What Was Mr Cameron's Source For Having Fleet And Lee


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Oct 23, 2000
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In the final script and finished film, James Cameron depicted Fleet and Lee as looking down at passengers (in this instance the romantic leads) kissing on the forward well deck, then joking about something related to it and then discussing something about "smelling ice".
Right after that they only belatedly sight the iceberg.
What was Cameron's source for depicting Fleet and Lee as in essance irresponsible youths who "took their eyes off the road", so to speak?
I have been plowing back and forth through their testimony, but have discovered not a shred of evidence that could support such a bald assertion.
Another thing: Cameron clearly erred by depicting a crewman on the "eyes" of the ship (i.e. the now-infamous prow of the Titanic) when the iceberg was hit.
Fleet had this to say on the matter at the American inquiry:

Senator SMITH.
Mr. Fleet, can you tell who was on the forward part of the Titanic Sunday night when you took your position in the crow's nest?

Mr. FLEET.
There was nobody.

Senator SMITH.
Nobody?

Mr. FLEET.
No, sir.

Cameron could not have helped read this, since he read the American inquiry transcripts (and even wrote the forward to a published edition of them) and there is no mention of an "eyes" lookout in the final script, but in the final film version, there he is. Yelling a sterotypical "Blimey!" as the Titanic hits the berg.

Thanks to anyone who can help.
 
Nov 21, 2007
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One: Its a movie, it worked. When things work, you use them, in Hollywood.

And Two: he doesn't say "Blimey", he says "Bugger me!"
 

Kevin Keating

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Apr 1, 2007
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According to the Illustrated Screenplay, opposite p. 83:

"Cameron intended Jack and Rose's embrace to distract the lookouts and prevent them from seeing the iceberg in time, an ironic twist coming at the very moment Rose exercises her will to change her life."

I also think I remember hearing/reading somewhere that Cameron thought that it was likely that the lookouts were indeed distracted by something since he thought it was nearly impossible for the lookouts to miss a large white object, even in the blackness -- of course, the "blue berg" theory disproves this idea, and it was nearly impossible for the lookouts to have seen the iceberg in time anyways.

But, I do agree with Rocky -- it's a movie, there were enough other things wrong with it. Cameron said that he used the Titanic as a large stage - there were places where passengers weren't allowed to go -- the prow, for instance -- but he put them there for dramatic effect, so he probably used the crewman yelling "it's gonna hit" to heighten the tension (even though the audience knows what's going to happen). If you turn your brain off for the 3 hour running time the movie makes perfect sense. :p

-Kevin
 
May 3, 2005
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>>One: Its a movie, it worked. When things work, you use them, in Hollywood.<<

And Jean Negulesco has Captain Smith distracted by listening to College Songs when the Titanic strikes the iceberg ("Titanic" - 1953)
 
Oct 23, 2000
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Thanks, friends, for the feedback! :)
Am busy writing an article on the lookouts and had my doubts on the movie figuring it was just Hollywood a-go-go, but still was willing, in spite of my disagreement with his approaches, to give Mr. C. the benefit of the doubt.
 
May 3, 2005
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Rocky Whiteside (Quote):
>>One: Its a movie, it worked. When things work, you use them, in Hollywood.<<

And Pinewood, too !

I think even Mr. Mac Quitty took a few liberties in ANTR...As the Lynch/Marschall commentary remarked "Lightoller gets all the good lines", such as the exchange with Ismay about the loading of the lifeboats.
 
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Jeremy Aufderheide (Quote of a quote and a quote).

>>> I think even Mr. Mac Quitty took a few liberties in ANTR

Such as the Titanic having a small orchestra rather than a small combo<<

Ditto for Mr. Negulesco.
 
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Jeremy Aufderheide:

>>LOL. Mr. Negulesco took more liberties than adding a few instruments to the orchestra.<<

The understatement of the year IMHO.

>>Let's start with those blasted horns throughout the entire sinking. I've never watched a Titanic film where I was looking more forward to the ship losing power.<<

The only thing I have found worse is that band droning on and on in the (DVD) 1929 movie "Titanic-Disaster in the Atlantic", which was actually originally entitled "The Atlantic", wasn't really about the Titanic and was based on a play, "The Berg", by Ernest Raymond.
 
Feb 9, 2006
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Don't forget that Murdcoch on deck watch is also shown to be distracted by our tedious hero and heroine.

At least the Murdoch shooting was based on rumor!
 

Aly Jones

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Nov 22, 2008
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Richard sir.You got me thinking here,More on where did James cameron get his source from.

James camerons movie has Rose entering 3rd class and dancing the night away and Jack entering 1st class having tea and crupets with up class 1st class passenger's.

First and third class were not permitted to mingle,infact sometimes third class males and females were not aloud to mingle in that kind of way in which Jack and Rose did (immergration rules).

Was there really 1st class and 3rd class passenger's during Titanic voyage that ever acted in the same way as in the Movie? or did james cameron just took a risk?
 
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>>Richard sir.You got me thinking here,More on where did James cameron get his source from.<<

Miss Jones, Ma'am:

I think that the term "Literary License" pretty well covers the subject. You'll have to take a large dose of the proverbial grain of salt with about any thing in any "Titanic" movie. If you'll pardon a really bad pun on my part (My spouse says they're terrible)...there aren't enough "grains of salt" in all the oceans of the world to supply enough "grains of salt" for supposedly historical events in most movies.

If you stretch the truth a bit, I would suppose Cameron's excuse might have been that Jack would have been recognized by the third class passengers and assumed it was OK for him to bring along a guest.

The Fleet-Lee scene in which they are distracted by the Jack-Rose romancing is taken in a bad light, too. These lookouts were trained and practiced on observing more important matters, and for the most part probably fairly conscientious in their duties.

Even in ANTR the "Hey Lieutenant Scene" has been proven inaccurate in another thread. Lightoller would not have been very likely to even enter the First Class Lounge, let alone converse with passengers.Only the Purser and the Captain would have been likely to mingle with the passengers and mostly likely only at the dinner tables.

Likewise Mrs. J.J. Brown's "extreme make over" of Jack in the Tuxedo would have allowed him to mingle with the First Class passengers for the dinner scene.

In the "what I've heard department.":
Also Mrs. Brown preferred to be referred as "Mrs. J.J. Brown", her name was Margaret and if referred to a bit of a nickname it would have been "Maggie." The term "Molly" seems to have come from a fairly recent musical comedy, "The Unsinkable Molly Brown."

Now h'if you'll excuse me whilst h'I step down from me soap box. Blimey !
 
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>>Such as the Titanic having a small orchestra rather than a small combo.<<

And having a woodwind in it to boot (I think it was an oboe or a clarinet.)...The real thing was really a small all-string ensemble.

Jean Negulesco even went a bit farther and made it more of a brass band !
 
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Another trivia bit:

In the Spanish Language track on "Titanic" (1953)the dubbed in music for the Giff-Annette dance scene takes on a more Latin beat...and "God Save The King" is played over and over instead of the "Londonderry Air" in the English Language track...but "Mmmackinac Mmmichigan" comes through with the same inflection in both Languages ! :)
 
Feb 24, 2004
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Hi, Robert!

It was a clarinet. If I remember accurately (my disc went defective and I haven't yet replaced it), you'll also hear a trumpet and drums in some of their earlier music, although neither is shown on the screen.

Roy
 
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