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City Hands: Brody, Hooper, Quint

This is the first time in the movie we see Brody, Hooper and Quint, our traveling companions for the rest of the adventure, together. The scene starts before we get there, Quint’s demands — “$10,000, $200 a day whether I catch him or not” — are laid over Brody’s exiting the hospital with Mayor Vaughn’s signed contract and we cut to him coming through the door to Quint’s abode as if in a single bound. Quint’s abode is the most interesting space in Jaws, adorned with fishing nets, ship’s wheels and skeletal shark jaws (one is in boiling on a stove getting some atmospheric texture into the scene), much to Hooper’s delight and Brody’s unease. The key set element here is the staircase. Not only does it give Spielberg something interesting to shoot through but it also literally gives Quint the higher ground when he is introduced to Hooper.

Forget man vs. shark, Quint vs. Hooper is Jaws’ epic bout. It starts as low comedy — “I’ve crewed three transpacs,” boasts Hooper. “Transplants?” misunderstands Quint on purpose — builds to a knot tying challenge — “I haven’t had to pass basic seamanship in a long time. You didn’t say how small you wanted it,” says Hooper with all the bravado of Daffy Duck upstaging Porkiy Pig — and then explodes into all out class war, Quint grabbing Hooper’s “city hands” before Hooper pulls them away, rejecting “this working class hero crap”. Brody comes between them. The tension simmers until the shark shows his face.

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1 Love it!!
Have to say though I think the best scene involving three characters in Jaws is the scene over dinner with Brody, Ellen and their youngest son. With Ellen looking on, their son (Michael I think?!) impersonates his father in a scene that is visually beautiful, stunningly played by all and almost heartbreaking at the same time. As a father myself the line "Give me a kiss"; "why?"..."because I need it!" is perfectly toned and written. It could have been to his wife, that it's to his youngest son is pure genius, VERY Spielberg and always brings a tear to my eye :) More

Posted by waltham1979 on Thursday September 6, 2012, 17:07

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