Cinema Monolith

Reviews of movies from my giant DVD tower, and more.

Jaws: The Morgue Scene

If you remember a recent Jaws Month post of mine, I mentioned a scene from Jaws where Richard Dreyfuss, as oceanographer Matt Hooper, is in the medical examiner’s office looking at the remains of the first victim, Chrissie Watkins. He lifts her severed arm out of a small plastic tub and states, “This is what happens…” before the shot suddenly—and mysteriously—cuts away. In fact, it seems to me the moment interrupts an already existing shot…as if it were inserted into the film late in the post-production process.

For Jaws fans everywhere, this edit has raised a question that, as far as I know, has never been answered: what was removed from that inserted shot? Taking my own advice, I went on-line and began searching for Jaws scripts—rough drafts, early versions, and finished screenplays—where I could hopefully discover for myself whether or not that complete line of dialogue ever existed. Or if I had experienced some sort of false memory of something that never existed in the first place.

I found two versions of the screenplay during my search; the first was an undated early draft credited to the novel’s author, Peter  Benchley, and to screenwriter Carl Gottlieb. What’s interesting is, this draft carried the title Stillness in the Water, with the alternate title of Jaws listed underneath as an ‘also known as’. Below is the scene in question, featuring Brody, Hooper and the unnamed coroner studying the remains of the unfortunate Chrissie. And note that the medical examiner’s office is described here as ‘morgue’. (Script and scene courtesy of the Internet Movie Script Database):

 

INT. MORGUE - DAY

               The Amity Morgue is also the Amity Funeral Home, a Victorian 
               house that normally serves as the community's mortuary. The 
               Coroner, a professional small-town GP, is standing by as 
               Hooper is speaking into a sophisticated cassette recorder 
               with a headpiece that leaves his hands free for measurement 
               with a calibrator or calipers.

                                     BRODY
                         Let's show Mr. Hooper our accident.

               With a shrug, the Coroner slides open the drawer.

               CLOSE ON HOOPER

               He is looking down as the drawer slides past him, still matter-
               of-fact, turning on his recorder.

                                     HOOPER
                         Victim One, identified as Christine 
                         Watkins, female Caucasian...

               The sheet has just been lifted, and Hooper stares down at 
               the lump on the slab. He stops, turns off his recorder as 
               emotions wage war with his senses. Rationality wins, and he 
               turns on the recorder again.

                                     HOOPER
                         ...height and weight may only be 
                         estimated from partial remains. Torso 
                         severed in mid-thorax, eviscerated 
                         with no major organs remaining. May 
                         I have a drink of water? Right arm 
                         severed above the elbow with massive 
                         tissue loss from upper musculature. 
                         Portions of denuded bone remaining.
                              (tense, to Brody)
                         -- did you notify the coast guard?

                                     BRODY
                         No, it was local jurisdiction.

                                     HOOPER
                         Left arm, head, shoulders, sternum 
                         and portions of ribcage intact.
                              (to Brody)
                         Please don't smoke. With minor post-
                         mortem lacerations and abrasions. 
                         Bite marks indicate typical non-frenzy 
                         feeding pattern of large squali, 
                         possibly carchaninus lonimanus, or 
                         isurus glaucas. Gross tissue loss 
                         and post-mortem erosion of bite 
                         surfaces prevent detailed analysis; 
                         however, teeth and jaws of the 
                         attacking squali must be considered 
                         above average for these waters.
                              (to Brody again)
                         -- Did you go out in a boat and look 
                         around?

                                     BRODY
                         No, we just checked the beach...

                                     HOOPER
                              (turns off the recorder)
                         It wasn't an 'accident,' it wasn't a 
                         boat propeller, or a coral reef, or 
                         Jack the Ripper. It was a shark. It 
                         was a shark.

