Characters in ANTR


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Ben Lemmon

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Is there any historical accuracy as to the small child that ran out near the end of the movie, looking for his mom? The IMDB says that it was the young Lucas child, but I can't find anyone on the biographies that fit that description. Maybe I'm not looking hard enough . . . .
 

Bob Godfrey

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The child is one of many 'generic' characters in ANTR, not intended to represent any real individual. The 'young Lucas child' is a different character, seen being delivered safely into a lifeboat along with his sisters and mother (played by Honor Blackman). Those too are generic characters, with the fictional name of Lucas.
 
Feb 24, 2004
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The idea was to see that each passenger class was represented - 1st, 2nd, 3rd Class, honeymoon couples, non-English speaking immigrants, etc., etc. So, they still missed a few. Once in a while they would attach a real person's name, for instance, Mrs. J.J. Brown and Ben Guggenheim, but more often - as you said, Bob - they were generic stand-ins.

In 1958, we were just becoming acquainted (or reacquainted) with the Titanic, following many years of its being out of the headlines. If the screenwriter had loaded us down with too many individual names and stories, I'm sure there would have been mass confusion in the theaters.
 
May 3, 2005
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>>The idea was to see that each passenger class was represented - 1st, 2nd, 3rd Class, honeymoon couples, non-English speaking immigrants, etc., etc. So, they still missed a few. Once in a while they would attach a real person's name, for instance, Mrs. J.J. Brown and Ben Guggenheim, but more often - as you said, Bob - they were generic stand-ins.<<

As Bob said - and also you,too, Roy - they were generic stand-ins. I believe another comment (I believe I heard it on the commentary sound track on the ANTR DVD) was that such characters as the Lucas family, the Irish tenor in steerage, etc. were also composites of several real life persons so the viewer would not be confused with keeping up with too many different characters.
 

Ben Lemmon

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Well, that makes sense. I probably would have been one of those people who would have been like, "OK, who is he again?" or "Wait, wasn't he this person?" My brain would be discombobulated. I would have felt like this person ---->
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I want to take this in a bit of a different direction now, if you please. I now want to reference the two most popular movies, ANTR and Titanic (1997). Who do you think did a better portrayal of the following characters? The characters are: Thomas Andrews, 2nd Officer Lightoller, 5th Officer Lowe (I know he wasn't a big part in ANTR), Captain E.J. Smith, 1st officer Murdoch, and the lookouts (not entirely sure of their names, sorry). I'm looking forward to your responses
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Will C. White

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Lookouts were F. Fleet and R. Lee. ANTR is a bit better at their portrayal in my opinion because they were not so young; if memory serves Lee was about 40. 'Titanic' definitely had a "youth movement" going on throughout.
 
Jun 12, 2004
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I think Fred was young, though, Will. If I remember correctly, he was 24 or 25 at the time. I think Cam's Titanic got that more accurate that ANTR, which had an older Bernard Fox (Gracie in Cam's film) as Fleet.

Although ANTR has been claimed as most accurate all around, I wouldn't say that's the case in every single aspect of the story.
 

Ben Lemmon

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Yeah, I would have to agree with you on that. I liked some of the characters in Cameron's Titanic, although Rose and Jack were not the best (even though I still think they are developed well enough to keep the story going). However, I have to say that ANTR's portrayal of Thomas Andrews was more accurate. Not only did the actor who portrayed him look like the actual Andrews, he seemed to behave as Andrews would have, given the information in the biography. The Andrews in Cameron's Titanic wore his emotions on his sleeve.

Also, about Lowe, I don't like how he wasn't present much in ANTR. They didn't even show him coming back to rescue survivors. I thought that was a crucial aspect of that night, although that may be my own biased thinking, having seen Cameron's Titanic. However, I still have my issues with the Lowe in that movie as well. The actor didn't really look like Lowe. He was too baby-faced. Other than the aspect of looking like the real Lowe, I thought he did a great job.

What did you think of the portrayals of Captain Smith, 1[sup]st[/sup] officer Murdoch, and the others listed above? Just for the heck of it, I'd like to know what you thought of Ismay in both as well.
 

Will C. White

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Never done a close side by side of the two Smiths and the two Ismays. I recall all are close in appearence to the actual persons, so now we're down to an in-depth performance critique of the talent. I did think it was great that Fox was in both, even if it was "stunt casting". Keep in mind that if Fleet was in his mid 20's, then he was already on his way to middle age; a life at sea starting in say 1900 was hard, and at 60 your body was pretty old. My main point was that a lot of the actors in 'Titanic' seemed to be baby faced, even if the talent were really the correct age in real life, and that includes the bridge officers. I did feel that Ioan Gruffudd was the right age, but as to appearence, well, it isn't a documentary, you pick on acting ability.
 
