5 FACTS ABOUT JAWS

AMITY – Jaws! That’s it. We’re going to need a bigger fact!

Jaws. This was NO BOATING ACCIDENT! Get your facts together for one of the best films ever to be made about a shark eating a man who delivered the atom bomb they dropped on Hiroshima. FA—–ACT, FA——-ACT, FACT FACT FACT FACT (didder-derrr!)

1. Steven Spielberg occasionally used a fake shark when he believed using a real shark would endanger the actors. If you look very carefully some experts can tell the difference by the general plastic rubbery crapness of the model shark and the real one. But you have to be an expert.  

2. Quint was named Squint in the original Peter Benchley novel because he squinted so much, but Robert Shaw told Spielberg he’d like to change the name because Squint made him sound like a cock womble.

3. The Indianapolis scene was a stroke of great good fortune. Spielberg asked John Milius if he had any ideas and Milius had tons but they were all rubbish. Then Milius went for a walk across his favourite golf club and got hit by lightning. He wrote the scene out as he still smoked from the lightning strike. Everyone was amazed. He’s never done anything as good, prior or since. 

4. Ben Gardner was based on a real gardener.

5. All the sequels made following the success of the original were directed by Steven Spielberg though he had his name taken off the credits in each case because they were generally as good as finding flaky dog shit on your toothbrush after you’ve brushed your teeth.

For more FACTS on everything from this to that click HERE! 

ON SET: MAKING JAWS

HOLLYWOOD – I remember when Stevie Spielberg first came into my office with his script. It was called Amity then. I read it as he played pin ball, whooping and hollering and full of energy and vim. 

‘Well?’ he asks.
‘I like it,’ I tell him. ‘The peaceful seaside community, the cop from New York, kids Karate chopping fences. It’s great. But I got one word for you: Shark!’
His eyes lit up. I gave him a novel I’d read, Godawful piece of trash but there was a shark in it: Jaws by Peter Benchley, who I knew because of his father. A week later back comes Stevie, script rewritten. He shoots some hoops in the yard while I read. The cop’s son befriends the lonely shark and they have adventures. ‘You didn’t read the book, did you?’

He shakes his head. ‘I looked at the cover, briefly,’ he admits.
‘Okay,’ I tell him. ‘We need a severed head, a bitten off leg and a great score by Henry Mancini.’
Well, two out of three ain’t bad. 

(This extract was taken from the forthcoming book Lunches with Assholes: How Films Get Made due out for Xmas