a question about "Jaws"

I was watching a rerun of “Jaws” the other day, and a line of dialog seems to be chopped off. I was watching a movie channel, so I assume it was unedited.

If anyone remembers the scene in question is where Richard Dreyfus is going over the remaining body parts of the first victim. He holds up her arm and says “This is what happens…” and that’s it. It’s almost as if they cut whatever followed that sentence fragment and just threw it in the movie. I have a vague recollection of watching “Jaws” years ago, and thinking that Dreyfus finished that thought. Perhaps I am misremembering.

Can anyone fill me in on if that has been edited, or if that is the way it always has been?


Also, I can’t remember who said it or where I read it on this board, but someone made a great point about the head coming out of the bottom of Ben Gardner’s boat. I cracked up when I realized that when they were trying to convince the mayor that they needed to shut down the beaches, they talked about the tooth of the great white shark taken out of the boat. For some reason, they failed to add the fact that some guy’s HEAD fell out of the boat. I never picked up on that one myself, but now it really annoys me. Mostly because I never noticed such a large logical plot hole.

There’s more in that line on the IMDB “memorable quotes” page.

Thanks, jjimm! I’m glad I have a few marbles floating around up there! I could have sworn the line was longer than that.

So now, I have to ask… is there anything out there that tells you ***why ***the line has been shortened? The movie was on HBO, so it shouldn’t have been cut at all.

I don’t know, but after reading the edited line, it shoulda never made it into the script, at least as written.

Agreed. However, it has to have set a record for the number of times the word “squalus” was used by the same character in an unbroken piece of dialogue.

removing it just seems strange, considering it was in the original movie, it doesn’t contain any vulgar words, and is just scientific babble. Maybe the babble is incorrect?

Hail Ants nailed it in this older thread on the topic:

Terrific bit of dialogue. It’s during a post mortem, so is necessarily full of technical terms. In this little scene we get tons of exposition, lots of revelation about Hooper, some about poor innocent Brody and a dose of foreshadowing of what will happen.

Check it all out:

*[Hooper is examining the remains of the first victim - describes the post-mortem into his tape recorder]

Hooper: The height and weight of the victim can only be estimated from the partial remains. The torso has been severed in mid-thorax; there are no major organs remaining…

Hooper: Right arm has been severed above the elbow with massive tissue loss in the upper musculature… partially denuded bone remaining…

Hooper: [to the m.e. and Brody] This was no boat accident!

Hooper: [to Brody] Did you notify the Coast Guard about this?

Brody: No. It was only local jurisdiction.

Hooper: [continues post-mortem] The left arm, head, shoulders, sternum and portions of the rib cage are intact…

Hooper: [to Brody] Do not smoke in here, thank you very much.

Hooper: [lifts up the severed arm] This is what happens. It indicates the non-frenzied feeding of a large squalus - possibly Longimanus or Isurus glauca. Now… the enormous amount of tissue loss prevents any detailed analysis; however the attacking squalus must be considerably larger than any normal squalus found in these waters. Didn’t you get on a boat and check out these waters?

Brody: No.

Hooper: Well, this is not a boat accident! And it wasn’t any propeller; and it wasn’t any coral reef; and it wasn’t Jack the Ripper! It was a shark. *

The rant and a good response are found in the Poorly Done Moments in Otherwise Good Movies thread.

I’ve got a question about Jaws myself. When Brody and Hooper are on Quint’s boat, at one point, what appears to be a shooting star appears in the sky behind Brody. The very next shot, of the boat itself against the evening sky, another shooting star appears. The problem with both shots (but more so in the second) is that the star looks incredibly fake. It’s movement is jerky, and far slower than a real shooting star. It looks like a ham-handed attempt to create a shooting star effect, maybe by simply scratching the film. Except, there’s no reason for there to be a shooting star in that shot. It doesn’t relate to anything in the movie, and none of the characters comment on it in anyway. Anyone know what the deal is with that thing?

This issue was recently addressed in Empire Magazine (the 20th anniversary issue, to be precise). One feature had filmmakers asking each other a single question they’ve always wanted to ask, and Bryan Singer asked Steven Spielberg exactly this question.

Spielberg said, wow, nobody had ever asked him this before (Empire called it 'the most obscure Spielberg question ever).

Anyway, IIRC, Spielberg said that he felt the scene was getting a little long with a lot of unnecessary exposition on Hooper’s part. He said he figured he’d cut out most of the scene just to get to the visual of the injured arm. I believe that was all there was to it.

Spielberg loves shooting stars. Check the trivia section of any of his movies at the IMDB. There’s a mention of a shooting star in practically all of them.

IMDb trivia says the shooting star was real. Since then, I believe Spielberg has made shooting stars a sort of trademark in his films.

I believe the head appearing in the hole in the boat was shot much later than the principle photography. Screenings before preview audiences convinced Spielberg that another ‘shock moment’ was needed in the film. I think this was shot at the last minute in a swimming pool. And this would explain why it isn’t mentioned in any subsequent scenes.

Hmmmm…all this is interesting. If you were watching “Jaws” on TV, I’d say the chances are at least as good as not that there was some stuff edited/cut out of the movie. That’s often what happens when movies go on television.

a question about "Jews"

and I thought, “That’s odd, it’s not even Friday evening…” :dubious:

Coincidentally, I just watched the extras for Close Encounters tonight and Spielberg told a story of how when he was a child, his father woke him up in the middle of the night, didn’t tell him where they were going, and took him out to a field in the middle of nowhere to watch a meteor shower. He said it was the first time he realized he wanted to tell stories about things “not of this world”.

I thought it said “a question about Jawas.”