I was showing the Indianapolis scene from Jaws to Grace last night and I was struck by how much the first few minutes, where Richard Dreyfuss and Robert Shaw (5’5 and 5’10, incidentally) roll up their sleeves and pant legs to roll around with one another in a banquette gleefully petting and displaying various scars and scrubbed-out tattoos, felt like watching two roughly contemporary trans men becoming instant best friends at a house party at 2 in the morning.
BRODY: What I am, Hooper, is a 32-year-old—ugly—pockmarked—Jew fairy, and if it takes me a little while to pull myself together, and if I smoke a little grass before I get up the nerve to show my face to the world, it’s nobody’s god-damned business but my own. And how are you this evening?
QUINT: Yes, you’ve got scars on your face, but they’re not that bad. And if you’d leave yourself alone, you wouldn’t have more than you’ve already awarded yourself.
HOOPER: You’d really like me to compliment you now, for being so honest, wouldn’t you? For being my best friend, who will tell me what even my best friends won’t tell me. Slut.
HOOPER: You know, I can’t take all this let’s-be-faithful-and-never-look-at-another-person routine, because it just doesn’t work. If you want to promise that, fine. Then you do it and you stick to it. But if you have to promise it, as far as I’m concerned, nothing finishes a relationship faster… Brody, in my own way, I love you. But you’ve got to understand that even though I do want to go on living with you, that sometimes there may be others. Now, I don’t want to flaunt it in your face, and I know if it ever happens, I’ll never mention it to you. But if you ask me, I’ll tell you.
QUINT: Now, it’s my turn. And ready or not, Michael, here goes. You'‘re a sad and pathetic man. You’re a homosexual, and you don’t want to be. But there’s nothing you can do to change it. Not all your prayers to your God... not all the analysis you can buy in all the years you’ve got left to live. You may very well one day be able to know a heterosexual life... if you want it desperately enough. If you pursue it with the fervor with which you annihilate. But you’ll always be homosexual as well.
BRODY: Now, look, uh, everybody. Uh, this old college friend of mine is in town, and he’s on his way over here, for a quick drink on his way to dinner or someplace. But, now, look, he’s straight. Now, it’s not that I care what he would think of me. Really. It’s just that he’s not ready for it, and he never will be. [Also he is a shark]
It works in reverse pretty well too, in case you’re wondering:
Farewell and adieu to you, fair Spanish ladies! Farewell and adieu to you, ladies of Spain. For we've received orders for to sail back to Boston. And so never more shall we see you again.
LARRY: I’m not talkin’ about pleasure boatin’ or day sailin’. I’m talkin’ about workin’ for a livin’. I’m talkin’ about sharkin’.
HANK: Well, I’m not talkin’ about hooking some poor dogfish or sand shark. I’m talkin’ about findin’ a Great White.
LARRY: Porkers? Ya talkin’ about Porkers, Mr. Hank? Tie me a sheep shank.
HANK: I haven’t had to pass basic seamanship in a long time. [Ties rope expertly] You didn’t say how short you wanted it. [Tosses rope back]
LARRY: Gimme your hands...Dogfish? You've got city boy hands, Hank. You been countin’ money all your life.
HANK: All right, hey, I don’t need this! I don’t need this working-class-hero crap!
LARRY: Maybe I should go it alone.
LARRY: Well it proves one thing, Hank. It proves that you wealthy college boys don’t have the education enough to admit when you're wrong. And I’ll drive the boat.