July test screening vs. final version vs. Director's Cut

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What are all the differences between the July test screening and the final version? What should be in the Director's Cut? Following is one reply (verbatim excerpt) to the first question I got by email from someone who may wish to remain anonymous. She can claim credit if desired.

"I like the final version much better than the test screeing...The test version had many sweeping shots of the interior of the ship. It kind of reminded me of 'Lifestyles of the Rich and Famous'. There didn't seem to be so many of these shots just showing off the ship's interiors in the final version. After the ship started to sinking, the test version had about a million shots of water sweeping through the ship. Water rushing to a corridor,water breaking a window, water knocking down a door. Most of these repetitive shots were removed from the final version. And the biggest change and the one that improved the movie the most. In the test version there was an extended chase scene, with the evil valet with a gun, trying to find Jack and Rose in the flooded dining room. I don't how long this scene was, but it seemed interminable. It also was so silly that it kind of jerked me out of the mood of the movie. You had lots of shots of Jack and Rose hiding behind floating tables and chairs, and lots of shots of the valet walking around the dining room with his gun."

-- Bob Gregorio (rgregori@pacbell.net), February 12, 1998


With regard to the extra footage that was edited out, the book "James Cameron's Titanic" also sheds some light. It is clear from those photos of the production that alot of the development of the people in steerage was removed. Gone are how people whiled away the time playing chess, supervising children or making new acquaintances: Fabrizio and the Swedish woman (notice them dancing at the party); most meaningful of all, Jack meets little Cora as he is drawing (his "best girl"). Also removed was Rose descending into steerage to seek out Jack (as he is drawing no doubt, hence the reason he is carrying around his drawing satchel) and invite him for a stroll. This was an obvious break in continuity. I bet you a nickel all this will be included in the director's cuts. I think James Cameron cares too much about this group to not give them more exposure.

-- Douglas M. Wenzel (dmwenze@aecengineering.com), February 12, 1998.

It might help to watch tomorrow evening (Feb.13, 9:00pm ET) on FOX Channel a one hour about "Tiatnic" and some cuts that did not make it in the film. I've seen today some shots on ET and one scene that will be shown will be that of receiving the message from Californian.

-- Dan Draghici (ddraghic@ccs.carleton.ca), February 12, 1998.

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