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The Last Crew of The Orca
Played By: Roy ScheiderAmity's police chief who moved to the island with his family to get away from the dangers of living in New York. He hates water, and to his dismay he has to deal with one of its toothier inhabitants up-close-and-personal...twice.
" I can do anything; I'm the chief of police."
- Action Survivor: He doesn't have much sea experience and yet managed to take down a shark with an oxygen tank and an M-1 rifle.
- Audience Surrogate: He's not experienced in matters of the sea, not perfect hero material, and basically ordinary.
- Armor-Piercing Slap: He receives one from the grieving Mrs. Kintner. Brody wasn't really to blame, having had his hand forced by the town council and Mayor Vaughn, but he still solemnly accepts the blame.Mrs. Kintner: I just found out that a girl got killed here last week...and you knew it! You knew there was a shark out there! You knew it was dangerous! But you let people go swimming anyway? You knew all those things! But still my boy is dead now. And there's nothing you can do about it. My boy is dead. I wanted you to know that.
- Brief Accent Imitation: Ellen encourages him jokingly to talk more like the locals. He trots out his, "They're out in the yahd, not too fah from the cah" line.
- Determinator: He thinks Hooper is dead and watched Quint die, all while being on a sinking ship. As the shark comes for him, Martin does everything possible to fight for his life and wins. And he has to face a shark all over again in the second movie.
- Dropped a Bridge on Him: In the fourth film, Martin died of a heart attack. Ellen claims that "the fear of it killed him!", implying that the repeated encounters with sharks led to Martin's death.
- Drowning My Sorrows: Brody's slurred speech, and the pile of beer cans found outside his truck the next morning imply that the night he was fired, he had more than a few to "celebrate" his termination.
- Glasses Pull: From time to time.
- Happily Married: To Ellen.
- Ignored Expert: Everyone but Hooper and Ellen ignore Brody's warnings about the beaches, even his own kids.
- Improbable Aiming Skills: It might take 6 shots, but hitting a scuba tank from a distance while on a sinking mast is a hell of an accomplishment.
- The Load: When he's aboard the Orca, Brody doesn't contribute all that much. He knows little about boats and less about sharks; even Hooper loses his temper with his mistakes. He is pretty helpless before his Moment of Awesome at the end.
- My Greatest Failure: Alex Kitner's death. His conversation with Mrs. Kitner puts it in perspective for him and the audience.Vaughn: I'm sorry, Martin. She's wrong.
Martin: No, she's not.
- New York City Cops: Brody was one of these prior to relocating to Amity. (In the film; in the original novel he was an Amity native.)
- Noodle Incident: Brody never does reveal where his fear of the water comes from, cutting off his wife's attempt at an explanation and then changing the subject.
- Oh, Crap!: Upon seeing the shark for the first time, prompting the iconic reaction, "You're going to need a bigger boat."
- Only Sane Man: Hooper considers Brody to be the only rational man left on Amity, which is hard to argue with.
- Pre-Mortem One-Liner: One of the most famous in movie history; just before firing the killing shot, Brody snarls, "Smile, you son of a bitch!"
- Reasonable Authority Figure: In the first film, he's the only town official taking Hooper and the shark threat seriously. During the town meeting, Quint is aware of this trope and specifically addresses him while making his offer to kill the shark.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: The Sensitive Guy to Quint's Manly Man. He's a nurturing father and former NYPD officer who avoids the water and only has an appendectomy scar, struggling to pull his weight out at sea where even Hooper's field of expertise outshines his own.
- Took a Level in Badass: After being a quiet cop who avoided the water and not having much in the way of scars to show off to Hooper and Quint, he kills the shark with an oxygen tank and rifle while the boat is sinking.
- Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: He hates the water, despite living on an island.
- You Have to Believe Me: In the second film, Brody has the nerve to be indignant about no one believing him after he causes a mass panic over what turns out to be a school of bluefish. After this, he brings a photo to the council that we know is of the shark, but is unclear enough that you really can't blame them for not buying it. He could have at least waited to see if there were any better shots.
Played By: Richard DreyfussShark-fascinated marine biologist who was called to Amity island to help with the shark problem. He starts off as a white-collared college kid foil to Quint's blue collar gruffiness, but they come to an understanding with each other.
