Country: USA Directed by: James Cameron Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, David Warner, Victor Garber, Bernard Hill.
"I'm the king of the world!"
It was the most expensive movie ever made at the time. It won 11 Oscars. Critics loved it. Audiences at the time adored it. It became the highest-grossing motion picture in history (until James Cameron's follow-up flick, Avatar, hit cinemas). What a shame it has been forced to endure such a severe backlash.
I love this movie. For me, it's the best movie about the sinking of the RMS Titanic. It manages to be exciting, exhilarating, emotional and heart-wrenching. Performances are top-drawer (if you say Leo is crap in this, I will fight you), direction is exceptional, and the technical achievements are mind-blowing. It truly feels as if you're wandering the decks of the doomed ocean liner. The sinking scenes are intense and terrifying. I don't get the hate...
Tonnes of them.
To quote wiki "The romantic story is improbable, just as it is in the movie, as the rules of the ship ensured complete segregation of first class, second class and third class passengers. They were not merely separated for reasons of social class. Steerage class passengers did not have medical certificates to show that they were free of disease, so they had to pass through Ellis Island when they landed. This was common practice on the ocean liners of the time. Any contact between the different classes would have nullified this arrangement."
Apparently the accents are skewiff as well. There's a flashlight used while the lifeboat at the end is searching for survivors, but no such technology existed in 1912. Some reports say that the third class passengers weren't held behind gates during the sinking (as shown in this movie), but testimonials from survivors say otherwise, so I guess this one is excused.
All this historical inaccuracy stuff is nit-picking, however. Others are welcome to disagree, but you're taking one a hell of an experience for granted.
Country: Canada/USA Directed by: Robert Lieberman Starring: Peter Gallagher, George C. Scott, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Eva Marie Saint, Tim Curry, Roger Rees
"I've mourned enough."
Titanic was a two-part TV movie filmed in Vancouver and starring George C. Scott as Captain Smith, Marilu Henner as Molly Brown and Eva Marie Saint and Peter Gallagher as fictional characters. The CBS movie was clearly designed to exploit the hype swirling about the then-uncompleted James Cameron film which was released in 1997.
As usual, the movie shows life in First Class represented by imaginary characters Wynn Park (Peter Gallagher) and Isabella Paradine (Catherine Zeta-Jones). There is a representation of true life characters like Molly Brown (Marilu Henner) and Bruce Ismay (Roger Rees), too. And the ship was created using shoddy CGI...
N/A haven't seen
Ha, yeah, loads. Everything from Captain Smith saying CQD stands for "Come Quick Distress" to Tim Curry's character raping a stewardess.
Country: UK/USA Directed by: William Hale Starring: David Janssen, Cloris Leachman, Susan Saint James, David Warner, Ian Holm
"God went down with the Titanic"
This is a lavish made-for-TV movie starring David Janssen as John Jacob Astor, David Warner (who played the evil and sadistic gun-toting Lovejoy in the Cameron film) as Lawrence Beesley, a second class passenger, Ian Holm as J. Bruce Ismay and Cloris Leachman portrayed Molly Brown. Filming took place off the Isle of Man in the Irish Sea; aboard the Queen Mary in Long Beach, California; in iceberg-infested waters near Greenland and in a gigantic "floodable" studio near London.
S.O.S. Titanic was conceived as a joint venture between ABC TV and the British company EMI. The idea behind the production was to revisit the idea behind A Night To Remember, but show the whole voyage from the departure in Southampton to the rescue aboard the Carpathia. The movie doesn't focus on any one plotline, but bounces around between an array of passengers in first, second and third class.
The movie was the first color version of the story. It can be seen in two versions: A 140 minute version told in flashback fashion, and a 109 minute version, shown in straightforward fashion.
N/A haven't seen.
- The film does correctly portray the band playing ragtime tunes on deck during the sinking. Most historians agree that the then popular style is most likely what the band would have played on deck in the dark, improvised and confusing conditions. While the exact tunes played during the sinking might never be known, the ones heard in the film are mostly Scott Joplin's works. The historically accurate music is segued into the dance number.
- John Jacob Astor and his wife Madeline actually boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg, France, not at Southampton, England as depicted in the film.
- When it is finally April 14, 1912, it says "Day 5: 12 April, 1912". This was possibly an error by the filmmakers themselves, as they were unable to correct the mistake after the movie was released.
- Violet Jessop, the only surviving female to pen an account of the sinking, is showcased here as an elderly Stewardess. Jessop, born in 1887, would have in fact been only 24-25 years old when she was employed on the Titanic.
- The lifeboats did not have to row through a thick icefield to reach the RMS Carpathia. But during the course of the four hours after the sinking and before the Carpathia arrived the lifeboats did row past several icebergs and encountered growler ice. Growler ice was photographed the next day by passengers on several ships passing the scene, one of which reportedly showed traces of red anti-fouling paint, similar to that on the Titanic.
- The distress rockets for the Titanic were actually fired one at a time, not two at a time as depicted in the film.
- The actual RMS Titanic's lifeboats were actually labeled as SS Titanic, where in the film they are simply labeled as Titanic.
- Benjamin Guggenheim's mistress was actually traveling with him aboard the RMS Titanic, he did not leave her behind in Europe.
Country: UK Directed by: Roy Ward Baker Starring: Kenneth More, Honor Blackman, David McCallum, Alec McCowan.
"Everybody up, get dressed, get your lifebelts on, at once."
The enormous popularity of Walter Lord's book A Night to Remember and its television dramatisation convinced Irish film producer William MacQuitty that the story deserved a lavish big screen treatment. The result is considered by many to be the best film about the Titanic's sinking ever to be released. And the film focuses on the sinking, and pretty much nothing else - after showing the ship's launch, it skips straight to April 14th as night is falling. It also conveys the story mainly from the perspective of the ship's officers. The interiors were filmed mostly at Pinewood Studios near London and the authenticity of this production included 30 interior sets constructed from actual blueprints of Titanic and actors who looked like the people that they portrayed.
