I have heard about a German language made-for-TV film that aired on the continent sometime this past year. Inger told me about it, because someone sent Monika a tape of it. It has to do with the American Inquiry, and at least sounds like it has possibilities as a serious contender in this category. Ing, help me a bit here, because you've seen it-- with simultaneous translation, yet-- and I haven't!
It's a contender, I'd say. Based on a souped up Wade, it featured a vicious characterisation of Ismay and Lightoller. Can even the most enthusiastic of their detractors seriously imagine these two quaffing champagne together on the eve of their departure from America, gloating over the fact that Smith can't stop them?
Honestly? I have to admit, I thought the 1996 mini-series was far better than James Cameron's version. (Oh and I'm new here, btw
.) I thought while the movie was terribly miscast in some places, the overall concept was a more interesting one. I kind of liked the idea of how different little dramas were all taking place at the same time in the mini-series: the blossoming romance between the guy and the girl, the Allison family and their nanny, the man and the woman having a forbidden love affair, etc. Because there were so many different personalities on that boat. So many different journeys all taking place at the same time. Everyone was traveling on the same boat to different places... both geologically AND in their personal lives. So the multiple drama thing sort of fits for me. The only bad thing about the mini-series, was that it was poorly done. The script wasn't that great. Had it been worked on a little more, it could've made for a great movie.
Call me crazy, but while I DID enjoy James Cameron's version, I've always thought that the whole scenerio of the "lower-class guy meets upper-class girl and falls in love" thing was a little cliche. All through the movie, I couldn't help but feel as if the filmmakers were trying their best to milk our emotions with stock Hollywood tactics and shock value... dynamic special effects, dead mothers and babies in the water (complete with an awesome make-up job)... and all to make up for a lackluster script. Without the sinking scene, the rest of the story would've hardly been worth sitting through. And plus, from the very first time I saw James Cameron's "Titanic," I could never seem to get into the "love affair" between Jack and Rose. I didn't feel a lot of chemistry, sorry. Good professional acting, at best. (I felt it more from Winslet, but not so much from DiCaprio.)
And at least the mini-series script had some promise. The only thing I truly hate about the mini-series is how they drug the Allison nanny's name through the mud by mistaking her for a child killer, like many people did in real life. Bad move. And not a very classy one, either. Fictional characters are one thing, but you just don't fudge on the facts when you're dealing with real people -- period. And of course, James Cameron made the same mistake with Murdoch. Not nice at all
But anyway, ANOTHER valid reason to prefer the 1996 mini-series over Cameron's film... two words: TIM CURRY!
An extremely versatile, dynamic, and underrated actor if there ever was one. He's my favorite actor of all time. There's a part of me that wishes he would've been cast in the Cameron film, because not only could he have made it even MORE worth the price of a ticket, another wonderful Curry performance would've been seen by a lot more people the world over than the mini-series.
...and please excuse me while I disagree on that one. God I could not believe how horrid the '96 miniseries was. The fictional elements were ridiculously unnecessary and in some cases inappropriate, the factual elements were handled poorly, the sets were a terrible attempt to recreate Titanic. Basically, I saw the big stars in that cast as seeking another buck, which is the case for a lot of bad films.
<<I couldn't help but feel as if the filmmakers were trying their best to milk our emotions with stock Hollywood tactics and shock value... dynamic special effects, dead mothers and babies in the water (complete with an awesome make-up job)... and all to make up for a lackluster script.
That's true, and is true for every film. That's a Hollywood thing. But I must point out that the dead mother and child in the water was an actual event, and I would assume Cameron latched on to that as another emotional element to the death sequence. As for the script, again, I think it's gold compared to the '96 film's.
In the end, the producers of the 1996 Titanic film seemed to care only about capitalizing on an anticipated rise in popularity in the disaster. While Cameron may have done so as well, he also shows a genuine concern and respect for the ship, as has already been stated in a thread on the discovery/salvage forum.
The 1996 miniseries was better than Cameron's Titanic? That's a joke, right?
Mysti said; "Call me crazy, but while I DID enjoy James Cameron's version, I've always thought that the whole scenerio of the "lower-class guy meets upper-class girl and falls in love" thing was a little cliche."
Hi Mysti, and welcome to ET. I can sum up the above in two words; Dramatic licence. Hollywood and film makers the world over do it all the time. I have a lot of reasons for preferring Cameron's version to the 1996 miniseries, not the least of which was Cameron's incredible attention to detail. Yes, it has mistakes, but the wonder of it was that there weren't more in a flick as long and done on as large a scale as this one. It's Cameron's tendency towards being a perfectionist that ensured that.
I agree that Tim Curry is quite a formidable character actor, but in my opinion, even his talants don't save Titanic 1996.
