Titanic vs A Night to Remember

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You knew it would come sooner or later. So, what's the verdict? What did you find better in Titanic than ANTR and, of course, vice versa.
I thought ANTR was actually a lot more realistic - Titanic was a little sappy. But Titanic is visually more appealing, owing to the incredible increase in computer technology between 1958-1997.

However, if it comes to deciding between the two, you know I couldn't!

Holly Peterson

Former Member
I can't really offer a professional opinion on this, as I haven't seen ANTR, although I hope to some day, but I'll throw in my own opinion on Titanic. I didn't really found it sappy, except I don't think that drawing naked people or that scene in the car really were necessary. I found the rest of the movie a fascinating and dramatic glimpse into the boundaries between classes, the majesty of the ship itself, and the terror of the sinking. It looks so real and makes me think about how it must have been for the people who were really there ...
ANTR was a lot stronger on the historical side, Titanic goes to the top in the matter of special effects and in replicating the ship as far as the budget and some dramatic license would allow.

That said, if you're interested in the history as it really was, stay away from the movies.
Right, Michael! -

Don't go to the movies to learn history or the Bible.

>>I found the rest of the movie a fascinating and dramatic glimpse into the boundaries between classes. . .

Remember too, Holly, that an entire class of passengers (2nd) was virtually scripted out of Cameron's movie. If it was his aim to emphasize the vast divide between 1st and 3rd (and it certainly seems so), that would be the best way to do it. But it's also something that historians frown upon - selective presentation (suppression) of evidence. If Cameron had released his film as a "documentary," he'd have been roasted alive. Luckily, he didn't.
Titanic only uses the events in the BG more, fictional characters merely spot them happen and that's the only way you see em.

ANTR has almost all the events as the film. Also the angle is more realistic at the mid 20's when the lights go off. I think it was silly to go to 45 in mere seconds though, and the sets are more set to the lower angle.

As for ANTR's visuals, I found that some of the model work looked quite realistic, like the Californian up close looked real side the mast ropes revealing it to be a model. I think they should had not used that wave maker though as it looks too violent at the scale for the night.

>>ANTR was a lot stronger on the historical side, Titanic goes to the top in the matter of special effects and in replicating the ship as far as the budget and some dramatic license would allow.

That said, if you're interested in the history as it really was, stay away from the movies.
Michael H. Standart
Equal Opportunity Curmudgeon <<

If you will pardon my frequently posted 1936 Billy Rose quote, with paraphrasing enclosed.

"For entertainment, come to Fort Worth (substitute "Titanic" 1997 for "Fort Worth"); for education, go to Dallas (substitute "ANTR" for "Dallas")"
>>ANTR has almost all the events as the film.<<

That's kind of to be expected. The Titanic's story in general terms is well known enough that getting some of the basic details right isn't that hard. Anything based on that which even attempts something that a reasonably well informed person might confuse for accurate will tend to follow the same basic theme.

With that in mind, ANTR was much better in the general history department while Titanic 1997 takes the cherry off the cake in terms of special effects and period recreations.
I know there is considerable disagreement on this, but I do not necessarily agree that Titanic (1997) “takes the cherry off the cake in terms of special effects and period recreations." Titanic (1997) is of course in full colour, which gives it a superficial veneer of greater realism, but I believe that its evocation of like aboard the great ship is flawed in myriad ways — symbolised, at least for me, by the effete, lemon tea-sipping officers, Thomas Andrews with his “stage Oirish” accent and, above all, by the controversial suicide scene.

The nuances of social life in 1912 - the accents, the humour and the social relationships - are portrayed more realistically in A Night to Remember, while the ship itself appears to be of the correct dimensions in that earlier film. The shots across the decks, for example, seem to have the correct “depth”, while the “plinths” (for want of a better word) at the bases of the funnels appear to be much bigger than those in Titanic (1997). Both films made use of huge sets, about one third to a half of the Titanic being re-constructed for each films, but it seems to me that the ship in Titanic (1997) is only about 75 per cent of the actual size — thus, the recreation of the upper deck look looks more like a cross-channel steamer than an ocean liner.
To which, Stanley, may be added that the end result of many of the vaunted special effects, when viewed on a small screen and from a distance well removed from the 1990s hype, was remarkably shoddy. My personal 'favorites' were the twin homages to the classic Japanese monster films of the 1960s which came towards the end....Kate and Leo surrounded by the odd glow once associated with Chroma-key while on the upraised stern, and the breaking in half and falling back of the ship which in terms of being convincing was, perhaps, the equal of the best work in Destroy All Monsters.

