Titanic Catherine Zeta Jones


Adam Usher

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Oct 26, 2004
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I remember seeing a short tv series on the titanic on channel 5 starring catherine zeta jones. I believe it was made before camerons titanic in 1997. Can anyone tell me anything about it? Whether you think it was good or anything at all about this TV mini series. i am interested in purchasing the dvd if it is available somewhere.
 

Inger Sheil

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Dec 3, 2000
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Hallo Adam -

Here's the IMDb entry for Titanic 1996:
Titanic (TV Mini-Series 1996) - IMDb

It has been discussed here on the board quite a few times - try this folder for information:
Made for TV and Miniseries

There are links to the original Ross LaManna script in there, although it was much modified for filming.

Opinion on the miniseries is mixed. The fictional rape scene has particularly come in for criticism, as you'll see in those threads. Tim Curry has an interesting, if rather silly role as a villainous steward (it's almost worth watching to see him chew with great relish the line 'you're a dead duck!'). It's populated by a mix of fictional and real characters - the Allisons are in there, but unfortunately they use the incorrect version of Alice Cleaver's history. Quite a bit of Lowe, but Andrews is eliminated entirely - most of his lines in the original script were given to George C Scott's Captain Smith.

It probably would have been better had they stuck to the original script. And avoided lines such as 'The past is the past...irretrievable!'
 
I remember several nonsensical scenes in this movie including a dance in the First Class Dining Saloon ( which in the movie was located on A Deck) and most of all the one depicting the Captain and taking the helm of the ship. This production was even further removed from history than Cameron's effort the following year.
 
Nov 26, 2005
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I really thought this was a decent movie. They're right though, the Tim Curry "rape" scene was entirely unnecessary. Also they really shouldn't have axed the Thomas Andrews character and given his lines to Captain Smith. The love story was a little boring, okay, VERY boring, but historically, the movie didn't do such a bad job. Sets are inaccurate as is the case with most Titanic films, the CGI leaves something to be desired...but this was 1996 TV funding. All and all I really enjoy the movie and watch it to this day, I put it 3rd to JC's Titanic. The 2nd being A Night To Remember. I'm scaling as far as historical accuracy in Titanic films. If you just want a good mushy love story, this would be the film to get.
 
Jul 12, 2003
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I vaguely remember seeing this film (with Zeta-Jones)...at least I think the one in my memory is the one you all are referring to. Is this the one where the Zeta-Jones character was having an affair and was going to leave her husband but when the ship docked, she didn't go thru with it?
 
Jun 12, 2004
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>>but unfortunately they use the incorrect version of Alice Cleaver's history.<<

Actually, Inger, it's not verified, but it's strongly believed that Alice was a bit emotionally unstable. I remember having read several different variations on this from various sources. If, however, another story is, in fact, truer, would you mind sharing? I'd love to know more about Alice's real background. Thanks.
 

John Clifford

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Also, I seem to recall that the issue of which Alice Cleaver was on the Titanic seemed to begin AFTER this film aired. It's possible that the family decided to make their stoy public, as a result of the story told.

BTW, the producers of the mini-series also goofed, as it was Sarah Daniels, not Alice Cleaver, who tried to rouse Hudson Allison into seeing what occured. Alice Cleaver chose to stay with young Trevor Allison, while Sarah Daniels went out on Deck, and got in to Lifeboat 8. As there were many people loading Lifeboat 8, it is more than likely that that part of the story could be corroborated.

Alice seemed to only get nervous AFTER the crew member ordered her and Bess Allison on to the Deck while Hudson was away, and when Bess began to panic.
 

Inger Sheil

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As far as I know you're correct, John, and the 'which Alice Cleaver' issue was resolved after the telemovie's release with the publication of From Workhouse to Prison to the Titanic? by "Dinah Burdett" (a pseudonymn, I understand). The research predates this use of the misunderstanding, and was of course prompted by the error in Titanic: An Illustrated History by the misidentification of Alice Cleaver as the woman of the same name found guilty of killing her child. I said it was 'unfortuate' they used the Allisons as it has perpetuated this misinformation (of course they would have had to have relied on original research to get to the bottom of it, as the error stemmed from an otherwise highly reputable source). It's a pity that in using some real stories, they happened to hit upon this one.

