AMITY – Steven Spielberg received a letter in 1975, following the release of the first blockbuster Jaws, from the head of the Professional Institute of Shark Hunters (PISH).
Here printed in full and EXCLUSIVE is the letter sent to Steven Spielberg by the head of PISH Ben Gardener:
Dear Mr. Spielberg,
I have just viewed your motion picture JAWS and while on a personal level I found much to recommend it – exciting and thrilling are two words I used to describe it to my wife – on a professional level as the Chairman for the Professional Institute of Shark Hunters (PISH) it pains me to inform you that I must object to the depiction of our profession in the person of the character named Bartholomew QUINT. He is possibly the worst portrait ever of a shark fisherman and so manifest are his failings that I feel I need to enumerate them for you.
1. No shark fisherman of any character would stop a town meeting and draw attention to himself by scraping his fingernails down a blackboard. This is simply not done in civilized society and shark fishermen are first and foremost gentlemen.
2. Quint’s offer to find the shark for $3000, but only to kill him for $10,000 is tantamount to blackmail and is not the way shark fishermen conduct business. We have a list of prices that are published.
3. Quint’s disrespect for the Chief of Police and Matt Hooper of the Oceanic Institute are not characteristic of the shark fishermen I know.
4. We do not indulge in ‘bawdy’ or ‘ribald’ singing. Although I will admit to a partiality to the music of Sammy Davis Jr.
5. Quint’s drinking of alcohol on the job is deplorable and his littering likewise. His obviously inebriated state at a later stage in the evening sees him make several errors in judgement.
6. Smash one’s own radio whilst in the middle of a ferocious shark attack seems beyond all rational sense. To begin with those things are expensive and there is an off switch if you really don’t want to be disturbed. It would have been far more sensible of Quint to have actually used the radio to call for some assistance.
7. To chase the shark out to sea rather than towards the coast where it could be beached shows a foolishness that beggars belief. Even Chief Brody seems to be more aware of how to kill a shark than your $10,000 dollar hunter.
8. That is not how you tie a sheep shank.
9. Destroying the boat’s engine and causing it to explode and sink the Orca is once more suicidal stupidity that has no place in the competent shark fisherman’s locker of talents.
10. Finally one simply does not under any circumstances slide into the mouth of the shark one is trying to kill. Hand to hand combat with a machete never ends well for the shark fisherman and there’s no use spitting blood over it, it’s simply a FACT.
So Mr. Spielberg it isn’t often that our profession get any exposure in the media, but I have to say you have done us a singular disservice,
For more on Jaws CLICK HERE.