Few films are revisited as often every summer as Jaws, as the film not only landed in theaters in June, but the events also unfold in the days leading up to July 4th, which means fans are constantly discovering new details about it every year. Ben Dreyfuss, son of star Richard Dreyfuss, recently took to Twitter to pose a complex theory about one of the film's seemingly unresolved "mysteries," claiming that Ben Gardner, a presumed victim of the monstrous shark, was actually killed by Robert Shaw's Quint, as the rival fisherman knew he could get away with the crime and that the shark would be blamed for it.
"One thing that everyone including my father gets wrong about Jaws is that they all think Jaws killed Ben Gardner. But that's wrong. Ben Gardner was murdered by Quint, his local fishing rival," Dreyfuss shared on Twitter. "The body turns up at the beach, Quint recognized it was a shark attack, he saw his chance and killed his rival Ben Gardner and planted a Great White Tooth at the scene. Everyone fell for it—except Jaws, who followed the Orca out to sea to kill Quint (also why he let my dad live)."
Of the many memorable moments in Jaws, the power of scientist Hooper discovering Gardner's boat in the middle of the ocean and becoming startled by Gardner's head popping out through a hole in the hull is still one of the film's most effective moments, shocking audiences to this day. While his death is, of course, brought on by the shark in an unseen moment from the narrative, Dreyfuss' interpretation of the scene does ignite some interesting concepts.
One thing that everyone including my father gets wrong about Jaws is that they all think Jaws killed Ben Gardner. But that’s wrong. Ben Gardner was murdered by Quint, his local fishing rival.— Ben Dreyfuss (@bendreyfuss) July 3, 2020
Given his connections to the source material, Dreyfuss even went on to share that he had written the original film's screenwriter, Carl Gottlieb, to address this issue. While we haven't gotten a follow-up on Gottlieb's response, Dreyfuss did note that he had previously posited this theory to his own father, earning the reply, "This is idiotic."
While this theory might not prove accurate, it shows the power of the story that landed in theaters 45 years ago. Another scene in the film which fans continue to dissect is the conversation between Hooper, Quint, and Chief Brody (Roy Scheider) as they all compare scars. Hooper and Quint have a number of scars, but Brody doesn't participate in the discussion and merely looks at a scar on his stomach. The prevailing notion is that he feels insecure that his only scar is from an appendectomy, while others have conjured a number of other theories about the injury and how that impacted the character in the film.
What do you think about the theory? Let us know in the comments below or contact Patrick Cavanaugh directly on Twitter to talk all things Star Wars and horror!