"I'm not going to waste my time arguing with a man who's lining up to be a hot lunch."
- Adaptational Heroism: The original book version of the character is an entitled prick who has an affair with Brody's wife. Movie-Hooper turns out to be a reliable ally and a good friend.
- Admiring the Abomination: Hooper is fascinated by the shark."...What we are dealing with here is a perfect engine, an eating machine. It's really a miracle of evolution."
- Badass Bookworm: He's a scientist who's studied some of the more dangerous ocean predators, and, although not exactly fearless, has the cojones to hunt a 25-ft. man-eating shark, and earlier, scuba dive into the wreckage of a shark-ravaged boat in the middle of a pitch-black night. And then he agrees to be lowered into the water with the shark in an attempt to poison it, with only a metal cage between him and the behemoth, even after the other two tell him he's essentially committing suicide. He doesn't hesitate to try.
- Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass: He seems like a little nerdy guy with a smartass sense of humor, but where sharks are concerned, there's nobody who knows more. And he's not afraid to get his feet wet, or even the rest of him, such as in a shark cage.
- Deadpan Snarker: Gets most of the best lines, at one point even imitating W.C. Fields.
- Foil: His background as a marine researcher when compared to the more experienced but uneducated Quint.
- Ignored Expert: Only Martin hears him out when he first comes to the island.
- Let's Get Dangerous!: Hooper spends most of his time on the Orca dealing with Quint's abuse, driving the ship, and trying to study the shark in between tying knots and playing Solitaire. But when the chips are down and his poison injector appears to be their only remaining option, he immediately acquiesces to going down into the cage, even though Brody insists the shark will tear it to pieces.
- Nerd Glasses: His arcane knowledge and obssession with sharks, and his snarky-yet-nebbishy demeanor, certainly fit the nerd stereotype. And there those glasses are.
- Non-Idle Rich: He freely admits to Brody that his family comes from money.
- Oh, Crap!: When he's in the cage after the shark has slammed into it once and is coming back a second time. Despite being underwater with a respirator in his mouth, you can hear him scream in terror.
- Only Sane Man: Is one and lampshaded Brody as one when he said he was leaving the island.
- Put on a Bus: When Martin attempts to contact him for help in the second movie, we learn that Hooper is busy with an Antarctic Ocean expedition and unreachable.
- Real Men Wear Pink: He dons a pink shirt for a few scenes on the boat.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: A Manly Man to Brody, given he possesses more confidence and once had an encounter with a ray. Not as much as Quint though.
- The Smart Guy: Has all the academic knowledge of the group, if not quite the amount of experience as Quint.
- Spared by the Adaptation: He died in the original book. Presumably he was spared here because they dropped the adultery subplot mentioned above.
- Suddenly Sober: He becomes this right after Quint mentions the Indianapolis.
Played By: Robert Shaw
- "Y'all know me. Know how I earn a livin'. I'll catch this bird for you, but it ain't gonna be easy."
- Animal Nemesis: He doesn't like sharks very much.
- Badass Mustache: It's there.
- Better to Die than Be Killed: Quint would rather drown than left at the mercy of the sea waiting for rescue.
- Blood from the Mouth: Blood spurts from his mouth when he gets Eaten Alive by the shark.
- Bunny-Ears Lawyer: Quint has a lot of really idiosyncratic mannerisms, and is often dismissed as a nutcase, but is a shark hunter of unmatched skill and experience.
- The Big Guy: Physically the largest of the Orca's crew, and certainly the most intimidating as well.
- Casual Danger Dialogue: Quint doesn't even bat an eye when the shark attacks the boat the first time and it knocks a lantern over on the deck.Quint: Chief, put out the fire, will ya?
- Cruel and Unusual Death: The shark bites deep into his body multiple times with its rows of razor sharp, shot glass-sized teeth and he bleeds out. Nobody deserves to go out like that. Bonus points for it being probably his greatest fear.
- Dark and Troubled Past: His tale of the Indianapolis.
- Deliberate Values Dissonance: Quint's abrasive and drunken self are at home out at sea but are clearly out of place at land.
