Most horrible Titanic movie ever

Eliott

Eliott

Member
Never got the chance (or misfortune I should say) to watch the propaganda movie, nor the 1953 version, but I recently watched A Night to Remember for the first time and I actually enjoyed it a lot. I thought the visuals were quite good for a movie that was released back in the 50s as well as the acting, which was pretty good. Well, the only things that actually bothered me were the opening scene (with the ceremonial ship launching) and the way the ship sank, specially during her final plunge, but I can't blame this, as it probably was the most accurate version at the time, considering lot of people thought the ship sank intact, and the wreck was discovered years after the movie.

If I had to pick the worst movie about the Titanic from what I watched, I would choose the 1996 miniseries (because of inaccuracy), although I wouldn't say it was that bad, since I somewhat still enjoyed it. I thought the acting was really good, I specially loved Catherine Zeta-Jones performances in it, I would have definitely saw her in the 1997 movie cast. But I always felt like this miniseries was made in a "rush", maybe because of James Cameron's version.
 
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Robert T. Paige

Member
N.D. Risener -

This wasn't intended as directed to you. It was just a general comment that anyone/everyone should watch the 1943 German "Titanic" and form their own opinion.
I have made a correction to that effect.

As you might guess, I share your aversion.

IMHO.
But.......ANTR is guilty of showing Mrs.J.J.Brown (who was not really "Molly"
) as a hick and the group calling out "Hey ! Lieutenant" to Lightoller as "Ugly Americans".
Cameron did the same to the British in the 1997 movie

The original "you" meant "everyone (and/or) anyone"..... Maybe I should have used "y'all" ?...... LOL

I think the German propaganda film missed a golden opportunity.
They didn't include Mrs. J.J. Brown, in such manner as she was depicted in ANTR.
They could have included her as an example of the rich Ignorant American of an Inferior Race.
 
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Itsstillthinking

Itsstillthinking

Member
A little late to the patry on this topic but for me it's either Titanic Blood & Steel or the absolutely amazing animated movies:rolleyes:
 
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robert warren

Member
The 1996 miniseries was definitely rushed to cash in on JC's film which was already on everyone's mind. TV land was churning out some poor copycat movies to cash in on the big cinema blockbusters. As bad as this miniseries was, I'll give it props for being the only Titanic film to portray the Allisons and their plight. The sets weren't too bad.I know the dining room was not off the stairs but at least they got the one deck height of the room right, as opposed to making it look like the Palace Of Versailles.Also I always thought the cherub lamp in this film was much better and cuter than the stern faced, head too big for the body one used in JC's film.
 
Eliott

Eliott

Member
So that's what I was thinking then. That's a bit sad actually, giving the fact they could have done something better with more time (and more researchs).

Including the Allison family's story was a good thing, I feel like JC could have thought about it for his movie (same for the Goodwin family), even if they would have appeared for a minute or so.

I don't remember exactly the sets, although I believe the interiors shots were not bad. However, I certainly remember the CGI Titanic, and it really felt like it came out from a video game. For some reason I always thought the visuals effects were better in the 1958 movie.

I actually think the cherub was magnificient in JC's version, although the Grand Staircase was said to be too big compared to the original one on Titanic.
 
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robert warren

Member
Off subject remark here, but if you want to see a great cherub check out Alan St Georges remarkable reproductions of Titanic artifacts. I guarantee you'll change your mind about JC' s cherub.His cherub is EXACTLY the same as the original-- you will be blown away!!:)
 
Eliott

Eliott

Member
Oh I remember seing that one on the internet, but I just realized how much it looks like the original! Beautiful work indeed, I can only imagine too well this cherub being on the original Grand Staircase!
Compared to this one JC's one looks quite different, even though it's still a beautiful work too.
 