Okay, no solution to our puzzle there. But what about this next one…a final draft screenplay that was again undated, where Peter Benchley is credited as the sole screenwriter. This version is strictly titled Jaws, and it even carries a production number (#02074), which would lead me to believe that this was the more recent of the two scripts. But the one above more closely parallels the final product that we see on-screen, so maybe the one below was Benchley’s final draft before Gottlieb came on board to revise his work. Again, we have Brody and Hooper at the morgue, but this time the coroner is given a name, and the dialogue is completely different from what we know from the film. (Script and scene courtesy of Drew’s Script-O-Rama):

90 INTERIOR - MORGUE - DAY


               Hooper is measuring the bite marks on the Day-Glow raft
               with his dial calibrators.

                                     HOOPER
                         I'll look at her now if you don't
                         mind.

91 ANGLE - BRODY, CORONER SANTOS, HOOPER

               Hooper scribbles notes, then mumbles something inaudible
               into his pocket cassette recorder. Coroner Santos looks
               to Brody, plaintively.

                                     CORONER SANTOS
                         That was a different sort of accident.
                         As I told you ---

                                     BRODY
                                 (guilty, angry)
                         Let him.

               The coroner hesitates, then walks to the ice chest and slides
               open the drawer.

92 CLOSE - HOOPER

               At first his face registers shock. Then, with forced composure,
               Hooper steadies his hands and begins to take pictures with his
               Minolta.

                                     HOOPER
                         I've heard the boat-propeller story
                         several times. And the nocturnal
                         hatchet-murder story, the dashed-
                         upon-the-razor-coral story --
                                 (to Brody)
                         The little boy was never found?

               Brody nods, looking down at his feet.

                                     HOOPER
                         They're very successful creatures,
                         sharks. Eighty million year's antiquity
                         for the species of the Great White.
                         The family goes as far back as three-
                         hundred million. Plenty of time to get
                         good at what they do.

               An attendant flies into the room, joyfully out of wind.

                                     ATTENDANT
                         They called from the dock, Mr. Brody!
                         They got it!

93 CLOSE - HOOPER

               He appears stunned.

94 CLOSE - BRODY

               Enjoying a lightheadedness he hasn't felt in weeks.

                                     BRODY
                         Want to see?

Still no answer! So I guess the mystery remains unsolved, for now. But if we’re looking for some positives out of all this, at least we had the opportunity to check out some interesting variations of a Jaws scene…ones which hopefully were less anti-climactic than the recent Michael Phelps vs Fake Great White Shark race that lamely kicked off Shark Week on the Discovery Channel. And if anyone has any thoughts or clues in regards to this scene, or if you know of any other drafts of the Jaws script that might hold some answers, feel free to let me know below!

65 comments on “Jaws: The Morgue Scene

  1. Nice work with the research. Fascinating stuff. Perhaps only Jaws insiders from back in the day are in the loop on this one? Or maybe there’s a professor teaching film interpretation at a lofty (or un-lofty) university with some dirt on the real deal? One day you’ll stumble onto the Monolithic truth. When you least expect it.

    Like

    • Todd B
      7/29/17

      Thanks, Julie! I can think of two Jaws insiders who might have some insight: Richard Dreyfuss and Steven Spielberg. Although I don’t know when I’ll be able to talk to either of them…I can never seem to catch them at home. And I’ve checked out a few behind-the-scenes books and searched for articles and information on-line, and so far I’ve come up empty, so maybe you’re right: one day I’ll just stumble upon it, when I least expect it.

      Like

  2. Dracula
    7/29/17

    To conclude Jaws Month, I did not swim with the great whites in San Diego. I did stumble across a cool shark t-shirt where the lil man said “hey, let’s get that for Mr. Todd”. Soon to be donated to the CM collection.

    Like

    • Todd B
      7/30/17

      You tell the lil man that I said thank you, and am looking forward to wearing his cool gift with pride. And I’m disappointed to hear that you did not swim in the Westwood Club pool with any computer-generated sharks.

      Like

  3. grandrapidsgirl
    7/30/17

    Hey, not fair that I cannot post my funny shark wearing polka-dot bra pics here!

    Like

    • Todd B
      7/30/17

      Why not? If I can add an image to my comments, you should be able to do the same! If not, send me another comment, then send me the pic via e-mail, and I’ll add it your comment myself!

