Y'all know me. Know how I earn a livin'. I'll catch this bird for you, but it ain't gonna be easy. Bad fish! Not like going down to the pond and chasing bluegills and tommycods. This shark, swallow ya whole. Little shakin', little tenderizin', down you go. And we gotta do it quick, that'll bring back the tourists, that'll put all your businesses on a payin' basis. But it's not gonna be pleasant! I value my neck a lot more than three thousand bucks, chief. I'll find him for three, but I'll catch him, and kill him, for ten. But you've gotta make up your minds. If you want to stay alive, then ante up. If you want to play it cheap, be on welfare the whole winter. I don't want no volunteers, I don't want no mates, there's too many captains on this island. Ten thousand dollars for me by myself. For that you get the head, the tail, the whole damn thing..
I don't think you appreciate the gut reaction people have to these things...Martin, It's all psychological. You yell 'Barracuda,' everybody says 'Huh? What?' You yell 'Shark,' we've got a panic on our hands on the Fourth of July.
Mayor Vaughn: We're really a little anxious that you're, ah, you're rushing into something serious here. It's your first summer, you know.
Chief Brody: What does that mean?
Mayor Vaughn: I'm only trying to say that Amity is a summer town. We need summer dollars. If people can't swim here, they'll be glad to swim in the beaches of Cape Cod, the Hamptons, Long Island.
Chief Brody: That doesn't mean we have to serve them up a smorgasbord.
Mayor's Assistant: We've never had that kind of trouble in these waters.
Hooper: Mr. Vaughn, what we are dealing with here is a perfect engine, an eating machine. It's really a miracle of evolution. All this machine does is swim and eat and make little sharks, and that's all. Now, why don't you take a long, close look at this sign. [refers to billboard graffiti] Those proportions are correct.
Mayor Vaughn: Love to prove that, wouldn't ya? Get your name into the National Geographic.
(Martin and the Medical Inspector walk Matt Hooper into the morgue)
Chief Brody: Why don't we show Mr. Hooper our accident?
(Martin gets the remains out of a locker while Hooper reads aloud the paper report)
Hooper: Uh, victim's name is Christine Watkins, female caucasian...probable boating accident. The height and weight of the victim can only be estimated from the partial remains.
(Hooper uncovers the tray of the remains, panting in nausea and shock)
Hooper: The torso has been severed in mid-thorax. There are no major organs remaining. May I have a glass of water please?
Hooper: Right arm has been severed with massive tissue loss in the upper musculature. Thank you very much.
(Hooper sips his water)
Hooper: Partially denuded bone remaining. (to inspector) This was no boat accident. (to Brody) Did you notify the Coast Guard about this?
Chief Brody: No. It was only local jursdiction.
Hooper: The left arm, head, shoulder, sternum, and portions of the rib cage are intact. (to Brody) Do not smoke in here! Thank you very much. (Holds up arm) This is what happens. It indicates the non-frenzy feeding of a large squalus, possibly longimonus, or Isurus Glaucus. Now, the enormous amount of tissue loss prevents any detailed analysis. However the attacking squalus must be considerably larger than any normal squalus found in these waters. Did you get on a boat and check these waters?
Chief Brody: No.
Hooper: (to Inspector) Well, this is not a boat accident! It wasn't any propellor, it wasn't any coral reef, and it wasn't Jack the Ripper! It was a shark.
Hooper: Martin, there's all kinds of sharks in the water, you know? Hammerheads, Whitetips, Blues, Makos, and the possibility that these bozos caught the exact shark that-
Chief Brody: Oh, there's no other shark like this in these waters!
Hooper: Martin, Martin, it's a 100 to 1. 100 to 1. Now, I'm not saying it's not the shark. It probably is, Martin, it probably is! It's a man eater, it's extremely rare for these waters. But the fact is, the bite radius on this animal is different than the wounds on the victim. I just- I wanna be sure. You wanna be sure, we all wanna be sure, okay? Now, what I wanna do is very simple; the digestive system on this animal is very, very slow. Let's cut it open, whatever it's eaten in the past 24 hours is bound to still be in there, and then we'll be sure.
Chief Brody: ...well, I guess it would be the only way to confirm it, huh?
Mayor Vaughn: Look, fellas, let's be reasonable. This is not the time or the place, to perform, some, half-assed autopsy on a fish. And I am not going to stand here, and see that thing cut open, and see that little Kintner boy spill out all over the dock!