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Robert T. Paige

Member
Specifically speaking, the Cameron film is right on the money in terms of how things look. It's the plot and characters that I tend to have the biggest beef with.
The 1953 "Titanic" may be criticized for its lack of historical accuracy, etc.
But IMHO the "Annette-Gifford" characters in the 1953 "Titanic" are a lot more believable than the "Rose-Jack" "characters in the 1997 "Titanic".

Just another nit-pick . It wasn't clear if Gifford Rogers and Purdue Tennis Team were traveling in First, Second or Third Class and why Gifford was invited to the Captain's table with the obviously others in First Class ?
 
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Robert T. Paige

Member
One item from Titanic (1953) that I find curious but I've never heard anyone mention. Richard Sturges (Clifton Webb) can't get a ticket because the ship has been sold out for weeks. But the defrocked priest (Richard Basehart) easily obtains first class passage after finishing his business in Rome just a few days earlier.
N.D. Risener-
Never had thought about that ! Interesting observation.
But the truth of the matter is Richard Sturges wouldn't have had any trouble getting a ticket - in any class.
Titanic was far from being sold out.

There were plenty of vacancies in all classes.
I think the line in the movie was that "Titanic has been sold out for months."

Someone just didn't do their Titanic History Lessons.:
Titanic had a capacity for 3,547 - passengers and crew. There were only a total of 2,222 on board.
First Class : 833 capacity/ 324 on board
Second Class : 614 / 284
Third Class ("Steerage") : 1,006 / 709
But even with that number there were only about half that number. I think it was 1,178 persons maximum capacity of the lifeboats.

And it's fiction anyway.
Maybe "The authorities in Rome" pulled some strings and got a ticket for the de-frocked priest as sort of a going away present or a consolation prize ? I wonder if he paid for his ticket or if "The Authorities in Rome" paid for it ? How could a priest afford a First Class ticket ?
I think Father Brown's First Class Ticket to Queenstown was a gift.
One story was that a First Class Passenger had offered to buy him a ticket to New York.
When he telegraphed for permision, he was answered wiith a very firm "No ! Get off that ship !"
 
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N. D. Risener

N. D. Risener

Member
But the truth of the matter is Richard Sturges wouldn't have had any trouble getting a ticket - in any class.
Titanic was far from being sold out.

There were plenty of vacancies in all classes.
I think the line in the movie was that "Titanic has been sold out for months."

Someone just didn't do their Titanic History Lessons.:
Titanic had a capacity for 3,547 - passengers and crew. There were only a total of 2,222 on board.
First Class : 833 capacity/ 324 on board
Second Class : 614 / 284
Third Class ("Steerage") : 1,006 / 709
But even with that number there were only about half that number. I think it was 1,178 persons maximum capacity of the lifeboats.

And it's fiction anyway.
Maybe "The authorities in Rome" pulled some strings and got a ticket for the de-frocked priest as sort of a going away present or a consolation prize ? I wonder if he paid for his ticket or if "The Authorities in Rome" paid for it ? How could a priest afford a First Class ticket ?

I think it's certainly understandable that the scriptwriters would get several historical details wrong. As has been pointed out the 1953 movie was made when there was much less information available regarding the ship. And what was available, and also accurate, was not easily located.

What made the item interesting was that it was an inconsistency within the same script. I have taken another look at the movie and George Healey (Richard Basehart), the defrocked priest, tells Julia Sturges (Barbara Stanwyck) that he was expelled from the priesthood in Rome on the morning of April 8. Titanic sailed from Southhampton on April 10 and reached Cherbourg that night, where Healey boarded the ship. So in the script Richard Sturges (Clifton Webb) can't get a ticket on the evening of the 10th because they've been sold out for a long time. But Healey arriving from Rome only a few hours previously obtains a ticket. All in the same script. Even if the scriptwriters didn't know the details of what was the ship's capacity and how many passengers were actually there they still had that inconsistency.

I've thought about the question of whether the authorities in Rome pulled some strings on Healey's behalf. That might explain it, but we can get picky with that answer. Regardless of the problems caused by the recent coal miner's strike in Britain there were other ships available to take passengers from Europe to America. Since first class passage on the Titanic was the most expensive ticket for such a crossing it's unlikely that the authorities would have been that generous even if they were willing to pay for his trip home.