      Like

      • grandrapidsgirl
        7/31/17

        Just couldn’t quite spare that last brain cell so it’s in your inbox. I will have to tap your skills to find out how to do that tho. Thanks!! 🙂

        Like

      • Todd B
        8/2/17

        Here ya go, Shark Girl!

        null

        Like

  4. Dracula
    7/31/17

    What about those shark speedos we gave you a few years ago? Oh that’s right, you go to Blacks Beach.

    Like

    • Todd B
      8/2/17

      I actually wore the shark speedos to Black’s Beach, but the minute I stepped onto the beach, they were enthusiastically torn off by the Nordic Women’s Surf Team.

      Like

      • Julie Dunning
        8/3/17

        Oh! Thanks for sharing my find! And is “Black’s Beach” still a thing?!? I thought surely we’d outgrown it. Your encounter with the Nordic Women’s Surf Team – well . . . ROFL!!

        Like

      • Todd B
        8/6/17

        Apparently Black’s Beach IS still a thing…though it wouldn’t be MY sort of thing, unless there really was a Nordic Women’s Surf Team. In which case, you couldn’t drag me away from that place, no matter how hard you tried. 😉

        Like

  5. If anyone is going to figure this mystery out, I know it’ll be you. Maybe if you start stalking Richard Dreyfuss he’ll let you in on the secret. Either way, I’m not going to let this one blip in the film canister ruin my enjoyment the next time I sit down to watch this. As a matter of fact, I’m about due. Maybe that Laserdisc version I found.

    Like

    • Todd B
      8/2/17

      I’d like to think that Dreyfuss has been asked this question a thousand times, but who knows, I may end up being the first. IF I ever find him! And do you actually own a Laserdisc player? My local used record store sells laserdiscs for a buck or two each, and I’ve bought a couple for the fun of it…but it might be cool to find a player somewhere that’s cheap, too.

      And remember, whenever you next watch Jaws: “This is what happens…” – CUT! “This is what happens…” – CUT! “This is what…”

      Like

  6. Mike W
    5/19/18

    I remember seeing Jaws in the theater when it first came out. The scene in the coroner’s office was not the same as it is now. I first noticed the coroner’s office changes right away once the movie came out on vhs. Every time a newly presented copy of the film, like one that included stars narrating or photo stills etc, came out I would buy it hoping to see if maybe they put that scene back in. I don’t remember the particulars of the scene but I remember it was gruesome and thought at the time I noticed the scene missing that they must have cut it because of the violence. Back at that time movies / TV were held to stricter standards by the government; one example might be I Dream of Jeannie not being allowed to show her belly button.

    Like

    • Todd B
      5/22/18

      Hey Mike, thanks for sharing your verification of the morgue scene omission! For me, I first noticed the difference either during its theatrical re-release in 1979, or when I watched it first aired on TV that same year. And I can’t recall any visual changes…just that bit of dialogue that seems to be cut off suddenly. And what still baffles me is, why hasn’t anyone found an answer to this puzzle? Maybe it’s like Jeannie’s belly button: it’s something we’ll never have access to.

      Liked by 1 person

    • Jim B
      2/17/21

      When it was shown in the movies, I remember Hooper hold up the arm and saying something like, Here’s what happen when a great white, just can’t remember the rest.

      Like

      • Todd B
        2/18/21

        That’s how I remember it as well: Hooper mentions the shark, and adds a comment about what not to do around the shark. Someday, perhaps, this mystery will be solved!

        Like

  7. Jodi
    7/3/18

    I remember this scene very vividly and noticed that it was missing in the TV version and in the DVD. I remember “See, this is what happens…” was followed by “when you…” I want to say he said, “See, this is what happens when you don’t pay attention.” I’m not sure if that fits or if that’s what he said, but honestly this has been driving me crazy for years. Yes, years.

