Did Margaret Brown's husband really try to shoot her twice?


Dan Kappes

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I've just watched the 1996 TV mini-series Titanic and in it, the character of Hazel Foley (Eva Marie Saint) points out Molly Brown (played by Marilu Henner in this film) to Isabella Paradine (Catherine Zeta-Jones) when the Titanic is docked at Southampton and she says this quote about her:

That's the infamous Molly Brown. Her husband made a fortune in silver and gold mines. They say he tried to shoot her twice. It's a terrible scandal. She's crude, but one can't ignore her, she's far too rich.
It's at 16:30 in this video:


Was this a true incident that her husband tried to kill her, or was it either a real rumor or a fictional story invented for this film?

It seems every Titanic movie with her in it portrays her in different ways so it's hard to tell whether it's taken from true events or if it's all myths and legends.

There is also a goof in the film mentioned above: Molly Brown actually boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg.
 

Dave Gittins

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It's just a bit of trash from a trashy telemovie. No movie has depicted Margaret Brown accurately. There's plenty of material about a prominent figure in US history but the movie makers prefer crude sensation.
 
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Apr 3, 2020
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I don't know if he tried to shoot her, but they made up the story on Alice, the nanny to the Allison children. They took a rumor and ran with it.

Then they made up the whole story of the Astors. John had 2 sons, yes, but one of them was the one she was pregnant with.

Don't even get me started on the Captain and Ismay.
 
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Sorry, my point was that it could all just be made up like everything else in the movie to move the story along.
 
Nov 14, 2005
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I remember watching it and not being very impressed by it. It had the dumb rape scene in it that had nothing to do with anything other than just to throw it in. I like Catherine Zeta-Jones so thats probably the only reason I made it thru the movie. I read some things about the Allison nanny but I have forgotten most of it. They tried to make her out as a kidnapper or something. Will have to go check that out.
 

Rennette Marston

Rennette Marston
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I've just watched the 1996 TV mini-series Titanic and in it, the character of Hazel Foley (Eva Marie Saint) points out Molly Brown (played by Marilu Henner in this film) to Isabella Paradine (Catherine Zeta-Jones) when the Titanic is docked at Southampton and she says this quote about her:



It's at 16:30 in this video:


Was this a true incident that her husband tried to kill her, or was it either a real rumor or a fictional story invented for this film?

It seems every Titanic movie with her in it portrays her in different ways so it's hard to tell whether it's taken from true events or if it's all myths and legends.

There is also a goof in the film mentioned above: Molly Brown actually boarded the Titanic at Cherbourg.
Aside from a few decent scenes and Catherine Zeta-Jones's stellar performance, this is overall the worst Titanic miniseries I have ever seen. Almost everything, down to the decor, is out of place. Sure, it wasn't an extravagant multi-million dollar production like the 1997 version, but they had no excuse to be this horribly sloppy like the 1953 version for example, but even that movie fares better in comparison to this abomination. We had the internet back then and by the mid-nineties there were so many books and illustrations published about the Titanic that to claim they had lack of access to good information or resources is silly to say the least. They could've seized the opportunity to make a pretty decent miniseries with a brilliant cast that would serve as a nice precurser to Cameron's Titanic, especially with their portrayal of "Molly" Brown. But this is the case of when making a quick buck from TV views and ads is the top priority over historical accuracy for the producers of such rubbish like the one above.

For more information on this horrid tripe of a TV series (though I don't see it necessary), visit: http://www.paullee.com/titanic/TT1996goofs.php
 
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Nov 14, 2005
1,498
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Aside from a few decent scenes and Catherine Zeta-Jones's stellar performance, this is overall the worst Titanic miniseries I have ever seen. Almost everything, down to the decor, is out of place. Sure, it wasn't an extravagant multi-million dollar production like the 1997 version, but they had no excuse to be this horribly sloppy like the 1953 version for example, but even that movie fares better in comparison to this abomination. We had the internet back then and by the mid-nineties there were so many books and illustrations published about the Titanic that to claim they had lack of access to good information or resources is silly to say the least. They could've seized the opportunity to make a pretty decent miniseries with a brilliant cast that would serve as a nice precurser to Cameron's Titanic, especially with their portrayal of "Molly" Brown. But this is the case of when making a quick buck from TV views and ads is the top priority over historical accuracy for the producers of such rubbish like the one above.

For more information on this horrid tripe of a TV series (though I don't see it necessary), visit: http://www.paullee.com/titanic/TT1996goofs.php
It was a lot like Titanic (97). As in Titanic was just the vehichle to carry the love story. I agree it was pretty bad. The tv movie Britannic wasn't much better. Just Hollywood cashing in.
 
