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The Commonality between USS Indianapolis and Jaws

Doug Garland
Doug Garland
2 min read
The Commonality between USS Indianapolis and Jaws
Photo by Carin Jaramillo.

Table of Contents

You can be destroyed but never defeated.
~ Ernest Hemingway
AI Narration

Last week's post HMS Wager, USS Indianapolis, and the Tall Poppy Syndrome explored England and the United States government's role in cutting down Tall Poppies. Part of the USS Indianapolis' history is reviewed in the blog.

Most viewers who watch Jaws are unaware of the connection between Indianapolis and Jaws. This blog helps rectify this and pays homage to brave TPs who give their lives for their country.

Jaws, directed by Steven Spielberg and released in 1975, is a classic thriller that follows the small seaside town of Amity Island as it becomes terrorized by a great white shark. The local police chief, Martin Brody, marine biologist Matt Hooper, and seasoned fisherman Quint join forces to hunt down and eliminate the deadly predator. As they venture into the open sea, they face the physical threat of the monstrous shark and the psychological strain that the hunt places on their relationships and their fears.

Martin Brody: Chief Martin Brody, represented by Roy Scheider, is the police chief of Amity Island. A newcomer to the island, Brody is faced with the challenging task of protecting the community from the lethal shark. He is a conscientious and family-oriented man, driven by a sense of duty to safeguard the island's residents. As the shark attacks escalate, Brody must confront his fear of the water and make difficult decisions to ensure the safety of the townspeople.

Matt Hooper: Matt Hooper, played by Richard Dreyfuss, is a young and enthusiastic marine biologist who arrives in Amity to assist in dealing with the shark threat. Hooper brings scientific expertise and modern technology to the mission, clashing with the more traditional approach of Quint, the seasoned fisherman. Despite their differences, Hooper forms a crucial alliance with Chief Brody as they work together to understand and eliminate the menacing shark.

Quint: Quint, portrayed by Robert Shaw, is a grizzled and seasoned shark hunter with a mysterious past. Operating on his terms, Quint is hired by Chief Brody to lead the expedition to capture the great white shark. A tough and stubborn character, Quint's experiences with sharks have left him with a deep-seated vendetta against them. As the trio embarks on the dangerous mission, Quint's skills as a hunter and his hardened demeanor become essential in the face of the relentless adversary lurking beneath the waves.

Shaw's monologue is a memorable and chilling moment in the film. Quint recounts the traumatic events of the sinking of the USS Indianapolis, and his performance is often praised for its intensity and authenticity. This revelation of his connection to sharks and the sea gives the audience insight into his motivations, although flawed, and intensifies the suspense.

To prepare for the scene, Shaw reportedly researched the USS Indianapolis disaster and drew inspiration from actual survivors' accounts. His performance effectively conveys the trauma and horror experienced by those TPs who went through the real-life event.

Here is the iconic scene:

And here is the backstory:

The Backstory

Although this blog was intended to honor TPs, there is sadness for me at the movie's conclusion. Quint paid the ultimate price for his bad anger and revenge and cut himself down.

Fish, I'll stay with you until I am dead. Ernest Hemingway

A shout-out to Stu Green for his helpful insight into this blog.  

USS IndianapolisJawstall poppyanger

Doug Garland Twitter

Douglas Garland, M.D. practiced orthopedic surgery for 37 years in Southern California. Doug was also a Clinical Professor of Orthopedics at the University of Southern California.


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