Quint is a central character and a major supporting protagonist of the 1975 natural horror film Jaws. He was a professional shark hunter who lived in the fictional summer resort Amity Island, where he operated his sharking boat, the Orca.
The date of Quint's birth is unknown, however, he served in the second World War, and was a survivor of the U.S.S. Indianapolis after the ship was attacked by a Japanese submerine after delivering the Hiroshima bomb. While floating with the men still alive on a Thursday morning, Quint bumped into a friend of his named Herbie Robinson, whom Quint discovered had been bitten in half and killed by a shark. After being rescued, along with the other survivors on their fifth day adrift, Quint left the army life after the war ended, and decided to devote solely to hunting sharks, having been inspired to do so from the loss of his friend, Herbie.
Quint lived in the summer resort of fictional Amity Island. After a killer shark in the area had taken its second victim(the first was, at first, believed killed by a boat propeller), the Police Chief, Martin Brody, the mayor, Larry Vaughn, and town council called a public conference to inform the public as to how they would proceed to handle the shark, which Quint attended, sitting in the back of the room. After the crowd in the room began to complain noisely about the council's decision to close the beaches for a day, Quint ran his fingernails down a chalkboard, drawing everyone's attention to himself. Quint then told the crowd that he would catch the shark for them, but that it wouldn't be easy, and that the shark was capable of swallowing a person whole. Quint then stated that killing the shark quickly would return economic success to the island through tourism, and that he valued his own life at a lot more than $3,000(the reward offered by the recent victim's mother for the shark), but that he would catch and kill the shark for $10,000. Informing his audience that the decision between economic success or winter welfare was their's, Quint bid the crowd, the mayor, and Chief Brody good day as he left.
After the shark, then identified as a great white shark, killed and devoured a man teaching a boating class at the beach on the Fourth of July, Chief Brody and Matt Hooper, a shark expert, paid Quint a visit after getting a payment order signed by mayor Vaughan, and hired Quint to kill the shark. When they requested that he allow them to accompany him on the hunt, Quint told Brody and Hooper that while they were on board his vessel, he was their captain, and they were his crew, which they agreed to. The trio set out on Quint's sharking boat, the Orca, to kill the shark. Quint had Brody lay a marked chum line, while he used piano wire fishing reel to hook the shark. He eventually succeeded, but the shark bit through the wire and escaped. After having Hooper drive the boat twelve minutes south-southeast, Quint had Brody start to lay the chum line again, before sitting down in the boat's cabin to fix up another fishing line. After Brody walked in and told Quint he would need a bigger boat, Quint told Hooper to shut the engine off as the shark swam by the boat. Estimating the shark's size as twenty-five feet in length, with a weight of 6,000 pounds, Quint told his crew it was time to get to work.
Quint assembled his harpoon rifle, had Hooper attach its line to the rope on one of the flotation barrels, and shot the shark in the fin. However, the shark drug the barrel under the surface, and the men retired to the boat's cabin for the night when they didn't find it again. Quint recounted his story as a survivor of the U.S.S. Indianapolis to the men after supper, and they began to sing the classic song "Show Me the Way to Go Home", but the shark reappeared and began to ram the boat. Quint ordered everybody on deck when the light went out and tried crazingly to shoot the shark, but it escaped again. The next morning, while Quint and Hooper tried to repair the boat's damaged engine, the barrel resurfaced behind the boat, and Quint and Hooper tried to retrieve it after Quint stated the shark may have broken free from it. The shark then raised it's head up and severed the rope, and Quint smashed the radio to prevent Brody from calling the Coast Guard. After having Hooper attach another barrel to his harpoon rifle, Quint shot the shark again, before having Hooper run it down with the boat, allowing him to harpoon a third time. Though shocked when the shark drug both the barrels under, Quint drove the Orca to them again when they reappeared, and had Brody and Hooper attach their ropes to the stern cleats, before starting back to Amity Island.
Quint stopped when Hooper alerted him that the cleats were pulling loose, and harpooned the shark a fourth time below the jaw. When the shark started to pull the boat backwards, Quint got his machete, but the cleats broke off before he could cut the ropes. Stating that the shark couldn't stay down with three barrels on it, Quint told Brody to start pumping the water out of the boat, and was shocked when the shark drug the barrels under. The shark then slammed the Orca from beneath, angering Quint and prompting him to drive the boat back towards Amity port. Obsessed to kill the shark, Quint accelerated the boat to full speed, looking to draw the shark, which was chasing them, into the shallow water and drown it, ignoring Hooper's urgers that doing so would cause the boat's engine to blow out with it damaged the way that it was. Inevitably, the engine exploded, immobilizing the boat. With the Orca now taking on heavy water from the damage dealt the shark's previous attacks, the men decided to try a desperate approach to kill the shark; they assembled Hooper's anti-shark cage and set it in the water, so that he could get in it and attempt to stab the shark with a hypodermic spear filled with strycnine nitrate.
However, the shark caused Hooper to drop the spear and smashed into the cage. Hooper escaped, but the shark got tangled in the cage's metal, which caused the Orca's crane to give way to its massive weight when Quint tried to crank the cage up. The shark then threw itself onto the Orca's stern, crushing the transom and making the Orca raise up. Quint and Brody retreated into the cabin, but Quint fell. He grabbed the bar, but one of Hooper's air tanks rolled over on his fingers and, after he slipped through Brody's wet hand, Quint slid down the watery deck of the boat towards the shark. Terrorfied, Quint kicked the shark in the nose several times, but when he reached for the side of the boat, the shark bit down on his abdomen. Bleeding tremendously, Quint grabbed his machete and drove it into the shark's head as it thrashed him back and forth. The shark then increased its bite pressure and Quint pucked out a mouthful of blood as he died, and his body was dragged under the water and devoured by the shark.
After Brody blew the shark up using Quint's rifle and one of Hooper's air tanks and was rejoined at the surface by Hooper, the two held a brief moment of silence in respect for Quint and lamented his death, before returning to Amity Island.
Quint was a very experienced and skilled shark hunter, a professional specialist, who killed an uncounted large number of sharks in his life. His prowess was so great, that the town was willing to pay him his fee($10,000, plus $200 for every day he was hunting the shark) without hesitation. He was also a professional sea guide, able to travel out to sea for long distances without losing his way home or his location. He was also a capable boat captain, able to maintain control over his crew, who were also his employers, easily and always command their loyalty. He also appeared to have good adaptation skills, able to modify an ordinary fishing boat into the ideal sharking vessel, naming it the Orca. Quint was very strong, able to grapple with the great white after hooking it with relative ease.
Quint was a very well-in-control individual, able to boss around even his own employers and force them to accept his terms about things. He was most of the time level-headed, only getting upset and losing his composure when things went majorly bad. He was also mostly fearless, showing no discomfort or unsettlement in the presence of the shark until it threw itself onto the stern on his boat, the Orca. Befitting his being a boat captain, Quint barked orders often, but never with unnecessary harshness. Quint can also be described as shark-crazed, showing a huge obsession with sharks, similar to Captain Ahab's obsession with Moby Dick in the novel of the same name. Quint was also a very colorful character, being the comical relief of the film as the funniest of all the characters.
- Quint was based off of real life famed shark hunter Frank Mundus, who used shark fishing techniques nearly identical to Quint's.
- Quint's death in the original novel, Jaws, was inspired by the death of Captain Ahab from the novel, Moby Dick.
- Though he is not mentioned himself in the sequel film, Jaws 2, Quint's boat, the Orca, was found and photographed by a pair of divers, who were devoured by yet another great white shark. The photo of the shark, taken by one of the divers, was taken at the sunken Orca.