May 3, 2005
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In the first place Margaret Brown might have been called "Maggie" in her life, but never "Molly."
The "Molly" was just an invention recently.
In plays and motion pictures you can invent anything you like.

As I have said (repeatedly.....LOL):
IMHO, Tucker Maguire in the 1958 "A Night To Remember" was the worst Margaret Brown portrayal.
IMHO , Maybe Thelma Ritter as "Maude Young" in the 1953 "Titanic" is a runner-up, but not quite as bad.
IMHO , Kathy Bates in the 1997 "Titanic" is my unanimous vote for the best !

Also Margaret Brown was said to have been sort of self - educated and refined in her speech and manners , had toured extensively, especially in Europe, and was fluent in several languages.
She was said to have used this in helping foreign immigrants survivors while the Carpathia was returning to New York and also later.
She certainly wasn't the "hick" played in the movies !
 
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Rennette Marston

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Kathy Bates is my favorite, too. She was a brilliant choice for Margaret Brown. The only complaint I have for her performance is she portrayed "Maggie" Brown too softly, especially in the boat scene after the Titanic sank. "Molly" Brown was a generous lady, but she was also a self-willed woman who was a force of nature and she always got her way, similar to Rose's headstrong nature. If they had shown more of those qualities in the film, the movie would've been even better, IMO.
 
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Kathy Bates is my favorite, too. She was a brilliant choice for Margaret Brown. The only complaint I have for her performance is she portrayed "Maggie" Brown too softly, especially in the boat scene after the Titanic sank. "Molly" Brown was a generous lady, but she was also a self-willed woman who was a force of nature and she always got her way, similar to Rose's headstrong nature. If they had shown more of those qualities in the film, the movie would've been even better, IMO.
Another one of my big "IMHO' s" is that the 1953 "Titanic" would have been better if they had used some real characters such as J. Bruce Ismay, Thomas Andrews and Mrs.Brown in particular. But I understand they were afraid of legal suits if they used them because some of the members of those families were still alive.

There used to be a "Nit Picker's" website. The 1997 "Titanic" led the list in the number of nit-picks.
 
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Rennette Marston

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Another one of my big "IMHO' s" is that the 1953 "Titanic" would have been better if they had used some real characters such as J. Bruce Ismay, Thomas Andrews and Mrs.Brown in particular. But I understand they were afraid of legal suits if they used them because some of the members of those families were still alive.

There used to be a "Nit Picker's" website. The 1997 "Titanic" led the list in the number of nit-picks.
Definitely agree with that sentiment, Robert.
 
May 3, 2005
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T
It was a lot like Titanic (97). As in Titanic was just the vehichle to carry the love story. I agree it was pretty bad. The tv movie Britannic wasn't much better. Just Hollywood cashing in.
The 1953 "Titanic" might be considered as just a vehicle to carry the domestic troubles of "Mr. and Mrs. Sturges" story.
There seems to be some opinions that Cameron borrowed the "Gifford-Annette" love story for the "Jack-Rose" love story.
Here goes another one of my big "IMHO's" :)
I thought the "Gifford-Annette" love story was at least a little more believable than the "Jack-Rose" love story.
 
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Thomas Krom

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Another one of my big "IMHO' s" is that the 1953 "Titanic" would have been better if they had used some real characters such as J. Bruce Ismay, Thomas Andrews and Mrs.Brown in particular. But I understand they were afraid of legal suits if they used them because some of the members of those families were still alive.

There used to be a "Nit Picker's" website. The 1997 "Titanic" led the list in the number of nit-picks.
In 1958 when A Night to remember released Thomas Andrews his wife Helen "Nellie" Reilly Barbour, his daugther Elizabeth Law Barbour Andrews, His youngest brother William Andrews, his nephew John Lawson Ormrod Andrews and a lot more other family members were alive and Thomas Andrews Jr is depicted there too, so I do not think there would have been legal problems regarding his absence in the 1953 movie. The only slight critism by a family member in A Night to remember was the second wife of Henry Sleeper Harper who wrote a letter to Walter Lord.
 
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In 1958 when A Night to remember released Thomas Andrews his wife Helen "Nellie" Reilly Barbour, his daugther Elizabeth Law Barbour Andrews, His youngest brother William Andrews, his nephew John Lawson Ormrod Andrews and a lot more other family members were alive and Thomas Andrews Jr is depicted there too, so I do not think there would have been legal problems regarding his absence in the 1953 movie. The only slight critism by a family member in A Night to remember was the second wife of Henry Sleeper Harper who wrote a letter to Walter Lord.
I think the movie makers might have
feared there might have been legal problems from those family members if those persons were included in the movie in the way they were depicted in the movie.
The way Ismay is depicted in the 1997 "Titanic" movie for example.
 
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