Mrs. Kintner: Chief Brody?
Chief Brody: Yes?
[Mrs. Kintner slaps Brody and sobs]
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.
[Mrs. Kintner walks away]
Mayor Vaughn: I'm sorry, Martin. She's wrong.
Chief Brody: No, she's not.
Ellen: Martin hates boats. Martin hates water. Martin - Martin sits in his car when we go on the ferry to the mainland. I guess it's a childhood thing. It's a - there's a clinical name for it, isn't there?
Chief Brody: Drowning! Isn't it true that most people are attacked by sharks in three feet of water and about ten feet from the beach.
Hooper: Yes, that's true.
Chief Brody: Now this shark that, that swims alone...
Hooper: A rogue.
Chief Brody: Rogue, yeah, now this guy, he - he keeps swimming around in a place where the feeding is good until the food supply is gone, right?
Hooper: It's called territoriality. It's just a theory, which I happen to agree with.
Chief Brody: Then why don't we have one more drink and go down and cut that shark open.
Ellen: Martin? Can you do that?
Chief Brody: I can do anything, I'm the chief of police.
Hooper: [he and Martin have just taken the recently caught tiger shark to a boathouse for an autopsy] We start in the alimentary canal, and open the digestive tract. [stomach fluid pours out as Hooper cuts the shark open, and throws out 2 dead fish and a can] Ah! Just like I thought.
Chief Brody: What?
Hooper: Came up in the Gulf stream, from southern waters. [throws out a Louisiana license plate; Chief Brody picks it up and examines it]
Chief Brody: He didn't eat a car, did he?
Hooper: No. [laughs] Tiger shark's like a garbage can, it'll eat anything. Someone probably threw that in the river. [slides over to Chief Brody] Hoo, that's it.
Chief Brody: [now knowing the crisis hasn't been resolved yet] I've got to close the beach, call the mayor.
Hooper: You've got a bigger problem than that, Martin. You still got a hell of a fish out there, with a mouth about this big. [gestures with his hands demonstrating the width of a big mouth]
Chief Brody: This is a great white, Larry. A big one. Any shark expert in the world will tell you it's a killer, it's a man-eater!
Hooper: Look, the situation is that apparently a great white shark has staked a claim in the waters off Amity island. And he is going to continue to feed here as long as there is food in the water.
Chief Brody: And there's no limit of what he's going to do. I mean we've already had three incidents. Two people were killed in a week and it's gonna happen again. It happened before, The Jersey Beach, 1916. Five people were killed.
Hooper: In one week.
Chief Brody: Tell him about the swimmers!
Hooper: A shark is attracted to the exact kind of splashing and activity that occurs whenever human beings go swimming. You cannot avoid it.
Chief Brody: You open the beaches on the Fourth of July, it's is like ringing the dinner bell for Christ's sake!
Hooper: Look Mr. Vaughn, I pulled a tooth the size of a shot glass out of the wrecked hull of a boat out there and it was the tooth of a great white.
Chief Brody: It was Ben Gardner's boat, it was all chewed up. I helped tow it in, you should've seen it!
Mayor Vaughn: Where is that tooth? Did you see it, Brody?
Chief Brody: No, I didn't see it. He dropped it on the way in.
Hooper: I had an accident.
Mayor Vaughn: And what did you say the name of this shark is?
Hooper: It's a Carcharodon carcharias. It's a great white.
Mayor Vaughn: And you don't have the tooth? Look, we depend on the summer people here for our very lives-
Hooper: You're not gonna have a summer unless you deal with this problem!
Chief Brody: We're not only going to have to close the beach, we're going to have to hire somebody to kill the shark! I mean we're going to have to tell the Coast Guard!
Hooper: Mr. Vaughn, you'll have to contact the Shark Research Panel. You'll have to ring this entire harbor!
Mayor Vaughn: I don't think either one of you are familiar with our problems!
Hooper: I think that I am familiar with the fact that you are going to ignore this particular problem until it swims up and bites you IN THE ASS!
[In the hospital, Martin walks over to Larry]
Mayor Vaughn: I'm sorry, I'm truly sorry.
[Martin pulls Larry aside]
Chief Brody: You got a pen, Larry?
Mayor Vaughn: A pen?
Chief Brody: Yeah, a pen! You know. 'Cause you're gonna do what you do best: you're gonna sign this voucher so I can hire a contractor.
