When I think about Jaws I think about courage and stupidity, and both of those things happening under water. — Steven Spielberg on Jaws
- Hooper: It doesn't make much sense for a man who hates water to live on an island.
- Brody: It's only an island if you look at it from the water.
- Hooper: That makes a lot of sense.
Fellas let’s be reasonable. This is not the time or the place to perform some kind of half assed autopsy on a fish! — Jaws
…the most interesting conflict came between me and Steven when it came to the discussion of the ending. He said to me the shark gets stabbed with a harpoon, can’t hold up the barrels and eventually drowns, spins slowly to the bottom and the movie, the book, the story ends and the characters are saved. That’s not a big rousing ending and I need a big rousing ending. So here is what I propose to do and he told me the ending he had in mind. And I said Steven, that is completely unbelievable. It can’t happen. A shark does not bite down on a scuba tank and explode like an oil refinery. He said I don’t care. He said if have got them for two hours they will believe whatever I do for the next three minutes because I’ve got them in my hands and I want the audience on their feet screaming ‘yes, yes, yes - this is what should happen to this animal’. Which reminded me in retrospect of the Bill Goldman thing which is that reality may be great and truth may be wonderful but none of it holds a candle to believability and if a filmmaker has done his job and brought you into believability he can do anything. Play by the rules, set the rules, but follow the rules - that’s exactly what Steven did. He was right, I was wrong. His ending brought people to their feet screaming ‘yes, yes, yes, this is how it should be’. It may be incredible, but it was the right thing to do. — Peter Benchley on JAWS