:00

Welcome, R99! It's so fucking creepy.

replies 100Jul 13, 2017 8:03 AM +00:00

The vagina thing in the book was a humorous allusion to her imagined death in a car accident with Hooper -- it's meant to show her fascination with, and fear of, the affair they're having, her guilt and shame symbolized by her private parts, wide open, being exposed to the world.

replies 101Jul 13, 2017 10:55 AM +00:00

Enough with the goddamn vagina. I wish I never brought it up.

replies 102Jul 13, 2017 10:59 AM +00:00

I'm an ugly spaz who's stuck in the 70s.

replies 103Jul 13, 2017 11:02 AM +00:00

Sounds more like a shark's mouth to me, r101.

replies 104Jul 13, 2017 11:05 AM +00:00

I used to know a projectionist who worked at one of those theaters that ran double bills of revivals and old movies, R103, and he said the 70s were the true Golden Age of American film.

replies 105Jul 13, 2017 11:19 AM +00:00

Vaginas and sharks? It's all fish isn't it? Haha

replies 106Jul 13, 2017 11:31 AM +00:00

For those who just can't get enough, here you go, a synthesis of Jaws and vagina.
--Now move it along, Toots.
replies 107Jul 13, 2017 11:40 AM +00:00

I think I read the book before seeing the movie, too. I was 13 or 14 and was always trying out books my mother had read. Jaws I definitely finished.

I was riveted by both the shark attack parts and the Mrs. Brody / Hooper sex scenes. I remember that imagined car crash where Ellen says something like "not how I want to found , in a wrecked car with a wet pussy," and I didn't get what that meant.

replies 108Jul 13, 2017 11:49 AM +00:00

Vagina, anyone?

replies 109Jul 13, 2017 12:50 PM +00:00

I look at R95's photo and just laugh. Thank God they didn't use it. It looks SO FAKE!

The actual attack was much more realistic than a giant plastic head singing Ave Maria.

replies 110Jul 13, 2017 12:54 PM +00:00
Vagina, anyone?

If you say so dear.
--Georgia O'Keefe
replies 111Jul 13, 2017 12:55 PM +00:00

I love Jaws: The Revenge in a so bad it's good sort of way.

replies 112Jul 13, 2017 12:57 PM +00:00

How was it that by jaws:the revenge the shark looked even faker than in the first movie??

replies 113Jul 13, 2017 2:09 PM +00:00

The mechanical sharks did seem to get worse as time went on. I gave up after Jaws 3, so I could be wrong. But somehow I doubt it.

replies 114Jul 13, 2017 2:16 PM +00:00

I had the "dirty" version of Jaws but my sister ended up with her own copy that was perhaps for book clubs/young adults and it had all the naughty parts and swear words removed. Only a look at the copyright page showed that it was, in fact, edited for profanity and sexual situations. Poor bitch.

replies 115Jul 13, 2017 4:30 PM +00:00

Vagina Dentata. Thanks, r107 .

replies 116Jul 13, 2017 5:14 PM +00:00

I wonder who the unfortunate in the shark's jaws is meant to be.
replies 117Jul 13, 2017 5:24 PM +00:00

She was the first
replies 118Jul 13, 2017 5:27 PM +00:00

I wish Jaws 3 had a novelization. Surely, we would have learned more about Calvin Bouchard and that Charlene waitress woman.

--Kelly Ann Bukowski
replies 119Jul 13, 2017 7:29 PM +00:00

I met that first victim at a comic con convention recently, and she's very charming, self-effacing, down to earth with a great sense of humor

replies 120Jul 13, 2017 7:47 PM +00:00

Jaws III could've been super awesome. Great concept.

replies 121Jul 13, 2017 9:09 PM +00:00

The shark in Jaws 3 looked bad because the movie is supposed to be seen in 3D. The best part in 3D is where it slowly smashes through the underwater observatory and all the glass comes flying in.

