Friday, 26 August 2011

The Birthday Post: Why Jaws is the Best Film Ever

‘Y’all know me. Know how I earn a livin’.’

As you may know, (because I keep mentioning it) me and Jaws are the same age. Well, to be accurate, Jaws is a couple of months older, but apparently it’s only me that’s counting that, Jaws has yet to express an opinion so probably isn’t bothered. Anyway, as it’s my stupid 36th birthday tomorrow I thought it would be nice (and also might distract me from the horror of the event a bit) to celebrate Jaws and why it’s The Greatest Movie Ever.

I’m sure that there is a complex and intricate criteria for determining the Greatest Movie Ever. A lot of learned people are probably involved and it probably takes into account a great many elements of the filmmaking process, the artistic merits of the finished product and box office results. Or it’s a pubic phone in on Channel Four. Either way, it’s nearly always Citizen Kane.

Now, while Orson Welles’ masterwork may well be a incomparable example of filmmaking genius, I prefer to judge my Greatest Film Ever on a different criteria, I prefer to consider how often I can quote any given movie in my daily life. Hence, Jaws is the Greatest Film Ever, followed closely by Ghostbusters.

Jaws is distinctly quotable, it is choc full of memorable lines that can lend gravitas and drama to any otherwise prosaic occasion. Here are a few of my favourites and some potential uses.

‘Y’all know me. Know how I earn a livin’.’
I use this all the time as a precursor to the introduction of my opinion in any discussion (see above).

‘I’ll find him for three, but I’ll catch him, and kill him, for ten.’
Obviously good in any bartering situation, but this generally also works quite well as a confusion tactic when someone asks to you to do anything.

‘This was no boat accident!’
An incredulous rebuff perfect of pointing out the mistakes or incorrect assumptions of others.

‘Ha, ha - they're all gonna die’
Ideal for expressing derision at other peoples’ stupidity.

‘You have city hands’
First and foremost this can be used at any time of physical contact to inject an air of vague unease into the situation. Being introduced to someone new can be a wholly new and exciting experience by saying this on shaking hands, friends’ new partners, business associates or clients, even medical professionals, you can immediately disquiet them for the rest of the meeting by throwing a little Quint in there. Also, depending on what intonation you choose to employ, it can operate on a dual level as the recipient can never be sure if you are coming on to them in a uniquely disturbing way or subtly disparaging them. It can also operate as in inarguable closer in any argument.

‘You’re gonna need a bigger boat’
The classic! Variations can be used in any situation as an expression of how ill-equipped you are to deal with a particular task at hand.

‘For that you get the head, the tail, the whole damn thing.’
Ah, the multipurpose quote. Can be utilised to highlight how great and indispensable you are, it can also be used as qualifier when you are endeavouring summation of an argument or opinion or even a sales pitch. Furthermore, with the right sarcastic delivery, is also suitable for the illumination of extortionate prices of miscellaneous goods and products.
I have also used this in reference to our kittens so many times, particularly when I’m obliged to help out with claw trimming.

‘Here’s to swimmin’ with bow-legged women.’
There is never a situation where this toast is inappropriate. I used it at my mother’s last wedding. And at my own.
‘That’s some bad hat, Harry.’
Perfect for deriding anyone’s sartorial choices, or just choices or opinions full stop.

Obviously there are lots of reasons why Jaws is the best film ever, it’s phenomenally awesome being just one, but its quotability has got to rank up there, more people should be using Jaws quotes in everyday conversation. In fact, I positively demand it!


  1. HAPPY BIRTHDAY! You are wonderful and I hope you have an awesome day!

  2. Aw, Tab, thanks so much, that's really cheered me up. I'm really not into this pushing 40 business, it's very silly.

  3. We have the same birthday :)

  4. Well hello, Ms. Firefly! Yay us! I hope you have a wonderful day.

  5. Happy birthday, love. And wonderful list of quotations. It's nice to have them all here in one handy list. Party your face off!

  6. Happy Birthday, Dear Lady! Have fun while we're cowering in fear of Irene here in the States

  7. Have a great birthday! And oh yeah, your post is spot-on. 24 HOURS IS LIKE THREE WEEKS.

  8. Great post and I agree with you 100% having annoyed and worried my poor father with the "We're gonna need a bigger boat" quote during fishing trips in his little tinnie..Cheers!

  9. Hey, that means I'm the same age as Jaws and Jinx.

    You'll have to do another post on quoting Ghostbusters in everyday life. I've found, "Back off man, I'm a scientist," particularly useful, even though I'm not actually a scientist. "What about the Twinkie?" also comes in handy.

  10. Happy belated birthday to the bestest Jinx ever!!!!!!!!

  11. hope you had a great birthday, loved this fun post!!

  12. Hope you had a happy birthday!!! I loved this post btw!
    I have a Jaws post in your honor here! :)

  13. Happy (belated) birthday! If you stare at 36 in a really intense way and growl it might turn back to 35 just for fear of you.

  14. Hope you had a good one!

    You are, as usual, perfectly correct about Jaws. My dad and I watch it every time I go back to the old homestead, and recite the dialogue as it unfolds. One year he did a fabulous watercolour for me of harbor master Frank Silva coming out of his hut.

    I don't think I've given you an award before, have I?
    To right this wrong, there's a Stylish Blogger waiting for you here:

  15. Right on, as always. Also, happy birthday. Hope you had a good 'un.

  16. I managed to use "I don't have to take this working-class-hero-crap" on Jinx when she called my family posh!

  17. Awesome retrospective....
    That shot of Roy Scheider with the cigarette and the shark is among my favorite movie imagoes of all-time.

    Too bad they'll probably edit out the cigarette in subsequent releases/"re-masterings."

  18. Jinxy - where have you been, darlin? Email me at the Cavalcade address - I have Halloween treats for you!



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