The best made for tv Titanic?

N Alison

N Alison

Member
So I just saw SOS Titanic 1979 for the first time this week in honor of David Warner's passing and I really liked it. Of the made for TV non documentary films, this Titanic 1996 and Titanic 2012 I think it is the best of the three. The casting was a bit strange and I picked up a lot of historical inaccuracies but it was an interesting version with some strong actors. The choices for characters to follow was good and I liked that second class got some focus. Anyone agree that it's the best of the three?
 
Steven Christian

Steven Christian

Member
Watched it last night. Yes I agree it was better than the other 2 you mentioned. I liked the way it started on the Carpathia. I wish Camerons film had a little more of that and the radio traffic from other ships. It was better than I was expecting. Like you said, historical inaccuracies but I did find it entertaining. Plus there were lots of actors in it that later became big stars or at least well know actors. Cheers.
 
N Alison

N Alison

Member
The film covered things I have not seen others cover too much like the Carpathia which was only seen briefly in the '96 miniseries and '97 film, the second class, the Turkish bath area. Characters like Irene and Henry Harris, Lawrence Beesley and Daniel Buckley got screen time which was excellent.
 
Stevehamp

Stevehamp

Member
If you want to see a good tv series on the titanic again with inaccuracies watch titanic blood and steel I think never shown in the uk this series is amazing some scenes jaw dropping on titanic and it’s construction just a shame a second series was cancelled
 
Seumas

Seumas

Member
If you want to see a good tv series on the titanic again with inaccuracies watch titanic blood and steel I think never shown in the uk this series is amazing some scenes jaw dropping on titanic and it’s construction just a shame a second series was cancelled
I haven't seen it but a number of authorities have said it was crammed with many inaccuracies and ran with the completely discredited "brittle steel & rivets theory" which was proved in the nineties to be a lot of rubbish
 
Stevehamp

Stevehamp

Member
I haven't seen it but a number of authorities have said it was crammed with many inaccuracies and ran with the completely discredited "brittle steel & rivets theory" which was proved in the nineties to be a lot of rubbish
For a true feeling what it was like to see titanic being built this is it you can see clips on you tube and is available on Amazon enjoy
 
Seumas

Seumas

Member
It's also supposed to have whitewashed the vile, rampant anti-Catholic sectarianism prevalent at H&W.

I won't be watching. If I want a real inkling into what the Titanic's construction was like, I will watch the 1911 film of Olympic's actual construction and launch Watch S.S. Olympic - BFI Player
 
Stevehamp

Stevehamp

Member
Hence why it was never released in the uk and not many people have heard or seen it but those that have have given it rave reviews, for all the rights and wrongs in history it still shows the building of a beautiful ship and the blood and tears that went into making it and the arrogance of that age .
 
Jason D. Tiller

Jason D. Tiller

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Anyone agree that it's the best of the three?
Yes I do as well; I enjoyed it very much. While there are many historical inaccuracies, I think the pace and structure of the film flow better than the other two. It was filmed on the Queen Mary so that is mainly the reason for the errors throughout but at the same time, it gave the film a more authentic feel in my opinion. David Warner as Lawrence Beesley was great. Although the exchange between him and Leigh Goodwin was highly improbable. Beverly Ross as Madeleine Astor was believable and sweet but David Janssen as JJ and Cloris Leachman, didn't do it for me. Still, a pretty entertaining movie.

If you want to see a good tv series on the titanic again with inaccuracies watch titanic blood and steel I think never shown in the uk this series is amazing some scenes jaw dropping on titanic and it’s construction just a shame a second series was cancelled
The visual effects and portrayal of the characters was not all that bad. However, Bruce Ismay was made out to be a greedy snob when in reality he was proud of his ships, but as not greedy as he is portrayed. The writers could have done more with the actual story, than going with a lot of made up things. The fact that they chose to not show the Guarantee Group except Thomas Andrews, was disappointing. I wasn't all that impressed with it.
 