SOS Titanic is by far the worst film regarding the Titanic that I have seen. I enjoyed James Cameron's Titanic's attention to detail and authenticity but not much else. The film would have just as effective if it focused on the factual stories around real people. But then people say that there would have been chances for it to end up like the miniseries which botched the whole think. That miniseries was more effective as a look into the workings of a transatlantic liner in the early 20th century than about the Titanic specifically.
I should add that the Cameron film was a great picture and that the sets were incredible, but what I really was dissapointed with was the story. Like I said above, it would have been more or just as effective had they used true stories much like 'A Night to Remember'. I did enjoy the film, story problems aside. It was moving and a good tribute to the Titanic.
I wonder if they really referred to the Titanic as just 'Titanic' as in the movie. When they board the ship at Southampton the man who greets them says "welcome to Titanic" rather that "welcome to the Titanic". The same can be said for the old woman.
Just reading this post made me chuckle in a few places.
To begin, I must go with the consensus here and vote the 1996 Titanic CBS mini-series as the all time WORST Titanic movie. Its not often that I get mad when I watch a Titanic film, but this one just made me shout out at the TV in anger.
First off, Marilu Henner as Molly Brown was AWFUL!! I mean could she say any more 1 liner quips. I wanted to deck her with a soup tureen after the first 5 minutes. All of the characters in the movie were cardboard, transparent and depthless. The Allison subplot was probably the only bearable one out of the entire menagerie. The Wynn Park/Mrs.Paladine fiasco was annoying more than it was outright horrible. I just thought it awfully convenient that Mrs.Paladine got over her feelings for her "beau" after the Titainic went down and he died. It would have been more interesting for her "divorce" telegram to go though and have her husband and daughter NOT show up on Ellis Island (again, where did these writers pull Ellis Island from). But I guess that would have contradicted the happy ending schmaltz that laces every TV movie these days. Bruce Ismay, Captain Smith and Madeleine Astor were are miscast. I should stop -- I don't think I can find anything nice to say about this tripe.
I also want to take this time to defend "SOS Titanic". I may be a little bias because this film was one of the initial catalysts that launched my interest in the Titanic (the other being "A Night To Remember"), but overall I think this is a well done film. I enjoyed how a story line was followed through in every class (and even the crew). I mean 2nd class passengers almost always get overlooked in other Titanic films -- did anyone even know there was a 2nd class on Cameron's Titanic? Granted, the sets for SOS Titanic could use a little work and I was never once convinced that for the large scale shots I wasn't looking at the Queen Mary, but overall I thought it a standup piece of work.
Ian Holm was terrific as Ismay and I thoroughly enjoyed Cloris Leachman as Molly (don't call me 'Maggie') brown. I guess I enjoyed the whole cast of characters. The costumes I thought were spot on and a legitimate progression of the story was never compromised for the sake of schmaltz (i.e. no rape scences).
The SOS Titanic movie I've seen was apparently the longer version. I've seen the shortened one and found it not to be as enjoyable. The little nuances found in the former make the movie for me.
Anyway I had to voice my opinion on this topic. I could go on and on about how much I LOATHE the CBS Titanic but my fingers are sore. That movie has already brought me enough pain and I cannot justify it letting me feel anymore.
It's a dead heat for the worst Titanic movie between Raise the Titanic and SOS Titanic. who can forget that memorable scene with clueless no-talent Ann Archer warbling "I can't put the wormy on the hooky?" YUK!!! And who can forget Madeline Astor, who looked all of 12 years old in SOS Titanic constantly boring us to tears with constant references to her pregnancy? Get real -- a woman in l9l2 never ever said the "P" word. Go back to A Night to Remember for a moment--Astor informed Lightoller that his wife was "in delicate condition." A pregnant woman was "in the family way" or was "expecting a bundle of joy from heaven." The supposed romance between Beasley and the other lady teacher was sappy and stupid. Also I found it ironic that David Warner who was gentle Lawrence Beasley in SOS Titanic played the sinister, menacing Spicer Lovejoy in Cameron's Titanic.
SOS Titanic is a solid #2 (behind ANTR) for the best Titanic movie IMO. The depiction of Beesley worked well because it enabled him to express all the observations he made in his book. Ian Holm also gives the best performance of Ismay in any Titanic drama.
The worst Titanic movie, sorry to say for those who feel otherwise, is Cameron's by a mile with me. No amount of accurate sets and impressive SFX can ever compensate for the worst written script ever, not to mention insufferably annoying characters and performances from all the leads. I despise everything about Jack-Rose and Cameron's jettisoning of so much real history in favor of his anacrhonistic 1990s romance of horny tennage lust is another major strike against it.
