Emotional Impact

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Did anyone else have the most emotional reaction to the "small" scenes, as opposed to the "set pieces"?

-- Thomas M. Terashima (tom@nucleus.com), December 20, 1997


The whole movie threw me through such emotional phases. Everything seemed so real. Now when i see the commercial for the movie i view it different. i was always interested in the Titanic but i am more now than ever. I saw the movie the first night it came out and i am still thinking and talking about it. But the movie had such an impact on me, I wanna learn so much more about it.

-- kelly kopenhafer (claude1476@aol.com), December 22, 1997.

Very emotional. Particularly the last scene that brought it all together.

-- Rick (n/a), December 23, 1997.

I agree I always had an interest in the Titanic expecially after it was found again by Ballard in 1985. But seeing the movie has be searching the web for all the info I can find about the ship the people and what really happened. The builder of the ship itself has a good web page that gives some great technical details about various aspects of the ship. Expecailly about the engine room and technical details. Join the Titanic webring to really find lots of web sites.

-- David Hirsch (knoxtndave@postoffice.worldnet.att.net), December 23, 1997.

The scene where Rose passes away in her sleep and she goes back to the great ship and the receiving line with Jack at the stair landing, is a scene I will never forget. It was just so completely touching and lovely (and refreshingly old-fashioned).

I think it is one of the finest scenes ever filmed in any movie. I am still thinking and talking about it a week after I saw the movie.

The music deserves an Oscar. The cinematography deserves an Oscar too. The special effects deserve an Oscar.

It is THE movie of our generation.

-- Gabe Della Fave (gabedellafave@mindspring.com), December 24, 1997.

Actually, I found myself in tears every ten minutes or so throughout the whole film. The filming of the actual wreckage in the opening of the film both fascinated and terrified me; it was ghostly and surreal. The steerage party scene got me all choked up because I felt it was the first time we saw real joy in Rose's face; we glimpsed the fire beneath the taut, uptight exterior. The scene when they kiss for the first time and the bow of the ship dissolves into the bow of the decayed wreck was eerily beautiful and clever. And of course, I don't have to mention one of the end scenes where Rose and Jack are in the water, and Jack is slowly freezing to death. When she realizes he has passed away and breaks free from his tender grip, and he slips beneath the surface, my heart felt like it was being ripped from my chest. I couldn't believe the amazing sense of loss that I felt when Jack died. I felt like I WAS Rose. The closing of the film where Old Rose passes on and in the afterlife joins up again with Jack, we know that he was her one true love and that they are together for all of eternity. It was a wonderful way to bring to an end what is surely one of the most gorgeous films of all time.

And the music... I bought the soundtrack. Every note makes me dissolve into tears!! I have to be extra careful where I play it....

-- Susan DeBiasio (debiasio@ici.net), December 25, 1997.

For me the most Emotional Impact of this great film is the score by James Horner. Just hearing the music during or even listening to it on CD brings back many memories of the film. It makes me relive the scenes and some of the dialogue from the film. It is the best soundtrack I have heard in years and I have heard a lot of great ones recently.

-- Brian Knatchbull (kermit@interlog.com), December 26, 1997.

Oh, my heart still hurts just thinking about the film. It's been a week since seeing the film and I can't get it out of my mind. The only thing that I think about is how Rose would of got through the next few days, weeks, months without Jack. That thought brings tears to my eyes.

-- Pauline Vizcarra (vizcarra@tig.com.au), December 29, 1997.

As soon as I got back from seeing the movie I wan't to know more. Ididn't cry through any of it. Why? I think I was in shock....actually its now 4 hours later and I'm still shaking. Weird huh? No movie has ever touched me so deeply as the TITANIC.

-- Paige McCuistion (PritePenny@aol.com), December 29, 1997.

The movie Titanic, has to be, without a doubt, the most emotional and best written movie of all time. The actors and actresses were exceptional and did an extremely good job in showing emotion and letting the audience FEEL what they would have been feeling. Again this was a great movie and I can' wait to see it again! Leo and Kate i commend you on a job well done.

