Is it the romance or the Titanic's history that 'made' the movie? : LUSENET : TitanicShack : One Thread

I get the feeling, from reading the Mrshowbiz comments on Titanic that there are varying reasons why the movie was so exceptional. Once point of view was the romance between Rose & Jack, the love that blossomed only to be tragically extinguished with Jack's death. The other point of view was the realism of the sinking itself, the graphic depiction of the ship breaking in two, the stern so high in the air, the bodies falling to their deaths, the final plunge and in the end, all those people, dead in the water. Of course, the final point of view is for those critic's who didn't like the movie at all. Whats your point of view and why do you think this movie has created so much hype?

-- Peter Edmead (, February 01, 1998


Hi Peter!

You're not the only one asking this question. The current issue of Entertainment Weekly ( explores the impact the film is having on the film industry, and all the industry head-scratching over **why** the film has been so successful (and of course, how to repeat it).

The film has something for just about everyone; the history and the detail in the sets and costuming for the hard-core Titanic buffs (that's why I went to see it), the gee whiz SFX, but primarily, in spite of all the knocks he has taken about the script and dialog and character development, Jim Cameron managed to create two characters, Jack and Rose, with whom the audience could identify and care about.


P.S. Has the film made it to Australia yet, and if so, how is it doing down under?

-- Kip Henry (, February 01, 1998.

For me this movie was all the things you mentioned. I was wrapped up with the fictitious storyline as well as the accurate portrayal of the voyage and disaster. In a nutshell, I would like to see this movie grab an Oscar in every category, each of which I have considered carefully, although admittedly I haven't seen every possible contender. Hype of this proportion results not from good marketing but a good product, "good" defined by society as a whole. Because of this movie, I have become very interested in the disaster and have been doing much research on it. I am also more aware of the way I sometimes think in terms of social hierarchy and at those times try to be more egalitarian. In other words, this movie makes me want to be a better person.

-- Bob Gregorio (, February 01, 1998.

For me the impact of the movie has been the realism -- the exact duplication of the Titanic herself and the faithful recreation of the events. Although I loved the romance between Rose and Jack, it was, as intended, a way to bring me on board Titanic. Think of it, we explored her from bow to stern, from the bowels of her engine room to the private promenade of the Millionaire suites. I know the Titanic...I see the pictures now and I can see her in my minds eye. She's so real. I hear the stories of the survivors and I cry because understand what they were up against and I've begun to understand what they lost.

Okay, so you have me crying again.


-- crystal smithwick (, February 01, 1998.

I think the answer to your question is simply YES. This movie has something for everyone. Everyone can relate in some way to some aspect of the movie. Not everyone will agree, and not everyone will see things the same way. The beauty of this movie is that you can go home, discuss it with friends, get a different point of view, and want to go see it again. A lot of its success in the past week has been from repeat viewers, and the word of mouth. People are able to go and see something different each time.

-- Misty Chacon(Mystified) (, February 02, 1998.

This is a really good question that Ic an only answer in two parts:

(1) the realism as has been mentioned, we really feel like we are on board and experiencing everything the characters are.

(2) To me it was Jack and Rose and the story between them two. Take away Jack dieing and Rose's actions after that and the movie would not even be close to what it was. So of course without (1), (2) would not matter because it would not be believable to us but it was the power of their relationship which is what made this movie!!!!

So I guess my answer is both but my point is that you could have had everything the same in this movie but without the feelings the audience develops for the two main stars and their chemistry together this movie would be just another good movie. Cameron knew he had to develop the love between the two so dramtically because that is the only way we could feel so emotional about this tragic loss.

-- BK (, February 02, 1998.

For me personally, I went to see Titanic, because it has been something that I have been fasinated with since I was a teenager. I've always watched the Discovery Channel anytime they've had anything to do with Titanic (all shipwrecks for that matter), but specifically Titanic.

I did not go see this movie because James Cameron directed it; I did not go see this movie because of its stars. In fact I only knew of Leo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet I had never seen before. I went because it is about an unbelievable, historical event that REALLY took place!!

Going into this movie, I only knew one thing....that the ship sinks. The love story however, captures the esence of the people on board. You fall in love with them as they fall in love with each other. And you get to experience all aspects of this glorious ship. From the first class accomidations, the first class dining room, and my personal favorite, the Grand Staircase. You see the steerage accomidations, and I love that through the adventures of these two young lovers, we get to see the engine room, the boiler room, even the storage area, where luck would have it a wonderful car for two young people who are experiencing "true love" for the first time in their lives!!

