Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Shark! Shark! Shark! Wait, That's a Log

I have recently learned that the novel "Jaws" was already made into a movie! Apparently it was directed by Steven Spielberg and was quite a big deal at the time. There were a few departures between how the novel progresses and how the movie goes, so SPOILERS AHEAD!

In the novel, Chief Brody finds himself resentful of the shark-expert Matt Hooper, who is more of an effete, educated prettyboy. Hooper eventually has an affair with Brody's wife--apparently, Spielberg decided to leave that out of the film, since no one could swallow a woman having an affair with Richard Dreyfus. ("Where's your opus now, Mr. Holland?") Also interesting that Spielberg moved the setting for the town of Amity from Long Island to New England--clearly he's trying to do a shout-out to his Nantucket-dwelling chardonnay sipping buddies! Though I'm surprised he didn't move the setting to Cuba, since he's such a shill for Fidel Castro. (Steven Spielberg is very anti-gun, but apparently doesn't mind if the guns are in the hands of a ruthless dictator.)

There is this whole class-warfare dynamic in the book, between the "townies" (of which Chief Brody is one) and the "summer folks" (of which his wife originally was one, before she married him) that the townies are dependent on for tourist dollars. It isn't clear whether the shark qualifies as a townie or a summer folk, since it isn't clear how long he's been in the waters off of Amity. But what is clear to me is that the town is missing an opportunity to turn the shark into a major tourist attraction. Imagine the billboards--"Come for the Shark, Stay for Our Fried Clam Festival, June 23-28"; "The Water's Safe! We're Serious This Time! And Please Sign Our Waiver"; "Six Days Without A Shark Attack!".

1 comment:

  1. "Hey, Holland! I gotcher opus, right heah!"