Mistaken identity – my Jaws confession…

Just a very short Quick Read this week, focused on the 1975 Steven Spielberg classic.

Like my Spider-Verse faux pas and my movie soup mix-ups, this is another in a growing list of movie goofs I’ve made over the years which I’m admitting in the hope it’ll inspire readers to share their own.

We all know Jaws, right? Such is its importance in the history of cinema and presence in the public consciousness, it’s one of those films we’re pretty much born knowing. Hell, even the Junior Late Reviewers know the theme music, and one of them’s still in nappies.

I don’t remember the first time I saw it, but I was just about old enough to recognise the good guys – Brody, Hooper and Quint – from the bad guys – the shark, and the mayor who’s fine with feeding people to the shark.

The mayor is the source for this particular goof, because over the years, I’ve absolutely convinced myself that he was played by the Man From UNCLE himself, Robert Vaughn.

He’s not, of course, he’s played by Murray Hamilton.

Whose character just happens to be called Mayor Vaughn.

Is there a physical resemblance? Maybe. A bit. Potentially enough to have got me confused when I was a kid.

But not enough to have me convinced for so many years and over several rewatches in that time that Napoleon Solo was the fella in the anchor jacket from Jaws who is still inexplicably the mayor in Jaws 2: Great White Boogaloo.

Looking back, I think some of the confusion might have come about because I saw Bullitt at about the same time as my first viewing of Jaws, and Robert Vaughn plays the pain in the ass senator Walter Chalmers – another authority figure in conflict with the hero.

Anyway, I indulged in that particular case of mistaken identity for the best part of two decades until I went back and watched Spielberg’s classic for the umpteenth time a couple of years back.Thankfully I never put money on it, but at least it’s off my chest now.

Have you experienced any similar movie blindspots or convinced yourself a certain actor was in a film who wasn’t? If so, take to the socials and let me know!

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