Worst scene from a Titanic film ever

  • Thread starter Hugo Rupert Talbot-Carey
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Dec 3, 2005
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>>there is a remarkably sexist liberation=irrational, dangerous, (or stupid) behavior subtext to most films in which women become "liberated<<

Very much so. I blame it on the 1960's-70's mentality which was essentially a giant "to hell with it" disguised as activism. It's become liberating for women to be portrayed as foolish, irrational, and eternally victimized by their own alleged inferiorities. The saddest part is how many "feminists" buy into that misogynistic nonsense nowadays.

That's enough of that however...this is a movie thread, so I've got to stop myself from preaching before I forget what we're talking about.
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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Keep preaching, you're right on target.

For my money, the stupidest scene in any Titanic film is the Sex In The Renault sequence. It is wretched on historic, artistic, and symbolic levels. First: it fits so beautifully into the whole "Liberation equals making yourself sexually available to the first man who asks, regardless of consequence" mindset that has plagued big budget films for quite some time. Symbolically, the back seat of the car as a trysting spot is realm of cheap pick ups and interludes with prostitutes. But, since there is no evidence other than the stupid and clumsily done corset interlude that Cameron had any interest in symbolism, perhaps that can be let slide as wish fulfillment rather than a desire to telegraph to the audience what he was really thinking about Rose's character. Second: there are very real reasons, not all linked to social mores, why The Real Rose would have thought twice before "going all the way" with a complete stranger. If she was the "intellect" that the script tries (and fails) to convince us that she was, Rose would have been aware of, if not Ghosts, then Brieux's Les Avaries, current in 1912, and the fact that what she was doing stood a very real chance of infecting her with something that, at the very least, would have consigned her to a future of having her genitals swabbed down with mercury. The scene has an inescapable overtone of doom to it. Look it this way- if the film showed a gay couple picking one another up and having unprotected back seat sex during the summer of 1980, there is a certain depressing connection that the audience would make, and it would overshadow the rest of the film regardless of how 'pure' the love of the two characters was- as we are supposed to assume that Rose and Jack's coupling was a sign of 'pure' love and not the collision of horniness and eroded self respect. Presumably the film maker knew this and chose to ignore it in order to have a sex scene thrown in. That's not to say I am opposed to onscreen sex or, for that matter, sluttish characters...just bothered by the thoughtless way they are sometimes incorporated into storylines. Funny, isn't it, that an industry which regularly pats itself on the back for eliminating smoking sequences because of the fact that they might send "the wrong message," hasn't taken the same view towards the sort of sex that can lead to dangerous and even fatal situations. Jack could well have been a maniac for all Rose knew of him. Did Rose check Jack for lesions? Did Jack do the same? The implications of the scene are rather sad.....


Stupid too, because, as I recall Jack and Rose come bursting out on the well deck all perky and exuberant with post-coital bliss, her not aware that he will never call her again now that she has come across (and that soon his cabin mates will start showing an interest in her that they previously hadn't) and DISTRACT THE LOOKOUTS 3 seconds before the cliched "iceberg dead ahead" moment.
 

Beth Collins

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Sep 17, 2006
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Jim, I am afraid that is the late 20th century coming in again and it dispels the tone that the period settings and costumes portray. A accurately written 1912 Rose could certainly have doubts about a quasi-arranged marriage to a rather high-handed man and wish for someone different, but the writing of the Jack-Rose relationship just rings false from the beginning. Jack is actually less mature than Cal ( not that I care for Cal overmuch) and I agree that most 1912 people did NOT head for the Renault -so to speak- after an acquaintance of mere days-even in the hothouse atmosphere aboard a ship. It's sad that the setting is so magnificent -but they lost a chance to do so much more with the script. It has the tone of the Judy Blume novel, "Forever", that we were always giggling over in junior high.
 
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sharon rutman

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What does being emancipated and woman's lib have to do with spitting or having wild sex in the back of the car. Instead of life belts, maybe we should start passing out the chastity belts.

Oy--now I feel like spitting.
 
Feb 9, 2006
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Jim, I do love when you tear into this movie. You just do it so well.

However, I wouldn't blame Jack and Rose for distracting Lee, Fleet and Murdoch, they are after all poor fictional characters, and under the mercy of a Cameron. That scene, it making REAL men look very bad at their job, is one of my worst favorites in the movie. Cameron can have his opinions of the crew screwing up that night, there are plenty of legitimate questions and objections, but you know what didn't happen? Three men who were supposed to be on deck watch were not all distracted by some making out anachronisms. Or if they were, there really isn't any proof of that occurring. It's bloody character assassination, I think.
 

Jim Kalafus

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>Jim, I do love when you tear into this movie. You just do it so well.

Thanks. The movie offers an embarrassment of riches when it comes to slinging barbs. I have a perverse love of truly bad films, of the 'so bad they are fun' variety and will be the first in line if ever there is a widescreen showing of the Legend of Lylah Claire (Kim Novak- in the film that destroyed her career- playing an aspiring actress possessed by the spirit of a 1920s Hollywood Sex Goddess but speaking with the (dubbed) voice of a German man) or Deadly Weapons ( A 1972 oddity in which Israeli actress Zsa-Zsa takes sweet sweet vengeance on the mobsters who killed her husband by...well....bludgeoning them and then suffocating them with her 76 inch bust)....but Titanic wasn't fun bad, it was just stupid, and pretentious, and surprisingly shoddy for a film that cost more than a CEO can steal in one year.

