Tag Archives: Robert Shaw

The Set of 400: #7 – My Favorite Bad Hat, Harry

Today! Because after all, Amity means friendship –

Jaws (1975)

Directed by Steven Spielberg (x12)

Starring Roy Scheider (x2), Richard Dreyfuss (x3), Robert Shaw (x2), Murray Hamilton (x4), Lorraine Gary (x3), Susan Backlinie (x2), Carl Gottlieb (x4), Jeffrey Kramer (x3), Lee Fierro, Peter Benchley

What can I say? Some of my favorite movies are everyone’s favorite movies. I’m not above such a thing. My go-to 4th of July movie forever, Jaws was another household staple growing up, which seems a bit off as an adult, given its generally terrifying plot, but as a kid it was more a bunch of fun shouting and running on the beach. Plus, as mentioned way back in #353 Jaws 2, we used to watch both movies together pretty often – to the point that some details from one bleed into the other – and the sequel is decidedly kid friendly, even with the higher body count and more visibly menacing shark. All of those cool, wise-cracking teens!

Sure, they aren’t distinct characters, but they are having so much teenage fun before they start getting eaten!

I more like to believe that the original movie is so great it actually transcends age barriers and in-depth understanding. While watching it as an adult is a complete cinematic experience, with tremendous performances and incredible tension, the more childlike manner of viewing a film works too. Take Jaws apart and reassemble it in any order and it still delivers pretty solidly. The driving narrative almost doesn’t matter. One scene you’ve got Quint scratching a chalkboard and dealing with the stuffy town leaders, then you’ve got the shark eating him, then Hooper joking that all the guys on that overloaded boat are gonna die, then Brody making faces with his kid, then that girl gets pulled under by the unseen monster to open the film – any order, all the scenes are entertaining. Yes, even Mrs. Kintner losing her shit all over Brody.

Hooper seems weirdly surprised by her reaction

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The Set of 400: #138 – My Favorite Exploding Briefcase

Today! Because I get a kick out of watching you, the great James Bond, find out what a bloody fool he’s been making of himself –

From Russia with Love (1963)

Directed by Terence Young (x3)

Starring Sean Connery (x5), Daniela Bianchi, Robert Shaw, Lotte Lenya, Pedro Armendariz, Bernard Lee (x2), Eunice Gayson (x2), Lois Maxwell (x3), Vladek Sheybal, Desmond Llewelyn, Anthony Dawson (x2)

It’s not something I realized before I put together this list, but apparently as my tastes are concerned, the entire James Bond series boils down to the first couple movies, a huge gap of the same thing over and over again, and then the last couple movies. Considering how long this franchise has been in existence this is a little strange, I know, but I’m a Connery/Craig guy. Some of the intervening adventures are solid – it’s not like they just straight lost their way for forty years – but my favorites are bookending the enterprise.

This second Bond film is far more indicative of what was to come than Dr. No the year before. While that was largely set in Jamaica, it felt like it could’ve been in any beachy locale. Plus, you’ve got Bond running around barefoot most of the time, and while Dr. No is a SPECTRE agent, you don’t get the impression any of this is part of a larger scheme, for the most part. No, From Russia with Love is when Bond becomes Bond – set almost entirely in exotic, 1960’s Istanbul and on the Orient Express, you’ve got SPECTRE and SMERSH agents causing havoc for a well-tailored 007, we get our first faceless Blofeld, we get our first Desmond Llewelyn Q (even if he’s still named as Boothroyd in FRwL), you’ve got terrific, tough supporting villains in Robert Shaw’s Grant and Lotte Lenya’s Rosa Klebb, you’ve got a weird gypsy v. gypsy girl fight for some reason, and you’ve got a slam bang boat chase explosion finish worthy of a Bond movie.

Cubby Broccoli, that looks expensive!

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