New Jersey’s Great Pop Culture Moments Vol.43: JAWS and Jersey


With 4th of July weekend upon us, why not escape from your pool parties and bbq’s and watch JAWS! Grab a cold drink, kick back and stream JAWS on Netflix. 35 years since it’s release, Jaws still provides thrilling entertainment. In this scene Brody (Scheider) and Hooper (Dreyfuss) attempt to convince Mayor Vaughn (Murray Hamilton) that he should close down the beach for the 4th of July weekend because of the terror that may ensue. The attacks on the Jersey Shore give validity to their case.

BRODY: “This is a Great White Larry, a BIG one, and any shark expert in the world will tell you it’s a killer, a maneater!”
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”
BRODY: “…and there’s no limit to what he’s going to do. I mean we’ve already had 3 incidents. Two people killed inside of a week and it’s gonna happen again, it happened before…The Jersey Beach…”
BRODY and HOOPER: “1916!!! There were five people chewed up in the surf…”
HOOPER: “In one week.”
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 in swimming, you cannot avoid it.”
BRODY: “You open the beaches on the 4th of July, it’s like ringing the dinner bell for Christ sakes!”

That’s not where the JAWS/Jersey connection ends either! The author of Jaws, Peter Benchley, who had a cameo as a news reporter in the film, worked in Pennington Furnace Supply Co. in Pennington New Jersey during the time he began writing the story of the man eating shark. It is speculated that the Jersey Shore attacks were indeed one of Benchley’s inspirations. In 2006, Peter Benchley passed away in his Princeton, NJ home.