    Like

    • Todd B
      7/4/18

      I’m right there with you, Jodi, and trust me, it’s been bugging me for decades! I must have noticed it in a TV airing as well, perhaps during that first broadcast back in 1979. And I guess another question to be asked is, if there was a bit of dialogue that was cut, then why was it cut? Sadly, we’ll probably never know.

      Like

  8. Glenn McKee
    8/18/18

    “So this is what happens when you go swimming” is the dialogue I seem to remember on my first viewing of Jaws.

    Like

    • Todd B
      8/18/18

      Hey Glenn, thanks for the info! That dialogue makes sense, and unless someone else can verify something different, I’m going with what you remember.

      Like

  9. nickheather
    12/12/18

    In 1981, I travelled to England to visit family. While there, BBC 1 aired Jaws. I was 13 and had seen the movie with my older cousin when I was 9 (big mistake. I’m still petrified of swimming in the ocean, and I grew up on it.). Anyway, the Chrissy autopsy scene was in the cut in its entirety. It’s the only time I’ve seen it. Unfortunately, I can’t remember the dialogue, but Dreyfuss goes into detail about how sharks rip apart their prey by shaking them side to side. They also show more of the arm. When I saw the film later on, I noticed the weird cut, and wondered why they edited it like that. As a side note, for fans of the amazing movie Poltergeist, there’s also a really odd cut in that movie where Diane is describing to Steve the feeling of being pulled along the kitchen floor, and it suddenly and loudly cuts to the couple at their neighbors house. It’s the last scene of relative normalcy before all hell breaks loose.

    Like

    • Todd B
      1/13/19

      Hi Nick! Sorry for the delay in responding…I just found this in my spam folder, with a few hundred real spam comments. Anyway, thanks for the cool news…glad to hear someone out there actually remembers how the scene played out. And that’s what I remember, too: seeing more of the arm. Now, I wonder if there’s a UK print in a vault somewhere over there that still has that scene intact; what a cool find that would be!

      I own Poltergeist, so I’ll have to take a look at the scene you mentioned and look for the sudden cut. Thanks again for the info…I promise not to take so long to respond next time!

      Like

  10. Erin P
    6/29/19

    Yes, I do remember seeing that scene when I was just a kid. It was something along the lines of “This is what happens when you introduce a…” something to the effect of ‘a predator…” the implication being what Hooper speaks of the nature of such damage and I am fairly sure there was more graphic footage of Chrissie’s body. Still, when I saw the movie on vhs for the first time, I was like “where’s that extra scene” because my tormenting older brother taunted me about it, so I recall it being far worse. It could have been shared hysteria, but I am pretty sure there was way more to it.

    Like

    • Todd Benefiel
      7/3/19

      Thanks for verifying my memories, Erin! I totally agree with you…I remember Hooper saying something more involved beyond “this is what happens…,” and I do remember it being a bit graphic. If the moment does truly exist, and it’s not our shared hysteria, I wonder where it went, and why it wasn’t included as an extra on the DVD or Blu-ray.

      And now that someone else believes you, you can turn the tables on your brother and begin taunting him instead!

      Like

  11. Me too . I noticed this right away when it came on tv, but thought it was simply edited for tv. I was 10 in ’79 and didn’t get to see it in the theater. 40 years, lol. This is my 40th anniversary for J A W S. I think I’ll do an updated search, but believe some crew members, like the camera man or boom operator, sound guy, Brown, etc should know. If there’s any justice in the UNIVERSE, it won’t take another 40 years. I’ll post any findings here. I’ve really wanted to see that clip.

    Like

    • Todd Benefiel
      7/12/19

      Cool William, thanks for adding your two cents…and glad to find yet another fan who noticed something wasn’t right! Definitely let me know if you find anything out during your search; I’ve been looking for a few years now, and have come up empty so far. I know Richard Dreyfuss goes to quite a few Jaws screenings, and takes part in Q&A sessions, so I’d love to somehow get tickets to one and ask him this question. If that ever happens, I’ll be sure to post the answer on the site!

      Like

  12. Steve Scalici
    9/11/19

    That freaking scene ALWAYS bothers me bc I remember first seeing it in the movies.

