Roy Scheider as Chief Brody
Robert Shaw as Quint
Richard Dreyfuss as Hooper
Directed by Steven Spielberg
Synopsis: “Two notes and you have a villain.” The first official blockbuster. A rogue great white shark sets its sights on Amity Island and terrorizes the local community (and its summer visitors) by savagely killing Chrissie, Alex, Pippin, a random drunk guy on a boat, and a random guy under a boat. Eventually, the town’s police chief, a shark enthusiast from the oceanographic institute, and a colorful local fisherman take to the open water to hunt down the rogue and bring him to justice (i.e. kill his ass).
This is such a great movie! Pretty good fodder for a couple’s movie night; see my rating at the end of the blog. So why do I think so?
• The cast. Dreyfuss is so enthusiastic in his role. Scheider is wonderful as a man torn between his job, his family and his desperate fears. Even Lorraine Gary is good as Mrs. Brody, equally torn between her family and her husband’s job. But the real standout performance comes from Robert Shaw. The character of Quint is superb in every way. He’s crass, straightforward, arrogant, and brilliant.
• The shark. Bruce rocks.
• The effects. Blood in the water rarely looked so ominous. Torn rafts. Severed limbs. Crabs and corpses. So cool.
• The boys are getting ready to leave on their little fishing trip. Quint is yelling. Cursing. Reciting poetry. Trying to upset Mrs. Brody. He gives nautical directions so succinctly, it’s hard to imagine anyone getting them wrong.
• The story of the U.S.S. Indianapolis. Not true at all, apparently, but truly chilling. Shaw wrote the version used in the film and delivered it flawlessly. Coupled with the whale song, I don’t think anyone could hear that story and not get goose bumps.
Weepy Meter: 0/10 Not a chance. A dog dies (not really). A few other people get killed. The music is amazing. And I still didn’t cry. Might be a first…
Man Meter: 9/10 If he hasn’t seen it yet, there’s something wrong with him. Drop him. Just sayin’. But seriously: if he has seen it, he’ll see it again. And probably be impressed that you want to. Use whatever you need to psych yourself up for it, but he won’t need it.
Overall Rating: 9/10 Never loses its ability to make you jump. And wonder if you should go in the water. Ever. Again.