replies 122Jul 14, 2017 1:58 AM +00:00

Ah, that's back in the day when sequels were supposed to be ludicrous. I wonder when Hollywood started taking its grubby commercialism seriously and actually started making sequels that were good? It was well before Star Wars -- maybe The Godfather Part 2 was the first?

replies 123Jul 14, 2017 3:43 AM +00:00

Sorry. I quit after Jaws 2. I was over it. But the first one is the perfect summer movie

replies 124Jul 14, 2017 3:49 AM +00:00

I can still remember being 12 and sitting in the air conditioning of the theater, with a big cup of popcorn (the smell of the corn, butter and salt) and a coke, and watching the girl in the night water. As if it were yesterday.

replies 125Jul 14, 2017 4:13 AM +00:00

Not only is the special effects in Jaws 3 terrible but we are suppose to believe Louis Gossett is the head of Sea World.

replies 126Jul 14, 2017 4:35 AM +00:00

Yes I know r126, because Negroes can't abide fish.

replies 127Jul 14, 2017 5:08 AM +00:00

After many false starts it seems the next big shark film MEG is finally getting a release date. I love the first novel in the series, and have listened to it as an audiobook maybe 5 times. It's obviously a trashy sea monster novel, but anyone who's interested in sharks and fears them can understand the rush you feel when reading or seeing shark attacks.

Jaws is one of my favorite films, and I even like the first sequel. Others were obviously terrible, especially the fourth one where the shark supernaturally follows Mrs. Brody to a tropical island she's visiting. I remember listening to Jaws as an audiobook as well, and it certainly was different than the novel. Still, I remember liking it a lot.

MEG is based on Steve Alten's novel Meg: a Novel of Deep Terror. It takes things more into fantasy since Meg is a Megalodon, a "dinosaur shark", a species which lived millions of years ago. In the novel a small population of Megalodons got trapped in the Mariana Trench and managed keep up the population there. They remained hidden from the outside world until during an incident with a deep sea diver Jonas Taylor one manages to follow him to the surface. Jonas Taylor is played by Jason Statham, which is actually a good thing since the film was in a development hell for years, and many believed it would never get made. I doubt it will be anything as spectacular as the original Jaws but still, the director Jon Turteltaub (the National Treasure series) seems to be capable enough. The premiere was just pushed back from March 2018 to August 2018 but apparently the principal photography is over already, so at least something will be coming out.

Here's Megalodon fossil jaws. It was 2 to 3 times bigger than Great White.
replies 128Jul 14, 2017 5:57 AM +00:00

Meg looks like it's going to be a real shitfest. It's got the obligatory Chinese character in it, because Warner Brothers is getting a lot of the financing from the Chinese and they insisted on a Chinese character being in the movie. Jason Statham is going to star, nuff said.

The book had a C. megalodon killing and eating a T rex in its prologue. I put it right down at that point. C. megalodon was a relatively recent species and evolved around 25 million years ago -- 40 million years after the extinction of T. rex.

replies 129Jul 14, 2017 6:10 AM +00:00

A perfect day in New Jersey.

replies 130Jul 14, 2017 6:37 AM +00:00
The book had a C. megalodon killing and eating a T rex in its prologue.... 40 million years after the extinction of T. rex.

Don't let your science get in the way of great art.

--Fred Flintstone, riding a dinosaur at work

replies 131Jul 14, 2017 6:57 AM +00:00

It still looks like a shitfest. Jason Statham? Kiss of death.

replies 132Jul 14, 2017 7:06 AM +00:00

Yeah, that was kind of ridiculous casting, R126. He was never the most versatile kind of actor. It would be like casting R. Lee Ermey as an English professor in a girl's school (which I'd pay double to see). Kind of brings to mind Samuel L Jackson in another shark-related stinker:

replies 133Jul 14, 2017 7:23 AM +00:00

I loved Jaws 2. I liked seeing the shark more often and there was a lot more action. Jaws is a classic but at times drags.

replies 134Jul 14, 2017 7:29 AM +00:00

I remember when the novel came out. I had spent many summer days of my life up, until then, on the beach at Mrs. Benchley's (mother of the author) house. I've never gone swimming in 'Sconset since.

replies 135Jul 14, 2017 7:30 AM +00:00

That's hot R107

replies 136Jul 14, 2017 7:35 AM +00:00

Saw it in the cinema as a teenager when it first came out, along with my best mate at the time. Kid ( boy ) in front of us literally became hysterical when the woman is attacked at the beginning. Had to be carried out wailing and screaming. We turned to each other and we're just "This is going to be good..." and were not disappointed. My friend grew up to become, among other things, a painter and his first paintings that sold well were of great whites. He went diving with them for research. Sold one to Kidman and Cruise I think.

