Only a handful of directors can boast of leaving an enduring and far-reaching mark on the world of cinema during the last 50 years, quite like Steven Spielberg. Hailing from Ohio, Spielberg commenced his journey in filmmaking in the early 1970s, steadily ascending to become a pivotal figure in the renowned New Hollywood era, alongside luminaries such as George Lucas, Francis Ford Coppola, and Martin Scorsese, collectively recognized as the ‘Movie Brats’ in hindsight.
Spielberg’s expansive filmography ranges from the child-oriented wonder of E.T. and The Land Before Time to the gory tension of Jaws and Saving Private Ryan. While his movies vary so wildly stylistically and thematically, Spielberg maintains a crucial constant of spectacular cinematography and flawless casting.
Although he’s never regarded himself as an actor, Spielberg has, on the rare occasion, appeared in cameo roles in his own movies. This is common practice among many filmmakers, with Quentin Tarantino as one of the trend’s staunchest advocates. Unlike Tarantino, Spielberg likes to keep his cameos markedly subtle.
Of all Spielberg cameos, his appearance in 1975’s Jaws was perhaps the most subtle since he didn’t actually appear on-screen. Hence, film nerds would have to know the director’s voice pretty well to notice the cameo.
Towards the end of the movie, when the hunt is on, Robert Shaw’s character, Quint, loads his harpoon as the radio crackles: “This is Amity point light-station to Orca. Orca, come in”. Quint grabs the radio and reports back before the voice on the other end says, “I have Mrs. Martin Brody here”, hoping to contact her husband, portrayed by Roy Scheider. You may have guessed it by now, but the voice on the radio is none other than Mr. Spielberg.
Besides his audio cameo in Jaws, Spielberg has cameoed in several movies credited to his fellow directors. He may have passed you by in Gremlins when he drove past the camera off focus. You also might have missed Spielberg as he drove one of the cars Marty McFly holds onto when skateboarding to school at the beginning of Back to the Future.
Watch Steven Spielberg’s cameo in Jaws below.