Quint is a central character and major supporting protagonist of the film Jaws. He was a professional shark hunter who resided in the fictional summer resort of Amity Island, where he operated his sharking boat, the Orca.
He is portrayed by Robert Shaw.
The date of Quint's birth is unknown, however, he fought in the second World War and was a survivor of the U.S.S. Indianapolis after the ship was attacked by a Japanese submarine after delivering the Hiroshima bomb. While he was drifting in the ocean with his shipmates on a Thursday morning, Quint bumped into a friend of his named Herbie Robinson, whom he soon discovered had been bitten in half below the waist and killed by a shark. After being rescued along with 315 other survivors on the their fifth day adrift, Quint leaves army life after the war ends and decides to devote his life solely to hunting sharks, having been inspired to do so by the loss of his friend, Herbie.
Quint lived in the fictional summer resort of Amity Island. After a killer shark in the area devoured its second victim (the first was initially believed killed by a boat propeller), a young boy named Alex Kintner, the town mayor, Larry Vaughan, and the city council held a public conference with local Police Chief Martin Brody to inform the public about their plans for dealing with the shark. Quint attended the meeting, but sat in the back of the room. After the townsfolk loudly complain about the council's decision to close the beach for a day, Quint ran his fingernails down the chalkboard behind him to silence them and get their attention. He then told the townsfolk, town council, and the police chief that he would catch the shark for them, that wouldn't be easy and that the shark was capable of swallowing a person whole. He then proceeded to tell his audience that the shark would have to be killed quickly, so as to bring summer tourism and economic success back to the island. Quint then stated that he valued his own life at a lot more than $3,000 (the reward offered by Alex Kitner's mother for the shark), and that he would catch and kill the shark for $10,000. Informing the townsfolk and town council that the decision between winter welfare or economic success was theirs, Quint bid his audience, the mayor, and Chief Brody good day as he left.
When the shark, then identified as a Great White shark, later killed a man teaching a boating class in a pond at the beach on the Fourth of July, Chief Brody and Matt Hooper, a shark expert, paid Quint a visit after getting a payment order signed by Mayor Vaughan and hired Quint to kill the shark. When they requested that Quint allow them to accompany him on the hunt, Quint told them that while they were onboard his vessel, they were his crew and he was their captain, which they agreed to. The trio set out on Quint's sharking boat, the Orca, to hunt down the shark. Once they were far enough out, Quint had Brody lay a marked chum line while he used piano wire fishing reel to hook the shark. He succeeded, but the shark bit through the wire and escaped. After having Hooper drive the boat twelve minutes south-southeast, Quint told Brody to start the chum line again before he sat down inside the boat's cabin and started to fix up another fishing line. After Brody walked in and prompted Quint to go outside, he told Hooper to shut the engine off as the shark swam by the boat. Estimating the shark's size as twenty five feet in length with a weight of 6,000 pounds, Quint told his crew it was time to get to work.
Quint assembled his harpoon rifle and had Hooper attach a line on the harpoon to the end of one of the flotation kegs, and shot the shark in fin. They gave chase, but the keg vanished under the water and the men retired the boat's cabin for the night when they didn't find it again. Quint recounted his past as a survivor of the U.S.S. Indianapolis to the men after supper and they began to sing, however, the shark appeared and attacked the boat. Quint ordered everybody ondeck when the light went out and tried crazingly to shoot the shark, but it escaped. The next morning, while Quint and Hooper tried to repair the boat's damaged engine, the keg resurfaced and Quint and Hooper tried to retrieve it, believing the shark had broken free from it. However, the shark then raised its head up out of the water and severed the rope on the barrell. Brody tried to call the Coast Guard, but Quint smashed the radio and ordered Hooper to hook another keg to his harpoon gun when the shark resurfaced. Quint harpooned the shark again and had Hooper run the shark down with the boat, allowing him to harpoon it a second time. He is then shocked when the shark dragged both the kegs below the surface. When they reappeared again, Quint drove the boat to them and had Brody and Hooper tie their ropes to the Orca's stern cleats, before starting back to Amity Island. He stopped when Hooper alerted him that the cleats were pulling loose and harpooned the shark a third time below the jaw. When the shark started to pull the boat backwards, Quint got his machete, but the cleats broke off before he could cut the ropes.
The three kegs on the shark resurfaced quickly and Quint stated that the shark couldn't stay down then. He was angered and shocked when the shark drug itself under the water and slammed the Orca from beneath, so he began to drive the boat back towards Amity port. Obsessed to kill the shark, Quint accelerated the boat to full speed, looking to draw the shark, which was chasing them, into shallow water and drown it, ignoring Hooper's urges that doing so would blow out the boats engine with it damaged like it was. Inevitably, the engine exploded, immobilizing the boat. With the Orca now taking on heavy water from the damage dealt by the shark's previous attacks, the men decided to try a desperate approach to kill the shark; they fixed up Hooper's anti-shark cage and set it in the water so he could get in it and stab the shark with a hypodermic needle spear filled with stricnyne nitrate. However, the shark caused Hooper to drop the spear and smashed into the cage. Hooper escaped, but the shark became entangled in the metal of the cage, which caused the Orca's crane to give way to its massive weight when Quint tried to crank the cage up. The shark then threw itself onto the Orca's stern, prompting Quint and Brody to retreat into the boat's cabin, but Quint fell. He grabbed the bar inside, but one of Hooper's air tanks rolled over on his fingers and, after he slipped through Brody's wet hand, Quint slid down the watered deck of the boat towards the shark. Quint, then scared, kicked the shark in the nose several times, but when he reached for the side of the boat, the shark bit down on his abdomen and thrashed him to the right. Quint, bleeding tremedously, grabbed his machete and drove into the shark's head as it thrashed him back and forth. The shark then bit down on him again, and Quint pucked out a mouthful of blood as he died and his body was dragged under the water and devoured by the shark.
After Brody blew the shark up using Quint's rifle and one of Hooper's air tanks and was rejoined at the surface by Hooper, the two held a brief moment of silence in respect for Quint and lamented his death before returning to Amity Island.
- Though he is not mentioned himself in Jaws 2, Quint's boat, the Orca is seen and photographed in the beginning by two divers, who were devoured by yet another Great White shark at the same place. The photo of the shark taken by one of the divers before he was killed was taken at the sunken Orca.
- Quint was based on real-life famed shark hunter Frank Mundus, who used the same methods of shark hunting as Quint.
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