Bias against Cameron's version


Status
Not open for further replies.
May 12, 2009
286
4
123
Something I don't understand... Just about every Titanic movie ever made uses fictitious characters and deals with their problems rather than fully focusing on the true facts and the real people... Yet only James Cameron's version gets chastised for using that devise. Why?
 

Derek Jackson

Member
Mar 23, 2009
23
2
73
In my opinion, it just seemed "out of time" - Jack in particular seems like he's from a more recent era who went back in time and combine that with the car scene, the sketch-me-naked scene and the "Jack this is where we first met" scene you get a lot of annoyed titanic buffs. A lot of these scenes were just unnecessary and dragged on too long. Of course, I don't know how teens behaved back in 1912 so it could have happened.

That being said, I really like the Cameron movie. I think it captures the beauty of Titanic better than any other movie and the sinking is played out on a historical par with ANTR (yeah, I said that) - both movies have their flawed moments for artistic license but the Cameron movie certainly is a good one - just with some "fast-forward through them" moments.
 

Arun Vajpey

Member
Jul 8, 1999
2,531
938
388
65
>>>>>> Something I don't understand... Just about every Titanic movie ever made uses fictitious characters and deals with their problems rather than fully focusing on the true facts and the real people... Yet only James Cameron's version gets chastised for using that devise. Why? <<<<<<

Speaking personally only, my anger and disappointment are due to two facts:

One, far more detailed knowledge about the Titanic's short life and death were known by the mid-1990s compared to the 50s and whoever made a modern Titanic film had the means and material to do a top notch thriller based on facts only with artist's license restricted to non-commital things like dialogue between characters. A semi-coumentary approach like Tora! Tora!! Tora!!! would have worked well. There was no need at all for the previously trodden routes of fictitious characters, romance etc.

Two, James cameron COULD have been such a filmmaker himself. Having made great films like The Terminator & Aliens, he had the capability to take the same approach as TTT did. Instead he chose the same route that Pearl Harbor did a few years later. OK, his film succeeded at the Box Office and won the awards; but that means nothing as far as the quality of the end-product or what might have been.
 
Jul 9, 2000
58,662
872
563
Easley South Carolina
>>Yet only James Cameron's version gets chastised for using that devise. Why?<<

I suspect because it was the most recent, the most expensive, the most successful, and for which there had been promotions regarding it's accuracy which in fact weren't entirely justified.
 
May 12, 2009
286
4
123
Actually, Arun, "Pearl Harbor" is reviled throughout the world and is universally recognised as a "Titanic rip-off" that fell flat on its face.
 

Arun Vajpey

Member
Jul 8, 1999
2,531
938
388
65
>>>>> Actually, Arun, "Pearl Harbor" is reviled throughout the world and is universally recognised as a "Titanic rip-off" that fell flat on its face.<<<<<<

Yes, I know. I was talking about Cameron's Titanic film being a success and win the awards - which IMO, does not make it a great or even a good film. What the makers of Pearl Harbor did was to rip off an already stupid idea and it simply did not work the second time around. If PH had also been a success, you'd soon have someone getting the idea of a couple of lovers, one on each WTC tower, tearfully communicating by mobile phones or even digicams on 9/11.
 

Tad G. Fitch

Member
Dec 13, 1999
581
14
263
The worst aspect of "Pearl Harbor" for me (other than the unoriginality, poor script, bad acting, and fact that the movie wasn't really about the attack), was the fact that the two leading actors, portraying fictional characters, are shown waking up after a late night of partying, taking off in P-40 Warhawks from Haleiwa airfield, and shooting down several Japanese planes.

In real life, there were pilots who actually did this, Lieutenants Ken Taylor and George Welch. Their heroic deeds were basically given to fictional characters, and I believe Taylor was still alive when the movie came out. Talk about being disrespectful to veterans!
 
I think that Cameron may have set out to make a film about the Titanic but because of the almighty $, he had to add a story.

I don't understand why everyone cripes and kvetches about the Jack/Rose love story. Big deal. It's silly and tries hard to be romantic when it really isn't.

We still have a pretty accurate representation of the ship. And a dramatization of the sinking that uses up-to-date research.