So, Titanic can't even be said to be a triumph of style over substance. Sure, the sets were great to look at, but so what? Recreating a well photographed interior, (I'm counting Olympic here) hardly constitutes genius. Likewise, the costumes and props were excellent but, then, it is rare to see an epic in which they aren't. What one is forced to confront, while having a rare latter day viewing of the picture, is just how...unmoving...it is from an artistic, as well as human, level. The animation is always evident, and one never believes for a second that one is 'there.' It is akin to watching a film that switches between live action and cartoon; one cannot possibly engage with it.

Funny to observe. It was commented, decades ago, that Valley of the Dolls was that rarest of films-a certified blockbuster that did nothing for the careers of those associated with it. Same can be said about Titanic. The fact that 99% of the featured cast of the biggest blockbuster of the 1990s saw their careers either tred water or go into decline post-release, and that the one star whose career it helped forward immediately went into 'distance myself' mode, is a rather telling comment on its merits as art. Like the notoriously stupid VoD, it made 'names' out of its central cast, but being associated with it did NOT translate into being bankable.

>That said, if you're interested in the history as it really was, stay away from the movies

Stay away from stupid movies. One can view period films, such as Burnt By the Sun, and not come way vaguely disgusted with one's self for contributing money to someone who, obviously, thinks that you are an idiot. Roger Ebert has said, and I agree, that the people who MAKE idiot films aren't idiots, and the evident contempt they feel for the viewing audience is both insulting and depressing. (A running theme in his new, and recommended, book Your Movie Sucks)

Films don't HAVE to be puerile to find mass market acceptance...witness Star Wars, which was as mass market as a film could possibly be, but within that framework managed to be well paced, occasionally witty, and above all, HUMAN. Thing is, Star Wars was made before Hollywood film and "Diminished Expectations" became entirely synonymous, and so effort was made to turn it into a young persons' film that adults could sit through as well.
I am not so sure about the careers of stars of Titanic (1997) treading water or even going into decline after the release of the film. I thought the two leads have both been doing quite well since — although Kate Winslet may have had a lower profile in the USA than the UK. I though that her nerdy character in Enigma (2001) was utterly believable, and much more realistic than her character in Titanic. Possibly she specialises in historical roles rather than blockbusters (there is surely a distinction between being an actor or actress and a “film star”) And didn’t she take time off to start a family?

Most of the other Titanic characters were played by well-known British or American film and TV actors such as David Warner, Bernard Hill, Billy Zane and Kathy Bates, who have (as far as I know) continued to work since Titanic — perhaps these people do not aspire to “stardom”, as such, but would prefer to concentrate on what might be called good, workmanlike performances.
David Warner is dead, believe it was a heart attack; and Kathy Bates does stage-got to see her in several things at PCPA in Santa Maria, CA, before she ever got on the TV/film "radar".
Well then for my personal opinion.

"Titanic" is obviously a huge part of the history of Titanic. One must put into consideration that it was the largest set ever built in movie making history and they hired hundreds of extras for the film. It is not completely historically accurate though which is a great disapointment to people like us. There was everything - a marvelous, absolutely marvelous set, historic costumes, and props (again, historically accurate) up the wazoo. And with all this it was made into a love story. A great disapointment nonetheless but one cannot say that the 1997 movie didn't bring attention to the history of RMS Titanic. James Cameron added a new fuel to the fire just as Walter Lord had done in the 1950's with his novel.

Now on to "A Night To Remember" which is greatly more historically accurate and still quite amazing. The myriad of characters is great. I'll tell you, when I was very little I watched ANTR with my parents and left the room because I was actually scared by the build up of suspense and drama by the events in the movie. Grant it, I was little but still I think that, even without great sets and special effects, ANTR certainly is just as good if not better because of that feeling of realism. Titanic did not give me that because of the Jack & Rose story (By gosh, they survived half a dozen things that night from being handcuffed in a flooding room to dodging 45 cal. bullets on the Grand Staircase).
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