- Determinator: He is obsessed with killing the shark and will go to any means necessary to defeat it.
- Dissonant Serenity: When Quint tells the utterly horrifying story of the Indianapolis being sunk and its aftermath, he has a disturbingly playful grin on his face for most of it.
- The Drunken Sailor: Quint is no stranger to a bottle.
- Eaten Alive: Quint's fate in the climax; he's devoured by the shark, and gets the most graphic death out of anyone in the film.
- Establishing Character Moment: When he first shows up, he drags his nails across a chalkboard to get everyone's attention during a town meeting. He also talks directly to Chief Brody. He ignores the council, whom he knows won't deal with him, and gives his offer to hunt the shark to the one he knows is going to take the threat seriously.
- Expy: Of Captain Ahab from Moby-Dick.
- Father Neptune: Way more at home on sea, where he can bark orders at people.
- Fingore: What leads to his death; one of Hooper's oxygen tanks falls on his hand, causing him to lose his grip on the now sinking Orca.
- Great White Hunter: He literally has shark jawbones all over his house as trophies.
- He-Man Woman Hater: It's not commented on, but the minute Quint sees Ellen standing on the dock next to his ship, he blows up and starts ranting about women. Then he sings filthy sea chanty songs at the top of his lungs, seemingly to further antagonize her.
- He Who Fights Monsters: Quint's obsession with the white shark makes him behave weird near the end, endangering himself and his mates by destroying his radio equipment to prevent Brody from calling for help. He also wrecks the Orca's motor by pushing it to overdrive even when Hooper begs him not to.
- Hidden Depths: He has a few for a shark hunter. He makes his own booze which he is happy to share with others, revels in every scar story told, had a best friend that was a baseball player and is a good singer.
- Jerkass: There's no denying that he's kind of an asshole.
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Quint has a few moments, and eventually buries the hatchet with Hooper, getting drunk and swapping scar stories.
- O.O.C. Is Serious Business: Quint initially dismisses Hooper's technological methods (such as the shark cage and poison) to be a college kid's naïvety at best, stubbornly sticking to his gut instinct instead. So when he asks Hooper about the effectiveness of the cage near the climax, it's a sign that the old shark hunter has admit defeat against the shark.
- Meaningful Name: Quint is the shark's fifth victim.
- The Millstone: Quint is almost single-handedly responsible for everything that goes wrong on the Orca's voyage. From refusing to turn back when the shark turns out to be bigger than expected, to breaking the radio when Martin tries to call for help, to burning out the engine when they finally decide to return to shore, he unwittingly (or maybe not so much) ensures they'll be marooned and trapped by the shark by the end of the movie. Subverted in that Quint is outwardly a very competent sailor, but a combination of PTSD and It's Personal cause him to make some very questionable choices.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: When Martin attempts to call for help, Quint responds by smashing the ship's radio with a baseball bat. Being cut off from the island is bad enough, but it later prevents them from calling for help when the engines die out and the ship starts sinking.
- Power Trio: The Id. Prone to act impulsively, even erratically; see Sanity Slippage below.
- Prophetic Name: "Quint" is Latin for "fifth". He is the fifth person to be killed by the first shark.
- Punch-Clock Hero: Quint is in it for the money, along with a healthy dose of It's Personal. (Quint really hates sharks)
- Revenge Before Reason: also...
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Against all sharks.
- Sacrificial Lion: His death near the end increases the stakes by proving that Anyone Can Die.
- Sanity Slippage: Some of his acts, like lying to Brody's wife or breaking the radio, defy all logic.
- Sensitive Guy and Manly Man: Possesses war experience, survived a shark attack in WWII, and is a crusty sailor; Hooper is regarded as "soft" and Brody is less hardened than all.
- Shell-Shocked Veteran: Being stranded at sea and witnessing several hundred people being eaten by sharks in WWII left him a little unhinged.
- Working-Class Hero: And identified as such (albeit sarcastically) by Hooper.
- The World's Expert on Getting Killed: He's an expert shark hunter, as evidenced by the numerous shark jaws lining the walls of his residence, but he does poorly against the shark he's hired to kill. So much so he gets eaten by it. That said, it's debatable how much of this was due to his drinking since, before he got hammered the night of his Indianapolis speech, he'd been quite competent in hunting the shark and only really started making mistakes afterwards.
