96 Titanic Miniseries and 97 Titanic Epic

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Matt Newman

You know, there are alot of things I like about the 96 miniseries that I hated about JC's Titanic. The miniseries actually focused more on events that really happened and real people, whereas Titanic 97' was mostly about Leo and Kate. I'm sorry, but I was so sick of looking at Kate and Leo by the time that ship sank that I was ready for them both to be sucked away into the abyss. I was so sick of looking at the two of them. Titanic 97' needed more TRUE stuff to it, then it would have been much better. And another thing, on the real titanic, a first class girl, and third class boy would not have gotten into a cargo hold, and screwed. That just wouldn't have happened back then. What do ya'll think?
Matt I agree about 96 foucus on real events but they screwed up big on getting them historically accurate. I liked the way they focused on the Allisons but then hate they way they leave Andrews out. I suppose you didn't like that either,judging by your screen name. I hated Leo but was in love with Kate in the movie. I would pick 97 any day because of the effects. Come to think of hit 96's love story was pretty lame and they don't have the historical accurcies to make up for it. Hey for you atleast 97 had andrews not "Smithdrews" or moody/boxhall......" Moodhall".
Both of them struck out in the romance department because both reflected the curiously modern day mentality of Hollywood that a "true love" story can only be one in the context of an illicit romance, be it either Kate and Leo or Catherine and Peter. That approach is bad enough just on general principles but what makes it offensive in both instances is how the real Titanic was a microcosm of so many newly married and long-time married couples parted by the tragedy, so if you're going to resort to fictional characters in your story it makes more sense to present something true to the times.

Matt Newman

It really just ticked me off when they didn't even show the Strauses in Cameron's Titanic. That just blew my mind. That was the ultimate act of love. You want romance? There it is right there. At least the miniseries got that right.

Don Tweed

Well Matt actually they did show the Strauses in JC's Titanic!
Just briefly!
The scene where the couple is laying in bed with water running underneath it, that is suppose to be the Strauses!
Not very accurate but watch the credits!
I agree Cameron should have had their story in the movie!
I know the Strausess should have been showed more put if they would have been put in place of leo and kate well then millions of teenage girls are mad. They want teenage hearthrops.
Though the scene where Mrs. Straus gets out of the lifeboat and refuses to leave her husband (which can be seen on the CD-ROM) only took up about one minute of screen time and I don't think it would have hurt the pacing (which dragged because of too much of Jack-Rose) if it had just been left in. There were many moments that night when I first saw this movie that had my blood boiling but seeing the bit of the Strauses in bed out of the blue with no prior context was one of the ones at the top.
Yeah when people sit and watch a 3 hour 15 minute movie I think you can add one more minute which I thought showed a real piece of human tragedy on Titanic, the Strausses that is,
I still laugh at the fact that in the mini-series, Catherine Zeta-Jones his this illicit affair with an old boyfriend while her husband and daughter wait blissfully for her in New York. She decides to stay with the old boyfriend and send her husband a wireless saying so. Then the boyfriend dies in the sinking and CZJ thinks she's going to be all alone until she gets to New York and finds out her husband never got any wireless message (and she's certainly not going to say anything!)

Now if that's not having your cake and eating it too, tell me what is! LOL!
It was indeed an unintentionally funny moment. But strangely enough, I'm less offended by that then I am by Jack-Rose because at least Catherine realized that her hot fling with Peter Gallagher was a very foolish thing that had the potential to cause pain to her husband, and that she at least was shocked back to reality. The same could never be said of Rose.

I think the worst things historically about the 96 miniseries were the omission of Andrews and their extremely inaccurate depiction of the Californian, which has Third Officer Groves on watch instead of Gibson with Stone during the night and Groves gets all of Gibson's dialogue.

The best thing about the miniseries I felt was Lennie Niehaus's score, which was superior to Horner's.
I saw them both and liked them both but I would have to choose James's 97 Titanic. It might have been focused more on "Rose" and "Jack" but it was still a great story and the graphics were awesome. The detail put into the movie was great and Horner's scores were great. I listen to that soundtrack almost every day.
Actually, Eric, I find Cameron's love story a bit more palatable (not great but better). You could see why Rose would want to choose the utterly likeable Jack over the arrogant, abusive Cal.

