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1970s / Did This Scare You Out of the Water
For anyone who hasn't seen this film, Jaws is a 1975 thriller directed by Steven Spielberg, based on Peter Benchley's best-selling novel inspired by the Jersey Shore shark attacks of 1916. Jaws bears similarities to several literary and artistic works, most notably Moby-Dick by Herman Melville. The character of Quint strongly resembles Captain Ahab, the obsessed captain of the Pequod who devotes his life to hunting a sperm whale. Quint's monologue reveals his similar vendetta against sharks, and even his boat, the Orca, is named after the only natural enemy of sharks. A direct reference to these similarities may be found in the original screenplay, which introduced Quint by showing him watching the film version of Moby-Dick. His laughter throughout made people get up and leave the theater (Wesley Strick's screenplay for Cape Fear featured a similar scene). However, the scene from Moby-Dick could not be licensed from Gregory Peck, the owner of the rights. The final scenes of the film, in which the men chase the shark and try to harpoon it with flotation barrels, parallel the chase for Moby-Dick in the novel. We have this in our library and watch it usually once a month. There's something about this film that sticks in my memory, and no, I never went back into the water.