As far as the special effects, I have never experienced anything like this movie before. Not only did I feel terrified, but I still had hope for so many people that **somehow** they just couldn't die!! I felt alot like Brock Lovett, when he said "I never got it", "I never took it in". Those words are so true for so many people that have watched all the documentaries abouy mighty ship. You hear the statistics, you understand the mathematics. But, for me anyway, I never saw the FACES.

I even told my husband, "I am crying for people who died 86 years ago" "Am I being ridiculous"? I couldn't describe one scene to him, without crying. I sat in my bed all morning, I couldn't get the images out of my head. It was if I was THERE. No movie has ever done that to me. I don't think hype is a good word for what brings people back to this movie, I think the people who return to this movie, have experienced something that they have never experienced before. But I also think that the people who return to this movie "feel" this movie on a different level than others.

-- Caron (, February 02, 1998.

Great question, by the way! i admit i was going to pass this movie. with all the hype i got turned off. but with urging of others, i decided i'll go see it for the 'sinking part'( mind you i've been a supporter of Kate Winslet but had no interest of seeing this). but was i wrong...i was captivated by the romance, the "old woman's" story on board the TITANIC and from then on i was blown away!....this movie had all the elements of romance, adventure, suspense(between the two main characters), tragedy, and survival, and an added humour in between----it was well balanced, a rarety for a film....the story of Rose is what i fell in love with, truly an amazing love story, and yes, the sinking was extraordinary in the audience's view but to me that was just a secondary backdrop. again, in my opinion, it appealed to alot of people and that's why it's so successful. and as far as hype, it was the media that focused on "how much this film cost" and "it's the most expensive film ever made" ,money this money that. little did they know it was the STORY that pushed this film in an unbelievable money making "machine", in my opinion.

-- M.M. (, February 02, 1998.

To M.M.: You are right but go one step more. Do some research on this fascinating event in world history. I guarantee you will get hooked. The event itself is a haunting experience and you will find that you just keep wanting more information and insight into the sinking and all the people involved before, during and after the fact. You won't be sorry you did!

Regards, Peter

-- Peter Nivling (, February 02, 1998.

Re: Kip's question regarding Titanic's release in Aus. It was released on 19 Dec and is still going strong.

I agree with Crystal's comment. When I watched the movie I felt I was there, that I was one of the survivors in the boats but powerless to help those in the water. And after I left the theatre, I felt as if the 1500 people had just died, not 86 years ago, but 10 minutes ago. It was this realism of the sinking that touched me, that made me want to see it again and what made me'shed a tear' at the end.

-- Peter Edmead (, February 02, 1998.

Peter: i knew the story of the Sinking of the Titanic in World History back in the 80's when i was in high school. the tragedy was emotional then, and MUCH MORE emotional now. J.Cameron really brought it back to life, so to speak. he also opened our minds and hearts to these poor souls who lost their life----we seem to have forgotten them for years, until now. he truly brought out the emotion of the whole disaster, i don't think this can never be equaled. indeed, it did interest me, more so now, about reading the Titanic Disaster. there's alot of books on the Titanic, any suggestion which is more accurate or a better reading? i heard the D. Lynch book was good (unsure of his first name).

-- M.M. (, February 03, 1998.

M.M. I have read several books regarding the Titanic, but one that I did particularly enjoy was:

The Titanic, End of a Dream by Wyn Craig Wade Its a Futura publication ISBN 0 7088 1864 1.

This book is based on eyewitness accounts of survivors and evidence of the US Senate hearings and as the books says

'...this electrifying account strips away the mysteries that have continued to haunt the tragedy of the Titanic as it vividly recreates the doomed vessel's last desperate hours afloat.'

-- Peter Edmead (, February 03, 1998.

One thing that made me sure of wanting to see this film is my fascination with the real tragedy itself. I had heard all of the predictions that it would "bomb", and I didn't care because it was a subject that I was interested in. Another reason was Leo (I hate to admit that), but not in the way some may think. I was hooked on his talent since I first saw him in "Gilbert Grape". I have been trying to follow his work ever since.

But the third thing was the stories going around about James Cameron offering to give up his pay just so he could complete the film. I don't know what he's made off it now (I DO know it's substantial), but that offer was such Hollywood rarity that I HAD to go see this film and support that act, if for no other reason. I am wondering how many other people saw the film for that reason. "Let's support the nice guy in Hollywood, kids. He's not making a dime off this flick." Well, I have since heard that Mr. Cameron is not-so-nice-a-guy and he's making craploads of money. But in regards to the cash, the way I see it is, the studios dang well OUGHT to pay him for giving them the highest grossing film of all time. They had better say "thank you", especially when it was being predicted to flop and they were agreeing. It's the American way, campers. "Oh say, can you see..."

Ahem. Got carried away there.:)

-- Gilded Age Junkie (, August 05, 1998.

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