Category Archives: Richard Dreyfuss

Dialogue Of The Day: Jaws (1975).

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Been meaning to post this since I started this blog. It’s Robert Shaw’s incredible scene in Jaws (1975) where he tells the story of the USS Indianapolis. Written by John Milius and reworked by Shaw himself, it’s an incredible thing, as good as acting ever gets — creepy and touching at the same time.

Quint (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.”

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Filed under 1975, Dialogue Of The Day, Richard Dreyfuss, Robert Shaw, Roy Scheider, Steven Spielberg

Screenings: Jaws (1975).

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Directed by Steven Spielberg
Screenplay by Peter Benchley and Carl Gottlieb
Based on the novel by Peter Benchley
Director of Photography: Bill Butler
Film Editor: Verna Fields
Music by John Williams

Cast: Roy Scheider (Brody), Robert Shaw (Quint), Richard Dreyfuss (Hooper), Lorraine Gary (Ellen Brody), Murray Hamilton (Vaughn)

Forty years ago this summer, with Jaws (1975) breaking box office records everywhere, nobody wanted to go in the water. In what’s being called a “40th Anniversary Event,” Jaws is returning to theaters nationwide for two days in June — the 21st and the 24th. It’s a shame it won’t be 35mm, but the 4K restoration of a few years ago is stunning — hope they stick with the original mono mix. You can track down a showing near you here.

I’ve seen Jaws in a theater more times than any other film, and I’m always happy to add to the list. Over the years, I’ve found that it goes well with Raisinets and a Coke.

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Filed under 1975, Richard Dreyfuss, Robert Shaw, Roy Scheider, Screenings