Benjamin Guggenheim 1996 Titanic


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Jason Lesonick

Guest
I watched the '96 miniseries not too long ago (whether I find it dreadful or not is of no importance). I noticed that Benjamin Guggenheim and Madam Aubert are both introduced at the very beginning along with the Strauses, etc. But then that's it. You never see Guggenheim again. Not even a "we are dressed in our best" line that they could have easily crammed in there along with all the other last minute historical choppiness. I just found it strange that they would bother giving us a little back story on Guggenheim, and then just forget about him entirely.
 
Nov 26, 2005
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This was one of a few things I was actually really disappointed about in this movie. Everyone else Mrs. Foley gives Isabella the dirt on plays a fairly large role.

I was most disappointed that Thomas Andrews wasn't portrayed and his lines were given to Captain Smith. The original script for this movie called for a MUCH more historically accurate film, and included Guggenheim, Andrews and others not shown, but once it was in the hands of CBS and their writers who made their "tweaks" it seems that a lot of history had to go. If I'm not mistaken, the original script actually centered more around the Astors, but let me double check my source and make sure. It's on one of the movie script sites. It's probably easily found on Google but I'll try to find a link.

For me, this film's only saving grace is that it included Titanic-film rarities such as the Allison family and a great portrayal of Captain Rostron of the Carpathia. Another nice touch is we can actually see some of the pre-sinking "historical" scenes without the young lovers thrown into the middle of it (or thrown in our faces).
 

Will C. White

Member
Apr 18, 2007
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There's another factor to consider, even if the characters were in the final (shooting) script, and even if the material was shot, that still doesn't mean it didn't end up "on the cutting room floor". The one really bad thing about TV is it has to be cut to fit a certain time slot, and that's why I like movies better, because it's easier to serve the story, even if the edit is a few minutes longer than was originally anticipated.
 
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Jason Lesonick

Guest
Matthew,

Ah yes, thank you very much. I too have read the original screenplay which bears very little resemblance to the final product. I really do like the main focus on the historical characters in this draft. However I have to admit, it seems that in an effort to make these people much more human (good intentions I'm sure), they went a little overboard, and ended up with portrayals that were just a little too modern for my taste; the Benjamin Guggenheim character especially. Honestly, I started getting a little uncomfortable with Madam Aubert's constant nakedness, as well as Ben's emotionally distressing demeanor. I also found that story of how his parents met to be quite crude . . . but that's just me.

Will,

I've often wondered the same thing. Like Matthew said:

"Everyone else Mrs. Foley gives Isabella the dirt on plays a fairly large role."

Benjamin Guggenheim is introduced to us like the rest, and then is immediately dropped. I would like to think that there were other scenes involving Ben that sadly ended up on the cutting room floor. This miniseries certainly had a lot of potential, but fell short in so many ways.
 
May 12, 2009
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Benjamin Guggenhim and Madame Aubert were actually major character in the original script by Ross LaMana, before CBS had Joyce Elliason hack away at it.

PS - Here here on Ross LaMana turning Leontine Aubert into some 1912 equivalent of Gypsy Rose Lee!
 

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