Great Moments in Cinema, I

ORCA’S CABIN

Quint: Chief. Don’t you worry about it, chief. It won’t be permanent. You wanna see somethin’ permanent? Bababoom? Hey, Hoop? You wanna feel somethin’ permanent? Just put your hand underneath my cap. You just feel that little lump? Knockanolum. St. Patty’s day. Boston.

Hooper: I got that beat. I got that beat. It’s a moray eel. Bit right through my wetsuit.

Quint: Well, Hoop, now, listen. I, I don’t know about that but I ended an arm wrestling contest in an Oke bar in San Francisco. You see this? Now I can’t extend that, do you know why? Get to the semi-final, celebrating my third wife Demise, big Chinese fella, he pulled me right over! Ha!

Hooper: Look at that. It’s a bull shark. He s–, he scraped me when I was taking samples.

Quint: I got somethin’ for ya. That’s the thrasher. You see that? Chief, thrasher’s tail. Scewp!

Martin: Thrasher?

Hooper: It’s a shark!

Quint: Do you want a drink? Drink to your leg?

Hooper: I’ll drink to your leg.

Quint: Okay, so we drink to our legs! Ha ha ha!

Hooper: I got the creme de la creme. Right here. Hold on. Yeah, you see that?

Martin: You’re wearing a sweater.

Hooper: Right there. Mary Ellen Moffit. She broke my heart. [Collective laughs]

Martin: What’s that one?

Quint: What?

Martin: That one, there, on your arm?

Quint: Ah, well. It’s a tattoo. I got that removed.

Hooper: Don’t tell me. Don’t tell me. Mother. Ha ha ha! What is it?

Quint: Mr. Hooper, that’s the U.S.S. Indianapolis.

Hooper: You were on the Indianapolis?

Martin: What happened?

Quint: Japanese submarine slammed two torpedoes into our side, chief. It was comin’ back, from the island of Tinian Delady, just delivered the bomb. The Hiroshima bomb. Eleven hundred men went into the water. Vessel went down in twelve minutes. Didn’t see the first shark for about a half an hour. Tiger. Thirteen footer. You know, you know that when you’re in the water, chief? You tell by lookin’ from the dorsal to the tail. Well, we didn’t know. `Cause our bomb mission had been so secret, no distress signal had been sent. Huh huh. They didn’t even list us overdue for a week. Very first light, chief. The sharks come cruisin’. So we formed ourselves into tight groups. You know it’s… kinda like `ol squares in battle like a, you see on a calendar, like the battle of Waterloo. And the idea was, the shark nearest man and then he’d start poundin’ and hollerin’ and screamin’ and sometimes the shark would go away. Sometimes he wouldn’t go away. Sometimes that shark, he looks right into you. Right into your eyes. You know the thing about a shark, he’s got… lifeless eyes, black eyes, like a doll’s eyes. When he comes at ya, doesn’t seem to be livin’. Until he bites ya and those black eyes roll over white. And then, ah then you hear that terrible high pitch screamin’ and the ocean turns red and spite of all the poundin’ and the hollerin’ they all come in and rip you to pieces. Y’know by the end of that first dawn, lost a hundred men. I don’t know how many sharks, maybe a thousand. I don’t know how many men, they averaged six an hour. On Thursday mornin’ chief, I bumped into a friend of mine, Herbie Robinson from Cleveland. Baseball player, bosom’s mate. I thought he was asleep, reached over to wake him up. Bobbed up and down in the water, just like a kinda top. Up ended. Well… he’d been bitten in half below the waist. Noon the fifth day, Mr. Hooper, a Lockheed Ventura saw us, he swung in low and he saw us. He’d a young pilot, a lot younger than Mr. Hooper, anyway he saw us and come in low. And three hours later a big fat PBY comes down and start to pick us up. You know that was the time I was most frightened? Waitin’ for my turn. I’ll never put on a lifejacket again. So, eleven hundred men went in the water, three hundred and sixteen men come out, the sharks took the rest, June the 29, 1945. Anyway, we delivered the bomb.

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