JAWS the shark named Bruce.

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TymerDC

Sr Member
This story was on the web this morning I'm sure some of you hadn't seen it yet:

Final Remaining 'Jaws' Shark Discovered in a Junk Yard

It always blows my mind when a studio goes to great lengths to create props for a film only to disassemble or dispose of them once they're doing with production. I assume it happens less often these days given the prevalence of online prop auctions and charity donations, but as a film fan it just hurts me to know that some of the best props from some of our most iconic movie franchises have ended up in dumpsters simply because nobody could be bothered to keep them. Case in point, Bruce, the life-size shark model Steven Spielberg used in Jaws.

There were three original Bruces constructed for production, each weighing in at 400 pounds and measuring 25 feet in length, but after everything was wrapped all three were destroyed (perhaps out of revenge considering how famously difficult it was to get the mechanical killers of the sea to work properly once in the actual ocean). However, recently a die hard Jaws lover, Cory Turner, got wind of a fourth Bruce that was created from the original mold not for the film, but for exhibition at Universal Studios (as pictured below). Rumor had it that this shark was not destroyed when it was retired from display in 1990. However, there was no record of where it had actually gone off to.

According to Yahoo, Turner tracked the monster's whereabouts to a junkyard in California, where he was resting in good enough condition for original art department staffers Joe Alves and Roy Arbogast to make an official identification. So there's a moderately happy ending here, but what Yahoo leaves out is how the final Bruce got to be where it was and whether or not its owners knew what they had. Maybe I'm just a Jaws nut, but I'd rather see that story told over a remake any day.
 

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ob1al

Sr Member
The shark in the pic above is not from the original molds, that's the replacement shark that's there now.

As to how the JY shark got there, Universal had it on the lot for years then decided to replace it with an inferior subsitute. The old shark was about to be dumped when a local businessman rescued it, took it to his car parts lot, mounted it on poles and...the rest is history. That's the story.

The junkyard shark has been known about by Jaws fans for years and years, but only in the last few weeks come to public awareness.

That's a good thing if it helps to save the last remaining 'Bruce'. People - eminent prop people in fact - have tried to buy it from the junkyard before now, to no avail, but perhaps this new wave of interest will help to get it at the very least restored, or perhaps, bought and saved for posterity.

I hope so.
 

Bizarro Lois

Sr Member
According the the NPR article, the current owner of the Junkyard is the son of the guy who obtained the shark. Maybe someday he(or even the next generation) could be persuaded to let it go.
 

CTF

Sr Member
Greg N. offered 'em a lot of money, but they turned him down.

Hey, Universal let the Orca rot, the Murphys let the Orca II rot, so why not let the last remaining link to the original Bruce go the same way?
 

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BobaFettSlave_1

Sr Member
Greg N. offered 'em a lot of money, but they turned him down.

Hey, Universal let the Orca rot, the Murphys let the Orca II rot, so why not let the last remaining link to the original Bruce go the same way?
Its not so much that the Orca II rotted away but that it was torn apart by fanboys who destroyed a piece of film history so that they could make them selves feel proud that they had something in their collections. the only thing they can proud of is that they destroyed the Orca II


Dana
 

CTF

Sr Member
Agreed.

But a boat, fibreglass or not, dumped on a beach for thirty years is what I would consider being left to rot.
 

Goldenrod

Sr Member
I agree with a previous post,it should be rescued,restored. And put n a museum along other great iconic movie pieces. This film,this shark, named Bruce changed the world on how people thought about going to the beach and getting in the ocean. I have many friends around this big ball of dirt,and many of them hang here on the RPF. This movie would always pop up when talking about what movie scared you the most. Even though we were kids when it hit the screen,we still had the fear of it maybe swiming around the bed. So you didn't dare leave your foot hanging over the edge. Or the dreaded duuudum duuudum in your head when you were playing the ocean. Example: I work as a Dental tech at Dental office here Fl. and just the other day the Dr. and i were discussing what our plans were for the weekend and i mentioned my family and i were going to the beach again and he said oh i used to play in the ocean but no more ever since the Jaws film. I thought he was joking but he stressed oh no! i hear that Jaws music now and i do not get in the water anymore. Very funny. But i've heard that story so many times from many around the world.
So this last remaining shark NEEDS to be rescued some how and restored "to a point" without altering its true appearance and forever placed in a museum as the last know casting from the original molds. Anything less would be unacceptable plain and simple.
The JY owner needs to be informed of this being such a important piece of movie history that left in its current state and in the elements will eventually fall to pieces. Its sad really.
 

Roger Ramjet

Sr Member
This thread saddens me as did the fate of the Original Gailieo Shuttlecraft from ST TOS, allowed to rot away sitting in some Salvage Yard.

Perhaps a midnight raid by some prop commandos is in order?....:)
 

frightzone_4_you

Well-Known Member
So this last remaining shark NEEDS to be rescued some how and restored "to a point" without altering its true appearance and forever placed in a museum as the last know casting from the original molds. Anything less would be unacceptable plain and simple.
The JY owner needs to be informed of this being such a important piece of movie history that left in its current state and in the elements will eventually fall to pieces. Its sad really.
Is the shark on the tram ride cast from the original BRUCE molds? Does UNIVERSAL still have access to studio molds to replace the tram ride JAWS or repair it?
 
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BobaFettSlave_1

Sr Member
Is the shark on the tram ride cast from the original BRUCE molds? Does UNIVERSAL still have access to studio molds to replace the tram ride JAWS or repair it?


No, JunkYard Bruce was the only shark cast from the same original molds as the three film sharks. he was on display hanging from a gantry in front of the JAWS ride from 1975-1990. the word is that the original molds are rotted away so Junkyard Bruce truely is the last remaining link to the original sharks. none of the other ride sharks at the ride have any link to the originals. funny thing is they are much poorer looking too compared to the original bruce.

Dana
 
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oblagon

Sr Member
IMO the thought of prestoring movie props is a new train of thought. Back when Jaws was filmed I doubt that anyone thought it would be important to keep the Orca or Bruce around.

When I was a kid I remember a touring prop show that had Jaws on display and when you approched it would come alive and snap it's jaws at you. Not sure what the linage of that shark was but does this sound familar to anyone? If not, I have a picture of me standing next to it that I could post.
 

batmanspawn

Member
im looking for the twin pistols that were used in equilibrium, can anyone here do a copy of them and how much would they be if u could?
thx/later/Bruce
 

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CB2001

Master Member
The only way the owner of the junkyard will part with the JY Bruce is if he was paid a lot of money. I'm guessing over $1 Million would be what would sway his decision to do so.

I know this would be a long shot, but does anyone know if Spielberg happens to know about this 4th Bruce? I mean, I know that once upon a time, he purchased a Rosebud sled (thinking it was the same one used in "Citizen Kane") and he did direct the first movie. Granted, he had a hard time with the shark and getting it to work, and the JY Bruce is not one of the originals, but I'm sure he can see how important it is in the context of film history, as it was from the original mold.

Seriously, Spielberg should know of it if he hasn't. If he did, then maybe he could front up the cash to rescue it.

But then again, he's allowed Universal to allow the BTTF DeLorean to remain sitting in the backlot rusting away. So, it's hard to say if he would care or not.
 

Bizarro Lois

Sr Member
Did they save any of the sharks from the Jaws sequels? Were they made by similar methods, or something completely different? I'm not a huge fan of them, but were they kept or destroyed? I haven't found a preview yet, but someone told me that an upcoming Hollywood Treasures episode features a shark from the Jaws movies, and I'm wondering which one it is.
 

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