324 – The one about Jaws

Welcome to episode 324. Today, we watch “Jaws”!

A giant great white shark arrives on the shores of a New England beach resort and wreaks havoc with bloody attacks on swimmers, until a part-time sheriff teams up with a marine biologist and an old seafarer to hunt the monster down.

Join Scott, Randy, Dunaway, and Ibbott as they kiss all the spanish ladies.

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As usual, a HUGE thanks to Scott Fletcher, the official announcer of Film Sack Central. Hey! Why not leave us a nice review on iTunes if you like the show?

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37 thoughts on “324 – The one about Jaws

  1. Pingback: 324 – The one about Jaws - BRIAN DUNAWAY

    • I. Love. This. Movie. It warms the cockles of my flinty New England heart. I was 7 years old when I saw it on the big screen in ’75 and I distinctly remember looking over at the adults in the audience watching it through their fingers for fear of losing their shit when a jump-scare moment happening.

      To answer your question, Randy: yes, people not going in the ocean b/c JAWS was Love. This. Movie. It warms the cockles of my flinty New England heart. I was 7 years old when I saw it on the big screen and I distinctly remember looking over at the adults in the audience watching it through their fingers for fear of losing their shit when a jump-scare moment happening.

      To answer your question, Randy: yes, people absolutely not going in the ocean b/c JAWS was a real thing. Members of my family, family friends, and other kids I knew were scared to death of wading in too far for years because of JAWS.

      Randy, I appreciate fresh take on the movie I love the most (2nd only to 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY). Yes, Robert Shaw’s performance in this is ‘hammy’ (I’d say stylized) but it’s delicious ham and in many behind-the-scenes docs I’ve seen he based his performance on an old Martha’s Vinelander he met and hung with during the long shoot so it’s not completely over-the-top and cartoonish (and certainly not “cheesy and lame” Scott!). I’m disappointed that you found the heart of the movie- Quint’s Indianapolis story- boring. It brought an element of historical reality and poignancy to this basically monster/thriller movie. It also gave Quint’s character essential backstory and helped explain his obviously crazy actions during the movie. (though breaking the radio never sat well with me. He truly is ‘certifiable’). Plus he looked and sounded a bit like my dad, an old Irish tough guy, so…there’s that ;).

      The shark not working properly was the best thing to happen to Spielberg’s career. It made him have to work harder and he found the best collaborators to work with: Verna Fields as editor and John Williams as composer. That and the actors basically living on that boat for months made this a great character centric action movie.

      I’m a bit let-down by this episode. I was expecting more Spielberg talk, more trivia -this movie doens’t lack for sources in this regard- and a lot more audio clips. A lot more. A lot lot lot more. Example “You yell ‘barracuda’, people say ‘huh?’ ‘wha?’, you yell ‘shark’…we got a panic on our hands on the Fourth of July.” But I love this move so much (I’ve easily seen it at least 70 times over the years) I obviously set too high a standard for it. Not everybody is as insane about this movie as me, I just have to deal with it. It just felt y’all took it for granted.

      But we’re still friends. Amity as you know means friendship!

      PS, I love learning something new about a movie I thought I knew everything about. I always assumed the weird blue-green glow around the re-surfacing barrels was bioluminescent plankton, not day-for-night filming shennanigans. Thanks Randy! real thing. Members of my family, family friends, and other kids I knew were scared to death of wading in too far for years because of JAWS.

        • So, agree with you. I, too, saw this in the theater when it was a first-run release. People were not only scared to go in the water at beaches, but to even take baths.

          People covered their faces during the movie and were jumping out of their seats during the attacks.

          I have never seen such audience reactions since. Bit sad considering movies are supposed to be “improved.”

          Oh, and Randy, Quint’s boring story was true.

      • I think we may have subconsciously been avoiding treading the same water that has been discussed about Jaws over the years.

        I tried to dodge Trivia and Reviews before the show to keep from repeating things that had already been analyzed to death. Looking back I probably should have done a little more research but I simply ran out of time this week.

        Like I’ve said in the past. 2 hours to watch the movie. 2 hours to record the podcast and then 2 hours for show notes can make additional research impossible during a busy week.

        Thank you for your passion! We’ll nail Jaws 2!

    • Now the guys have to sack Raiders so we can hear Randy explain how he never saw it before because he’d already watched Allan Quatermain and the Lost City of Gold.

        • “Did I ever tell you about the time I used to work as a mechanic on trucks driven by Nazi soldiers? They always broke off the hood ornaments for some reason…”

          • I’m just saying… Raiders of the Lost Ark is such a better movie than Jaws! Or Blade Runner. Or E.T. …

          • Raider’s is amazing. Blade Runner is Harrison Ford’s BEST movie. Yes, even better than Empire Strikes Back.

  2. While listening to episode 324 The One About Jaws, when you mentioned the opening scene of 1941, I remember reading on the Imdb trivia page about the movie 1941, “Susan Backlinie reprised her role as the first victim in Jaws (1975) by playing the young woman seen at the beginning of the film.”