    “This is what happens” …end of TV version.

    I recall something like this…

    “This is what happens WHEN …that I am sure of

    But then I further paraphrase

    “This is what happens WHEN A GREAT WHITE SHARK EATS A HUMAN BEING.”

    Like

    • Todd Benefiel
      9/12/19

      Exactly, Steve, I remember it the same way! And it’s funny, I recall the same ‘when’ added to the end of the sentence as well! And with so many people swearing to its existence (and the shot obviously edited), it just amazes me that an answer to this question – and the reason for the edit – has not been found. What worries me, though, is that nobody can remember exactly what the missing bit of dialogue was!

      Like

  13. Denice
    1/18/20

    I must tell you I saw the original version that included that autopsy. Hooper said something to the effect of “this what happens when you have a large great white” …I can’t quote verbatim, but can tell you that it made sense!

    Like

    • Todd B
      1/18/20

      Hey, thanks Denice! I think you’re the third person now to verify that something was said! Now I guess I have to track down why that bit of dialogue was removed, a puzzle which could prove to be even more difficult to uncover. If you find out, let me know!

      Like

      • Todd B
        1/18/20

        Actually, I just counted…you’re the eighth!

        Like

      • Dan
        5/11/20

        I saw this film as a kid back in 75 when it came out and many times since…its only when I bought the DVD version that I noticed the autopsy scene had been cropped (although I had at this point maybe gone 5-10 years without seeing it). In my recollection Hooper definitely said “this is what happens when…” sadly I can’t remember the last bit.

        IMDB has this snippet in its “Alternate versions”

        “In the original Cinema version shown in the UK, the autopsy scene did not have the terrible cut/edit during the dialog. The original version contained scenes/dialog close the the following: “So this is what happens when a young girl goes swimming….”

        This was in http://legacy.aintitcool.com/node/45511

        “Spielberg was the editor of Empire Magazine a while back and did a “Q&A” from famous people and directors. Bryan Singer asked what was up with the “This is what happens” cut and he says he cut about 20 seconds of dialogue that was exposition and he didn’t like that. Spielberg says he applauds Singer for asking that question and that no one has ever asked him that before. So if you have that Empire Magazine the answer is in there.”

        Spielberg guest edited the 20th anniversary edition of Empire back in June 2009 which might be the edition referred to. Its available on eBay if you want to take the plunge and trust this bloke knows what he’s talking about.

        I wish I’d kept my old VHS recorded off the BBC….

        Like

      • Todd B
        5/12/20

        Hey Dan, thanks for stopping by, and thanks for all the info! Again, it’s good to know I’m not the only one who remembers that original dialogue…and it’s cool to find out about that UK version. I have a blogger friend in the UK, so I’ll ask him if he knows anything about this missing segment, and if he can tell us exactly what was said (maybe he still has a BBC tape).

        I find it surprising that Spielberg ‘lauded’ Singer for asking that question, because nobody else has ever asked it…really? I’d assumed that would be the #1 question asked of Spielberg related to Jaws. I know it would be mine, at least. And thanks for passing along the month and year of that Empire article…I’ll see if I can find it on-line.

        And now that I think about it…it’s too bad they didn’t take that scene from the UK BBC version and include it in the bonus features of the Blu-ray! Maybe if Criterion ever releases one…

        Like

      • Steve Scalici
        5/12/20

        Maybe we should all take a trip to London, head to a store that sells movies in all formats, get all copies of this damn movie, take out our phones, video the screen, and sell this clip to anyone who is as obsessive as we all are. We’ll make a fortune and then be able to sleep at night. 🤣

        Like

      • Todd B
        5/12/20

        Ha, yes, why not? At the very least, we can all meet up in a UK pub and talk Jaws all night. OR…instead of a trip, we use that money to fly Spielberg to us, and insist he tell us what was said during that scene. Then, we invite him to hang out and talk Jaws with us all night.

        Like

  14. Ben
    5/19/20

    Hi I just found the missing dialog on IMDb, apparently Hooper says “and this is what happens when a young girl goes swimming” he then takes a tape measure from his bag and measures the bite radius. It was a UK TV version only.