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Stephen Carey

Stephen Carey

Member
If you want to see a good tv series on the titanic again with inaccuracies watch titanic blood and steel I think never shown in the uk this series is amazing some scenes jaw dropping on titanic and it’s construction just a shame a second series was cancelled
That surprises me that it wasn't shown in UK seeing as how that's where I thought I saw it and it was directed by an Irishman with UK/Irish actors in the main and filmed in Belfast which is in the UK. I've just looked it up and it was aired in 2012 (no mention of UK), but that doesn't ring true with me because I was in Malaysia then and not UK so I must have seen it on Astro Malaysia!
Apparently it's on Prime, though usually that doesn't mean in my region...
Another responder says it doesn't mention the political system of "Cath v Prod" but to me it did, along with the question of Home Rule.
 
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Eric Paddon

Member
SOS Titanic is indeed the best made for TV production overall IMO in terms of its original TV cut. The one flaw in it IMO is the careful avoidance of the whole Californian issue. Compared to such poor TV projects though, the fictionalizations they employ don't bother me. The platonic relationship of Beesley with the fictional "Leigh Goodwin" I felt was a necessary device to let Beesley express verbally the things he wrote about in his book. If they had shown an actual romance with the fictional character then that would have been crossing a line.

Second place would be the original television production of "A Night To Remember" that aired on the Kraft Television Theatre in 1956 on NBC. It was an ambitious effort crammed into just an hour and featured many things that were not in the subsequent film version. The pity is that because the TV version of ANTR was made before the days of videotape, it only exists in a low quality kinescope recording that mutes the effect it had when it first aired live (and in color no less). Patrick Macnee, years before "The Avengers" plays Thomas Andrews.
 
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robert warren

Member
Totally agree about SOS Titanic. After 42 years the original 3 hour movie was finally put on dvd and its a lot more authentic than most people think. There are at least a dozen elements portrayed that have never been in any other film. , The Titanic in Queenstown, Mrs Harris falling down the stairs breaking her arm , even a brief mention of the New York incident to name a few This film also stands out because it starts out showing the Carpathia rescuing the survivors, and Ismay flashing back after having been rescued.
 
Jason D. Tiller

Jason D. Tiller

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This film also stands out because it starts out showing the Carpathia rescuing the survivors, and Ismay flashing back after having been rescued.
Yes I thought it was an interesting way to introduce the story, from an angle that hadn't been done in previous films and ones since.
 
Seumas

Seumas

Member
Second place would be the original television production of "A Night To Remember" that aired on the Kraft Television Theatre in 1956 on NBC. It was an ambitious effort crammed into just an hour and featured many things that were not in the subsequent film version. The pity is that because the TV version of ANTR was made before the days of videotape, it only exists in a low quality kinescope recording that mutes the effect it had when it first aired live (and in color no less). Patrick Macnee, years before "The Avengers" plays Thomas Andrews.
Oft neglected but well worth a watch that one !

A great wee detail the Kraft adaption had that none of the other film and TV adaptions had was the shot of all the first class cabin bells ringing for a steward post-collision.

For all it's faults I quite liked SOS Titanic and that was only the abridged version I was used to for years. The three hour version is a great watch.

Apparently behind the scenes it was a bit of a chaotic production with some actors being hired only a few days before shooting began, they didn't get as many days to shoot aboard the Queen Mary as they would have liked, conflicts occurred between the writers and filmmakers and some of the extras were asked to source their own costumes. And yet they still pulled it off !

We're all familiar with the god awful 1996 miniseries of course.

The original script was very different to what eventually got made. It still had a ton of inaccuracies in it admittedly but the overall story was at least more interesting and the characters had more depth to them.

Read part one in full here:

and part two here:

 
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robert warren

Member
Absolutely! I saw about 20 min. of this( SOS Titanic) when it first aired, (parents took me to the movies which is why I couldn't see the whole thing) and this opening is what got me hooked. It was like "who are these people, and what ship were they just on that they got in lifeboats all dressed up in the middle of the night?"This is how the story just unfolded before ones' eyes. Incidentally, I did see this movie 7 years later when we rented it from a video store. Its always been one of my favorites- but I guess that's true of the first Titanic movie one sees early on.
 
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