I think we can write the whole thing off by assuming the scriptwriters just wanted to get the Healey character in the movie but didn't want to get bogged down with the details of how he got there. Like you said, it's fiction anyway.
 
N. D. Risener

N. D. Risener

Member
I've also been wondering why did the scriptwriters set it up so that Richard Sturges would be told the ship was sold out. I'm guessing the purpose was to make a point to the movie audience from the very beginning as to what kind of man Sturges was. He was wealthy and very comfortable and confident in that wealth. He always intended to have things his way and if he should encounter any obstacles they would quickly be overcome by his wealth and influence and by his smoothly polished skill in using these assets. That would show the audience what kind of formidable opponent he would be when he confronted his wife.

George Healey was interesting but I can't guess at any particular need for this character.
 
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Robert T. Paige

Member
One thing I have also wondered was what Richard Sturges' profession or job that he was so wealthy ?
There was no mention of this other than he was apparently a skillful Bridge player.

Agree with you on your comment on the George Healeyy character.
 
N. D. Risener

N. D. Risener

Member
Something that might be a hint. I can't quote the exact statements but the sense of it is that 20 years previously he saw Julia and was captivated by her beauty. But he made the mistake of thinking he could (I'm uncertain exactly how he said it) civilize or bring refinement (or words to that effect) to a girl who bought her clothes from a Sears and Roebuck catalog.

To me this smacks of "Old Money." It would make sense. A previous ancestor, a rough and tumble fellow, went out and built his fortune, outfighting and conquering along the way whatever man and nature could throw against him. He himself would never have been accepted into the exalted social circles his descendants would later be welcome in. But over time with his money properties could be bought, nice mansions built and staffed with servants and the trappings of upper class life established. And as all this fortune passed down from one generation to another his sons and their sons, raised in the lifestyle of the upper class, would attend and graduate from expensive and prestigious schools and so would share the "old school tie" with the sons of other socially elite families. Thus they would be accepted and comfortably fit in upper class society. And would have a lordly disdain for the common folk who shopped at Sears Roebuck.

I think it makes sense. Richard Sturges had inherited his fortune, never having had to work for it. If there was some business interest that generated income to maintain the family fortune Sturges wasn't a man to get his hands dirty with that. He would employ a very capable manager to run things and pay him a handsome salary with plenty of benefits. The man could run the company pretty much how he wished as long as it continued to turn handsome profits and keep Sturges supplied with the money to maintain his chosen lifestyle.

I think the way Sturges talked and acted, the way he comfortably interacted with other wealthy, socially established people is consistent with this theory.
 
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Robert T. Paige

Member
I think it's certainly understandable that the scriptwriters would get several historical details wrong. As has been pointed out the 1953 movie was made when there was much less information available regarding the ship. And what was available, and also accurate, was not easily located.

What made the item interesting was that it was an inconsistency within the same script. I have taken another look at the movie and George Healey (Richard Basehart), the defrocked priest, tells Julia Sturges (Barbara Stanwyck) that he was expelled from the priesthood in Rome on the morning of April 8. Titanic sailed from Southhampton on April 10 and reached Cherbourg that night, where Healey boarded the ship. So in the script Richard Sturges (Clifton Webb) can't get a ticket on the evening of the 10th because they've been sold out for a long time. But Healey arriving from Rome only a few hours previously obtains a ticket. All in the same script. Even if the scriptwriters didn't know the details of what was the ship's capacity and how many passengers were actually there they still had that inconsistency.

I've thought about the question of whether the authorities in Rome pulled some strings on Healey's behalf. That might explain it, but we can get picky with that answer. Regardless of the problems caused by the recent coal miner's strike in Britain there were other ships available to take passengers from Europe to America. Since first class passage on the Titanic was the most expensive ticket for such a crossing it's unlikely that the authorities would have been that generous even if they were willing to pay for his trip home.

