Great Summation of this Movie & Why it's GREAT

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Jon Meadows

Former Member
As Julie is a character-driven piece, I don't see the comparison to a big spectacular film like Titanic (and spectacular means the size, not the quality).

My point being that...I don't see why people are endlessly complaining about this film. It's not perfect. But take out of it what you can and enjoy that piece.

I detest the wooden acting in a lot of Busby Berkley films from the 30s. But there's no denying the quality of the musical numbers. Should we sit back and dismiss the entire film when there are parts of it that are art and push the envelope of filmmaking at that time. The musical numbers have historical relevance.

Much in the same way that James Cameron's attention to detail on the sets and costumes for this film make it art.

It was never meant to be a small character-driven piece. No one expects it to be Wedekind's Spring Awakening on a boat. It's meant to be Gone with the Wind or Dr. Zhivago on a ship...a fictional, wafer-thin story set against the backdrop of an historical event. Dr. Z is a 3-hour nap and GWTW is full of unlikeable characters doing unlikeable things (gee, Scarlett is selfish and spoiled...that's motivation).

So, to sum up...my point is that, as with most huge Hollywood movies, it's best to look past the foreground and enjoy the backdrop.
 
>>Molly Brown travelling with a tux that fits.<<

Say what you want about "Titanic" (1953), but at least Giff Rogers was (apparently) traveling in First Class (with his Tennis buddies from Purdue) and had his own blue serge suit that he "had to pick up at the cleaners "......to sit at the Captain's Table..."Thank you , Molly Brown, but I don't need any help from you." :)

Which brings up another "nit-pick"....I think it's been established that Titanic did not have a tailor shop (a la "That Other Titanic Movie") but did they have laundry/dry cleaning for passengers ?

I think there is also a case of a double negative on another posting (of which I, too, erred on my one of my postings)but I think the intended meaning was "There were no third class children who survived ?" Don Lynch and Ken Marschall's "Titanic - An Illustrated History" lists 69 Men and 105 Women and Children who were saved...417 men and 119 Women and Children who were lost. (There doesn't seem to be any further breakdown between women and children.)

I think the bottom line on the sets-vs-the other aspects of movies discussion is "WYSIWYG" as far as what the individual viewer wants to see.
 

Donna Grizzle

Former Member
The problem with a Titanic movie, and I mean ANY Titanic movie, is that they are not made for a Titanic buff. The number of such an audience would be pretty small, and even smaller still are those who would notice all these inaccuracies.

I think Cameron would have made a much better film if he was looking to cater first and foremost to the "buffs". What Cameron wanted to do, and very successfully DID, was reintroduce the story to a younger audience. I've looked through numerous member profiles on this board and a great percentage of them credit the movie to either introducing them to the story of Titanic(like me), or reawakening an interest of it. If you can't say anything good about the movie, you've at least got to give him credit for that.
 
>As Julie is a character-driven piece, I don't see the comparison to a big spectacular film like Titanic (and spectacular means the size, not the quality).

It was not a comparison. Julie was used as a fine example of what happens when attention to detail goes awry~ the opposite of Titanic~ and how the efect is as distancing as a stupid script. Of course, Julie was a stupid movie, so the boom mikes that dip into and out of the frame and the car chase sequence where the rear projection 'fights' with what D.D. is doing at the aren't as immediately fatal as they would be in...say.... Repulsion.

>I detest the wooden acting in a lot of Busby Berkley films from the 30s. But there's no denying the quality of the musical numbers. Should we sit back and dismiss the entire film when there are parts of it that are art and push the envelope of filmmaking at that time.

Well....no, because the purpose of a musical is to provide the audience with listenable music and, if need be, dance interludes. No one watched a Berkeley film and came away thinking "the music was wretched but those were great sets." And, at that point the movie musical was roughly 8 years old, so some of the faults in pacing and plot were forgivable. (You should have cited a BAD non-Berkeley 1930s musical like Caine and Mabel
happy.gif
) Titanic, as you may have noticed, was a drama released in the 1990s and coincided, roughly, with the 70th anniversary of sound films. A lot of learning has been done in 70 years, and to have such a hyped film turn out to be so amateurish on so many different levels was, frankly, embarrassing. Which was why, unlike the Berkeley musicals, a fair proportion of the audience walked out thinking "that was stupid." Berkeley crafted a good musical. Cameron crafted a tepid drama.

