Cameron's Titanic Please read

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Hey, I think it is a little bit unfair the way some of you treat James Cameron's Titanic as if it should have been a documentery which it wasn't. Cameron has stated many times that this was not supposed to be a documentury, but a love story set on the titanic with history in it. Some of you say its one of the worst history documenteries of Titanic well thats not what it was suppoesed to be. You know why Cameron is so rich? Because he had a love story in there. Teenage girls aren't going to the theater to see a documentery of a ship that sank 90 years ago, they are going to see a love story. He was also a genius by putting Titanic in there because history buffs will go see it to see the ships recreation. I thought it was great the way Cameron combined the fiction with the actuall thing and having his characters interact with the real ones. All of the actors playing Smith, Ismay, etc look just like the actual thing. If you took antr and Camerons Titanic and had the exact same sets and special effects Camerons would do the best because its entertainment. Hes cleary stated this but you people still are plain stupid and compare it to a documentery. If you had the resources he did none of you could have made a better movie. So if some of you all are gonna act like know it alls atleast no what your talking about Cameron's is and all ways will be the best Titanic film ever.
Whoa! Chill out Adam. I don't know of anyone who is a member of this board claiming or assuming that James Cameron's Titanic is or was ever intended to be a documentary. There are several members here who were actually involved in the production. I think it's a pretty safe bet that they knew what it was all about!

The critisism which you often see here comes about because of either publicity, media hype and/or popular notions that the movie was the most accurate ever made...which in terms of history, it certainly was not.

Oh and a freindly suggestion; you might want to read the part on nettiquette at http://www.encyclope cus/board/-instructi ons.html befor calling anyone here "stupid."

Michael H. Standart

Inger Sheil

Agreed there, Michael! I think some members of the board find it a little problematic when someone declares their opinion as fact (e.g. 'So if some of you all are gonna act like know it alls atleast no what your talking about Cameron's is and all ways will be the best Titanic film ever'). Adam, your opinion on the Cameron film is as legitimate as anyone else's, but to call people in a sweeping generalisation 'plain stupid' while attacking a view that no one is advocating (e.g. that anyone here is comparing the movie to a doco) is a good way of fast-tracking your views to the dustbin of messageboard history.

Personally, as I've said before, I don't view the Cameron film as an 'all or nothing' proposition - i.e. I don't feel obliged to either like it or loathe it in its entirety. As with any other movie, I find admirable and less than admirable aspects to it. I appreciate that adding the Jack and Rose element popularised it for a mass audience, but that doesn't mean I can't hold the view that this was a trite storyline, supported by some gratingly ghastly dialogue. It is my happy prerogative to now fast-forward through all this on video.

Most of us here, however, were absolutely captivated by the scenes that brought the ship to life - minor errors that the rivetcounters spot aside. However, I've yet to see anyone take these small errors out of context - they may note them, but it's generally coupled with an overall appreciation of what Cameron did in bringing the ship to life.

I believe Cameron's strongest moments are those almost purely visual with minimal or no dialogue. The 'flying on the bow' scene is so delightful one forgets that historically it was a crew-only area, and the by far, IMHO, the most powerful scene with Cameron's fictional characters is Rose in the lowering lifeboat.

However, I reserve the right to criticise certain elements (and Cameron, in sweepingly declaring the films accuracy in any scenes not involving his fictional characters, rather left himself open to historical criticism). I very much disliked the broad brush used to paint both class and nationality - was interesting to see Paul Louden-Brown's comments re. the film and English/Irish nationalist issues in a recent Commutator. I also disagree that the historical characters were cast accurately according to type - one of James Moody's family singled out this aspect of Moody's depiction for particular criticism. Lightoller, too, looked nothing like the real man, nor was his regional accent correct. Lowe's son, while happy with Gruffudd's depiction of his family and wishing this talented young actor well, felt that the role as written did not resemble his father. Other historical figures were sacrificed to stereotype - the Countess of Rothes, one of the more attractive women in first class (both in terms of physical appearance and pesonality) became an elitist snob, and Colonel Gracie - an American and something of a physical fitness buff - became a brandy-swilling British Colonel Blimp stock character.
inger and michael, sorry about that post. I shouldn't have called anyone stupid i just thought it was a little unfair the way some people have treated camerons film after the way he brought the ship to life,
Dear Adam,
Allow me, as a Titanic Fanatic, to point out to you that while you may be right about teenage girls NOT going to see a film about a ship sinking 90 years ago, rather to go see Leo and Kate schmoozing with each other, you seem to have missed the boat in how many people actually got into Titanic by going to see this film and wanted to learn more about it...The fellow who played Wallace Hartley, the Band's Violinist?, wasn't into Titanic until he did the film, then he wanted to learn all he could about it.

