What Quint Means To Me: A Filmmaker Recounts

We have all spoken about the injustices of the OSCARS (Hollywood Awards), well I can think of none other than the Academy’s failure to recognise Robert Shaw’s brilliant performance as the character Quint, the ‘Toughest man in a small boat’ JAWS @1975. The Academy gave the Award to George Burns (Sunshine Boys), Robert Shaw failed to gain a nomination.

As Cinema lovers, the reason we go to the Cinema is to watch; belligerent determined arrogant characters fail, but we all wanted Quint to succeed. We all knew of Quint’s story; ‘Delivered the Bomb’ Torpedoing of the Indianapolis, abandon ship only to be sushi for the waiting Sharks –“Redemption!” I hear some of you mutter, but Quint and his crew were following orders. 

So Quint, having never taken off his Navy attire decides to revenge his buddies by Killing Sharks. As a young boy my two shocking scenes were of Quint smashing the Two Way Radio, ARROGANT to say – I need this glory of Killing this Monster and I am not going to accept failure or be rescued by any Boat Patrol. Quint blowing the engine when attempting to drag the Shark to shallow water BELLIGIRENT to say - I’m not going to be told how to master a vessel by a Scientist or a Cop, Quint would’ve punched hell out of anyone who dared challenge him.

When I first watched JAWS and the shark gulped Quint, for me the movie was over because Quint was dead so WE are all dead, the rules of engagement for me as a young boy were if you lost your best man then surrender of die. The brilliance of JAWS was the least likely character killed the shark.

We all know of a Quint character in our lives, big, strong, scary, belligerent, mine was my father who would rather burn the Lamb which happened to be cooking on the BBQ rather than be told how to cook by me an 11year old JAWS fan…!!   

Mark FORIS (www.espireproduction.com)