- Nov 14, 2005
I agree with pretty much all you said. Although they will never admit it a lot of so called experts and self proclaimed Titanic historians only got into it because of Cameron's movie. I have always defended his movie. But maybe for different reasons. Mostly his attempt to recreate the ship as accurately as he could on film. Sure there were flaws but he did a good job overall of bringing it to the screen. The movies before his weren't very accurate at all but I don't even fault them because they could only work with what they had. And even though the first half of Cameron's movie was just Romeo and Juliette on the high sea's I always defended that too because he never would have gotten green lighted by the studio to make the movie without it. Besides even though it was unrealistic it was entertaining. Cheers.I realize that I am about 8 years too late to the conversation, but I too have this issue when mentioning James Cameron's TITANIC. I find the film to be absolutely brilliant and this was considered a "faux pas" amongst my peers as I was pursuing my degree in history. It is often forgotten that the film itself is a memory; a memory from a fictional survivor that Cameron created by quilting together aspects of actual survivor testimony. I've listened to hours upon hours of survivor testimony and I know exactly which ones he chose. That's not to say that there weren't other eyewitnesses who remembered things differently. The name of the game in the years since the film's success has been to discredit every portion of the film systematically which means discrediting survivor testimony. Elizabeth Lines testimony about overhearing Ismay urging Smith to get to New York on Tuesday to beat the Olympic? DOUBTED. Helen Candee's personal writings about her trips to the bow which inspired the final sunset scene? FICTION. Eva Hart's recollection of seeing the ship break in half and stand straight up in the water for "quiet a long time, or what seemed like a long time" as seen in the film? DIDN'T HAPPEN. There seems to be an absurd and, frankly, ridiculous animosity toward Cameron's film amongst cyber historians. There is a tremendous wealth of information in Cameron's film that goes unnoticed. The most valid complaint I've heard is Cameron showing some of the gates locked in the film - Though this same thing is shown in A Night to Remember, it does not receive the venom that Cameron's film does. In fact, it rarely seems to be criticized despite its glaring flaws. You are correct about Cameron's impact of the interest in Titanic as well. I remember doing a report on Titanic in 4th grade (a couple of years prior to the film). I was fascinated by this ship that so few people had heard of, adults of kids. Some adults knew the name of the ship and that it sank but not much more. Finally, the thing I discovered at the university was that those who criticized my love and defense of Cameron's Titanic knew very little about the subject at all. They had not listened to interview after interview or read testimony etc. Saying that you didn't like the film was almost like the thing you were "supposed" to say, and then quickly follow it by stating "I prefer 'A Night to Remember," that is the most historically accurate Titanic film!" Cameron's film is my favorite though and I have no shame in it. And, how I wish I could have seen that film set!