Played By: Lorraine GaryMartin's loving wife, who offers emotional support to him when things are looking down. After he died, she was forced to deal with a killer shark that was specifically targeting members of her family in the fourth film.
"My husband tells me you're in sharks."
- Adaptational Heroism: Her book incarnation has an affair with Hooper. She's faithful to her husband in the movie.
- Deuteragonist: In the fourth film, she becomes the hero after Brody died.
- Grandma Bear: In the fourth film, she faces down a shark that's been stalking the Brody family after it had attempted to attack her granddaughter.
- Happily Married: With Martin, before the fourth film. This is in contrast to the novel, where their relationship is rockier.
- Mood-Swinger: Ellen goes through this after her son's death, swinging wildly through emotions from intense angry paranoia to giddiness, to uncontrollable sobbing to distant depression. She even displays emotions in odd settings, such as laughing happily at Sean's funeral, then bawling when her granddaughter wants her to play with her. Truth in Television, as all of this, including the unusual timing, isn't uncommon when coping with grief. Plus, the laughing at the fun is due to the happy flashback she's having.
- Your Cheating Heart: She has an affair with Hooper in the original book. No excuse, but she was an old girlfriend of Hooper's older brother so they had some history.
Played By: Chris Rebello (first film), Mrak Gruner (2), Dennis Quaid (3) and Lance Guest (The Revenge)-]Oldest son in Brody family. Becomes the main focus of third and fourth film.
"White sharks are dangerous. I know 'em. My father, my brother, myself. They're murderers."
- Adaptation Name Change: Michael Brody is named Martin Brody Jr. in the book. Possibly his name was changed for the purposes of the One Steve Limit.
- Expy: He becomes one of Hooper by the fourth film, since he grows up to be a marine biologist. He even resembles Hooper with that beard of his.
- Took a Level in Badass: A helpless child in the first film and an irresponsible teen primarily concerned with having a good time and picking up chicks in the sequel, he volunteers in dangerous rescue missions to save a bunch of tourists in 3D and his mom in Revenge and he takes down the titular antagonist sharks of said films.
Played By: Jay Mello (first film), Marc Gilpin (2), John Putch (3) and Mitchell Anderson (The Revenge)-]Michael's younger brother. He spends most of the time following his brother and is ultimately killed in the first minutes of The Revenge.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: In the second film, where he's constantly pestering his older brother.
Citizens of Amity
Mayor Larry Vaughn
Played By: Murray HamiltonThe Mayor of Amity, Vaughn is more concerned with the island's tourism industry than protecting the islanders from the shark.
"You yell shark, we've got a panic on our hands on the Fourth of July."
- Cigarette of Anxiety: Mayor Vaughn is shown having a cigarette in his hand throughout the film, but the only time he lights up is after the attack on the Fourth of July, as that's when the town's summer season is effectively over.
- Hate Sink: Downplayed and possibly subverted. You can't hate the shark as it's only acting on instinct, but you can hate this guy for not caring about the situation, keeping the beach open, and outright lying to people about the danger. He is not entirely without redeeming qualities however. See Heel Realization, Jerk with a Heart of Gold, and Pet the Dog below.
- Heel Realization: After the shark attack in the pond, Vaughn is visibly traumatised as the reality of what he's done comes crashing down."Martin, my kids were on that beach, too."
- Jerk with a Heart of Gold: Vaughn ignores the danger the shark presents, is dismissive to Hooper and clearly places more value on tourist revenue than actually doing his job. However, he's not necessary a bad person and his main goal is to see the town thrive, which it can't do without the money brought in by tourism.
- Mayor Pain: He ignores his Police Chief, dismisses valuable advice and outright lies to his citizens about the possible danger.
- Pet the Dog: After Brody is confronted by Mrs Kintner, he solemnly tries to tell the Chief that he shouldn't blame himself for what happened to Alex.
- Shady Real Estate Agent: Hinted at. His day job seems to be realtor (look closely and you'll see signs for "Vaughn's Realty" on Main Street), and given how he handles the crisis, it wouldn't be surprising. It's much more explicit in the book, where his realty firm has ties to organized crime, which is the main reason why he's insistent on keeping the beaches open.