Yeah, I disagree with that. Cameron's Titanic, for me, is a close second to ANtR, though SOS Titanic is pretty far back. In my opinion, the honors for worst films go to Titanic (1996) and Britannic, as an honorable mention. Maybe I'll remove them from my collection, even...
There are no bad Titanic movies in my eyes- only some better than others. Every representation filmed offers some positive interpretations or new twists I hadn't thought of before. SOS -the THREE hour version was novel in that it was in color- there was some GREAT matte shot work, it gave a touching view of steerage for the first time, explored the relationship of that steerage couple Martin and the glorious lady he sees at the dance, presents lifelike vignettes such as the Countess of Rothes in the Turkish bath being admired through the steamy window,Mrs. Harris and her sprained ankle- and I enjoyed the Queenstown deck scene with the Irish merchants and the lace bedjacket episode with the Astors. Yes, the casting of the Astors was off- and NOBODY has yet to accurately portray Mrs. Brown. I also thought the portrayal of Ismay was especially good- at the end he did look utterly befuddled and in shock-"All that beauty...just a few chairs." as he looked overboard at the floating debris. Raise the Titanic boasts a fabulous soundtrack, great visuals of the ship rising out of the deep which STILL take my breath away and an interesting plan for raising the hull which back then was pretty clever. I never quite think of it as a real Titanic film- more of a Cussler blockbuster book transfered to the screen which just happened to include the ship as part of the adventures of the real focus-Dirk Pitt-superman of action and mystery! Never met a funnel flick I didn't like!
I second Tarn's sentiment about 'Raise the Titanic'. I am a huge fan of Clive Cussler but happened to see the movie before i read the book and I couldn't believe how much they left out. I'd imagine it would be hard for any filmaker to capture all the effects of a Cussler book, but I like Tarn's choice of words when he referred to it as butchering. However much I would like to see a good film made about a Cussler novel, sometimes I think they are too complex to fit into one motion picture. Maybe a mini-series?
Generally I don't count "Raise The Titanic" because I rank starting with movies that take place aboard the ship during the sinking. But as a fan of Cussler's novels who was introduced to them by RTT, it is unquestionably disgraceful adaptation, redeemed only by the effects work, the best score John Barry ever wrote for a non-James Bond movie, and Alec Guinness's cameo as Bigalow, the surviving crewman.
But the negatives? God, miscasting all around. Richard Jordan was a terrific character actor (especially as the wily national security advisor in "Hunt For Red October") but he is all wrong for Dirk Pitt. Likewise Jason Robards as Admiral Sandecker, and not too good turns from Anne Archer and David Selby either. The script is terrible too, with the heart of the action removed and the moral equivalence ending that isn't in the book is another disgrace.
The only thing I can say in the movie's defense on these points is that apparently more than 40 minutes of footage was excised after a preview screening that better explained some of the plot. Among the items jettisoned was a 1912 prologue that depicted the sinking and showed Brewster locking himself in the vault. The special effects footage of the sinking can be seen in the Titanic episode of the 1982 TV series "Voyagers" that has aired on Sci-Fi Channel in the past and it shows the second funnel breaking off but not the first (which is how the model in RTT was done). I suspect that there were also more scenes of Anne Archer left on the cutting room floor too.
Couple of points about the sloppy research the filmmakers did which shows they knew absolutely nothing about the real Titanic. In addition to having the wrong funnel missing for an intact Titanic, their montage of photos at the beginning of the real Titanic and life aboard shows a photo of an orchestra with brass instruments. That photo is from 1918 of the first Dixieland Jazz Band.
Eric if you say Camerons is the worst you've ever seen then how do you put the 96 miniseries over that? You say you hate the Cameron love story well I thought 96's was horrible. Atleast Cameron didn't have people getting raped by the steward from hell. And Camerons had the sets and the effects to make up for the love story if you didn't like it.
They come out a wash in the bad fictional story department with the steward from Hell being the one thing worse than Cameron. But the 96 has a better score and mentions more real events overall. Plus, the 96 has the virtue of being a project that was intended to tell more real history but got sabotaged by the network execs. That was never the case with Cameron which was driven by the bad story. With me, it's not a case of not merely not liking the love story, the operative word in my case is I hate it, and despise everything about it and its characters.
The sets and effects do not compensate for the story in either production though, with me. I would prefer inaccurate sets and a more accurate and better written script than vice versa any day of the week which is why ANTR and SOS Titanic run away with #1-2 honors for films, and the TV version of ANTR also enters that upper echelon.
ok I see your point now..See I like the way Camerons ship looked so real but you have to admit the way the sinking looked was phenominal.
You may hate everything else Cameron did with that movie and Eric I know you do but he did give us a since to what it really looked like and that ship was just phenomanal. That is something Camerons movie did give us.