But, no one seems to grasp that ANY depiction of the Titanic disaster is going to have changes made to add drama. It's just the way of the world.

So, people can complain about how Jack and Rose are behaving like modern teenagers playing dress-up. The fact is that if you had them behaving like Edwardian teenagers, the film wouldn't have worked and wouldn't have resonated with audiences. That's what makes a movie successful...the story and characters resonating with audiences.

In the end, I'm sorry that so many people on this board dislike the film. But it is what it is. A love story set on board the Titanic. It never set out to be A Night to Remember. And it never set out to be 100% accurate. It's fluff entertainment with high production values.

Had it been a new version of A Night to Remember, the budget would have been a quarter of what it was and it would barely have gotten a release.

It's the way of the world.

So, complaint after complaint of this board...sorry, but my opinion is that at least we have *something*.
 

Arun Vajpey

Member
Jul 8, 1999
2,531
938
388
65
>>>>>>>In real life, there were pilots who actually did this, Lieutenants Ken Taylor and George Welch. <<<<<

Interesting. Were those the same two fighter pilots who were portrayed so much better in Tora! Tora!! Tora!!!?
 

Arun Vajpey

Member
Jul 8, 1999
2,531
938
388
65
>>>>>>> I don't understand why everyone cripes and kvetches about the Jack/Rose love story. Big deal. It's silly and tries hard to be romantic when it really isn't. But it is what it is. A love story set on board the Titanic. It never set out to be A Night to Remember. And it never set out to be 100% accurate.

We still have a pretty accurate representation of the ship. And a dramatization of the sinking that uses up-to-date research. <<<<<<<<



Those two contradicting points are what my personal gripe is about. If the film was a medium-budget affair with no thought for historical accuracy, I would not have been so upset. I think Cameron really wanted to make a "serious" Titanic film; otherwise, he would not have wasted so much time,effort and money in doing research about the ship itself. He then spent even more money and effort to make sure that the model of the ship was as accurate and satisfying to the connoisseur as possible. Having done all that, he spoilt it all by going and planting that idiotic romantic story on its decks.

The carefully and cleverly edited scenes from the film along with the mountain of additional information available in Cameron's Titanic Explorer CD-Rom is evidence that he had the capability of making it into a 'proper' Titanic film. Instead.....#@%&*#!!
 
May 3, 2005
2,599
289
278
>>So, people can complain about how Jack and Rose are behaving like modern teenagers playing dress-up. The fact is that if you had them behaving like Edwardian teenagers, the film wouldn't have worked and wouldn't have resonated with audiences. That's what makes a movie successful...the story and characters resonating with audiences.<<



"Titanic" (1953) gets its fair share of criticism, too, mainly for the lack of historical accuracy.

If only that editor had been more careful to get it right with that shot of the ship striking the iceberg...the starboard side, not the port side, you idiot !

However, even Gifford (Wagner) and Annette (Dalton) come out as more "1950's-ish" than "1912-ish" and Richard (Webb) and Julia (Stanwyck) come out more of a "soap opera" about the domestic squabbles of who gets the kids. C'est la vie !
 

Tad G. Fitch

Member
Dec 13, 1999
581
14
263
The thing to keep in mind is that I doubt Titanic would have been nearly as financially successful or could have captured a wide audience without the fictional romance and characters to it. As historians, we might love to sit through a highly-accurate docu-drama, but I don't think most people would.

Regardless of how one views Cameron's film itself, there is no doubt that it stirred an interest in the subject for many people, and reignited interest for many more. I am ok with fictional portrayals if they lead to someone wanting to know more about the real-life people or subject, or if they lead to additional historical investigations into the subject, such as the subsequent expeditions Cameron led to the wreck. Without the financial success of the film, that probably wouldn't have been possible, as the interest-level would have been much lower.

Kind regards,
Tad
 

Kevin Keating

Member
Apr 1, 2007
44
1
98
I agree with Tad. The fictional romance, I think, was to keep the masses entertained while giving Titanic buffs something to stare at as well (the ship, I mean!)

There's a line in "Ken Marschall's Art of Titanic" that supports this idea; Cameron added Jack and Rose to keep a "mass audience enthralled" and used them as guides to explore the "more interesting parts of the ship".