However, it would be heroin and crack that would do for him in the end. Not sharks.

Also reminds me that I was walking along Piccadilly , up at the Hyde Park end on a very hot day and was startled to see a very tanned Scheider sunbathing against a wall of a hotel...essentially in the a very tight, revealing pair of speedos. He was in good shape and clearly hung but I wondered what state his mental health was in to be doing that.

Great film though.

And I have never been in the sea anywhere since and not thought about sharks.

replies 137Jul 14, 2017 8:14 AM +00:00
"not how I want to found , in a wrecked car with a wet pussy,"


replies 138Jul 14, 2017 8:31 AM +00:00

Megalodon would absolutely not bother eating humans. It preyed on whales the same way that the great white preys on seals. Even Great Whites actually eat humans by accident. Sometimes they even spit us out when they realize the mistake.

The thing is, the shark has a very, very slow digestive tract. So they need to eat foods that are very high in fat, like seals. The seal and the human are going to slide through their digestive tract at the same speed, so if they ate nothing but humans, they would starve.

A megalodon would be looking to take big bites out of the blubber of whales. Eating a human would be like eating a bone or a stick.

replies 139Jul 14, 2017 11:30 AM +00:00

This film terrified me as a young girl and into womanhood! I remember early on when I was dating my ex-husband, he took me to the beach...well, I really didn't want to go because of sharks, but I really liked him (how many women have said that before they wound up doing something completely degrading! LOL!), so I went and thought I would just dip my toes in the tide. We had a lovely picnic lunch, when all the sudden I felt my 'Aunt Flo' come for an unexpected (though, not entirely unwelcome as we didn't use protection LOL!) visit! Thing is, even on my lightest days, I'm pretty much gushing blood all over the place and could never just wear a tampon (always pads, sometimes doubling up on 'heavy' days!) and so I just there for a while literally hemorraghing on the towel we had placed on the sand. I thought if I could just stay seated and then grab my sweater and wrap it around my waste he would never notice. Well, he demanded that I go in the water and by this point all bets were off, there was no way I was going in the water while literally gallons of blood poured out from inside of me! He kept harassing me about going in and finally I screamed, 'I can't go in, I have my period and at the rate I'm bleeding I'll be drawing sharks in from at least 200 hundred miles away!' He explained to me that Lake Michigan isn't salt water and so sharks can't live in there, but I wasn't taking any chances.!

replies 140Jul 14, 2017 1:27 PM +00:00

R139, most people today are whales. If Chris Christie had waddled into the ocean of that closed beach, a megalodon would've gone straight for him.

replies 141Jul 14, 2017 1:29 PM +00:00
Eating a human would be like eating a bone or a stick.

Let me give you some tips and recipes, my friend.

--Hannibal Lecter
replies 142Jul 14, 2017 1:45 PM +00:00

I heard he was a jerk, but I have a thing for Roy Scheider in Jaws 2, I thought he was kind of sexy.

replies 143Jul 14, 2017 2:39 PM +00:00


The hilarious Sharknado series features megaladon sharks, one of which has been preserved in ice for millions of years and is released due to fracking.

replies 144Jul 14, 2017 3:50 PM +00:00

Apparently they've been trying to make the Meg film since 1997.