>Much in the same way that James Cameron's attention to detail on the sets and costumes for this film make it art.

Even there, it is a "no." What is artistic about rebuilding a historical structure? Given the funds, you, I, or some random dolt off the street could have done the same thing~ given that the Titanic and Olympic interiors were extensively photographed, and in the case of Olympic have a fair survival rate. Slavish recreation is not art. The Jerry Springer Show production crew, given unlimited budget and having a desire to do so, could rebuild his set as an exact Titanic replica.
 
I do have to agree with Robert that the fictional love story in Titanic '53 is so much better than the silly,sappy fictional love story in Titanic '97.Robert Wagner who portrays Giff Rogers and Audrey Dalton who portrays Annette Sturges are much more believable than Leo and Kate who portrayed silly,sappy Jack and Rose.I would rather have a daughter like Annette over that snob Rose any day.
 
Jerry-

Preface this posting with a tongue in cheek remark often seen : "It's only a movie !":

IMHO Even if Jack had lived, Annette would have gotten a much better pick in Giff than Rose would have gotten in Jack. LOL if you wish.

Could you have left your blue serge suit at the cleaners for later pick up on Titanic ?
 
>>The problem with a Titanic movie, and I mean ANY Titanic movie, is that they are not made for a Titanic buff. The number of such an audience would be pretty small, and even smaller still are those who would notice all these inaccuracies.<<

Donna-
Very well put. A case in point : How many Titanic buffs are there out there ? - and just think how "even smaller still" Centennial buffs there are for "The Big Show" ? also rates an LOL.

OK, Michael and Roy , maybe we better let you get back to the serious stuff !
 
Hello Roy! Yes, you are absolutely right. Of course the Allisons were travelling in first class! I might be almost felling asleep or something like that.

Donna, I agree 100% with your thoughts! Although many people here may don't like the film ( including me. The problem is not the sets, they're were great, and I'm not putting an account in Mr. Cameron's work but that love story was awful!!) we have to admit that the film was a fantastic impulse to get the audience interested in the issue. I think there isn't another matter so debated like Titanic and the film really helped to reach this situation of (good)crazy obsession by this "unsinkable" ship.

Best wishes, João
 
Hi, Robert!

>>OK, Michael and Roy , maybe we better let you get back to the serious stuff !

I don't have a problem with the way this is going, but then, I'm not the webmaster either. '-)

Hi, Donna!

>>The number of such an audience [Titanic buffs]would be pretty small, and even smaller still are those who would notice all these inaccuracies.

Amen! Given the vastness of the world's historical landscape, Titanic research is something that can only be called a "tiny niche market." It's fascinating, riveting and important to us all, but there aren't enough of us to fill theaters to the tune of millions and millions of dollars/pounds, etc., in box office receipts. JC knew this very well and said as much.

>>I think Cameron would have made a much better film if he was looking to cater first and foremost to the "buffs".

He had a choice of remaking ANTR, which he could have done spectacularly, or he had to come up with something different that would draw in a newer, younger audience. He chose the latter to brilliant effect. Buffs are better served by serious documentaries, or docu-dramas. But woe unto the producer who commits an error in one of those!

>>What Cameron wanted to do, and very successfully DID, was reintroduce the story to a younger audience.

Durn tootin'!! :)

>>I've looked through numerous member profiles on this board and a great percentage of them credit the movie to either introducing them to the story of Titanic(like me), or reawakening an interest of it.

Absolutely! And I've fielded plenty of questions from people who thought they knew the Titanic "story" (not that I know even a smidgen of ALL its details...) about things Cameron presented that they were seeing for the very first time. "Did it do this...? Did so-and-so do that...?" With a nearly 900-foot ship and 2200 people on board, not to mention all the story's innumerable sidebars, there's always some new detail to learn.

