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Happy Birthday “Jaws”: The “Bigger Boat” Line Was Not Ad-Libbed

“Jaws” turned 47 years old yesterday.  It was released on June 20th, 1975.  And to celebrate the anniversary, here’s a little myth-busting for you:  The “You’re gonna need a bigger boat” line was NOT ad-libbed.

The legend has always been that ROY SCHEIDER came up with it on the fly.

And screenwriter Carl Gottlieb always thought so, too.  But sometime within the last 10 years, Carl saw an old interview with Roy, where he said the line was, quote, “always in the script.”

So here’s what happened.  The Universal guys gave the “Jaws” crew an inadequate support boat for the shoot.  And they were always complaining that they needed a bigger one.

Pretty soon, needing a bigger boat became a catchphrase for ANYTHING that went wrong.  And at some point, it made its way into the script!

Now you know!



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