The premise is a bit nuts. The giant sharks have become trapped at the bottom of the Mariana trench but the sea water there is mysteriously much warmer further down, reversing the standard trend for no real reason. The huge ferocious sharks which can take down a TRex are too sensitive to be able to swim through the colder layers of water further up and survive, so remain in the trench.

replies 145Jul 14, 2017 3:57 PM +00:00

R140, didn't you tell that story on the Graham Norton show, and didn't he pull the lever and fling you out of the chair...?

If not, he should have

replies 146Jul 14, 2017 4:09 PM +00:00

R24 wasn't released until summer of '75, which up until then was traditionally not a time for big releases. It was a major blockbuster, and ushered in the era of big summer releases.

Thanks, R24. This triggered an old memory.

I had a older cousin who, like me, was a huge movie fan. He always had a terrific memory for films to the extent that he could even tell you the name of the theater that he saw movies from when he was a kid. After college, he got a job working for Universal Studioes in sales, eventually, through promotions, being transferred out to the main office in LA. Since I didn't see him that often after that, when he came into town, movies were our number one topic whenever we got together and I plied him with questions about movie stars.

He told me that a lot of the people high up in the business side (where he worked) really didn't love movies - it was all about business for them.

Anyway, a few years before Jaws came out, I was complaining to him, wondering why there were never any good movies out in the summertime. It never made sense to me. Hot weather, people going out on the weekends and longer weeknights, but nothing good at the movies. He told me then that it just wasn't profitable. It never made sense to me at all. It was a few years later that the studios changed their policy and that Jaws was released and became the first major summer blockbuster.

It must seem hard to believe to people who are so used to the idea of big summer movies, but the studios never realized what a bonanza they were ignoring.

replies 147Jul 14, 2017 5:22 PM +00:00
Meg looks like it's going to be a real shitfest. It's got the obligatory Chinese character in it, because Warner Brothers is getting a lot of the financing from the Chinese and they insisted on a Chinese character being in the movie. Jason Statham is going to star, nuff said.

In the novel some of the central characters are Japanese but apparently they changed them into Chinese in the movie. After the development hell the movie was in for years it's totally understandable. I remember being an avid reader around 2005 and the site owner Nick Nunziata was at that point one of the producers of Meg. That's how I found the novel. Like I wrote earlier it's totally a trashy sea monster novel but in a good way. The author knows how to write well enough.

BTW, it doesn't probably surprise anyone that there are people who believe what happened in the novel could be real, and that there really are Megalodons still living in the Mariana Trench.

replies 148Jul 15, 2017 6:10 AM +00:00
I love Jaws: The Revenge in a so bad it's good sort of way.

Me too and it helps that the location was gorgeous.

replies 149Jul 15, 2017 7:51 AM +00:00

How could it be real? You don't get cold water on top of warm water, it only works the other way round and the sharks would have been able to survive it anyway, their skin is as tough as teeth, they're not temperature sensitive over short periods.

replies 150Jul 15, 2017 4:25 PM +00:00

stop trying to make sense of jaws the revenge. you're the only one who ever has.

replies 151Jul 15, 2017 4:27 PM +00:00

the first movie was the only one worth a goddamned.

replies 152Jul 15, 2017 4:38 PM +00:00

R150, there are volcanic vents at the bottom of the Mariana Trench spewing boiling hot geothermal water, they have to create zones of water that's warmer than whatever is above or around them.

Of course I have no idea how many vents there are or what effect they have on water temps through the trench, but that might be what the fiction book is talking about. Or not.

replies 153Jul 15, 2017 7:42 PM +00:00

Thanks for the Benchley excerpt. That will kill another 10 years before I go back in any ocean.

Seriously. I grew up in Miami with men in the family that had a boat, fished and scuba dived. The loved nothing more than a good Shark tale, and I had seen plenty by the time this movie came out. I had seen beaches with schools of shark and no swimming signs. The day after seeing "Jaws" I went sailing on a catamaran. That was the last time for me ever. I became a clear springs girl and never looked back.

replies 154Jul 15, 2017 8:25 PM +00:00

R155 ??????

replies 156Jul 16, 2017 6:41 AM +00:00

I posted the below in the "Cinematic precursors" thread but thought it might be of interest here too.