And before you go off half cocked again on some people on here acting like know it alls about Titanic, I will, again, be quick to point out to you that there are some notable people on here who ARE know-it-alls on The history of this great ship.

When I say "Notables", I MEAN NOTABLES, famous people who have had a hand in some way in salvage or research and who KNOW what they are talking about..

I have read all through the threads of this conversation so I will not comment on Michael or Inger's comments because I don't have to, they did a good enough job without my opinion of them.

As for your comment about people on here being stupid?, I am well aware of your apology and that's a good thing...

A couple of weeks ago, on another thread, someone said I didn't have much of an education in a public message so I told him, I'd send him Email and we'd discuss it there, so I sent him Email, he hasn't been seen since.....Get the picture?

i won't be posting anymore posts that cause controversy. From this experience i have learned that i have offended many of you. I would like to ask more questions about titanic that i dont know. I know you all aren't stupid and while i know a good deal about Titanic, most of you know more than i would even dream of knowing. I will start posting topics that don't offend anyone.
Hmmmmmmm...better stay away from the Californian issue then. That one's really good for getting a knock down drag out fight going!

Just kidding about the stay away part!

On a more serious note, there are quite a few areas open to controversy. The Californian, officer suicides, salvage, etc. Don't let that stop you from taking an interest. In historical research, controversy is unavoidable.

Bill makes a good point about the flick itself getting people interested and one such person is James Cameron himself. Befor it came out, the matter was just a blip on the radar screen. Now a lot of people are interested in the story.

While granting that Cameron's movie was just that...a movie intended as entertainment, he's done a lot of very in depth research on his own hook and for his own edification and enlightenment. He is a bona fide expert on the matter. That expedition he led to the wreck site last year is likely the single most intensive external and internal survey of the wreck ever done. Ken Marschall did a write up on it which can be read at t/~sparks12/z1957a.h tml that you may find of interest.

Michael H. Standart

Do not worry about asking questions here, go ahead and ask away, SOMEONE will know the answer to them if the person you ask doesn't.


Inger Sheil

'Sno worries, Adam. Please don't be afraid of posting to controversial topics - that's the meat and bread of discussion (would be extraordinarily dull if we all steered clear of the 'hot' issues). It's just a matter of respecting the views of others and their opinions while you state your own.

~ Inger
Adam McG wrote: " people still are plain stupid..."

Adam: No way! Around here, we're *rarely* just plain stupid. When we get stupid, we get downright fancy about it! ;^)

Alright, now that you've been through the backlash wringer, just relax. It's par for the course. Really! Although ... personal insinuations *do* usually catch a good deal of flak around here (depending on who they're directed at).

I personally enjoyed Cameron's film immensely. And I don't find your protest about the inappropriateness of applying a "documentary" yardstick to it unreasonable in the least. That *has* happened here in the past to some extent, and it's been the source of mighty rows to boot! But as you rightly suggest, it's not history -- it's entertainment. And on a grand scale, at that!

Having said that, I *do* grow less and less fond of Jack and Rose with every re-run, but I haven't quite reached the point of rooting for Spencer Lovejoy (yet).

It would be spectacular to see Cameron do a Titanic documentary. (And, in fact, he's in the process; I guess he got sucked in by his *own* film.) But "Jack and Rose Board the Leaky Love Boat", as some have dubbed it, isn't a documentary, so it's imminently unfair to judge it by those standards. (I agree wholeheartedly with Mike, though, that those preliminary claims of "historical accuracy" were a bit exaggerated; then again, I've never seen a film that produced such stunning visuals and the near experience of actually *being* there.)

Inger's quite right when she advises NOT to avoid controversial topics. Sometimes controversy is the only way to arrive at the truth. But Mike and Inger are also right that it's usually unwise to personalize it too much. And it's definitely unwise to generalize it!

(After all, who's gonna stick up for you if you say we're ALL stupid. Lucky for you, you gave me an opportunity to crack wise with that "plain" part.) ;^)

Bill: Nobody knows it all! And even when they think they have all the answers, somebody usually comes along and changes all the questions. Walter Lord -- [deity name] rest his soul -- had a saying that aptly covered this, though I can't quote it verbatim:

'It's a foolish man who would set himself up as the final arbiter of all things Titanic.'

John Feeney

John Meeks

Former Member
How absolutely wonderful to see somebody else 'screw up' and have to apologize! I thought I was the only one doing that!

Don't worry Adam - although I actually prefer ANTR to the Cameron film - what you said about the latter was absolutely correct! Cameron is in the business of making movies for money, not history. Yes, the 'love story' was essential to that end, in securing the market targetted. And we mustn't forget where Cameron was 'coming from in this regard.

As for preferring ANTR - well, my son summed it up when he asked me, some time ago..."When did your world go into color, dad?..."

Documentaries rule....! (Unless I'm investing....!)

Hang on in there...

John M
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