Catherine Zeta-Jones' character Isabella wasn't really "shocked back to reality" as you say. She was perfectly willing to break her loving husband and daughter's hearts by hooking up with Peter Gallagher's Wynn. She only went back to her husband after Wynn was dead and she learned that her husband had never got the wireless message telling him she was leaving him for Wynn.

Rose, on the other hand, may not have made many friends among the socialites by hooking up with Jack (except maybe with the film's version of "Molly Brown") but it wasn't what most people would consider "wrong".

The 1996 mini-series had the same problem that the movie "The Bridges of Madison County" had. A married woman has this romantic affair while away from her husband. The only problem is that in both films, the husband isn't a bad guy like Cal (who wasn't even married to Rose yet) but is actually a good guy who loves his wife and children.

Yes, Isabella, felt bad but not enough to do anything about it.

As for the historical innacuracies you mentioned there were quite a few more:

-The guy who played Capt. Lord is WAY too old. Lord was only in his thirties in 1912. That guy looked around Capt. Smith's age!

-How many times must we say that that Alice Cleaver the nanny and Alice Cleaver the baby-killed were NOT THE SAME PERSON!?

-You mentioned the conspicuous absense of Andrews in the film. The same goes for Wilde, Pitman, and Moody.

-Captain Smith tells the Allisons there are no lifeboats left, yet he's later seen talking to Boxhall. Funny, I could have sworn Boxhall left IN A LIFEBOAT!

-Bad enough they had Murdoch shoot himself, but to have him do it, right in front of Lightoller and Boxhall, two men who sent an impassioned letter to Murdoch's widow specifically telling her he did not do that.

-Lowe is the one who tells Capt. Rostron of the Titanic's fate. I believe it was Boxhall who did that in real life.

-Does the dreadful miscasting and hammy acting in this film count as an innacuracy?
"She only went back to her husband after Wynn was dead and she learned that her husband had never got the wireless message telling him she was leaving him for Wynn."

But recall her very remorseful conversation with Mrs. Astor (who incredibly enough is being met by John Jacob Astor's *sons* when as I recall he only had one son, Vincent by his first marriage) beforehand which at least showed a bit of remorse.

To Andreas: I am offended by the fact that Jack-Rose was a tiresome discourse about how (1) capacity to love is to be measured by poverty (2) avoiding the reality that Jack is a loser-drifter who would never have been willing to make an honest living (3) Rose was spiteful and vindictive in the worst way in pretending to be dead and (4) for Rose to decide that it's better to spend eternity with a three day romance and not the husband she lied to and deceived for 60 years as we found out, doesn't speak well of her either.

I agree with all the other historical inaccuracies about the CBS miniseries and there is nothing that will ever excuse or justify the demonic steward of Tim Curry and the rape scene. It's a pity the original and more accurate Ross LaManna teleplay wasn't used (though he made the blunder about having Captain Smith complain about distress rockets supposedly should be red, when that was not true).
"But recall her very remorseful conversation with Mrs. Astor"

That was only after Wynn had died and she believed she had nowhere else to go.

As I said before, yes she felt bad, but not enough to do anything about it.

She was obviously meant to be a sympathetic character but she really can't be to me since she never makes any kind of redeeming choice, as opposed to say Jamie the thief who decides to help his immigrant girlfriend Olsa (who I actually did like) instead of raiding the staterooms with Tim Curry.

"capacity to love is to be measured by poverty "

Uhhh... Rose loved Jack and she was pretty well off, wasn't she? You could also argue we saw other examples of this among other first-class passengers (the Strausses).

"avoiding the reality that Jack is a loser-drifter who would never have been willing to make an honest living"

Given that this was so obviously a "chick flick", it would have fit in so well with the fantasy having Rose successfully "change" Jack into a respectable gentleman who'd want to settle down.

"Rose was spiteful and vindictive in the worst way in pretending to be dead"

Given that there might still have been a chance of her ice queen mother still making her marry Cal, I can't blame her too much.

"for Rose to decide that it's better to spend eternity with a three day romance and not the husband she lied to and deceived for 60 years as we found out, doesn't speak well of her either."

Okay, yeah, you might be right (assuming just not talking about Jack counts as a lie) but would you really wants to see a movie about Rose and her husband?
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