Preparing for an erudite classroom discussion on “Jaws”, I thought I’d share some of these facts and fragments I gathered from Nigel Andrews’ wonderful JAWS guide.
1. The teeth of the three mechanical sharks used in the film–all named Bruce, after Spielberg’s lawyer, Bruce Ramer) were flossed regularly to rid them of seaweed.
2. Andrea Morton a Martha’s Vineyard waitress, starred as “Chrissie’s arm” (the severed appendage rising out of the crab and kelp littered sand hill that nearly makes Lt. Hendricks lose his lunch). Morton soaked her arm in a bucket of water for hours to capture the right shade of decomposed blue.
3. Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw’s mutual distaste for each other apparently began when Shaw poured himself a whiskey lamenting, “I would give anything just to be able to stop drinking.” Dreyfuss reportedly said, “Okay” and promptly threw Shaw’s drink out a porthole. “He didn’t forgive me for that,” Dreyfuss recalled.
4. Spielberg filmed the scene in which Hooper (Dreyfuss) discovers Ben Gardner’s head in the wrecked hull of a boat in editor Verna Fields’ swimming pool, adding Carnation milk and little pieces of tin foil to the pool water to create murk and silt.
5. The death cry of the sinking, dying shark is actually archive audio from “The Creature from the Black Lagoon.”