Monday, February 11, 2008

The Toughest Police Chief Ever

I feel compelled to write about this because I grew up on the movie Jaws, which remains one of my all-time favourite movies.

Roy Scheider, who played police chief Martin Brody in Spielberg's monster shark movie, died on Sunday at the age of 75. He was a two-time Oscar nominee, and has appeared in numerous movies and TV shows. He was one of those actors who were immensely talented, had great on-screen presence and charisma, but were largely underrated and under-recognised. (Bob Balaban comes to mind as another one of these actors.)

But as Chief Brody, Scheider played what was to become an iconic character in cinema. There's real shock on his face when he backs into the cabin of the boat, cigarette dangling from his mouth, and utters one of the most oft-quoted lines in cinema: "You're gonna need a bigger boat."

It was reported that the role was originally offered to Charlton Heston, and apparently Heston was furious about losing out to Scheider, that he vowed he would never work with Spielberg.

Well, thank goodness, because in hindsight, Scheider gave the perfect performance as Chief Brody. I cheered with him when he blew up the shark; the head, the tail, the whole damn thing.

COPYRIGHT POLICY: It's simple: Steal my stuff and I'll kick you in the nuts