Quint: You have city hands, Mr. Hooper. You been countin' money all your life.
Hooper: All right, all right. Hey, I don't need this... I don't need this working-class-hero crap.
And you have Brody, who lives on an island but doesn't ever go in the water, playing the level headed one of the trio who wants to be anywhere but on a boat. The character dynamics between the three are terrific fun to watch and lead to many memorable scenes and quips ("You're gonna need a bigger boat." or "Cage goes in the water, you go in the water. Shark's in the water." or "Slow ahead. I can go slow ahead. Come on down here and chum some of this sh-t." or "I'm not going to waste my time arguing with a man who's lining up to be a hot lunch." and then there's the USS Indianapolis speech. Quint's tale (and character motivation) is a perfect marriage of acting, writing, and direction and is likely my favorite scene of the film. Robert Shaw is absolutely riveting as he tells his tale of his WWII naval vessel going down after being hit by Japanese submarine torpedoes and the men having to survive for days in the water as sharks preyed upon them. "I'll never put on a life jacket again." There's been much discussion as to who wrote this scene, but according to Spielberg it was first written by playwright Howard Sackler, who wrote about three quarters of a page, and was then expanded by the great John Milius to about ten pages of dialogue, and lastly Shaw himself pared down Milius' work to what appears in the film. This has to be one of the all-time greatest moments committed to film. But the suspense Spielberg builds towards the end as the ship is slowing sinking while the three men struggle to figure out how to kill the shark and/or how to survive. The way the camera bobs up and down with the waves and how the camera gets lower and lower into the water as the boat slowly sinks is extremely effective in immersing the audience in the situation, especially if you've seen this film in a darkened theater on the big screen, where you nearly feel Brody's sea sickness, not to mention his terror as the shark gets closer and closer. But as fun this film is as a rollercoaster thrill ride, you also can't forget the quieter moments, such as the dinner table scene where Brody and his son silently mimic each other, which audiences would later realize is a moment of pure Spielberg. Or the smaller comic moments early in the film with Broday taking reports of kids from the karate class "karate chopping" the fences, perfectly establishing Chief Brody's usual police activities. Even these small moments all serve a purpose and there is not a wasted moment. Additional, no one could review this film without acknowledging the contribution of John Williams' iconic score. After watching the film I listen to Williams' score and found his heavy use of strings and even some of the themes very similar to Bernard Herrmann's score for "Psycho." Overall, this film is an American film classic and is a must see for all audiences.
The scene that really makes this movie memorable is the speech delivered by Quint to Hooper and Chief Brody out on the Orca after comparing scars and sharing drinks. He describes the weeks he spent floating in the sea after the Indianapolis sank, watching his crewmates get eaten by swarming sharks. Throughout the movie Quint is your stereotypical sea captain, singing sea shanties and drinking almost nothing but booze. Robert Shaw's stony faced, slightly slurred delivery is remarkable, horrifying the audience just as much as it horrified Hooper and Brody. This speech reveals to us why Quint is the way he is while making his death that much more ironic. The thing that has haunted him for most of his life is what ultimately ends up killing him.