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Entry date: 2-9-2022 - Sh-sh-sha-SHARK!!! - Letters to My Friends

Dear Friends,

My favorite movie of all time, at least so far, is Jaws. Many of you know this about me and have heard me say that “Jaws has everything. It is beautifully shot. It was masterfully directed. The acting is top notch, as is the dialogue, and it is funny, scary, dramatic, and a love story. It has it all.” Being a music guy, I often don’t even mention the amazing score and that’s a crime. Jaws has some of the most memorable movie music ever.

I would be hard pressed to come up with my favorite part, but I can say that no matter where the movie is at if I happen to come across it on TV, I am instantly sucked in. I have no idea how many times I have seen it (it has to be in the hundreds) and I even got to see it on a big screen in Maine several summers ago. That was sublime. They had a trivia contest, and I came in second. I was distraught for days.

A love story? I’m glad you asked.

Matt Hooper loves sharks and I have to believe that the character, who was portrayed by Richard Dreyfuss, fell in love with the killer shark during their hunt. I also would say that Quint, who was portrayed by Robert Shaw, had a tremendous love for the hunt, as well as a wonderful love/hate relationship with Hooper before he got chomped. It goes without saying that Chief Brody (Roy Scheider), was in love with Mrs. Brody (Lorraine Gary), so yes, there was romance galore.

Whether or not you feel the same way about Jaws as I do is inconsequential, really, but I do ask you to refrain from slandering the film in my presence.

Thank you.


What about the sequels?

I don’t waste my time with Jaws 2 and only watch Jaws 3 for laughs. Jaws 4 was terrible, but at least Lorraine Gary was back for another fight. I sincerely hope there is never an attempt to remake Jaws, but if someone did, I think it should be Tom Hanks.

Seriously. Hanks would be awesome at the helm for a remake of Jaws, and I think he would make a terrific Chief Brody. He could also cast his lovely wife, Rita Wilson, as Ellen Brody. My last bit of fantasy casting would be Robert DeNiro as Quint.


Jaws 3 makes me think of the short-lived love affair with 3D in the 80s. I’m pretty sure that Ben and I went to both Jaws 3 and Friday the 13th Part 3 in 3D together. It was so fun to wear the glasses and such, but only for about five minutes. I remember two good 3D effects in those movies. In Jaws 3, the end scene where the shark broke through the glass in the control room where Lou Gossett Jr was frantically trying to save the park was awesome. During Friday the 13th part 3, there was a great scene where Jason shot someone in the eye with a speargun. Awesome stuff!

Now that I think of it, I think Friday the 13th part 3 was decent. I remember Ben having to take a lot of trips to the bathroom during it and I always judged how scary a movie was by home many trips he would take to pee. The more trips, the scarier or more intense the movie was, and it gave me some small sense of satisfaction to be able to ride out the tense or scary parts.


I have to admit that Jaws scared me when I saw it. I was little, of course, about five and a half (yes, young enough to count the halves) when I saw it first at the Valley West Theater in Maryvale. One of the benefits of having young, divorced parents in the seventies was that I got to see all the good R rated movies in the theater with my parents, but I digress. I remember being pretty nervous around the ocean after seeing Jaws and could even be convinced by my dad or older kids that a great white shark could magically appear in a swimming pool or bathtub at any given time.

The next movie that really impacted me, outside of The Omen, was Amityville Horror. My dad and I saw this in San Diego while on a trip out there and it messed with my head big time. I had to sleep with the light on in the bathroom that was off my room for pretty much all of fourth and probably fifth grade. I’ve mentioned my dream issues and I had to really struggle when getting ready to go to sleep to think about something positive or I would have nightmares.

My go to strategy was often to think about baseball. That was huge for me in those days, and I would imagine playing or watching a Dodger game and try to go to sleep with those thoughts in my head. It was a decent strategy and helped me to ignore the urge to look out the window and find glowing red eyes or notice the blood dripping down the walls of my room that my mind wanted to see. Visions of Dusty Baker and Steve Garvey would frighten away the devil.


Reading the book version of Amityville Horror cured me of being afraid of the movie, ironically. I don’t know why, but once I read the book, it just wasn’t scary anymore. I loved reading books that I wasn’t supposed to read in those days. At one point I read The World According to Garp by John Irving on the sly because my grandfather and dad talked about it so much. Feels like I mentioned this already, but whatevs.


Last thought for today. I have an interesting opportunity unfolding this afternoon. Wish me some luck, please, that decisions made today will be favorable for everyone involved.

See you tomorrow.

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