SUSAN BACKLINIE

 

 

 

 

POSTER ART - The developers spent around six months working on the poster art for Jaws, more time than it took Peter Benchley to dream up the plot. Steven Spielberg cut his teeth on the meaty role Jaws presented, directing a film using a giant rubber shark model, sometimes on submerged rails, that was camera shy. Oddly enough, having to resort to Alfred Hitchcock like suspense building, in not showing 'Bruce,' as the flawed animatronic shark became known, the lack of props actually helped to make the film a success.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chief Brody, Roy Schieder, Jaws 1975 movie

 

Chief Brody

 

 

 

Captain Quint, Robert Shaw, Jaws 1975 movie

 

Captain Quint

 

 

 

Matt Hooper, Richard Dreyfuss, Jaws 1975 movie

 

Matt Hooper

 

 

 

Steven Spielberg, Director, Jaws 1975 movie

 

Steven Spielberg

 

 

 

Bruce the shark, Jaws 1975 movie

 

Bruce

 

 

 

Peter Benchley, Screenplay, Jaws 1975 movie and novel

 

Peter Benchley

 

 

 

Chrissy, first victim of Jaws the great white shark 1975

 

Chrissy Watkins

 

 

 

Ellen Brody, Lorraine Gray, wife to the Chief, Jaws 1975 movie

 

Ellen Brody

 

 

 

Larry Vaughn is the Mayor of Amity in Jaws the 1975 movie

 

Larry Vaughn

 

 

    

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lulling us into a state of acceptance, Steven Spielberg shows us some rather ordinary underwater footage of a reef, out of focus, but with a decent narrator. Then we cut to a beach barbeque on the Island of Amity, where an inebriated student chases after Chrissie Watkins, but cannot make it into the water, because he is too drunk. Meanwhile, as her suitor passes out on the beach, Chrissie enjoys a moonlight swim, performing underwater stunts, all to the musical score of John Williams' masterpiece, until when treading water the  signature tune tells us that something is about to happen. Chrissie is bitten by the silent predator, then shaken from side to side and sawn in half by the sharks razor sharp teeth. Then the shark is gone. We don't find out her torso being cut in half until the following day when a missing persons report is filed, by the by now sober student. We are left watching Chrissie clinging to a weather buoy, unable to see that her legs have been taken.

 

 

Captain Quint, Chief Brody and Matt Hooper watch Jaws pull their boat apart

 

 


Susan Jane Backlinie (born September 1, 1946) is an American former actress and stuntwoman. She is known for her role as Chrissie Watkins, the first shark victim in Steven Spielberg's blockbuster Jaws (1975).

Backlinie's appearance in Jaws took three days to shoot, with Backlinie strapped into a harness while the crew struggled to get the desired effects. Backlinie also appeared in Spielberg's film 1941 parodying her role in Jaws. Instead of being attacked by a shark during a midnight swim, she's "picked up" by the periscope of a Japanese submarine. The scene has been described as the best joke in what is otherwise widely considered one of Spielberg's least successful films. Backlinie also appeared in the 1977 film Day of the Animals, regarded by some as a Jaws clone about nature gone bad.

When Jaws co-star Richard Dreyfuss saw a daily of her performance of being attacked by the shark, he told her it absolutely terrified him.

Contrary to rumor, Backlinie's startled reaction and screams of anguish were not due to her being injured by the harness that yanked her back and forth in the water. However, she was attached to a line that was anchored to the ocean floor beneath her, and she was intentionally not warned when she would be first pulled underwater. This helped provoke a more genuine expression of surprise from her initially but the remainder of her performance was her own as an actress.

 

 

 

John Storm fights off the last of four great white sharks

 

 

In Kulo Luna, John Storm faces off four great white sharks, bravely challenging them to take a bite out of him, armed with only a speargun and a megaphone. But the oceanographer has something up his sleeve. In this story, the sharks feature only briefly, a humpback whale is the star.

 

 

 

  PETER BENCHLEY'S STORY OF A PREDATORY GREAT WHITE SHARK

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