    Like

    • Todd B
      5/19/20

      Hey Ben, thanks for the valuable info…a giant step closer to the truth! I still need to contact my friend in the UK and see if he’s seen this version (or better yet, owns it), or if he knows anything about it. No matter what, whenever I see that scene with my own eyes (or doll’s eyes, as Quint would say) and get solid proof of what’s said, I’ll immediately be writing up a post to let everyone know!

      Like

      • Steve Scalici
        5/19/20

        Ah, I see a “partially denuded bone” in that pic (as I breath thru my clenched teeth). The search for the white whale continues with your black eyes like a doll’s eyes…

        Like

      • Todd B
        5/19/20

        From Hooper to Quint, without hesitation…quite the smooth transition there, Steve! But wait…where’s Brody?

        “No, it was only local jurisdiction…”

        Like

      • Steve Scalici
        5/19/20

        Oops, DO NOT SMOKE IN HERE! (As I point with my right index finger)

        (…eventually sliding my eyeglasses and headset off in a heap before dipping both of my hands in a bowl of water next to what remains of Chrissy from mid-thorax and up [no major organs remaining])

        Like

      • Todd B
        5/20/20

        Ha, and don’t forget “…THANK YOU VERY MUCH!”

        Like

      • nickheather
        5/19/20

        I went to England to visit relatives in 1981, and while I was there, either BBC or ITV aired Jaws, with the extended autopsy scene. Jaws is one of my all time favorite movies, and I’ve seen it countless times. I had no idea the British TV version contained that scene, and I’ve been looking for it ever since.

        On a side note, Spielberg seems to like weird edits. There’s one in Poltergeist as well, when Steven and Diane are in the kitchen with Carol-Anne, and Diane is describing to Steven what it feels like to be pulled along the floor. Suddenly it cuts to the two of them at Ben the Neighbor’s house. Weird.

        Liked by 1 person

      • Todd B
        5/20/20

        I own Poltergeist, so I’ll watch it again soon and check out that odd edit…I don’t know off-hand if I’ve ever noticed it before.

        Like

  15. DJ
    5/25/20

    So I got this from You Tube…I saw Jaws when it first came out and I remember this scene vividly. The dialogue that was cut was according to a YT’er: “So this is what happens…when a young girl gets drunk and decides to go swimming.” This would imply that the scene was cut/altered for VHS/DVD releases so as not to offend liquor companies that may have a stake in MCA/Universal. Blaming the alcohol for her attack rather than the shark. So Spielberg telling Singer that it was “exposition” is not exactly untrue…but he didn’t go into the motivation or the real reason why it may have been cut. Note: MCA was later bought by Seagrams so one would think that would be motivation enough right there, but I’m curious if on the earliest transfer to VHS (beginning in 1980) if the scene is intact.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Todd B
      5/26/20

      Nice find, and an interesting angle…thanks for passing that along! I still find it hard to believe that, if that clip does exist (and you and me and a million other fans agree it does), why doesn’t that snippet of celluloid exist somewhere, tucked away in a crew member’s shoebox in their closet? And I still have that UK version to track down, or at least ask my friend about, so hopefully the answer will be found there. And I’ve heard from quite a few sources that the scene was already cut in the 1979 re-release, as well as the 1979 TV premiere, so I’m guessing by the 1980 VHS release it was already gone. Thanks again, DJ!

      Liked by 1 person

    • Steve Scalici
      5/26/20

      Brilliant deduction! Makes sense, too given the Seagram’s connection.

      (But while I think it does make sense, I am putting myself in Dreyfuss’s mind: “this is what happens when a young girl gets drunk and goes swimming…”. Anddddd what? Gets hit by a boat propeller. That’s can’t be bc he discounts that possibility in his next breadth. Goes swimming in the first place after drinking and should have NOT gone swimming at all. Goes swimming and her liquor breadth is too attractive for a shark to resist.

      There still seems to be a missing few words.)

