Before we delve into this, let’s establish that we hold Jaws in the highest regard; it’s an absolute cinematic gem, ranking among the finest films ever made. However, our recent viewing has unveiled a subtle yet intriguing aspect of this classic masterpiece.
While many top-tier monster flicks tend to feature otherworldly, monstrous creatures, Jaws takes a different route, presenting its audience with the palpable, genuine threat of sharks. Upon its release in the ’70s, Jaws left an indelible mark on viewers, inducing a genuine aversion to entering the water. Even today, it maintains its position as the quintessential shark movie, standing as a testament to its enduring success, with numerous attempts by other films to emulate it falling short.
We’ve revisited Jaws countless times over the years, and yet, there’s an abundance of minutiae to absorb. Thus, it’s hardly surprising that a certain detail, one we either overlooked or didn’t give much weight to, eluded us. Fortunately, the astute Reddit user Mcfinley was quick to pick up on it.
Strangely enough, it’s a seemingly mundane element: an excessive consumption of alcohol woven into the fabric of the film.
Mcfinley astutely pointed out: “Seriously. Brody, Hooper, and Quint are just pounding drinks throughout the movie. From Brody’s wife suggesting they ‘get drunk and fool around’, to the awkward wine scene and ensuing sharktopsy, to Quint’s famous Indianapolis story on the boat, they’re all constantly sloshed.
“Even when Brody’s playing with his kid, he has a stiff glass of whiskey by his side. Pretty sure there was a random shot of Quint chugging a ‘gansett. This was my first rewatch as an adult. The ’70s really do hit different.”
This revelation prompts us to wonder: does the copious consumption of alcohol play a role in fostering the audacity needed for the shark hunt? Is it a case of Dutch courage, perhaps? Or would the pursuit have unfolded differently had the stalwart heroes of Amity Island been sober? In any case, Jaws undeniably stands tall as one of Steven Spielberg’s finest works, so let the revelry endure.