Mayor Vaughn: I don't think I can do that without-
Chief Brody: I'm gonna hire Quint to kill the shark!
[Larry nods, and starts to think]
Mayor Vaughn: August, August...
Chief Brody: August? What are you talking about? Larry, summer's over. You're the mayor of "Shark City!" These people think you want the beaches open!
Mayor Vaughn: I was-I was acting-in the town's best interest-
Chief Brody: That's right! You were! You were acting in the town's best interest, and that's why you're gonna do the right thing! That's why you're gonna sign this, and we're gonna pay that guy what he wants!
Mayor Vaughn: Martin...Martin, my kids were on that beach, too.
Chief Brody: Sign it, Larry.
[Larry signs it, and Martin walks out]
Quint: I'm not talkin' about pleasure boatin' or day sailin'. I'm talkin' about workin' for a livin'. I'm talkin' about sharkin'.
Hooper: Well I'm not talkin' about hookin' some poor dog fish or sand shark. I'm talkin' about findin' a Great White.
[Quint grabs Hooper's wrists and looks at his hands.]
Quint: [Contemptuously] You've got city boy hands, Hooper. You been countin' money all your life.
Hooper: All right, hey, I don't need this. I don't need this working-class-hero crap.
Quint: Maybe I should go alone.
Quint: [seeing Hooper's equipment] What are you? Some kind of half-assed astronaut? [examining the shark cage] Jesus H Christ, when I was a boy, every little squirt wanted to be a harpooner or a sword fisherman. What d'ya have there - a portable shower or a monkey cage?
Hooper: Anti-shark cage.
Quint: Anti-shark cage. You go inside the cage? Cage goes in the water? You go in the water? Shark's in the water? Our shark? [singing] Farewell and adieu to you, fair Spanish ladies. Farewell and adieu, you ladies of Spain. For we've received orders for to sail back to Boston. And so nevermore shall we see you again.
Chief Brody: [pointing at Quint's tattoo scar] What's that one?
Chief Brody: That one, there, on your arm.
Quint: Oh, that's a tattoo. I got that removed.
Hooper: No, Don't tell me. Don't tell me. Mother! [laughs]
Quint: Japanese submarine slammed two torpedoes into our side, Chief. We was comin' back from the island of Tinian to Leyte - just delivered the bomb, the Hiroshima bomb. Eleven hundred men went into the water. Vessel went down in 12 minutes. Didn't see the first shark for about half an hour - a tiger - thirteen footer. You know how you know that when you're in the water, Chief? You tell by lookin' from the dorsal to the tail. What we didn't know was our bomb mission had been so secret, no distress signal had been sent. They didn't even list us overdue for a week. Very first light, Chief, sharks come cruisin'. So we formed ourselves into tight groups. You know, it was kinda like old squares in the battle like that you see in the calendar named 'The Battle of Waterloo.' And the idea was, the shark comes to the nearest man and he starts poundin' and hollerin' and screamin'. Sometimes the shark go away. Sometimes he wouldn't go away. Sometimes that shark, he looks right into ya, right into your eyes. Y'know, the thing about a shark, he's got lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll's eyes. When he comes after ya, he doesn't seem to be livin' until he bites ya, and those black eyes roll over white, and then - aww, then you hear that terrible high-pitch screamin', the ocean turns red, and in spite of all the poundin' and the hollerin', they all come in and rip ya to pieces. You know, by the end of that first dawn, we lost a hundred men. I don't know how many sharks, maybe a thousand. I don't know how many men. They averaged six an hour. On Thursday morning, Chief, I bumped into a friend of mine, Herbie Robinson from Cleveland. Baseball player. Boatswain's mate. I thought he was asleep. I reached over to wake him up. Bobbed up, down in the water just like a kinda top. Upended. Well, he'd been bitten in half below the waist. Noon the fifth day, Mr. Hooper, a Lockheed Ventura saw us. He swung in low and he saw us. He was a young pilot, a lot younger than Mr. Hooper. Anyway, he saw us and he come in low and three hours later, a big fat PBY comes down and start to pick us up. You know, that was the time I was most frightened - waitin' for my turn. I'll never put on a life jacket again. So, eleven hundred men went in the water, three hundred and sixteen men come out, and the sharks took the rest, June the 29th, 1945. Anyway, we delivered the bomb.
Chief Brody: [swimming back to shore] Hey, what day is this?