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>>What did you think of the portrayals of Captain Smith, 1st officer Murdoch, and the others listed above? Just for the heck of it, I'd like to know what you thought of Ismay in both as well.<<

Just my opinions...But isn't that what this forum is all about ? (Preface all of the below with "IMHO" :)

As to physical appearance, Smith and Ismay were best portrayed in the 1997 version.

Of course Wallace Hartley in ANTR is uncontested in first place.

The Smith portrayal in ANTR is somewhat jarred for me when he takes off his hat and reveals a somewhat bald head. I had always envisioned him as having a bushy head of hair.

To throw another monkey wrench into the works, the Smith portrayal in the 1953 "Titanic" (much too young and lean looking) comes off in a tie for last place with the George C. Scott portrayal.

As bad as the George C. Scott version is, the portrayal of Rostron is at least one "redeeming factor." I think the Ismay portrayal comes off the best of all the movies mentioned- as well as Lowe.
 

Ernie Luck

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Smith's daughter liked the portrayal of him in ANTR - said words to the effect that the actor was like her father. She never saw Cameron's movie, of course.
 
Dec 29, 2006
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Witney
I have always thought that the portrayal of Thomas Andrews in A Night to Remember must have been fairly close to life, at least in terms of physical appearance. Conversely, the decision to give the actor playing Thomas Andrews a "stage Oirish" accent in Cameron's Titanic was risible - if he had shown any trace of an accent (which is debatable) it would have been that of the North of Ireland.
 
May 3, 2005
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>> have always thought that the portrayal of Thomas Andrews in A Night to Remember must have been fairly close to life, at least in terms of physical appearance. Conversely, the decision to give the actor playing Thomas Andrews a "stage Oirish" accent in Cameron's Titanic was risible - if he had shown any trace of an accent (which is debatable) it would have been that of the North of Ireland.<<

Also...I have always thought Thomas Andrews "accent" in ANTR was more natural, since after all, Michael Goodliffe was an English actor and the movie was made at Pinewood and not Hollywood...or Rosarito.

The "American Gentleman" in ANTR (if he was intended to be an American, that is) who has the lines ...and the cigar..."See here !etc...." has always seemed to me have a curious accent. This is just after Lightoller has been called over by the shout of "Hey, Lieutenant !"
 
May 3, 2005
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In defense of Kate Winslet (Someone has to come to the poor girl's defense ! :))
I thought she did the "American Accent" rather well, especially when compared to her "normal voice" on the commentary on the "Titanic (1997) DVD.
 
May 3, 2005
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>>I'd like to know what you thought of Ismay in both as well.<<

Same goes as on my comments on the Smith portrayals for the Ismay portrayals.....Frank Lawton (ANTR) comes off a bit short on the hairline when compared to Johnathan Hyde (Titanic-1997).
 
Dec 29, 2006
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Witney
I did not say that Kate Winslet could not "do" an American accent - the problem was, her accent seemed to fluctuate between "English" and "American". A more serious criticism of films which purport to be historically accurate is that the upper class, east coast accents of the early 20th century were very different to modern accents. It seems to me that few film makers get these accents right — although they seem to have more success with rural accents.
 
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Stanley-

>>I did not say that Kate Winslet could not "do" an American accent - the problem was, her accent seemed to fluctuate between "English" and "American". <<

My apologies if you took my comment as criticism of yours. Merely intended that she did it rather well...any lapses between the two also considered.

There was a comment somewhere that regional accents in the USA have been somewhat blurred by radio and television. However, the differences seem to be more distinct in the small towns rather than in the large cities.

One of the interesting things about watching the BBC "Britcoms" on PBS is the seemingly vast number of British accents as heard in the speech of the actors in them. No doubt if you had been an American...or even a British... passenger aboard RMS Titanic in 1912 and had access to all classes you would have noticed the same thing.
 

Ben Lemmon

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You know, this is probably because I'm American, but if I had to, I don't think that I could do an American accent. A British one doesn't seem as hard as it would be to do an American one. But then again, as I said before, I am American, so it just comes naturally. Is there any British, Irish, or Scottish people who feel conversely?
 
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