During my Titanic obsession in childhood, I watched this movie ad nauseum. I remember seeing it at least 50 or 100 times. It's simply an amazing movie. The special effects are at times unconvincing, granted, yet the acting is great and the historical accuracy is fascinating. The drama unfolding is also quite riveting. I've also read Lord's novel, and I must say... Roy Ward Baker's film has done it justice.
Without a doubt, A Night to Remember is the most accurate cinematic rendering of the sinking of the Titanic to date. It's pretty much a documentary in the way it tells the events of the sinking pretty much exactly how they happened, at least as far as we can theorise. Only minor alterations were made to the historical record for dramatic purposes particularly the use of "composite characters": fictional characters who embodied the characteristics of several real people representing the three classes on board the Titanic. It also doesn't show the ship splitting in half, but the splitting wasn't confirmed till 30 years after the movie was made, so this is forgivable.
Country: USA Directed by: Jean Negulesco Starring: Clifton Webb, Barbara Stanwyck, Robert Wagner, Audrey Dalton.
"We may be having sand for supper."
20th Century Fox finally got around to realizing David O. Selznick's plan to give the Titanic story the full Hollywood treatment that it so richly deserved and which was long overdue. Titanic was a lavish docudrama that mixed fictional and real characters and opened in Hollywood on April 14, exactly 41 years after the disaster. The film's script won an Oscar for the screenwriters. The model of the Titanic used in this film has been completely restored and is on display at the Marine Museum in Fall River, Massachusetts.
To be frank, I didn't overly like this film. Due to the historical inaccuracies, the VERY minuscule attention to detail, and the subpar production design, it's difficult to perceive this as a Titanic movie, too. It has its moments, but the film is ultimately underwhelming.
Jesus, there are lots. It focuses on fictional characters, for starters. The interiors of the ship are inaccurate, the costumes are inaccurate... I might as well just point you to an in-depth analysis
Country: Germany Directed by: Herbert Selpin Starring: Hans Nielsen, Otto Wernicke, Ernst Fritz Fürbringer.
"You see, the 'Titanic' is not just a bunch of shares. She is a tangible asset. Tangible assets create power, and power is a means to whatever you want."
During World War 2, the German film industry, firmly under the control of the Nazis, made a propaganda version of the Titanic disaster. It was one of the most expensive German films made until that time. The film was a pet project of Hitler confidant and powerful minister of propaganda Joseph Goebbels. The fact that the real disaster highlighted British incompetence and corruption appealed to Goebbels and there was considerable opportunity for dramatic license.
The Nazi censors yanked it from circulation when they discovered that German audiences were still far too sympathetic towards the British passengers despite the obvious propaganda quotient. The propaganda value also backfired as the Titanic in the film could easily have been interpreted as an allegory of the Third Reich itself.
Titanic stands today only as a novelty piece showing how demented the Nazi party was. The propaganda quotient is blatantly obvious, and, by today's standards, it's pretty poorly done and frequently naff (witness the Titanic's last hour unfolding in a mere 2 minutes).
That said, the film isn't sinfully bad. It's entertaining enough, and it's an interesting take on the Titanic disaster. But it's just a curiosity... Nothing more.
The movie is almost completely devoid of truthful facts, and they even managed to make Bruce Ismay even slimier than he was in real life. In rewriting history to show German supremacy, 1st Officer Murdoch was replaced by fictitcious German Officer Peterson, the lone voice of reason on this "ship of fools." Not to mention, the model work is the only accurate depiction of the ship. The close-up shots filmed on a different ship don't even slightly resemble the Titanic. This extends to the lifeboat formation, the deck, the bridge... There's even a searchlight atop the bridge in this version, and the lifebelts are inaccurate. Added to this, all the British characters speak in German with perfect German accents...
Country: UK Directed by: Ewald André Dupont Starring: Franklin Dyall, Madeleine Carroll, John Stuart, Ellaline Terriss.
A thunderbolt of drama impossible to describe!
"Atlantic" was based on Ernest Raymonds play "The Berg". While not mentioned in name, the story is obviously based on Titanic. It was the first film to depict "Nearer My God, To Thee", sung by all those left onboard, much like the Fox film 24 years later. The White Star Line tried to block the production of this movie, but failed to prove it was actually the Titanic being depicted, as the ships name was "Atlantic", even though there was a WSL ship called "Atlantic" back in the 1800's that sunk with a heavy loss of life. White Star Line threatening to sue was one of many attempts by the shipping company to discourage filmmakers from dramatising the Titanic disaster.
N/A. Haven't seen.
This section is rather pointless, as the film is not officially a retelling of the Titanic disaster. It's just a modernised retelling inspired by the disaster. Seems redundant to waste my time here.
Country: Germany Directed by: Mime Misu Starring: Waldemar Hecker, Mime Misu, Otto Rippert, Ernst Rückert.
In Nacht und Eis is an early moving picture to have depicted the sinking of Titanic. It was released quite soon after the ship sank. The German-made film is only thirty-five minutes in length, but it was three times longer than most films of 1912. The film, long thought lost, was recently discovered, and portions can be seen in the documentary Beyond Titanic.
N/A. Haven't seen.
In Nacht und Eis did take some liberties with history (as most Titanic themed movies do) showing exploding boilers, flame shooting out of the funnels, and the passengers singing hymns en masse. On the whole, it's not very accurate.
Several motion pictures about the Titanic disaster have been produced. This is a list of them.
There are also two mini-series which depicted the disaster, and have been listed on here as such.