Why does Sam Quint smash the CB radio in Jaws?

When Brody goes and tries to call for help on the CB radio, Sam walks over with a club and smashes it but the movie doesn't really do a good job in explaining his actions. Is it because of Sam's history with sharks on the USS Indianapolis, and he feels like calling for help would be the cheap way out? Does he think that since his friends didn't get to call for help so he shouldn't either?

  • I feel it was personal and he wanted vengeance based on his experience on the Indianapolis. There have been analysis that his character is based on Ahab in Moby Dickinson. Here is another's analysis. blockbusteranthropology.blogspot.com/2011/01/…
    – user22785
    Commented Jul 7, 2015 at 12:01
  • 1
    Quint has no first name. "Sam" was invented by an internet fanboy several years ago.
    – user32132
    Commented Mar 10, 2016 at 14:11

3 Answers 3


I suspect that it is due to one of the following:

  1. He wants to focus those on board to the task at hand. If there's no hope of help then the only thing they can do is kill the shark.
  2. It's basically a macho thing that says 'I don't need anyone's help'. After all Quint is a loner who basically doesn't ask for help and expects none.

Whichever way, the story would not have been so good if the whole town had turned out to help !

  • I actually would consider this happening as a mixture of the two, rather than one or the other. Good answer, Pat. Commented Dec 24, 2013 at 14:36
  • Quint is such a great movie character.
    – dev4life
    Commented Jul 7, 2015 at 18:58
  • I would add that perhaps more boats would scare off the shark, ruining their chances of killing it. Commented Mar 10, 2016 at 15:47

I think secretly he never really intended to return ashore if he failed, he felt guilty he survived Indianapolis whilst several if not all of his friends perished. For him, being taken by the shark is like an honourable discharge and he's going down to be reunited with his buddies from WW2.


I believe the reason Quint smashed the radio is because back in the 70's 10,000 dollars was a lot and he didn't want to get help from others so they could get the share and he wanted the money for himself. But I do also believe that he smashed it is because he believed it would be dishonourable to receive assistance because of his experience on the USS Indianapolis and he wanted to be brave to impress his friends who weren't there.

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