The screeching of nails across the chalkboard. It’s the signature move the begins the best introduction of a character in film. Ever. Period.
Robert Shaw gives a career best performance as Quint, the shark hunting captain of the Orca and lover of dirty sea shanties. The outsider of Amity becomes the island’s last hope at stopping a Great White shark from turning the beaches into a buffet. Unfortunately for Quint, he gets the gory glory of becoming the shark’s last meal.
The sea captain’s iconic first scene tells us everything we need to know about Bartholomew Marion Quint. He’s “grizzled” personified. A voice like tires rolling over gravel. Loner, mercenary, shrewd negotiator, and judging by the drawing on the chalkboard, a wicked sense of humor.
It’s during this introduction scene, in the middle of his monologue, Quint shows off another skill: psychic. He describes his own bloody death at the jaws of the shark while bragging about delivering “the head, the tail, whole damn thing” and saving Amity from a winter on welfare.
Amity Island is spared that welfare winter. Just not in the way Quint would’ve liked.