Jaws, both the novel and the film, have several antecedents which have been commented on frequently:

1. There was a famous series of shark attacks along the Jersey Shore in in the summer of 1916. Although author Peter Benchley denied they inspired his book, some of the book's and film's attacks mirror the Jersey Shore attacks in a general way and they are indirectly referred to in the book. In the film, they are actually talked about.

2. A major plot element is obviously taken from Ibsen's play An Enemy of the People. In the 1880s play, a town's famous mineral baths, the mainstay of the local economy, are discovered to have become toxic. The mayor and other local officials fight to keep the news suppressed.

2. Quint's obsession with sharks is obviously partly inspired by Ahab's obsession with Moby Dick in the Melville novel. They even die the same way. Benchley has stated the he was also partly inspired by famous mid 20th century shark hunter Frank Mundus.
replies 157Jul 16, 2017 5:05 PM +00:00

Many scientists think the shark of the 1916 Jersey Shore attacks was a Bull Shark. That shark was very active in Matawan Creek, pretty far inland and with water fresher than a great white could tolerate, so much more typical of a Bull Shark than a Great White. Also Bull sharks purposefully attack and consume humans, whereas Great Whites don't.

Others think there wasn't one culprit, but the attacks were perpetrated by multiple fish. People may have just assumed there was a vicious shark doing all the killing, but as we see in some summers in Florida, there are conditions that just lead to lots of attacks, from multiple fish (again, usually Bull Sharks).

replies 158Jul 17, 2017 7:04 AM +00:00

Is there any thread the "the Jews" troll does not befoul?

replies 159Jul 17, 2017 7:07 AM +00:00

I clearly recall that summer of '75. I was 11, my sister 10. We went to see the movie often, because it was exciting, and the theater was a way to escape the heat.

We lived in a city in NJ, and in order to get to the theater, which was in a strip mall, we had to cross a busy six lane highway without a crosswalk, dodging cars as we ran. We also had a 25 minute walk through a considerable amount of urban decay. It amazes me that we did that. Just imagine that happening today!

replies 160Jul 17, 2017 7:30 AM +00:00

Interesting — I came back to read this about five months after posting it to see that the second post, with the first portion of the book, had been removed. DL worried about copyright issues? Others post entire chapters from more recent books here.

replies 161Dec 6, 2017 2:57 PM +00:00

I see each of the posts quoting the sections of the book Op and posts 1 through 4..

replies 162Dec 6, 2017 3:07 PM +00:00

I think I spied my original post upthread where I say the movie is better. What brought this up again?

I saw Jaws 3 at a now gone Georgetown theater wearing a lovely summer sundress and red kitten heels and my 3 D glasses. It was so bad it was camp and we laughed all through it. The only thing missing was champagne. Good times.

replies 163Dec 6, 2017 3:16 PM +00:00
I see each of the posts quoting the sections of the book Op and posts 1 through 4..

Originally R1 started with the very beginning of the book, including the iconic line "The great fish moved slowly through the night water, propelled by short sweeps of its crescent tail." That post is gone, and R1 picks up after the woman leaves the drunk man on the beach and enters the dark water alone.

I suspect it was removed for concerns about copyright. It's a shame but I had no intention of getting DL into trouble. I'm pure as the driven snow!

replies 164Dec 7, 2017 5:58 AM +00:00

R133 SLJs death was the best part of Deep Blue Sea. Those sharks were brutal.
replies 165Dec 7, 2017 6:34 AM +00:00

As a young gayling watching "Jaws" in the movie theater, Roy Scheider definitely stirred something within me.
replies 166Dec 7, 2017 6:39 AM +00:00

Mother's muzzy floods with bilgewater....

replies 167Dec 7, 2017 11:37 AM +00:00

I still want a Jaws 3D novelization with more deaths, an entire chapter on the conception and construction of the Undersea Kingdom, a drug subplot that involves Calvin Bouchard, and a teaser ending with a second baby shark escaping through the still-damaged sea gate.

replies 168Dec 8, 2017 2:51 PM +00:00