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Jaws is a fictional assassin from the James Bond films The Spy Who Loved Me and Moonraker, played in both films by Richard Kiel. Jaws is one of the most popular James Bond henchmen and a reccurring character in the James Bond video games.
The character was inspired by Fleming's description of a hoodlum named Horror in his novel The Spy Who Loved Me. When Horror speaks, he reveals steel-capped teeth. Jaws' teeth were designed by Katharina Kubrick Hobbs using a cog-like design since she felt pointy teeth would injure the actor. Still, the dentures were uncomfortable and Richard Kiel could only wear them for about 35 seconds. When Jaws was to bite through an object a normal human can't bite through - for example, cable car wire - the film makers used licorice.
Jaws first appeared in the 1977 film The Spy Who Loved Me as a henchman to the villain, Karl Stromberg. He would later appear in the sequel Moonraker as a henchman to the villain Hugo Drax. In his second appearance Jaws changed from a ruthless and unstoppable killing machine to more of a comedy figure. He eventually turns against Drax and helps Bond to defeat him. In Moonraker he gains a girlfriend, Dolly, who like Jaws almost never speaks and who is the primary reason for his reformation. Jaws only speaks once, in Moonraker, when he makes a toast to his girlfriend, "Well, here's to us".
In addition to having steel teeth, Jaws was also gigantic and extremely strong, which forced Bond to be especially inventive while fighting him. In combat during The Spy Who Loved Me, Bond found himself caught in an unbreakable death grip by Jaws, who was about to fatally bite him; Bond only escaped by using a broken electric lamp to send an electric shock through the assassin's teeth to stun him.
Jaws also has an uncanny ability to survive any misfortune seemingly unscathed and come back to challenge Bond again. In The Spy Who Loved Me, Jaws survives an Egyptian structure's collapse on top of him, being hit by a van, being thrown from a rapidly-moving train, sitting in the passenger seat of a car which veers off a cliff in Sardinia and explodes (landing in a hut below, to the owner's dismay), a battle underwater with a shark, and the destruction of Stromberg's lair. In Moonraker, he survives falling several thousand feet after accidentally disabling his own parachute (he falls through a circus tent and lands in the trapeze net), a crash through a building inside a runaway cable car, and going over Iguazu Falls. After each of these incidents, he always picks himself up, dusts off his jacket, straightens his tie and nonchalantly walks away. Left aboard the station with his girlfriend, they open a bottle of champagne, and Jaws speaks his only lines in the entire franchise: "Well, here's to us." After the destruction of Drax's space station, a throw-away line near the end is made that the American shuttle rescued him and his girlfriend.
Films compared with novelisations
Most of the background information on Jaws comes from Christopher Wood's novelisation of the film The Spy Who Loved Me; published as James Bond, The Spy Who Loved Me to differentiate from Ian Fleming's novel. In Wood's version, Jaws's real name is Zbigniew Krycsiwiki and he was born in Kraków, Poland. After a failed attempt at becoming a basketball player (despite his astonishing height) Krycsiwiki was arrested by the secret police for having taken part in the (fictitious) "1972 bread riots". Whilst he was imprisoned the police "beat him with hollow steel clubs encased in thick leather" until they thought he was dead, leaving his jaw broken beyond repair. Krycsiwiki later escaped and stowed aboard one of Stromberg's vessels. Eventually he was caught, but instead of turning him in, Stromberg hired a prestigious doctor to create an artificial jaw. After 14 operations Krycsiwiki's jaw was restored using steel components that created two rows of terrifying razor-sharp teeth, although Jaws was left mute.
Since none of the above is actually mentioned in either movie, this is not necessarily considered canonical, and Wood contradicts his own continuity when one compares his scripts and his novelisations. In the novelisation of The Spy Who Loved Me Wood specifically states that Jaws is a mute. However, though Jaws remains mute in Wood's James Bond and Moonraker novelisation, he actually does speak at the end of the film.
In the book, Jaws remains attached to the magnet that Bond dips into the tank, as opposed to the film where Bond releases Jaws from the magnet into the water:
- Now both hands were tearing at the magnet, and Jaws twisted furiously like a fish on the hook. As Bond watched in fascinated horror, a relentless triangle streaked up behind the stricken giant. A huge gray force launched itself through the wild water, and two rows of white teeth closed around the threshing flesh.
The initial script concluded with Jaws being killed by the shark, but after a rough test screening (where Lewis Gilbert's grandson was present), Jaws was so well liked that the scene was changed to have him survive.
Jaws' principal videogame appearances are in the 1997 Nintendo 64 game GoldenEye 007 in a bonus mission in which he is a henchman to the deceased Hugo Drax whom Bond needs to defeat, and a playable character in the multi-player mode, and the multi-platform 2004 game 007: Everything or Nothing as a henchman to Nikolai Diavolo (voiced by Willem Dafoe). Both games use Richard Kiel's likeness and voice (grunts and sound effects). (His likeness can also be found as the character Chuck Ferdon in the 2006 game Rugby 06 by Electronic Arts.)
