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  • William Lee Martin

Episode 2: Jaws (1975) - Lisa's Childhood Prank, Beach Experiences, and The Face Slap Was Real!

Updated: Sep 22

Cowtown Drive In Podcast | William Lee Martin | Lisa Bruce  | Ep. 2 | Jaws

This Episode we dive into our favorite lines and captivating moments in the 1975 movie Jaws, uncovering childhood nostalgia along the way!

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Fun Facts About the Movie:
  • The studio was planning on training a real shark for the film... safe to say that (to the joy of the actors) the plan was not fulfilled and a mechanical shark was built instead.

  • Jaws originally wasn't supposed to release in the summer, rather it was intended to have a Christmas release in 1974.

  • The iconic poster was actually stolen from an illustration by Roger Kastel for the novel's paperback edition. The swimmer was modeled after a woman that Kastel has sketched for an ad in 'Good Housekeeping.' The shark also was based off a great white diorama at the American Museum of Natural History.

  • The star of the film, the shark actually doesn't appear on screen until an hour and twenty-one minutes into the two-hour movie due to the shark rarely working.

  • Because there were so many technical issues, the film took a very long time to make. The originally scheduled 65-day shoot became 159 days, not including post-production.

  • The crew became so frustrated with the constant setbacks making the movie that they referred to the film as "FLAWS"

  • The mechanical shark utilized was nicknamed "Bruce" by Steven Spielberg after his lawyer, Bruce Ramer.

  • Spielberg invited some industry friends to the set before filming began to check out the mechanical shark. When George Lucas playfully stuck his head in the shark's mouth, John Milius and Spielberg grabbed the controls and clamped the jaw shut. However, it stuck, trapping Lucas inside. After prying Lucas loose, the guys all snuck out of the workshop afraid they'd broken the contraption.

  • Spielberg appears twice vocally:

  • His voice crackles over the radio in Quint's boat as the Amity Island dispatcher that patches Brody through to his wife.

  • In the scene including a local band marching through town, John Williams was too afraid to ask his professional orchestra to sound like amateurs, so Spielberg picked up the clarinet and played a Sousa march with the orchestra.

  • To get the first shark attack to look so real, Spielberg rigged heavy underwater cables to drag actor Susan Backlinie turbulently through the water. She wasn't warned when the jerking would begin, so her onscreen surprise is genuine.

  • Producers initially had Rick Richards as the director, but he kept calling the shark a "whale," and producers dropped him and replace him with Spielberg.

  • The famous line "you're gonna need a bigger boat" was improved by Roy Scheider on the day of shooting as an inside joke with the cast and crew members.

  • The location crew formed its own Jaws softball team and would take on locals in games on Sundays when they weren't filming.

  • Actress Lee Fierro was the local drama teacher on Martha's Vineyard (where they were filming), and played the role of Mrs. Kitner. However, she couldn't fake a slap so she'd hit Scheider on every take (totaling 17 times!). She once said in an interview that she hit him so hard his glasses flew off.

  • The post-Jaws hysteria was a little too real for some, with a large drop in beach tourism and rise in shark killings after the movie was released.

Our Ratings:

William Lee- 9/10

Lisa- 8/10

JT- 8/10

Audie- 8.5/10

Cowtown Drive-In Average- 8.4/10

Jaws | Steven Spielberg | Roy Scheider

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