One of the most iconic theme songs in film history. One of the most legendary lines in horror films (“We’re going to need a bigger boat”). It literally made people afraid to go into the water. It invented the modern blockbuster. And it launched the career of fledgling director Steven Spielberg. Today, he’s one of the most celebrated directors of the modern age, but at the time of Jaws’ filming, Spielberg was just a young director with a huge budget, an ambitious concept, and one of the most fearsome villains ever put on screen. It was a long road from the script to the water, though. Here, for your consideration, are thirteen things you didn’t know about Jaws.
1. The On-Set Tension Was Real
In the film, shark hunter Quint and consulting oceanographer Matt Hooper are constantly at odds throughout the course of the story. As it turns out, Robert Shaw, who plays Quint, and Richard Dreyfuss, who played Hooper, really didn’t like each other in real life. Of course, Spielberg, in turn, got some great intensity from the men when it came to squabbling on the ship.
2. That “Bigger Boat” Line Was Not in the Script
Perhaps the film’s most famous line is said by Police Chief Martin Brody, played by Roy Scheider. After seeing the wreckage caused by the monster shark, Brody exclaims, “We’re gonna need a bigger boat.” According to the film’s screenwriter, this line wasn’t in the original script. Scheider ad libbed it on the set and the director kept it in.
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