It always blows my mind when a studio goes to great lengths to create props for a film only to disassemble or dispose of them once they're doing with production. I assume it happens less often these days given the prevalence of online prop auctions and charity donations, but as a film fan it just hurts me to know that some of the best props from some of our most iconic movie franchises have ended up in dumpsters simply because nobody could be bothered to keep them. Case in point, Bruce, the life-size shark model Steven Spielberg used in Jaws.
There were three original Bruces constructed for production, each weighing in at 400 pounds and measuring 25 feet in length, but after everything was wrapped all three were destroyed (perhaps out of revenge considering how famously difficult it was to get the mechanical killers of the sea to work properly once in the actual ocean). However, recently a die hard Jaws lover, Cory Turner, got wind of a fourth Bruce that was created from the original mold not for the film, but for exhibition at Universal Studios (as pictured above). Rumor had it that this shark was not destroyed when it was retired from display in 1990. However, there was no record of where it had actually gone off to.
According to Yahoo, Turner tracked the monster's whereabouts to a junkyard in California, where he was resting in good enough condition for original art department staffers Joe Alves and Roy Arbogast to make an official identification. So there's a moderately happy ending here, but what Yahoo leaves out is how the final Bruce got to be where it was and whether or not its owners knew what they had. Maybe I'm just a Jaws nut, but I'd rather see that story told over a remake any day.