>>If you can't say anything good about the movie, you've at least got to give him credit for that.

I agree with you totally. And Donna, if you've got the patience to dig through the ET archives, you'll find several of my posts where I've said precisely that.

Cheers!

Roy
 
OK and Thanks, Roy-
>>I don't have a problem with the way this is going, but then, I'm not the webmaster either. '-
) <<
>>Don't be too upset if some people here dump on something you like.<<

And you, too, Mary -
>>Don't worry Roy, I'm not bent out of shape that many here don't like the film much for a variety of reasons. That's fine. What's a blockbuster between Titanic nuts? ;)<<

A few more comments for consideration on the fictional characters.:

Caledon Hockley (1997) - Much the snob and a bit ruthless one, too.
Richard Ward Sturges (1953) - Much the snob but a bit kinder and gentler sort
Gifford Rogers (1953)- Sort of the "All American Good Ole' Boy" anit-snob hero type


Ruth Dewitt-Bukater (1997) - Much the snob and wants to retain her position by marrying off her daughter to a snob
Julia Sturges (1953) - Much the anti-snob and wants to get her and her children out of "high society" and maybe marry off her daughter to an anti-snob

Rose Dewitt-Bukater (1997) - Much the anti - snob and wants to get out of "high society" but more so than Julia's way
Annette Sturges (1953) - In the beginning much the snob but apparently changes her ways in the end
 

Donna Grizzle

Former Member
It's such a shame that the '53 Titanic is so appalling with it's blatant historical inaccuracies(the wardrobe alone, please!) because the characters were very well written. Especially Mr. Sturges. Like Robert said, "Much the snob but a bit kinder and gentler sort". Right on the money, and I think it's a difficult type of character to write. At the beginning of the movie, you hate him but, by the middle to end of the movie you soften up toward him, realizing that he's only a human. Cal is just a beast! There aren't many people I know who wouldn't have liked to see him die! Except for those who hate Rose and Jack hehehe.
 
Hi, Donna!

>>It's such a shame that the '53 Titanic is so appalling with it's blatant historical inaccuracies

I tend to go a little easy on that aspect of the 1953 film, because ANTR the book didn't arrive until 1955. And ANTR the film didn't come out till 1958. I can't think of any really serious attempt to research the Titanic disaster as history prior to then.

Roy
 
Hi Again, Donna and Roy !

Also ANTR (the film) came out before the further discoveries of the explorations of Ballard and others.

>>It's such a shame that the '53 Titanic is so appalling with it's blatant historical inaccuracies <<


The most appalling "nitpick" of the '53 Titanic seems to be that "wrong side" shot...apparently something the editor overlooked. There is a card in the opening credits to the effect that the movie was based on the Senate Investigation Hearings but apparently there is not too much evidence of this in the film itself. I have heard an opinion expressed (either on this or another website) that the reason more historical characters such as Ismay and Andrews (and the
"thinly based on Molly Brown" Thelma Ritter character ) were not included was that the Fox (the film company) were treading on thin ice on the '53 film and were afraid of problems with the families involved.
 
>>At the beginning of the movie, you hate him but, by the middle to end of the movie you soften up toward him, realizing that he's only a human. Cal is just a beast! There aren't many people I know who wouldn't have liked to see him die! Except for those who hate Rose and Jack hehehe.<< ?

As for Cal, I think you loathe him at the beginning of the movie and hate him by the end. LOL. Unless of course you are a "male chauvinist" ?

I claim neutrality on both counts on the excuse that,again, quote "it's only a movie !" :)
 
>>Cal is just a beast!

Amen, Robert. Hitchcock made the point that psychological villains must be attractive*, otherwise they'd never get near their victims. The only positive things "Cal" had going for him were his money and his connections. And in view of his highly abusive nature, I shouldn't have been shocked if "Rose" had taken up with some guy in the stokehold. I'm really surprised Cameron was content to create such a 2-dimensional, melodramatic bad guy. ("Carses!! Carses on ye both!!")

*Read that: "charming."

Roy
 
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