>It's bloody character assassination, I think.

Well, yes.

>What does being emancipated and woman's lib have to do with spitting or having wild sex in the back of the car.

Read the postings. It will all come clear then.

>It has the tone of the Judy Blume novel, "Forever", that we were always giggling over in junior high.

Ahhh....yes....a plot twist lifted from Judy Blume's "Are You There God? It's Me, Margaret" could have added a much needed element of humor to the Renault interlude. Has Judy hung up her spurs, I wonder? Her controversial- for the 1970s-young adults novels were, along with After School Specials (Scott Baio smoking marijuana, eating all the dessert at a family picnic and then beating his little brother senseless with an oar~ who can forget?) the single greatest Gateway between childhood innocence and the wonderful Consequence Free lifestyle of Carter-era teendom.
 
May 3, 2005
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Lucy-

>>However, I wouldn't blame Jack and Rose for distracting Lee, Fleet and Murdoch, they are after all poor fictional characters, and under the mercy of a Cameron. That scene, it making REAL men look very bad at their job, is one of my worst favorites in the movie.<<

Or...how about Annette and Giff distracting Captain Smith in the 1953 "Titanic" ?
 

Jim Kalafus

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Ryan: A cult TV show in the US. Mystery Science Theater 3000. An affable janitor (Joel)is blasted into space by an evil scientist and his idiot assistant as part of a cruel psychological experiment in which he is forced to endlessly watch movies like Catalina Caper and Wild Rebels. The movies are shown in their entirety. Joel and two of the three robots he created for companionship out of parts of the space ship, and garbage, offer running humorous commentary throughout. At its best, it was absolutely hilarious. I have seasons 2-8 on video and tranfering them to DVD is one of my perpetual "next week" projects. I find the "Creepy Girl" love ode from Catalina Caper caught in my head at odd hours.
 
Nov 5, 2006
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The rapping terrier! Its an offence to terrier owners and Titanic fans! I never saw it, but I read the lyrics, so I got as good of an idea as I want!
 
May 3, 2005
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"The spitting scene coming up was pretty controversial. I remember nobody liked it....Kate and Leo didn't like it......but I did."

-James Cameron commentary, "Titanic" DVD

He shoulda listened ! :)
 
Mar 21, 2009
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Wanna know what the worst scene from any TITANIC related film is?


"Y'know you should know,
So I'm gonna tell ya so,
Don't sweat it,
Forget it,
Enjoy the show!"
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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The thing about that sequence which grates is that it could have been...uhhhm...gracefully introduced. Yeah, I know, the orchestra did not have a vocalist but, on the other hand, that particular suspension of disbelief is minor compared to having to accept that someone would perform an entire song-and-dance routine in public, a capella,(and badly) without people, shall we say, reacting.

For me, it's any scene involving Margaret Brown, in any Titanic film. Ritter as the quasi Brown, porcine ANTR woman, and Cloris Leachman all played her as a mental hospital escapee. The moment where Leachman interacts with the ship's orchestra on the boat deck makes me wish that I could intercut matching footage of men with blazing machine guns, as I recently did at the end of Donald O'Connor's "Make 'em Laugh" number in Singin' In The Rain. (Convert film to B&W. Patch in footage of mob execution from Some Like It Hot. Cut rest of film and roll credits. The work is strengthened. But, I digress....)

Cameron, and Ms Bates, to their credit, gave us a Margaret Brown who did not behave like a "before" character in a Ritalin ad, and then introduced that howler of having her produce a tux out of thin air for Jack to wear. But, at least she did so quietly.
 

Will C. White

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Jim-I could almost buy her having a tux to fit Jack. The rich seemed to travel with everything in those days, and there were no port calls like a cruise ship. As to Kathy Bates, we got to see her at PCPA in Santa Maria long before she hit the mainstream. Trust me, she knows how to read and play a part just right, even if the Director has no clue. WILL
 
May 3, 2005
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Jim and Will-

Well.... in "Titanic" (1953) Richard does buy a pair of long pants for Norman...but that was before he found out that Norman wasn't "His" son.

Hmmm....could there be a connection in this that another case of Cameron copying from a previous film... ? ;-)
 

Jim Kalafus

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Dec 3, 2000
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>Jim-I could almost buy her having a tux to fit Jack.

Only in the sense that one can "buy" Bugs Bunny reaching out of the frame, producing an anvil, and smacking Elmer Fudd with it. That was the effect of that scene, only less sophisticated because, after all, in the world of animation such contrivances are possible while in the world in which Cameron's characters existed, it went beyond highly unlikely and therefore played as stupid.

The obvious solution, of course, would have been to have the tedious dinner party scene played out ibn the dining area of the private suite. Jack could have kept his regular clothes. The difference between evil rich and noble poor would have been heightened by the visual contrast. And, of course, one would not have been distracted by the presence of, essentially, an off-the-rack tux with sleeves of the proper length, and pants which actually fit.

But, at least Mrs. Brown did not rampage around THIS Titanic, oozing with frontier charm and vitality.