-- Rachel Renfrow (LLAM@DISCOVER-NET.NET), December 30, 1997.

I feel so much better after reading all of your messages! I've been so distraught since seeing the movie five days ago on Christmas night. I was starting to wonder if something else was wrong with me; post holiday blues or something, because I didn't think that a movie could really have that strong of an effect. But now I see that I'm not alone! I loved the movie so much. What really touched me, of course, were the characters of Jack and Rose. They were both such courageous, intelligent, energetic and above all, passionate people. What I've found so hard to deal with is the fact that they were both so young and alive; they had just found each other and fallen in love and they were only able to spend about five days together before being split by death. It is especially heart-wrenching, because, in the last hour of the film, they outwit death a number of times because of their strong will to survive and remain together. Over and over. Yet, in the end, he is still taken from her. The scene near the end, after the Titanic has sunk and Jack saves Rose by leading her to that large, flat piece of ship to lie upon and makes her promise that she will go on and live a long full life and die an old woman in a warm bed is veerry emotional. But the final tearjerker comes at the end, when the movie is brought back to present day and you realize that this happened to Rose 85 years ago. Almost a century ago, and she still remembers the entire story in full and complete detail. She can still picture his face, she still carries his name "Dawson," and she still loves him. He has been in her heart the whole time. When you think of the courage she had, to go on and live that adventure-filled life, despite her loss, it's amazing. The way I think of it, he sacrificed his life for hers, and she dedicated the rest of her life to him. The love they experienced and the courage they both demonstrated is so overwhelming to me. The only consolation I have is that they were finally reunited in Heaven at the end. In my opionion, no other couple, including Romeo & Juliet, nor Scarlett and Rhett, nor anyone else, can compare to Jack and Rose of the Titanic!

-- Jen Alexander (jmalexande@mofo.com), December 30, 1997.

I don't usually show much emotion during or after movies. I try not to because I've always been told that since it's just a movie, it isn't real. But with Titanic that type of thinking just doesn't work. Even if Rose and Jack are fictional, people really did die in that same terrible way. That, more than anything, got to me. I don't think I cried, but I was close. After the movie finished I was so numb I could hardly talk, and the first thing I remember being able to say to the friend who went with me was, "Kinda justifies the $200 million, doesn't it?" I looked around the theater, and people were hugging each other and crying. I have never, ever, seen anything like that after a movie before. I won't forget it either.

-- Dave Phillips (Sonitus@USA.net), January 01, 1998.

That movie made a very big emotional impact on me and many others as well. Titanic has got to be the greatest movie of all time. Or way up there. It really touches you.

-- Heather (ClickyLove@aol.com), January 05, 1998.

As a guy I would like to think that I wouldn't cry at a movie but I did on several occasions during both times I saw the movie. "Small" scenes that affected me were the older couple lying in bed as the water poured in around them, the musicians playing on deck, the mother reading to her children in bed, the father putting his wife and daughters on a boat while he stayed behind to wait for the "daddy boat", and of course the final scene. AMAZING MOVIE!

-- GT (tuckerg@cinstate.cc.oh.us), January 06, 1998.

Titanic was a wonderful movie that kinda sticks with you for a week. I've seen it three times and I always start crying at the same spot. When the mother tells her children the story. It never fails! I don't think the screenplay can quite surpass the masters (Gone With the Wind, Casablanca) but my God, the emotional ride it takes you on is amazing. I would get my money's worth if I paid double the ticket price.

-- Karen (ejpowell@emry.net), January 10, 1998.

I've seen the movie four times and each time, the scene that really got me was when the mother was telling her children a story as they drifted off to sleep while the music "Nearer My God to Thee" is playing in the background. It wasn't until then that I cried. Great movie. Mr. Cameron, cast and crew should be commended.

-- S. Mathews (smathews@gte.net), January 12, 1998.

I didn't cry in the movie, but I wanted to. It was so sweet. Every time I see the video or think about how much fun they had it makes me sad. I'm getting choked up just thinking about it. I have never cried in a movie, but when I go back to see it again I am sure I will cry. (I wish that Andrews didn't die in the movie. Ismay got on my nerves. Dumb Ass!!!!)