Mark, it is now fairly well established that Alice Cleaver was not 'emotionally unstable' - her reputation has fallen victim to an unfortunate error. The book I refer to above does establish that this woman was not the child-killer. However, the author (apparently Cleaver relative) unfortunately has a rather strong axe to grind with regards to Don Lynch, the THS and those researchers with an interest in Titanic in general. On the one hand this is perhaps understandable given how Cleaver's reputation suffered as a result of the error, on the other hand, the work itself lacks dispassionate assessment and evaluation. The author's tone is very strong. The best of researchers - particularly those with a pioneering scope to their work - will occasionally make mistakes. For discussions on this issue see these past threads:

Alice Cleaver

New book about Alice Cleaver
 
Apr 22, 2012
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I really didn't care for this film. The truth is it bored me. But in 1996 I would say it was second only to ANtR.
 

Steve Olguin

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Mar 31, 2005
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I remember thinking when I saw this movie was that they went to a lot of trouble recreating many of the ship's public spaces, but it's almost as if they just looked at a few photographs of the ships rooms and went from there, filling in the blanks themselves instead of looking at a blueprint. I remember that the reception room was non-existant, instead being replaced with 3 arched doorways leading into the First Class Dining Saloon (which looked similar to the real thing, but was painted in peach tones)Oh yeah, they had the dining room located where the Lounge should be. That was pretty much the only part of the ship that looked anything like the actual thing. Don't get me started on the aft portion of the boat deck and the aft well deck area (the main mast was angled forward as opposed to aft and was located on a fictional building on the poop deck near the well deck). I read the original script which looked like something that was stolen from James Cameron in 1995 and featured tons of scenes with real passengers.
4 out of 10 stars.
 
Sep 1, 2004
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I am sorry, but I don´t like this film. The hall on D-Deck was horrible, Life jackets also and czech dubbing was the worst!
 
A

Anne Nottingham

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This was on last night (Wednesday), and while how could anything about the Titanic be "bad", I noticed that several key moments were all stuffed around the wrong lifeboats, just to squeeze them in or have other characters witness (which didn't happen on the Titanic itself).

I thought it would be OK for my daughter to watch (she loves Titanic), until the rape scene. Who put that in there?
 
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Adam Tarzwell

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The television version I saw of the rape scene was cut very short just showed Tim Curry coming in then the film slowed down and faded to black. In the VHS release it is very very graphic. Borderline soft core porn. I found it to be absolutely repulsive and a useless plot device..... other than that I really didn't have too many problems with the film.... I dunno I like anything Titanic and like seeing different views on the history. I think they did as well as they could with a TV budget.
 
J

João Carlos Pereira Martins

Guest
I remember watching the Titanic miniseries in the 1996 Christmas Eve (I was just five years at that time!). I knew that a new film about Titanic was being made, but I loved the miniseries. Recently I bought the DVD and I've already watched it several times. As I'm concerned, the script in this film is much better than the one in James Cameron's film. It shows a lot of essential details that were forgotten by James Cameron and, in my opinion, the relationship between Jack and Rose is the typical mawkish love story, only to entertain the public until to reach the sinking night. Although, the graphic quality in the 1996 film is VERY poor.

João(addicted to Titanic films)
 
Feb 14, 2011
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The 1996 Titanic tv movie with Gorge c Scott, Tim Curry, etc, is on cable right now- Its actually not half bad- It's laden with historic innacuracies , but overall its interesting- Any truth to that subplot with the crazy nanny who abducted the Allison's baby?
Interesting how in this film, Titanic was facing Soutampton dock on her starboard side, as opposed to port. For a tv movie, i give it 3 thumbs up-Not great, but not awful...
It was certianly better than that dreadful Britannic tv movie...

regards


Tarn Stephanos
 
Feb 14, 2011
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Michael, I think you are right- the Catharine Zeta Jones/Gallagher romace was certainly more believable than the Di Caprio/Winslet romance....For a made for tv movie, you got what you paid for- it was free to watch, and that being the case, I could overlook some of the more glaring errors..I have a hard time believing Ismay was that obnoxious...
It was nice there were Carpathia and Californian scenes, which were all but absent in the Cameron film...Tim Curry as the looting rapist purser didnt shock me, he is of course the great Dr Frank n Furter- so I would expect any character he played to be severly twisted..

regards

Tarn Stephanos
 

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