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Friday, June 19, 2015

Those Were The Days!

Jaws: Shaw, Scheider, Spielberg, and Dreyfuss

The days before 9-11, before Al Qa'ida, before the Iraq War fiasco... before ISIS stretched their muscles by walking along the  beach for their daily dozen beheadings.

Jaws is coming back to the theaters on Fathers' Day. I think I shall go see it. I just want to remember the old days, when things were different and violent dismemberment was rare.
So I read an article about the X number of things I didn't know about Y, in this case being the 24 items I did not know about Jaws.

The well-reviewed The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz opened during filming, making Dreyfuss a star...

 Henry Ramer as the Boy Wonder from Duddy Kravitz

Boy, do I remember Duddy! It was about Montreal and the wonderful country north of Montreal, and it all looked like Lac Achegan where brother Billy had a place.

To pass time on the set, Spielberg and Dreyfuss sang songs by comedian-musician Stan Freberg...

I think I know the exact songs! My brother and I used to sing them. It was my brother who passed away suddenly last October. He was Sherlock to my Mycroft.
Let me see... "Take An Indian To Lunch This Week" was probably one song, and "Come On And Put Your Name On The Dotted Line" was another.

Producers Richard Zanuck and David Brown spent $150,000 for the film rights to Jaws, and agreed to allow [Peter] Benchley [the author of the novel Jaws] to take a few stabs at the screenplay. His versions were never used, but he remained involved with the production: In a letter to Zanuck in 1974, he described an early script of Jaws — which depicted the shark as a rogue, “world-girdling maniac” out for blood — as an “insane farce.”

Imagine. Back then, a shark - never the wisest of swimming companions - was the basis for an insane farce.
Mr. Benchley, the best was yet to come.


I also read a great many of the books and reviews by Peter Benchley's father, Robert Benchley.

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