-- Bash (n/a), January 15, 1998.

I'm too embarrassed to say how many times I've seen this. Needless to say, I was extremely moved by this movie. Dave, I saw the same thing you did in the theater once the lights came back on: couples hugging each other, and people sitting through the credits! My 63-year-old dad said he never saw a better film and doesn't expect to. Ditto for me!

-- Bob Gregorio (rgregori@pacbell.net), January 17, 1998.

the first time I saw the movie, I didn't cry. I was just amazed at how good it was, and of course you know Jack is going to die at the end.. : ( I was like "hm, that was a good movie" the second time, as the word "TITANIC" appeared on the screen, I thought ' why the heck am I watching this again, I'm just setting myself up for total depression.. :) I started crying at the "flying" scene and didn't stop for the rest of the movie. a friend I went with said that I didn't breathe for like the last half hour.. :) well I can't wait till this weekend so I can see it again and cry some more ... : )

-- Cara (sammons@mint.net), January 27, 1998.

Maybe I'm just weird but I cry when she is going to jump off the ship. When she steps over the railing and looks down is when it really gets me. By the way... did anyone notice that he says "give me your hand, I'll pull you over" both when he saves her in the beginning and towards the end when the stern is plunging into the water and he pulls her over the other way? I also get very emotional when she jumps back on the boat. The part where I just feel like my heart is being ripped out is when she lets him go. Just the music and the way she watches him go down and just cries is sooo devastating. From that moment on the tears just keep going- half because of the scenes with old Rose and the pictures of her doing all the things Jack said he'd teach her and half because I am still upset because she let him go!!!

-- chris (angelee426@aol.com), February 24, 1998.

One of the most emotional scenes for me was when Rose and Cal are having breakfast. It is the morning after she goes to the steerage party. He throws an angry fit and almost hits her. Then she is down on the ground trying to help the maid clean up the mess. It is clear that he will be a cruel and totalitarian type of husband, and she is trapped with him for the rest of her life.

-- Gwen (ggallag@paralynx.com), April 21, 1998.

Reading all of your comments makes me feel a little bit more 'normal'. Ever since I saw Titanic (the first time I was kind of sceptical, anyone can make a big movie with big money and we all know they're going down, so what's the point of seeing it in the first place) I have been thinking about it every day. It's hard for me to decide what it is about Titanic that moves me so. The fact that the audience knows what is going to happen, makes Jack and Rose tragical heroes. The spectacular ship, the impressing shiny and noisy engines, the glamour of the first class, the high expactations of the third, the great sunsets, beautiful music, all on the big screen with magnificent sound; from the minute Rose starts talking you're there, wether you want to or not. Is there a tragedy larger than that of Titanic, is there a romance greater than that of Jack and Rose? Unfortunately there are much bigger tragedies en there probably are other potential great romances, I guess we have only James Cameron to thank for taking this particular moment in history and bringing it back to life by making the biggest and the best movie of the milennium. I have read the movie recommendations somewhere on this Q&A and I would also love some book tips, not especially on this topic but on great historical romances in general.

-- dutch girl (girl@wxs.nl), April 26, 1998.

"Dutch girl" - glad you loved it as much as the rest of us. In a documentary, Cameron referred to other love stories with historical backdrops which I presume were inspirations, though I can think of others which had things in common with Cameron's as well. The ones he referred to were Spartacus, Cleopatra, and Gone With the Wind. Others I feel impacted him were Somewhere in Time, Sophie's Choice (my 3rd favorite), English Patient, Dr. Zhivago. On this site and elsewhere I have seen comparisons with Romeo & Juliet too.

-- BobG (rgregorio@ibm.net), April 26, 1998.

