The Timeline Of JAWS

If I have to type out the words “Indiana Jones” one more time, I think I am gonna go postal. Seriously, I can now touch-type it with my eyes closed. As you know, Boba Phil was kind of ambivalent about it, and Eggy was genuinely enthusiastic. These two opposing views were then joined by Poopy, who trashed it.

It was sitting at a 91% audience score last night on Rotten Tomatoes. Just this morning Wrenage weighed in and also marked his own predictions. Drunken Yoda is keeping his powder dry for Sunday’s Livestream. Me… I just decided I couldn’t be bothered and just started thinking about Jaws again instead.

Jaws, now there is a movie! Especially this week, a lot of people are talking about how Raiders Of The Lost Ark is just about perfect.

Well, Jaws is in that bracket too. The characters, the actors, the performances, the pacing, the locations. Just about the only weak point is the mechanical shark, and by the time you finally get a good look at it, it just doesn’t matter because it has been so effectively built up in your mind that it is now a terrifying force. You have psychologically placed it beyond the point where its rubbery appearance can have any downgrading effect.

Even the mechanical shark manages to star in one of the most chillingly effective shots in cinema history:




Why, other than Spielberg and being wistful about how great cinema used to be, was Jaws front and center in my mind? Well, because of a meme. Yesterday was June 29th and so a certain meme was making its way around the internet that was Jaws related. This one:




This sparked a small discussion among some veteran Outposters about the timeline of events that take place over the course of the movie. It also highlighted a continuity error that is little known to most movie viewers, but vexes your average Jaws-o-phile.

So how exactly did “The Troubles” play out in Amity? How exactly did the reign of terror play out that summer? This is movie geek territory, and pretty much why we are all here, so we applied more thought to the timeline and thought we would share with you, our beloved Outposters.

June 28th

At approximately 11:50 pm, Chrissie Watkins goes swimming alone and disappears.

June 29th

Morning: Martin Brody is summoned before breakfast with reports of a missing woman. Chrissie’s body is discovered on South Beach. Brody attempts to close the beaches, but is overruled by Mayor Vaughan and some selectmen.

This is where the continuity error takes place, likely a result of the script being re-written hastily as they were shooting. On the report Brody is typing up, it shows July 1st as the date. This is then contradicted later in the movie and also doesn’t work in the context of the events.




Afternoon:  Across the other side of the island, at the Town Beach, a dog called Pippit (or Pippin, depending on the commentator) disappears while swimming. Shortly afterward, Alex Kintner is killed by the shark while on his raft.

June 30th

Morning: Meeting held at the town hall. A reward is advertised by Alex Kintner’s mother. The beaches are closed for 24 hours. This is where the continuity error is exposed, as this scene confirms Alex Kintner was killed on June 29th which we know was after Chrissie was attacked.




July 1st

Michael Brody’s birthday. The beaches re-open.

Afternoon: As the shark hunt starts to get underway, Matt  Hooper arrives in town from Woods Hole and is greeted by Ben Gardner.




Evening: A pair of fisherman, attempting to claim the $3,000 prize, have a narrow escape when the shark takes the bait and pulls the pier they are on into the sea.

July 2nd

Morning: As the shark hunt reaches fever pitch, Matt Hooper carries out a second autopsy on Chrissie’s remains, ruling out a boating accident. A tiger shark is caught caught and killed. Kintner’s mother confronts Brody at the town dock.




Evening: Hooper joins the Brody’s for dinner and breaks the news that he thinks the shark is still out there. Hooper and Brody cut open the tiger shark and find no human remains.

Overnight: Hooper and Brody take Hooper’s boat out and detect something large on the fish finder. Shortly afterward, they find Ben Gardner’s boat.

July 3rd

Morning: Brody and Hooper report their discovery to Mayor Vaughan as he is inspecting some vandalism to public property. This causes an argument and Vaughan once again refuses to close the beaches with the holiday weekend about to get underway.



July 4th

Morning: Brody and Hooper mobilize extra help and a flotilla of small boats as tourists flock to Amity beaches.

Afternoon: Panic at the beach as a couple of kids use a fake fin to terrify swimmers. As the dust settles, the real shark enters an estuary and kills the local scoutmaster, who is boating.

Evening: A guilt-stricken Vaughan finally caves into pressure from Brody and authorizes the payment of $10,000 to Quint to catch and kill the shark.

July 6th

Afternoon: Pre-supposing that it takes the town a day to get the cash together, Brody and Hooper visit Quint in his shack to discuss the charter.



July 7th

Morning:  Brody and Hooper set out with Quint to hunt the shark.

Lunchtime: Quint hooks what Hooper claims is nothing more than a game fish. The cleanly sliced steel line tells a different story.

Afternoon: While laying out a chum line, the shark appears and startles the crew with its size. Quint gets a barrel into him.




Evening: While bonding over a drink, the crew is shocked when the shark appears again and rams the boat. Brody, Quint, and Hooper spend a nervous night on board.

July 8th

Lunchtime: After spending the morning fixing the Orca after the attack caused some flooding, the shark reappears and attacks the boat while they manage to attach more barrels. A panicked Brody, realizing they are out of their depth, attempts to call for backup, but a psychotically obsessed Quint destroys the radio equipment. The confrontation is only interrupted by the shark returning for his “noon-feeding”.

Afternoon: As their plans begin to drastically unravel, they make the decision to allow Hooper to try his approach with his shark cage. This goes awry as the shark attacks the cage and Hooper narrowly escapes with his life. The shark turns on the boat, leaping aboard, ripping off the transom, and killing Quint.

As the Orca sinks beneath him, Brody manages to kill the shark before being reunited with Hooper. Hooper and Brody set off for shore on a raft they have fashioned from the remains of their expedition.

Late Afternoon / Early Evening: Brody and Hooper arrive back on the beach.




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