  3. Great podcast as always. I have to take exception with the opinion that the cast was ugly though. Hollywood has become way more image conscious since the start of the 1980’s. The 70’s and before had more of a tendency to hire actors who represented the common person than the Western ideal that is the norm now. MIni-rant over.

    As for upcoming shark movies in the vein of Jaws, 2018 is supposed to feature the film release of “Meg” which is supposed to be short for Megaladon, the prehistoric ancestor to the great white shark. It was, first, a novel and quite good but the film had been in development hell for a long time until recently. The film will star Jason Statham playing an ocean scientist. So take that with a grain of salt.

    Finally, I’d like to listen to a Film Sack about Piranha (1979) by Joe Dante. Also the sequel Piranha 2: The Spawning was directed by James Cameron (although he had no editorial control over the film). Still those little fish brought forth two great directors of their time.

  4. Okay…The thing that grosses me out in the movie is when Hooper is getting ready to go in the cage and he hands Brody his glasses and Brody sticks the end of the arm of Hooper’s glasses into his mouth…the part that wraps around behind Hooper’s sweaty ear! Bleeeeeeech!

  5. I’m sorry for my whiney post earlier. One of the things I like about this show is you’re all not pro film critics, just fans. I’ve heard all the other fact-packed Jaws episodes of other podcasts and documentaries, so that there really is not much new under the sun to go over except to hear y’all’s takes on JAWS.

    How exactly did the shark manage to decapitate Ben Gardner, take his body and leave his head, put a hole in the bottom of the boat and still keep it afloat? And then leave a tooth perfectly placed for any oceanographer to find? And a perfect bite mark on starboard side in the shape of a shark bite? I think there is a Jack the Ripper on the island and is framing Jaws the Shark.

    If the Film Sack crew were the four main human characters it’d break down like this: Randy is Mayor Larry Vaughn, the skeptic; Scott is Chief Brody, with whom the buck stops; Brian Ibbott is Hooper, the mimic; and Brian Dunaway is Quint, certifiable and tells a lot of stories.

    Quint’s naughty poem “Here lies the body of Mary Lee, died at the age of a hundred and three, For fifteen years she kept her virginity, not a bad record for this vicinity” was also used by Robert Shaw in another Film Sack movie “Swashbuckler” (the pirate movie with no swash and very few buckles.

    Some of my favorite background dialogue is from this movie: “Twenty four hours is like three weeks!!!!”, “Why dn’cha stick ya friggin’ head in theah, man! Don’t gimme this bite radius crap!!”, “What are they doin’?” “Chummin’, theah chummin’ the watah, man.” Great New England accents.

    The 3rd Jaws movie was going to be an AIRPLANE style parody called JAWS 3 PEOPLE 0 and directed by Joe Dante.

    • What an insult! I’m not the mayor! How dare you?

      I spent the whole movie identifying with Hooper and hating the mayor.

      • The Mayor played by Murray Hamilton has become my favorite character. It’s an honor to be da Mayor of Shark City.


    • Mayor Vaughn isn’t a skeptic– he’s a heartless capitalist. He’s closer to an oil baron who denies global warming than a scientist who warns the world to protect it. That’s Hooper.

      • But the way he’s played by Murray Hamilton elicits sympathy from me. He’s just this put-upon guy caught between a rock and a hard place and when he says “we’ve never had anything like this happen before” he’s believable. Of course he’s tragically wrong.

        And I like his killer 70s anchor themed leisure suit. 🙂

        No offense meant, Randy. You’re top-notch!

  6. Forget the Sharknado stuff. If you want to see the influence of Jaws taken to ridiculous levels, watch “Grizzly”.

      • That’s something called “Into the Grizzly Maze” which does sound Sackworthy with that cast. But I think Whit B. was referring to “Grizzly” (1976), which cut/pasted the story of JAWS onto a national park. “Alligator” (1980) is JAWS cut/pasted onto a city sewer system about a giant alligator dir. by guy who directed “Cujo”

  7. That mayors suit. I think you guys may have mentioned it before, but if not…Where do you get a suit like that!?! Love that moment in the podcast where Scott and Brian both say Sheep Shank and the ensuing conversation.
    Deez knots, lol.

    The funny thing is always the clips you think Scott is going to include but doesn’t. Loved the Babbot ( abbot and Costello) joke Dunaway was doing for Ibboit.

  8. How the HELL hasn’t anyone read the book!? It’s great! That shark is so much more intense than film could portray at that time. I’m also pretty suprised that Randy hadn’t seen it. Almost as surprised that you guys would even do Jaws as a movie because I’ve gotten so used to you doing bad movies, though I suppose that’s not a rule, necessarily.
    Two things make this movie good: The Score, The Water, That anchor suit
    The things that make this movie bad: The Shark, That anchor suit, Ellen Brody, the old dude in the swim cap.

  9. I remember my estranged father promised and failed to take me to see Jaws at the tender age of 9, it think the rating at the time was A (PG equivalent now). My mother took me eventually. The scene when the head fell out of the boat is still to this day the most scared I have ever been.

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