- Suit with Vested Interests: More interested in keeping tourist money flowing into town than the townspeople's lives.
- Symbol Motif Clothing: He's seen wearing a suit patterned with anchors, likely symbolizing how he's dragging the people of Amity down with his lies.
- Took a Level in Kindness: In Jaws 2, Vaughn is one of the few people who takes Brody's warnings about another shark seriously. In a deleted scene, he's the only member of the town council who votes against firing Brody.
- Ultimate Job Security: It rather strains belief that Vaughn wouldn't be booted out of office within seconds of the first film's ending.
Deputy Lenny Hendricks
Played By: Jeffrey C. Kramer
- Dude, Not Funny!: When Hendricks tries to tell Brody a joke:Hendricks: "So then Denherder and Charlie sat there trying to catch their breath - and to figure out how to tell Charlie's wife what happened to her freezer full of meat."Brody: "That's not funny. That's not funny at all."
- The Illegible: When Brody wanted to plant no swimming signs along the beach, he insisted that someone else does the printing instead of Hendricks.
- Vomiting Cop: He dry heaves when he witnesses the sight of Chrissie's remains.
Played By: Craig KingsburyA veteran fisherman on Amity who participates in the hunt for the shark.
"When we get them silly bastards down in that rock pile, it'll be some fun, they'll wish their fathers had never met their mothers. When they start takin' their bottoms out and slamming into them rocks, boy!"
- Eye Scream: One of the most infamous (postmortem) examples in film history. When Hooper is swimming through the wreckage of the fisherman's boat, he finds evidence that the shark has been there...and out pop's Ben Gardner's severed head, with one missing and the other floating loosely in its socket.
- Father Neptune: He's just as old and crusty as Quint, and quite dismissive of the amateurs who come to the island for shark hunting.
- Killed Offscreen: We don't see him get killed by the shark, but we do discover his remains in the wreckage of his boat.
- Peek-a-Boo Corpse: Gardner's chewed-off head pops out of a hole in the hull of his boat while Hooper is inspecting it.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: He appears during the shark hunting scene, and is killed off shortly after.
Christine "Chrissie" Watkins
Played By: Susan Blacklinie
- "Come on in the water!"
- Dead-Hand Shot: All that the viewers can see of Chrissie's remains is her hand.
- Eaten Alive: She is one of the first victims of the shark.
- Hope Spot: As Chrissie thrashes around, she manages to grab onto a buoy. Judging from her evident relief, the shark apparently lets go of her at this point — only to immediately grab hold of her again and finish her off.
- Night Swim Equals Death: One of the most famous examples of this trope.
- Skinny Dipping: She goes swimming naked, with the only possible reason of providing some Fanservice.
- We Hardly Knew Ye: She is introduced in the very opening and gets killed shortly after.
Played By: Lee Fierro
"I just found out, that a girl got killed here last week, and you knew it! You knew there was a shark out there! You knew it was dangerous! But you let people go swimming anyway? You knew all those things! But still my boy is dead now. And there's nothing you can do about it. My boy is dead. I wanted you to know that."
The SharksThe ones with the eponymous jaws. After the first shark swam into the waters of Amity Island, all members of the Brody family have found themselves confronting them in increasingly convoluted ways. For various reasons, the first shark is the one fans prefer to talk about.
- Ax-Crazy: As sharks go, at least. Their behavior is abnormally aggressive, and they're unusually persistent in their choice of human victims. They're pretty much the shark equivalent of serial killers.
- Big Bad: They're the primary antagonists in the series, with the first one being the most famous.
- The Determinator: Gunshots, harpoons, electroshock devices and third degree burns don't stop them.
- Everybody Calls Him "Barkeep": None of the sharks have names in the films. They're only called "the shark" in any given scene.
- Extreme Omnivore: When Hooper and Brody open up the shark caught by Gardner, they find many different objects in the stomach including a car's license plate.
- It Can Think: They don't call the fourth film The Revenge for nothing. It's heavily implied to be the case in the preceding three, especially the original.