I think we can write the whole thing off by assuming the scriptwriters just wanted to get the Healey character in the movie but didn't want to get bogged down with the details of how he got there. Like you said, it's fiction anyway.

Just playing around with figures :

First Class : 509 vacancies - 39% full
Second Class : 330 vacancies - 41% full
Third Class - 297 vacancies - 70% full

Sold out ? I don't think so !

Also .....Where did Richard meet Julia if she was such a low class ?
Same thing in not getting down with the details of how they met ?

But after all, Dagwood, the rich playboy, met and married Blondie, the dance hall girl.
Altough he got dis-inherited for that, and had to go to work and take with it the tyrannical Julius Caesar Dithers for his boss ,that marriage seems to have turned out rather well . LOL

Maybe some of the good Fathers at the Vatican took pity on poor George and chipped in together to buy him a ticket to get him out of his misery........."The quality of mercy......"
 
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N. D. Risener

N. D. Risener

Member
Titanic was definitely not sold out. Did the screenwriters know that? If there is some way to research that question and find out I don't know about it.

How did Richard happen to meet Julia? The movie didn't cover that subject except that it seems to have happened somewhere near Mackinac. The Richard of 1912 preferred to live in Europe but that must have been an acquired habit. Prior to that, living in America, he must have got around. It's a shame he didn't make the trip back to Mackinac in 1912. He might have caught Elise McKenna's performance at The Grand Hotel. She might even have upgraded his opinion of Mackinac.

Even so Mackinac doesn't mean Julia was low class. That was the thing about the "old money" crowd. They occupied their own little world of inherited wealth and social position that stretched over a number of generations. Even the "new money" outsiders were not welcome into their world even though those people frequently had more money, larger mansions and more servants. They could even build their own greater and more magnificent opera houses. If we equate low class with skid row bums, and a lot of ordinary, non-old money, middle class people of that era probably would have done that, then the "new money" people would hardly have fit that category, and neither would Julia.

Perhaps it was a matter of social training. The "old money" people had a form of proper etiquette that only they were educated in and could understand. So they would look down on those who were not similarly refined. I think that had on one occasion caused a problem. Julia at some social function, being criticized in a snobbish way for her behavior, humiliated beyond endurance to the point of fleeing out to the moonlit surroundings, meeting in this hour of need a young man who was kind to her. And nine months later, Norman.

Dagwood, the rich playboy, and Blondie, the dance hall girl. Wow, that really does go back I kind of get lost when going back past Penny Singleton and Arthur Lake.

I think we're both having a lot of fun here. But getting back to a little more serious analysis I've thought about the question of who paid for George Healey's trip to Rome. He was still a priest when sent and it was his bishop who ordered him to go. So it seems reasonable that the church would have paid for it. Similar situation for coming back. If he was sent to Rome as part of his duties it would hardly be right to leave him stranded there. So it also seems reasonable for the church to provide funds to get him home.

I say "seems reasonable" because as a modern person I think in modern terms and I would expect the modern corporate mind to think in similar fashion. But I can admit to a question mark as to how the corporate mind of 1912 would think. I've read that in the immediate aftermath of the Titanic disaster the families of the deceased musicians received bills for the musicians uniforms that were lost when the ship sank. That was the 1912 corporate mind. The musicians, who had no responsibility for what happened, were held liable for clothing that went down with the ship, and since they were now dead that liability passed to their families. Of course the same corporate mind would have regarded it as absolutely absurd that they themselves had any financial liability to these families for the loss of sons, husbands and fathers.

So I don't know about 1912. But however it was arranged George Healey was able to afford passage back to America.

I think we both enjoy this movie. We certainly find a lot of interesting and fun things about it to discuss.

One final off topic item. I really never intended to delve into personal information but I'm going to admit to you that in my much younger days I too was a US Navy ET.
 
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