In Everything or Nothing, Jaws is electrocuted and is inside a train that is knocked over the side of a bridge. Later he drives a tanker intending to destroy the New Orleans levees, but Bond destroys his tanker. In another instance during a fight on a large lift in which Jaws is equipped with a flamethrower, Bond shoots the flamethrower backpack which ignites Jaws. Bond then climbs into the cockpit of a plane and ejects his seat as the lift plummets to the ground. When Bond later lands on the remains at the bottom, Jaws is nowhere to be found and he is not seen or mentioned again in the game, which suggests that he has escaped the base and death once again. In a multiplayer arena in the same game, Jaws wanders around looking for players to hurt. He can't be hurt himself, and any players that try to hurt him will be killed almost immediately by him.
Jaws is an unlockable multiplayer character in the game 007: Nightfire. He is the tallest character in the game, and his punches can kill almost instantly. The character model's teeth are visible at close range. Jaws is also a playable multiplayer character in the 2010 remake video game GoldenEye 007 for the Nintendo Wii and the 2011 re-release GoldenEye 007: Reloaded for the PlayStation 3 and Xbox 360.
Jaws appears briefly in the Sega Mega Drive/Genesis game James Bond 007: The Duel, where he wanders briefly around a section toward the end of the first stage and defeats the player with one hit. Jaws also appears in the Game Boy game James Bond 007 as a boss, where Bond must lead him to magnetized pads that will temporarily hold him in place, allowing time for Bond to attack him.
Homages and parodies
- Jaws was spoofed in the 1977 Mel Brooks' film High Anxiety, which featured a psychopathic killer named "Braces", who wore large metal braces on his teeth for a reason that was never explained.
- In a 2008 comic strip featuring Dick Tracy, a henchman, "Braces", who wears dental braces, is electrocuted after wiring from his own robot is caught in his dental hardware.
- Jaws also makes a cameo in the animated series Jackie Chan Adventures (episode Tough Luck), where he auditions as a prospective henchman for Finn and gets his steel teeth (which are revealed to be dentures) stuck in a board he bites into.
- Jaws appeared in the 1990s animated spin-off James Bond Jr. as a member of the SCUM organization and partner-in-crime of fellow henchman Nick Nack. In the show, Jaws underwent some change in his appearance; he was more muscular, and his chin was also metal. Also, Jaws spoke regularly.
- In the final credits sequence of the Inspector Gadget movie, Dr. Claw's assistant is shown attending a "Henchman's Anonymous" meeting. Richard Kiel, who is billed in the credits as "Famous Big Guy with Metal Teeth", is in attendance along with Oddjob (who is credited as "Famous Villain with Deadly Hat").
- Get Smart, which is both a parody and an homage to the James Bond film series, has a character named Dalip, who looks like Jaws and does his Moonraker stunt of falling from the sky without a parachute and surviving. He also turns towards the good side in the end.
- Mythbusters tested the plausibility of Jaws biting through the steel cable car wire. The model based on the dentures used in the movie had little impact on the steel cable, even with a hydraulic press at ten times human bite strength. Jamie Hyneman then took huge metal pincers and went as "Claws", who, as the announcer said, was "Meaner than Oddjob, more ferocious than Jaws, taller than Nick Nack, and creepier than Tee Hee." With the metal pincers, he gets through the cord easily. Also, in the storyboard reenactment of the sequence from Moonraker, Jaws appears with a Largo-style eye patch, and a moustache, neither of which was seen in the actual films in which the character appeared.
- The character "Braces" in the video games TimeSplitters 2 and TimeSplitters Future Perfect is based on Jaws.
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In 2009, Manolith ranked Jaws as the best James Bond henchman.
Jaws was spoofed in Mel Brooks' 1977 film High Anxiety, featuring a hired killer named Braces (played by Rudy De Luca) who is wearing large metal braces on his teeth. An unrelated character named Braces from the video games TimeSplitters 2 and TimeSplitters: Future Perfect is also referencing Jaws. The film 2008 Get Smart, which is both a parody and an homage to the James Bond film series, features a character named Dalip (played by The Great Khali), who looks like Jaws and does his Moonraker stunt of falling from the sky without a parachute and surviving; he also helps the film's protagonists in the end.
Jaws makes a cameo appearance in the animated series Jackie Chan Adventures (episode "Tough Luck"), where he auditions as a prospective henchman for Finn and gets his steel teeth (which are revealed to be dentures) stuck in a board he bites into. In the final credits sequence of the film adaptation of Inspector Gadget, Doctor Claw's assistant is shown attending a Henchman's Anonymous meeting; Richard Kiel, who is billed in the credits as "Famous Big Guy with Metal Teeth", is in attendance. Kiel also played Reace, a very similar character to Jaws (complete with metal teeth), in the 1976 film Silver Streak.
MythBusters tested the plausibility of Jaws biting through the steel cable car wire. The model based on the dentures used in the movie had little impact on the steel cable, even with a hydraulic press at ten times human bite strength. Jamie Hyneman then took huge metal pincers and became "Claws", who, as the announcer said, was "meaner than Oddjob, more ferocious than Jaws, taller than Nick Nack, and creepier than Tee Hee." With the metal pincers, he gets through the cord easily.
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