The Indianapolis Speech By Robert Shaw In Jaws (1975)

Neil Hughes

Robert Shaw is probably the main reason for Jaws being one of my favourite films of all time, mainly of course for a scene that is three and half minutes of near-perfection. Shaw steals the scene effortlessly, aided by a few whiskeys of course, but here in 2013 most films have ten minutes without any dialogue at all, so the famous Indianapolis scene of rich dialogue without a cut is quite special and yet tragic to think that Robert Shaw died of a heart attack only 3 years after this magnificent performance as Quint.

There has been so much mythology surrounding this scene; about authorship, what was improvised, what was scripted but an interview with Spielberg on Ain’t It Cool News is quite enlightening.

Steven Spielberg advised that Howard Sackler, who was an uncredited writer, didn’t want a credit and didn’t arbitrate for one, but he’s the guy that broke the back…

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