When Jaws came out in 1975, the world had not been introduced to the likes of Mike Myers, Jason, or Freddy Krueger. And even after their bloody introductions, did anybody stop going trick-or-treating? Did attendance at summer camps go down? Was anybody afraid to go to sleep? Of course not. But in ’75 a giant Great White was the only serial killer we knew. And, yes, people most definitely feared swimming in the ocean.
The phenomenon was made believable by Richard Dreyfuss as Matt Hooper, Robert Shaw as Quint, and of course Roy Scheider as Chief Martin Brody. The sequel in 1978 was passable, but no match for the original. By the third movie, the series had, well, jumped the shark, and Scheider was not involved.
Jaws is a classic. After 30-something years the music still gives me the chills. And Roy Scheider backing into the cabin of the Orca and uttering “You’re gonna need a bigger boat” is still brilliant.
Roy Scheider passed away Sunday at the age of 75. Rest in peace.