Scenes I Love: Jaws


quint_indianapolis_speech_jaws_robert_shaw

“You know the thing about a shark, he’s got…lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll’s eye. When he comes at ya, doesn’t seem to be livin’. Until he bites ya and those black eyes roll over white.” — Quint

People have blamed Spielberg and his breakout film, Jaws, as the cause of the blockbuster mentality that studios have had since this film came out. Studios and producers wanted to recreate the ultra-successful box-office numbers of Jaws. Despite the fact that this film was modestly budgeted people nowadays who think they’re experts in film point to it as the culprit. They’ve called it the film that begun the dumbing down of Hollywood when creativity was sacrificed for profit.

Why did I pick a scene from this film as a favorite? I picked this particular scene because it’s one reason why the film succeeded and made people come back again and again. It’s a scene that perfectly captures one reason why we love see films in a communal setting. We want to share the same experience and emotions this scene brought up from the pit of each audience’s psyche.

Jaws didn’t ruin the creativity in filmmaking. I like to think that this one film was a filmmaker at his most creativie (shark wouldn’t work properly so Spielberg kept it off-screen which just added to the terror and tension in the film). This very scene goes down as one of the greatest film monologues. It sets up the danger the trio faces with some anecdotal evidence from the very person who survived the experience, but who might have become unhinged because of it. I love the look of frozen terror on the face of Richard Dryefuss’ character as he listens to Robert Shaw tell the story of the ill-fated journey of the U.S.S. Indianapolis.

This latest “Scenes I Love” is why I consider Spielberg one of the best filmmaker of his generation and probably beyond that.

2 responses to “Scenes I Love: Jaws

    • P.S. On a different note, I do agree with your above sentiments, Arleigh, I don’t think one can point to Spielberg as the culprit for “dumbing down” films for the sake of profit.

      People who say such stuff, as you have pointed out, aren’t as “expert” about the subject as they like to think.

      Look at all of those “beach party” films produced by Hollywood back in the 1960s. You can go back even further and find heaps of “dopey” Hollywood films in any decade. However, Spielberg was fortunate to have a string of massive hits in the late 1970s and throughout the 1980s, but I don’t think he ought to be blamed for that.

      Like

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