July 2: So long, Ben Gardner

Things happen fast on Amity Island. What else is there to do but get drunk and fool around?

Shortly after Chrissie’s partially denuded remains are found, Brody has Polly print up “Beaches Closed” signs, there is a town meeting at which Vaughn and the town merchants shoot Brody down and keep the beaches open, Alex Kintner and Pippet are killed, and thrill seekers from as far away as Connecticut and New Jersey come to collect the $3,000 bounty Mrs. Kintner has placed on the shark’s head, snout, beak, whatever.

We think Ben Gardner died on July 2.

As stated before, the movie lists Alex’s death on June 29 and Chrissie’s on July 1 or 2, which can’t be right. Brody’s police report on Chrissie’s death states July 1, but she couldn’t have died after Alex. Someone will have to amend his report.

Who could have known that technology would one day exist that would allow someone like me to advance the film frame by frame?

Most likely Chrissie died in the late 20’s of June, and Alex died on June 29. That way Mrs. Kintner’s slap of Brody is justified (“I’m sorry, Martin. She’s wrong”/”No, she’s not”) as well as her statement that she “just found out a girl got killed here last week and you knew it.”

Anyway, Ben Gardner is played by the late Martha’s Vineyard native Craig Kingsbury, who was acknowledged as a special salty mariner consultant to Robert Shaw’s Quint. It is Gardner who greets Hooper at the dock with:

Hope you’re not going out with those nuts, are ya?

…but who himself is seen soliloquizing on the open water in the midst of those same nuts:

Wait’ll we get them silly bastards down on that rockpile: there’ll be some fun; they’ll wish their fathers had never met their mothers when they start taking their bottoms out and start slammin’ into them rocks, boy. Get away from there, ya goddamn fool, you! What’s the matter with you? You wanna swamp us, ya crazy son of a bitch?

After the chaos of the day, Hooper persuades Brody—who, after all, can do anything because he is Chief of Police—to cut open the tiger shark caught by local yahoos. The pair then head off by Hooperboat to a place somewhere between Cape Scott and South Beach because, as Hooper says (despite the fact that Alex Kintner and Pippet died in broad daylight), “he’s a night feeder.”

It is then they find Ben Gardner’s boat, a shark tooth wedged in the hull, and Ben Gardner’s eyeless skull.

It is the next morning when a shaken but galvanized Brody and Hooper confront Vaughn, who informs them that “tomorrow’s the Fourth of July; it’s gonna be the best summer we ever had.”

Just not for Ben Gardner.

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“Herbie, Mate, Please make me laugh”

The All That Jaws land vehicle recently ran over an already-run-over skunk in the pleasant Atwater Village section of Los Angeles, and we couldn’t help but think of a certain Boatswain’s Mate, a baseball player from Cleveland named Herbie.

The skunk had been cut in half.

On Thursday morning, Chief, I bumped into a friend of mine, Herbie Robinson from Cleveland. Baseball player, bosun’s mate. I thought he was asleep, reached over to wake him up. Bobbed up and down in the water, just like a kind of top. Upended. Well… he’d been bitten in half below the waist. — Quint

While the lyrics to “Show Me the Way to Indianapolis” show a healthy respect and loyalty to the Indianapolis Speech, I enjoy that the sole liberty taken was that the youthful Quint originally approached Herbie to be cheered up after the sharks came crusin’.

  • Show Me the Way to Indianapolis

    See also: Fogelfoot

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    Shark coughs up Obama’s birth certificate

    “Call Dave Axelrod in New York,” says Amity newspaper editor Meadows to his windswept assistant. “Tell him he owes me a favor.”

    Born in New York, Dave Axelrod later moved west to attend the University of Chicago. He stayed in the city, eventually becoming a political columnist for the Chicago Tribune and an early strategist for Barack Obama. Today he is the president’s chief strategist.

    What favor did Axelrod owe Meadows? We can only speculate. Perhaps it is merely a coincidence that, a generation later, Obama kept the Gulf beaches open following the BP oil spill.

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    “Unfriendly Waters” at Taix

    This is the song Phil Ochs would have sung had he been cast as Matt Hooper.

    Recorded live at Taix in March, 2011.

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    “I just died in the book”

    Matt Hooper resurfaces at the end of the movie “Jaws,” having hidden in some underwater shrubbery when his anti-shark cage said goodbye and farewell. But in the book, Hooper had to die Continue reading

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    Drinking to our appendices: appendix

    “He was looking at his appendix scar,” Jaws screenwriter Carl Gottlieb recently told us. Continue reading

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    "The Shark Is Still Working": Wealth of "Jaws" facts, Kintner boy spill out on the "doc"

    [The following article first appeared on Mavervorl Media. Today is June 29, 64 years after Quint said the U.S.S. Indianapolis delivered the atomic bomb to the island of Tinian. He got the date wrong, but The Shark Is Still Working clears up and illuminates a lot of conversation pieces precious to “Jaws” fans.)

    Continue reading

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    Brody Knew

    After nearly two years at sea, we’ve recorded a series of demos in advance of a theatrical run of All That Jaws in Los Angeles. We’re indebted to Erik “Great Whitis” Petraitis for his engineering services and the Bellflower Music Center for a fortuitous Baritone Horn rental. Continue reading

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    The Audacity of Hoop

    Some time during this next administration, you will see All That Jaws at a theatre near you.

    If you are a fan of Jaws the book, you know that Hooper was indeed audacious.

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    Frank Mundus will never put on a lifejacket again

    Shark fisherman Frank Mundus, who said that his exploits inspired Peter Benchley’s Quint character, died of a heart attack last week in Honolulu. Continue reading

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