My Relation to Jaws

“You’re gonna need a bigger boat.” That’s one of my favorite lines from the blockbuster movie Jaws. I’ve borrowed these words several times throughout my life.

I smile when I flip through photos in my copy of The Jaws Log written by Carl Gottlieb. a book based on the making of the movie. Considering the ongoing popularity of Jaws, released to theaters in 1975, I’m not the only fan.

What delights me as much as watching the film again (yes, I own the DVD) is the reminder that creativity has no expiration date. People keep talking and writing about Jaws. Today I read an online article on UPROXX. Writer Mike Ryan interviewed Carl recently about the film’s current relevance.

Wait . . .  a comparison to covid-19? Why not. In Jaws, Amity Island residents were angry that the beach was closed for 24 hours, even though people had died. And despite the lingering threat – much like coronavirus – those same people insisted on returning to the beach and into the water. Read the full story here: https://buff.ly/2YRryMm

Carl is the ideal person to make this comparison – he was hired by director Steven Spielberg as a screenwriter for Jaws, and Carl also played the role of Harry Meadows while working with a cast of brilliant people.

Back to my smiling: Carl Gottlieb is not only a talented screenwriter, actor, director and comedian but he’s also my second cousin. He connects me even more tightly to the delight I experience when I watch this movie again and again.

The Jaws popularity continues. In 2021 a musical will premiere about the challenges of filming this 70s classic. Better yet, the production is created from Carl’s memoir The Jaws Log, the very book I’m enjoying today.

This time top billing won’t go to the great white shark who chased people flailing and screaming out of the water. Limelight shines on the mechanical shark nicknamed Bruce, which is also the name of the musical.

I feel proud to link with this legacy, even if by a thimbleful of blood. Wait . . . I shouldn’t use ‘blood’ when referring to sharks, mechanical or otherwise.

Rock on, Carl! And may our own expiration dates be equally enduring.

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Shannon Kernaghan pinit_fg_en_rect_red_28 My Relation to Jaws Adventure Covid-19 Family  Steven Spielberg jaws carl gottlieb

4 Replies to “My Relation to Jaws”

  1. This was great! And yes, how cool about Carl being a cousin! I also loved the Mike Ryan article: along with the “Mayor from Jaws”, my favourite quip was about the Darwin Awards group – very funny and very astute. Thanks for two interesting reads during these very strange times…

  2. Carl Gottlieb: Thanks for the shout-out, the Fish Movie (as I now refer to it 😉) has a life of its own, thanks to generations of film-goers who keep rediscovering and appreciating it. Kudos also to the Maestro, Steven Spielberg, for being the true auteur of this enduring work.

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