      Liked by 1 person

      • Todd B
        5/26/20

        “So this is what happens when a young girl gets drunk and decides to go swimming…and doesn’t take a scuba tank and a rifle with her.”

        Liked by 1 person

  16. Dan
    5/30/20

    I had Jaws recorded off the BBC on VHS…unfortunately I tossed all my VHS tapes 20 odd years ago when I moved to DVD. Its probably why I noticed the dialogue was missing when I watched the DVD because that darned BBC recording would be the one that I watched over and over again. I’ll ask my mate in OZ…he’s a real Jaws nut and may still have his old stuff. I’m glad I found this place, I thought I was the only person going nuts over that bit of missing film!

    Like

    • Todd B
      6/4/20

      Don’t worry Dan, you’re not alone! And you’ve supplied more verification that we’re ALL not nuts…especially since you watched your BBC tape so many times, and it’s now ingrained in your memory. If you hear anything from your friend, check back and let us know what you found out!

      Like

  17. Mickey Jay
    6/1/20

    I’ve just purchased the 4K version. Still the same cut. Also remember Quint’s demise being a lot more graphic. Again an obvious cut. Had thought as it’s got a ’12’ certificate in the UK that it was the original cut but it’s only when I read the small print on the box that the feature itself is the PG version & some scenes in the extras is the reason for the upgrade. Disappointed is an understatement.

    Like

    • Todd B
      6/4/20

      I was wondering if that 4K release was going to be different or not…the way things are being changed in DVD/Blu-ray releases these days, I wouldn’t be surprised if Chrissie, Quint, and that Kintner boy all survived in the end. But I’d always thought that the original cut of Jaws was PG (there was no PG-13 at that time)…have there been different ratings over the years, or different ones overseas? That would be horrible to find out that Jaws was being edited for home video releases…I’ll have to keep an eye out for info on that less-graphic Quint scene.

      Like

  18. june mitchell
    6/1/20

    When Jaws came out in ’75, I saw it six times. The line was…”this is what happens with people go swimming with sharks”…. I also remember seeing Chrissy Watkins remains and a little crab coming out of her mouth.

    Like

    • Todd B
      6/4/20

      You got me beat…I only saw it five times in 1975! And good lord, this is the first time I’ve heard of the ‘little crab’ moment…I think you’re going to surprise all Jaws fans with that one!

      Like

      • Steve Scalici
        6/4/20

        I just got yelled at by my wife…”Do Not Smoke In Here!”

        And here’s another annoying edit to the original original 1975 masterpiece …I recall the decapitated head of Ben Gardner floating within his boat being much more mangled and disgusting and shocking. Now maybe because I’m older now, but when I watch it not it seems not as nearly scary as it was when I was 19 seeing down the Jersey shore on LBI. I bet there was an alt version of that too.

        Like

      • Todd B
        6/6/20

        Oddly, I’ve wondered about that same scene/shot for a while now…I watch it now, and both shots of the head – where it first ‘enters’ the hull opening, and then when we get a second view of it – seem different than what I remember before the VHS version came out. Like they inserted different takes of the shot…the angle seems different, and I seem to recall the shots lasting longer. And the shot does seem more tame to me, which like you said could be because we’ve grown up a bit since 1975.

        And your wife is only allowed to say that to you if she looks like Matt Hooper…

        Liked by 1 person

  19. alexandermoir
    7/27/20

    A few years ago my friend met Richard Dreyfuss when he came into the Manhattan I’ve cream shop he was working in. Too bad he didn’t ask. In a separate incident in which I’ve been tracking down something Quint says, I FB messaged Carl Gottlieb (he’s just an average joe on there) and asked but all he said was “buy my book.”

    The quote I’ve puzzled over since I first saw the movie sounds like it’s a sound byte that they used twice, maybe to fill in something else. Quint shouts it when he’s babbling as they kid the Orca. It sounds like “Dee didder hoop!” Then he shouts SOB! Later you hear the exact same weird line right before Hooper gets crushed by the rope and growls in pain. Listen for it.

