Perhaps the greatest intellectual debate (aside from this one) of our age is upon us.
One of the nicest moments of Jaws the Movie is when Quint and Hooper (on the evening of July 4, with the only fireworks being shooting stars and the cries of whales) regard each other, as if for the first time, over their shared experience of nautical injuries. Quint’s tales are more manly, but at least Hooper more or less matches him bruise by bruise (though, like Tom Cassidy, he submits to Quint by making his last injury a joke about having his heart broken).
Brody can’t compete, and instead listens to their war stories. But at one point he lifts his shirt and checks his abdomen, as if for a scar. What is he looking for?
Brody is looking for evidence of his long-ago appendectomy or hernia operation. Finding nothing worthy of the conversation, he shuts up and listens.
Brody looks for a gunshot wound, the reason he uprooted his family from New York (in an earlier drunken conversation, Brody tells Hooper that Amity Island hasn’t had a murder in 25 years but in New York you had to walk the kids to school).
I am partial to Theory One; a gunshot wound would at least be as cool as a Moray Eel biting through Hooper’s wetsuit.
Jaws screenwriter Carl Gottlieb still lives in the L.A. area and I keep meaning to ask him which theory is correct, but I’m opening this up for debate.