It’s summer and that means sequels. So – not because it was extraordinarily well-received or critically acclaimed – but simply because…here is the follow-up to some observations about the movie Jaws…
When we left off, Chief Brody and Hooper had performed a shark autopsy and headed out into the night in Hooper’s sloop, hoping to find the shark.
Brody was liquored to the gills and Hooper was munching down pretzels like he had an endorsement deal…
49:55 As Brody continues to hit the sauce, he and Hooper get to know each other. Then, they come across Ben Gardner’s partially submerged boat.
I don’t know if any scene was discussed more the next day at school by my friends and me than Ben’s head drifting out of the hole in the boat’s hull.
(none of us probably admitting how much the scene had freaked us out)
50:30 The mayor’s back! And he’s wearing the sports jacket adorned with a pattern of tiny anchors. If I was the head of state for some small, island nation, I would strongly consider making that jacket the national garb for state functions and our Olympic team.
1:01:32 The shark arrives. And this time, it’s not some chick skinny-dipping that meets a briny demise but a Kennedy. I mean, the fellow in the rowboat with the tousled hair, ruddy complexion, and Boston accent made me think of pictures, news footage, and movie portrayels I had seen of John and Bobby.
Of course, I was in second grade when I first saw Jaws and had never known anyone from New England. I associated that accent with no one but the Kennedy clan.
1:05:12 The mayor signs off on contracting Quint to kill the shark. He’s in a different sports jacket (no less garish) and he’s chain-smoking Pall Malls…in a hospital.
The ’70s were truly a madcap time.
1:07:40 “I’m talkin’ about workin’ for a livin’ – I’m talkin’ about sharkin'”
Quint serves Brody some homemade hooch – I never realized what a boozehound the Chief is – and quizzes Hooper on knot-tying.
Quint is awesome.
I had an Uncle who, as a kid, put me on edge the same way Quint does in this flick.
Uncle Bud had a boat, but he spent his time “catfishin'” and pounding beers like he was Brody, punctuating every sentence with a point of a finger and his repeated mantra, “Know what I mean?”
I rarely did.
10:09:25 As the gear is loaded onto the Orca, I wonder what happened to the stubby, little fellow that was Quint’s sidekick earlier in the movie.
(he probably pissed Quint off and Quint had him keel-hauled)
1:11:16 Brody might have a drinking problem, but he’s got cajones going out to sea with Quint.
1:13:19 Brody’s chumming the water and Quint is pounding back a can of Narragansett. This was of particular interest to me when I first saw the movie as I had the same can in my beer can collection.
(seriously, the ’70s were zany)
1:20:53 “Hooper drives the boat,” Quint bellows, ending Brody’s whining about being ordered to throw out more chum. Hooper, meanwhile is playing solitaire, provoking Quint to bark at him to “stop playing with yourself.”
I’m going to have to check if there is a deleted version of this scene in which Quint clinks Brody and Hooper’s heads together like it’s a Three Stooges short (and, then, he keel-hauls the two).
1:21:22 “You’re gonna need a bigger boat.”
I wasn’t listening to much music at the time, but had I been listening thirty-five years ago – when Jaws had just arrived in theaters – here are four songs that were on Billboard ‘s chart during this week in 1975…
Alice Cooper – Only Women Bleed
from Welcome To My Nightmare (1975)
My all-time greatest arch-enemy has to have been my third-grade teacher. More days than not, the two of us were at odds. She was an Alice Cooper fan. I’m not sure if that was why I never bothered with Alice Cooper’s music or rather because during the ’80s – my musically formative years – he wasn’t on top of his game.
But I’ve gained a greater appreciation for Cooper’s catalog in recent years and the somber Only Women Bleed was not only a big hit for him, but the poignant ballad must have thrown long-time fans when it arrived (though, should anyone been surprised at the time by anything Alice did?)
Paul McCartney & Wings – Listen To What The Man Said
from All The Best (1987)
I know McCartney got a lot of flack in the ’70s for putting out fluff. Do people toss Listen To What The Man Said into that bin?
Maybe it is fluff, but so is cotton candy. And who doesn’t love cotton candy?
Actually, I don’t. But, I do love this song. It’s charming, sweet, sunny, and utterly delightful. It’s hard to be bummed out if it’s playing.
It also makes me think of the summer of ’75 when Listen To What The Man Said is one song which I do remember hearing and hearing often at the pool.
Melissa Manchester – Midnight Blue
from The Essence Of Melissa Manchester (1997)
I think I know Midnight Blue and You Should Hear How She Talks About You, if asked to name songs by Melissa Manchester. And, she did a song a friend had written on one of her ’90s albums.
Still, I’ve noted that there seems to be a lot of her albums in used vinyl racks I’ve trolled. And I did hear Midnight Blue on the radio in ’75, usually during breakfast when my mom had tuned into our small town’s station.
Mike Post – The Rockford Files
from Have a Nice Decade: The ’70s Pop Culture Box (1998)
Mike Post has written about a billion television themes.
I don’t recall watching The Rockford Files as a kid, at least not more than an occasional episode. Finding some old television schedules from the years on I see that there were shows that aired opposite that got the television time in our house – shows like Hawaii Five-O and The Incredible Hulk.