Steven Spielberg’s 1975 thriller Jaws is one of the most famous movies of all time, and this line was instantly iconic. It was one of the most memorable movies of the 1970s. It also held the title for the highest grossing films until Star Wars and is widely credited as the first modern blockbuster.
Spielberg is a master of the slow build, giving audiences little glimpses and hints of a monster before finally hitting them with the thing all at once. In Jaws, you don’t get the full effect of the shark until well into the film.
The scene is as scary for both the movie’s audience and characters, our unlikely trio of shark hunters – police chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider), marine biologist Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) and grizzled World War II vet Quint (Robert Shaw).
“You’re Gonna Need A Bigger Boat”
– Chief Brody when he sees the shark for the first time.
It is a mixture of shock, humor, and the dread that follows encapsulates everything that’s great about this movie. Scheider plays it perfectly, famously ad-libbing the oft-quoted line without dropping his cigarette.