Unfortunately this did lead to trouble down the line, as some of those "more interesting parts" weren't where the characters would have been allowed to go (had they existed). But all in all, I appreciate the movie not for its romantic aspects (or its "fine" dialogue...lets be honest), but rather its appreciation of the ship. It really does manage to capture Titanic's beauty and the horrific nature of the sinking, despite its many flaws. Despite the commercialization of the disaster, Titanic seems to actually show some reverence and respect for what happened, much like ANTR way back when.
 

Jim Kalafus

Member
Dec 3, 2000
6,113
37
398
>The thing to keep in mind is that I doubt Titanic would have been nearly as financially successful or could have captured a wide audience without the fictional romance and characters to it.

That was what I was saying just the other night as we finished watching Schindler's List. The fictional characters and romance were what propelled that film.... bereft of those cinematic devices it would have been quite depressing.

Historical film doesn't have to shriek "cynically conceived by people who know better, and kept to near-idiocy levels in the plot and script department in order to pander, insultingly, to the audience" to be a success. Cameron took the easy way out.
 
May 27, 2007
3,917
23
173
quote:

That was what I was saying just the other night as we finished watching Schindler's List. The fictional characters and romance were what propelled that film....

There were no fictional characters in Schindler's List!!! Read the Novel!! Or don't! All were real people with real stories! Didn't you watch the end were the actors walked by Schindler's grave with the real life people they played! There was nothing fictional or romantic about Schindler's List!​
 
May 12, 2009
286
4
123
"That was what I was saying just the other night as we finished watching Schindler's List. The fictional characters and romance were what propelled that film...."

Jim, you have no idea how much you freaked out the people on this board!
 

Tad G. Fitch

Member
Dec 13, 1999
581
14
263
Jim, you may be right, but without Cameron's "pandering" I somehow doubt you would have had a film that became the all-time highest grosser. All those teenagers who saw the movie 4 or 5 times because of the fictional romance aspect and pumped money into it helped generate interest in the real historical subject, and the financial success allowed subsequent and invaluable expeditions to the wrecksite that would not have happened otherwise.

You may feel that the film is garbage, and that's fine, but it is naive to think it would have made that kind of money if it was purely a docudrama. I would have loved to have seen that sort of film, but not everyone would.

PS: What is with the Schindler's List comparison? Probably not intended as such, but it just seemed off-color.
 
May 27, 2007
3,917
23
173
Sorry didn't mean to snap but I have heard this before about Schindler's List and makes me blow a fuse! I read the book and saw the film at age 17 and I can tell you that it is all True and based on actual events!

That's my pet peeve in Titanic and every other movie that uses fictional characters or stories is that it has people thinking that all characters and events in movies are phony!!

Spielberg's Schindler's List was based on and follows Schindler's Ark\Schindler's List by Thomas Keneally! This unlike Titanic the Film is based on true events and has true characters! anybody and I mean anybody who says Schindler's List has fictional characters in it or episodes can just read the book! Spielberg followed it right on unlike Cameron with Titanic!

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Schindler%27s_Ark
 
Jul 9, 2000
58,662
872
563
Easley South Carolina
>>As historians, we might love to sit through a highly-accurate docu-drama, but I don't think most people would.<<

Unfortunately, the interactions I've had with a lot of people where I live tend to bear that out and I've a hunch that where I live is far from an isolated in that respect. I wish I had a dime for everytime I've read a Commutator, Voyage, or brand new Titanic book only to have somebody as me "You mean, it was a real ship?"

Worse, pop culture, however nauseating some of us find it, tends to be confused for reality. How many times have people come on to a forum only to ask why they can't find Jack and Rose on the passenger list?
 

Tad G. Fitch

Member
Dec 13, 1999
581
14
263
George, no need to apologize. We're all entitled to our opinions. I get where you're coming from completely.

Just to clarify, I thought the joke or comment that was made about "would have been quite depressing" was fairly off-color considering that Schindler's List is largely based on historical events that happened during the Holocaust. Not a good area to inject humor.
 
Status
Not open for further replies.

Similar threads

Similar threads