- "Jaws" First-Person Perspective: Collectively, they're the Trope Namer.
- Leitmotif: DUN-DUN. DUN-DUN. DUNDUNDUNDUNDUNDUNDUNDUN...
- Monster is a Mommy: The third shark to the little one.
- More Teeth than the Osmond Family: Sharks are known to have rows of teeth.
- Noisy Nature: The third and fourth sharks roar for some reason. As does the shark in the original. It roars at Quint just before he shoots it in the lower jaw with a harpoon.
- Non-Malicious Monster: They're just following their instict and trying to not starve.
- P.O.V. Cam: During the opening scene, we watch from the shark's perspective as it swims over to Chrissie.
- Sea Monster: They are abnormally large and aggressive for Great Whites. The sharks of the first and third movies are described as twenty-five and thirty-five feet long, respectively, which is much larger than any documented individuals of the species. Sizes are not given for the sharks of the second and fourth movies, but they're at least comparable in size and definitely highly aggressive.
- Super-Persistent Predator: The forth one, especially, which borders on Ax-Crazy.
- Threatening Shark: Some of the most famous examples in fiction.
- Two-Faced: The second shark, after half of its face gets burned when a boat its attacking is caught on fire.
- Would Hurt a Child: These sharks don't discriminate. Men, women, children, other fish or animals, EVERYTHING is prey to them.
Bruce / "Jaws" / The Trouble
- "...What we are dealing with here is a perfect engine, an eating machine. It's really a miracle of evolution."— Hooper
- Adaptational Badass: While unusually large, the shark in the original novel is unable to pull the barrels attached to it underwater like in the film.
- Ax-Crazy: The titular shark takes more pleasure in its kills than any shark, and that's saying something.
- Big Bad: Of the first film.
- Character Development: Surprisingly enough for a mostly unseen animal; it starts off as a Non-Malicious Monster. It kills to eat, but no more than that. After killing and eating a man in the pond, it swims right by Michael who would be an easy target. Later, it establishes an enmity with the crew of the Orca, becoming a Super-Persistent Predator.
- Hero Killer: Once the shark eats Quint alive in front of Brody, survival is almost entirely down to chance.
- Hoist by His Own Petard: The shark's ravenous appetite is its ultimate downfall. Because it would eat anything, the shark didn't bother to spit out the scuba tank that Brody threw into its jaws. This allows Brody to shoot the tank with his rifle, creating a massive explosion that blew the shark apart.
- Implacable Man: The shark in the movie shrugs just about everything that is thrown at it. It's able to submerge with three whole barrels attached to it, shrugs of gunshots, machete stabs, harpoon stabs, etc. It takes blowing its face up to finally kill it.
- It Can Think: Although Hooper had described the Great White Shark as a mindless machine capable of only eating and reproducing, the shark is anything but. It is clever enough to outwit the crew of Orca on several occasions, and it has enough grudge to drop its usual hunting activities in favor of sinking the boat and killing all onboard.
- Quint: "He's either very smart or very stupid... He is a smart big fish. He's gone under the boat!"
- Non-Malicious Monster: In the first half of the film, the shark only kills swimmers for food, seeing them as easy prey. And it only attacks by chance and is content with one or two victims before leaving the vicinity. It is subverted in the second half, however, when the crew of the Orca is out hunting for the shark. While its aggressive behavior can be seen as self-defense from the Orca, the shark's actions suggest it intends to kill the entire crew regardless if they pose a threat to it or not. This can be best seen after the shark sinks the Orca and eats Quint. Rather than leaving the nearly defenseless Brody alone, the shark attacks the police chief several times, which ultimately became its own undoing.
- Nothing Is Scarier: Due to the prop shark not working most of the time.
The Fourth Shark
The Fourth Shark
- Big Bad: Of the fourth and final film.
- Hollywood Voodoo: The novelization revealed that shark in it is actually a spirit animal of a scorned Voodoo priest. This turn of events gave us the Voodoo Shark.
- It's Personal: Chases Ellen Brody to the Bahamas to get revenge.
- Made of Explodium: For some reason.
- Roaring Rampage of Revenge: Actively targets Ellen Brody.
- While roaring, no less.