    Like

    • Todd B
      7/30/20

      Hi Alexander! That’s pretty cool about Richard Dreyfuss, and yeah, if I ever met him, it would be the first thing I’d ask about! And though it was cool you heard back from Carl Gottlieb, the response wasn’t all too informative…and I’ve read The Jaws Log, and I don’t remember anything being mentioned by him about that scene.

      Now I’m curious about your Quint quote, so when I have a free moment this weekend I’ll plug Jaws in to the Blu-ray player and study those sound byte moments you mention. Perhaps I’ll be able to decipher “Dee didder hoop!” for you!

      Like

  20. Ernest W. Norrman
    7/28/20

    I saw Jaws in the theatre when I was 5 (twice because we missed the very beginning) I scared the bejesus outta me (The head). I remember seeing it on TV a few years later (Sunday Night Movie on ABC). The edited in the cut Quint Scene, which was weird. When they got to the morgue scene I could have sworn it was different in the theatre and a little longer. I have searched since but to no avail so, maybe my memory isn’t that great. However, it still tugs at the back of my mind. Ever thought to reach out to Richard Dreyfuss and get his take?

    Like

    • Todd B
      8/1/20

      Hi Ernest! I can’t believe you were FIVE when you first saw Jaws…pretty funny! I was still watching Disney at that age! And don’t be too hard on your memory…quite a few people have commented here, saying the same thing: that scene was different in ’75.

      I know that Richard Dreyfuss makes a lot of appearances at Jaws screenings, so I’d love to be able to go to one, and pay extra to be part of the meet & greet festivities after the show. At which point, I would definitely be asking him about that scene…and reporting his answer here, of course. Otherwise, I don’t know how I’d get a question to him, besides maybe if I bumped into him at a Target!

      Like

  21. Ray Kosby
    8/28/20

    This scene has bugged me for a long time. I saw Jaws in ’75. I have a memory of a brief overhead shot from the ceiling of Chrissie’s head and shoulders in the pan next to her arm. It is a disturbing image that I convinced myself was really my 11 year old imagination based on the dialog.

    I also remember a photo in a magazine around that time of the shark’s gaping mouth behind a kid paddling on an inflatable raft. I have never been able to find that photo again and I attributed that also to imagination until last week when I found footage on youtube of the shark attacking the kid on the raft from behind directed by Joe Alves and shot from a distance. It didn’t make it into the movie but it made me think the photo may not have been imaginary.

    Like

    • Todd B
      9/4/20

      Hi Ray, thanks for the input! I’ve never heard of that ‘head-and-shoulders overhead shot’ of Chrissie’s remains until now…what an interesting – but gruesome – visual! If it wasn’t just your 11-year-old imagination at work, I can see why it was cut from the film!

      But it could be the photograph you remember from the magazine is not your imagination…it might be included in the book Jaws: Memories from Martha’s Vineyard. Towards the end of the book, there are a few pages discussing the filming of that scene, along with several photographs of the scene as well, including the shark and the raft. And I just now found this photo on-line…is this the one you remember?

      Like

  22. William Roberts
    10/4/20

    Man, this has been bugging me forever too. I saw Jaws in the theater. My parents were nice enough to take us three kids to see it a couple weeks before our annual beach vacation. Thanks mom and dad.

    I swear I saw a uncut version of this scene on TV or maybe a VHS. But I think Hooper said something like “This is what happens when a Great White Shark attacks” but I’m not sure. Could be the infamous Mandela effect.

    Like

    • Todd B
      10/4/20

      Ha, that’s funny about your parents and the beach…I took my sister when she was 10, when Jaws was re-released to theaters, and she hasn’t forgiven me, either.

      And I’ve been wondering recently that maybe the Mandela effect is indeed taking place here…but there’s also that odd editing cut in the scene, which to me maybe cancels out the Mandela theory. I think it’s high time one of us just invites Spielberg to lunch and asks him.

      Like

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Review Totals

Movies Reviewed: 227

From the Monolith: 125

Movies by Decade

1920s – 0
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