Thomas, I just read your original question on this thread and realized I never answered it. The parts that got me all choked up, at least the first few times I saw it, were some of the "set pieces" you seem to refer to: Rose jumping back onto the ship, and Jack sinking in the sea. I was both uplifted and saddened by the final scene at the staircase. In subsequent viewings of the movie, I got slightly emotional, believe it or not, where Jack and Rose first see each other. The score was VERY instrumental of course. One smaller scene which got me very choked up the first time I saw the flick, which I haven't seen mentioned by anyone, is the one with the frozen mother and infant. What Cameron's movie "drove home" to me most was that so many died and most because of hypothermia rather than drowning. That 53 children and infants were among the dead especially hit me hard. The book "The Titanic: End of A Dream" (written before the movie) very poignantly pointed out that a deceased mother with infant were indeed spotted brushing against an iceberg.

-- BobG (rgregorio@ibm.net), April 26, 1998.

The "small" scene that really really got to me was the old couple in the bed together. They were based on real people and the way they were shows that love binds them together. They didnt want to live without the other. Love makes two into one. That scene was very emotional for me. It was sort of a FOIL of the love between Rose and Jack. That scene was just very emotional.

-- MJ (Love1028@aol.com), July 03, 1998.

This is a very good question. Too bad the answers got a bit side-tracked at places. The first few times I saw Titanic, the most emotional scene to me was old Rose picking up the butterfly comb, remembering (even the first time when I didn't yet know what exactly she was remembering). None of the "big" scenes had the same impact on me, except perhaps the one where Rose is in the lifeboat, being lowered from Titanic. Then, the last few times I saw the movie, believe it or not, the thing that "got to me" the most (I am a bit at a loss of words here, English not being my mother tongue) was the word Titanic (i.e. the title) appearing over the dark water on the screen, combined with those deep bass sounds in the music. I have listened to the soundrack about a zillion times, but when I hear that part of the music in the theatre, Surround Stereo and all, it "still gets me every time".

-- Barbara Matul (matul-kalamar@siol.net), August 06, 1998.

Sorry for getting side-tracked, Barbara.

-- BobG (rgregorio@ibm.net), August 06, 1998.

No need to apologize Bob, you were one of the few who did answer the question.

-- Barbara Matul (matul-kalamar@siol.net), August 09, 1998.

Move over, Gilded. Hello, Barbara.

-- BobG (bobG@newwife.brb), August 09, 1998.

You unimagineable bastard...

-- Gilded Age Junkie (GildedAgeJunkie@yahoo.com), August 09, 1998.

Okay...here's my answer to this question. I mentioned in some other thread that I begin to cry during the sketching scene. It's beautiful, and with the piano playing "Rose" in the background (which I was VERY upset wasn't on my soundtrack...it better be on the next one), it starts then. I also get upset at the "breakfast tale" scene with Rose and Cal. That kind of fear...Christmas. It gets me. I am also very moved by the scene when Rose is on the Carpathia and she is asked her name, and then she's staring at the Statue of Liberty. It's her symbol of freedom, especially when you know the words on the statue, "Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to break free..." (I think it's "huddled masses"...it's been a long time since I had to recall it), etc. Rose is now all of those things. To me, that's when it all comes together, rather than at the end when she finally meets up with Jack again.

Okay, there you have it.

-- Gilded Age Junkie (GildedAgeJunkie@yahoo.com), August 09, 1998.

Gilded, congrats. In my umpteen viewings, I never realized the symbol of the statue for Rose! Makes perfect sense. Oh, and if you want that piano version of "Rose", buy the CD "Titanic: The Ultimate Collection". Kathleen Marcaccio recommended it to me way back, and I agree that it's an excellent collection. And that song (#2 on the CD) is beautiful and VERY similar to the one in the movie. I got the CD at Borders.

-- BobG (rgregorio@ibm.net), August 09, 1998.

Thanks for the info. I'll look for it.

-- Gilded Age Junkie (GildedAgeJunkie@yahoo.com), August 09, 1998.

I have to agree with you on the scene with the frozen mother & child. That was a very moving "small" scene for me. Not simply because of the built-in emotion of a mother & child, but because of the way they, and every one with them, died. It was more than hypothermia. When the water is that cold, the body begins to shut down. Many of these people choked to death--their respiratory system shut down from the cold and they did not have the ability to breath. To die like that, alone and cold and afraid, is something that is heartbreaking to think about.

-- Nonnie Parker (x96smock@wmich.edu), April 16, 1999.

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